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Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs)

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There are so many ways to find out. From a cell phone. From a bank statement. From some weird supermarket encounter. One morning in early January 2005, Wendy Plump's friend came to tell her that her husband was having an affair. It was not a shock. Actually, it explained a lot. But what Wendy was not prepared for was the revelation that her husband also had another child, There are so many ways to find out. From a cell phone. From a bank statement. From some weird supermarket encounter. One morning in early January 2005, Wendy Plump's friend came to tell her that her husband was having an affair. It was not a shock. Actually, it explained a lot. But what Wendy was not prepared for was the revelation that her husband also had another child, living within a mile of their family home. Monogamy is one of the most important of the many vows we make in our marriages. Yet it is a rare spouse who does not face some level of temptation in their married life. The discovery of her husband's affair followed betrayals of Wendy's own, earlier in the marriage. The revelations of those infidelities had tested their relationship, but for Wendy, it was commitment-the sticking with it-that mattered most, and when her sons were born, she knew family had to come first. But with another woman and another family in the picture, she lost all sense of certainty. In Vow, Wendy Plump boldly walks one relationship's fault lines, exploring infidelity from the perspective of both betrayer and betrayed. Moving fluidly from the intimate to the near-universal, she considers the patterns of adultery, the ebb and flow of passion, the undeniable allure of the illicit, the lovers and the lies. Frank, intelligent and important, Vow will forever alter your understanding of fidelity, and the meaning of the promises we make to those we love.


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There are so many ways to find out. From a cell phone. From a bank statement. From some weird supermarket encounter. One morning in early January 2005, Wendy Plump's friend came to tell her that her husband was having an affair. It was not a shock. Actually, it explained a lot. But what Wendy was not prepared for was the revelation that her husband also had another child, There are so many ways to find out. From a cell phone. From a bank statement. From some weird supermarket encounter. One morning in early January 2005, Wendy Plump's friend came to tell her that her husband was having an affair. It was not a shock. Actually, it explained a lot. But what Wendy was not prepared for was the revelation that her husband also had another child, living within a mile of their family home. Monogamy is one of the most important of the many vows we make in our marriages. Yet it is a rare spouse who does not face some level of temptation in their married life. The discovery of her husband's affair followed betrayals of Wendy's own, earlier in the marriage. The revelations of those infidelities had tested their relationship, but for Wendy, it was commitment-the sticking with it-that mattered most, and when her sons were born, she knew family had to come first. But with another woman and another family in the picture, she lost all sense of certainty. In Vow, Wendy Plump boldly walks one relationship's fault lines, exploring infidelity from the perspective of both betrayer and betrayed. Moving fluidly from the intimate to the near-universal, she considers the patterns of adultery, the ebb and flow of passion, the undeniable allure of the illicit, the lovers and the lies. Frank, intelligent and important, Vow will forever alter your understanding of fidelity, and the meaning of the promises we make to those we love.

30 review for Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roseanne

    First off, let me say that I found this book utterly fascinating because I am happily married and really do not understand what makes anyone get to the point of an affair. I honestly couldn't put it down and not because the writing flows well, though it does. I literally needed to see what ridiculousness Wendy Plump would say next. She readily admits that she was the adulterer first in her marriage, that she had difficulty with the "forsaking all others" as part of her vows but still wanted to r First off, let me say that I found this book utterly fascinating because I am happily married and really do not understand what makes anyone get to the point of an affair. I honestly couldn't put it down and not because the writing flows well, though it does. I literally needed to see what ridiculousness Wendy Plump would say next. She readily admits that she was the adulterer first in her marriage, that she had difficulty with the "forsaking all others" as part of her vows but still wanted to remain married because she took the "until death do us part" piece of her vows to heart. Her husband's long term affair produced a child and this, she felt was taking the betrayal to a whole other level. This ultimately lead to the ending of her marriage, which she appears to mourn, though I'm not sure why or how, given the lack of respect she showed for her union. The only difference between her affairs and her husband's affairs is that she somehow managed NOT to get knocked up. I will say that the writing was good, though she rambles a bit in places trying to make comparisons. The details of how she carried on her affairs and how she felt at various stages was interesting - made all the more so by the fact that her friends and family were complicit in helping her hide her affairs! She spends a bit of time throughout the book pointing out that she knows what she did was wrong but then seemingly attempts to justify herself when she compares her appetite for affairs to addiction or simply that she had too much time on her hands being a freelancer while her husband was off on countless business trips or even that she didn't regret what she had done. What disturbed me most about the book was that these idiots had 2 children together! The kids came after and during various affairs between the two of them. I cringed when she lamented how the divorce affected her children. Is she serious? She brought 2 children into an already adulterous and unstable union. How she levels the blame on her husband's mistress and baby astounds me. She also shows her immaturity when she takes pot shots at the baby her husband fathered and managed to keep hidden for 8 months, saying her kids are cuter and her kids deserve more. She comes off as narcissistic, spoiled and whiny and that's what made the book go south for me. She is not a victim, as she'd have you believe. As far as I'm concerned, she got what she deserved, so did her pathetic ex and the only people who lose in this are all 3 children involved.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cate Meredith

    This is a very difficult book for me to rate. On pure writing, it's five stars or more; the lady can WRITE. Her prose is drop-dead gorgeous. The problem I had was that her pretty words didn't overcome my frustration and disgust with the author and her husband. She comes across as very honest - she lays her sins out for all to see which is very admirable - but if she had been a character in a novel, I'd have HATED her. She's oblivious. She's a liar, a schemer, a cheater. I just had no sympathy fo This is a very difficult book for me to rate. On pure writing, it's five stars or more; the lady can WRITE. Her prose is drop-dead gorgeous. The problem I had was that her pretty words didn't overcome my frustration and disgust with the author and her husband. She comes across as very honest - she lays her sins out for all to see which is very admirable - but if she had been a character in a novel, I'd have HATED her. She's oblivious. She's a liar, a schemer, a cheater. I just had no sympathy for her at all. And the longer I read, the more frustrated I became with her awfulness. I don't know why she even married her husband, who at the best of times she didn't seem to like very much. They didn't seem to be in love even at the beginning of their courtship. And when she was cheating on him, she came across as a selfish wench and he was blind to her indiscretions which made me think he was an idiot since she was very flagrant about her extramarital activity. After three affairs, all of which she would claim were based on love, she discovers her husband has a mistress and an eight month old baby. They live a mile away from her. My empathy peaked for her when she was discussing the other woman and her child. No matter what she has done, it has to be brutal to discover your partner has a child with a person outside the marriage. But even then, she said she wanted to keep her husband, and I just felt so exasperated. WHY? He wasn't a good husband and she wasn't a good wife. It seemed to me a vacant union for years. Why hold on to this person who has hurt you so badly? These questions are answered with her rather confounding and blasé pronouncement that she took her vows, she really only meant the "till death do us part" one. "Forsaking all others" was a dare. Wendy Plump is a master at words, and I will read anything else she produces. That said, I stopped reading Vow at 74% because I didn't like her, her husband, or her marriage which was marbled with lies and deceit. It made my skin crawl. It is so hard to respect someone who cheats, and I guess I, like her husband, just could not trust her. I couldn't trust her to get me through the book feeling like her infidelity mattered, and was made beautiful. I will try anything else she produces, but this one was just too... ugly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sally Ewan

    This was a well-written yet heart-rending depiction of a world without morals. The chapters alternate between "I was devastated when I found out my husband was having a long-term affair and had a child with the other woman" and "Here is the story of another one of my deliciously pleasant adulterous relationships". When we lose a reference point for right and wrong, the only option is to appeal to relative damage done. There was no mention of the immorality or wrongness of infidelity. In fact, he This was a well-written yet heart-rending depiction of a world without morals. The chapters alternate between "I was devastated when I found out my husband was having a long-term affair and had a child with the other woman" and "Here is the story of another one of my deliciously pleasant adulterous relationships". When we lose a reference point for right and wrong, the only option is to appeal to relative damage done. There was no mention of the immorality or wrongness of infidelity. In fact, her tone of savoring past indiscretions reminded me of someone who just couldn't say no to another piece of chocolate, even though now she was obese and diabetic. Lack of self-control, people! She divides people into 'those who will commit adultery' and 'those who won't', thereby moving it from a wrong choice to some sort of inclination, albeit with possible unpleasant consequences.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lalitha

    Vow by Wendy Plump is not an easy book to read, and I imagine it wasn't an easy one to write. Plump's memoir is rife with painfully honest introspection about the beginning and end of her marriage. Far from being an example of connubial bliss, Plump's dissection of her marriage is so illuminating...almost to the point of being uncomfortable to the reader (Plump really bares all). But I'm so glad I kept reading - there were some valuable lessons to be learned from VOW, the most important of which Vow by Wendy Plump is not an easy book to read, and I imagine it wasn't an easy one to write. Plump's memoir is rife with painfully honest introspection about the beginning and end of her marriage. Far from being an example of connubial bliss, Plump's dissection of her marriage is so illuminating...almost to the point of being uncomfortable to the reader (Plump really bares all). But I'm so glad I kept reading - there were some valuable lessons to be learned from VOW, the most important of which were how to value oneself, and not depend upon others for happiness. To be sure, I didn't feel that VOW was some sort of self-help book--if anything, I suspect it was a cathartic exercise for its author. I commend her for having the courage to expose her flaws and write the truth.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Part psychology, part memoir, Wendy Plump takes a look at how the laws of attraction can crucify the laws of reason. Nothing can stop a sleeper wave from drowning the promises made in marriage unless one refuses to step on the beach during high tide. A refreshingly candid look at how even intelligent people can struggle with controlling one's impulses and how anything can be rationalized in the quest for passion and fulfillment. And why being cuckold does not eliminate one from becoming the adul Part psychology, part memoir, Wendy Plump takes a look at how the laws of attraction can crucify the laws of reason. Nothing can stop a sleeper wave from drowning the promises made in marriage unless one refuses to step on the beach during high tide. A refreshingly candid look at how even intelligent people can struggle with controlling one's impulses and how anything can be rationalized in the quest for passion and fulfillment. And why being cuckold does not eliminate one from becoming the adulterer even when it reasonably makes no sense to hurt another in the same way one has been hurt. The narrative is complicated by what appears to be the couple's sex and love addiction: Bill through his encounters with gentleman's clubs and his affair with a stripper and Wendy through the allure of falling in love over and over again. If the reader is familiar with the terrain of sex and love addiction, then the tell-tale symptoms of an addict in denial parade around in some of the chapters, particularly the chapters in which the author waxes poetic about the risk and the rewards of adultery. As for Plump's assertion that there is a dearth of literature to help those ensnared in adultery or a lackluster marriage, she is wrong. Albeit, a lot of the canon is faith-based and may repulse those seeking an agnostic or atheistic view, but the literature exists, from Living with Your Husband's Secret Wars by Marsha Means to Every Man's Battle by Steve Arterburn to When Good People Have Affairs by Mira Kirshenbaum to The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and so much more. Nonetheless, Plump's story is one that needs to be told. The author's unique perspective as both the perpetrator and the victim allows for a more comprehensive study of why betrayal hurts everyone involved including bystanders. A must-read for those interested in relationships.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

    Wendy Plump's honesty is refreshing. Yes, it was totally lousy of her husband to carry on a ten-year affair with another woman, knock 'er up, and then carry on his life with Wendy and their two sons whilst "the other woman" and their child lived barely a mile away. Yet, as Plump makes clear from the outset, she is hardly blameless in the destruction of their marriage. From its earliest days, the marriage she shared with her husband Bill was characterized by affairs...a pattern that she began, an Wendy Plump's honesty is refreshing. Yes, it was totally lousy of her husband to carry on a ten-year affair with another woman, knock 'er up, and then carry on his life with Wendy and their two sons whilst "the other woman" and their child lived barely a mile away. Yet, as Plump makes clear from the outset, she is hardly blameless in the destruction of their marriage. From its earliest days, the marriage she shared with her husband Bill was characterized by affairs...a pattern that she began, and that he later followed. Plump's memoir is a plea for people to understand the "grey", to understand that though the answers may seem simple, they rarely are. It is also, she concedes, a cautionary tale: adultery and infidelity (on both sides) completely destroyed her marriage. But, as she acknowledges, adultery does not always have to destroy a relationship although living with its scars may present obstacles for both partners moving forward. Plump is an accomplished journalist and writer, and this shows in her memoir. Well-written and tight, her narrative never drags nor becomes maudlin. This may sound like a cliche, but "unflinchingly honest" (except for a few quick jabs at the end) is a fair and balanced assessment.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I reserved this book @ my library because a review that I had read made it sound interesting. What was I thinking??? The sub-title "and Other Affairs" is more accurate than the title "Vows". How do I feel sorry for the author (and I am not sure that she wants sympathy...sometimes yes, sometimes no) when she is every bit as guilty of affairs as her unfaithful husband? The only difference is that her many affairs did not produce a child. This is a sad (for the children involved) story of a husband a I reserved this book @ my library because a review that I had read made it sound interesting. What was I thinking??? The sub-title "and Other Affairs" is more accurate than the title "Vows". How do I feel sorry for the author (and I am not sure that she wants sympathy...sometimes yes, sometimes no) when she is every bit as guilty of affairs as her unfaithful husband? The only difference is that her many affairs did not produce a child. This is a sad (for the children involved) story of a husband and wife who should have never married or have children in their marriage. Again, I am not sure whether the author wants sympathy or not for the dire straits her family are in due to the break-up and job loss with the husband. What amazes me throughout the entire book, more so even before the children came into the picture, where in the world did this author get the TIME to have the romantic adventures with the men that she had? And if she was so available to these men, why wasn't she inserting herself to be involved with her husband? I have many more questions, BUT I really don't want to give away the entire memoir/story...I hope I didn't reveal too much as it was. Yes, I was disappointed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Wendy Plump threw open the doors of her deeply personal past and invited me in. She didn't have to, and frankly I'd have been ridiculously embarrassed to be caught even taking a peek in, but she invited me, and wow... what a find. Nearly immediately after getting married, Wendy and her husband delved into the world of betrayal and infidelity. Wendy jumped first, drunk on the high of attraction and the chemical cocktail that new love brings. An inescapable desire to be honest about her transgressi Wendy Plump threw open the doors of her deeply personal past and invited me in. She didn't have to, and frankly I'd have been ridiculously embarrassed to be caught even taking a peek in, but she invited me, and wow... what a find. Nearly immediately after getting married, Wendy and her husband delved into the world of betrayal and infidelity. Wendy jumped first, drunk on the high of attraction and the chemical cocktail that new love brings. An inescapable desire to be honest about her transgressions, she tells her husband of her relationship, and the tight-knit ball of a close marriage quickly unravels. Wendy's book Vow - A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs) is gutting and unimaginable. Maybe I'm too soon into my marriage, but the experience Wendy relays to me via these pages is thrilling yet harrowing. Almost all of us are familiar with the rush of new love, but with marriage comes fidelity... or at least the vow to practice it. But Wendy and her husband go far and beyond mere "cheating" and cross the line into multiple relationships, true loves, and children with both your spouse and your second-life love. I highly recommend reading this book. I was slightly uncomfortable all the while gripped with intrigue. This was one of those books I found I kept yearning to return to when free time found its way to me. My takeaway from this book is this - All of the feelings Wendy Plump shared with us are feelings nearly everybody has had or will have. We've all been attracted to others outside of our commitments. We've all thought about what it would be like to have an alternate relationship. There are those of us who will keep those thoughts in the fantasy realm, and there are others who will bring them to fruition. But the essence or the origin of these feelings and actions are understood by every one of us, regardless of outward protest and it's commendable that Wendy Plump is willing to share these raw thoughts and self-assessments with us. Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cara Fox

    This book caught me by surprise because it was not what I thought it would be. I quickly grabbed it without reading the jacket on a pre-vacation library run, thinking it might be a story on the ups and downs of marriage. Instead it was a story of affairs and a horrible, disintegrating marriage. I found it pretty well-written, although the author does not at all come off as a sympathetic character. Although she does a good job of describing her feelings about the experience, she doesn't come off This book caught me by surprise because it was not what I thought it would be. I quickly grabbed it without reading the jacket on a pre-vacation library run, thinking it might be a story on the ups and downs of marriage. Instead it was a story of affairs and a horrible, disintegrating marriage. I found it pretty well-written, although the author does not at all come off as a sympathetic character. Although she does a good job of describing her feelings about the experience, she doesn't come off as at all remorseful, almost as if she has cried all the tears she can cry over this? She writes a brutally honest account of how her and her husband's philandering escalated and eventually came to tear their marriage apart. If there is one thing I would say about this book, it is that any person even CONSIDERING having an affair should read it first. It is clear to see how one momentary lapse in judgement can literally send an entire house of cards tumbling - and make it much easier to make more egregious and long-term lapses in judgement in the future. The author and her husband destroy their marriage, each other, and to some extent - themselves. My heart absolutely broke for their children - the only innocents involved.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Destiny Rodriguez

    The vow is a great book I enjoyed reading that I wasn’t able to put down. The novel is about Wendy Plump that is married to Bill and have two son’s. They met in college when they were nineteen and married eight years later. A friend coming over one morning thought it was best to tell Wendy about Bill’s affair. Holes in their marriage Wendy couldn’t figure out now make perfect sense. Wendy also had her own affair’s She confessed to Bill. One day Wendy finds Bill’s diary in the clothset confirming The vow is a great book I enjoyed reading that I wasn’t able to put down. The novel is about Wendy Plump that is married to Bill and have two son’s. They met in college when they were nineteen and married eight years later. A friend coming over one morning thought it was best to tell Wendy about Bill’s affair. Holes in their marriage Wendy couldn’t figure out now make perfect sense. Wendy also had her own affair’s She confessed to Bill. One day Wendy finds Bill’s diary in the clothset confirming names and of many of his infidelities. Finding more evidence around the house like, credit card receipts for “gentlemen’s clubs”, and American express statements. Wendy confronts Bill. Bill is forgiven. Later on Wendy finds out of many more affair’s and a child she didn’t know about. Wendy starts her own affairs and that’s how most of their marriage goes. Wendy tries to think later on why she’d had affair’s and tries to figure out were their marriage went wrong. This novel was a roller coaster and I enjoyed the ride.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    This is a memoir of the disintegration of the marriage of Wendy and Bill, two highly self-absorbed, somewhat self-delusional and ultimately self-destructive people who lied their way through numerous affairs. It is Wendy's story since Bill wouldn't talk to her about it. I can't blame him for not talking now, but I couldn't help but wish that years ago they'd sat down and had a truly honest discussion about their marriage and its boundaries. Maybe they and three young children wouldn't have ended This is a memoir of the disintegration of the marriage of Wendy and Bill, two highly self-absorbed, somewhat self-delusional and ultimately self-destructive people who lied their way through numerous affairs. It is Wendy's story since Bill wouldn't talk to her about it. I can't blame him for not talking now, but I couldn't help but wish that years ago they'd sat down and had a truly honest discussion about their marriage and its boundaries. Maybe they and three young children wouldn't have ended up in such a mess. This is a provocative book and an easy read, which should generate some fabulous and maybe even heated discussions at book clubs. Some people will empathize with Wendy's shock and grief at finding out her husband has another family living close by. Others will scorn her as the source of her own misery. Wendy's reflections on her life and on infidelity in general are complicated and even contradictory. No doubt they will spark many readers to reflect on their own marriages.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I won this book as part of Good reads. I could not get into this book. I think part of it was I found myself not really liking or understanding the author. She goes back and forth between being overwhelmed her husband's long term affair and child, and recalling her previous affairs as well as other issues in the marriage. At times, she seems to be waiting the reader to side with her because somehow his infidelity was more then hers at other times she seems to understand both spouses fatally woun I won this book as part of Good reads. I could not get into this book. I think part of it was I found myself not really liking or understanding the author. She goes back and forth between being overwhelmed her husband's long term affair and child, and recalling her previous affairs as well as other issues in the marriage. At times, she seems to be waiting the reader to side with her because somehow his infidelity was more then hers at other times she seems to understand both spouses fatally wounded the marriage. I found myself at times thinking the author was going for something like Eat Pray Love...but it's misses that spirit of growth and change that was that book. This just feels...flat and dispirited. I mean, if you want to know, what not do to when married, this is the book to read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy Haydu

    Vow is not the typical book that I would read. I read because I was fortunate to meet the author at a book reading before its release. I found Wendy to be fascinating - a free spirit girl next door who's clearly very intelligent and well read. As Wendy explores her marriage from beginning to end, what comes to my mind is I hope this memoir helps her put her marriage of 18 years behind her, and allows her to move forward with a clearer view of what she'd like to experience in a marriage. This wou Vow is not the typical book that I would read. I read because I was fortunate to meet the author at a book reading before its release. I found Wendy to be fascinating - a free spirit girl next door who's clearly very intelligent and well read. As Wendy explores her marriage from beginning to end, what comes to my mind is I hope this memoir helps her put her marriage of 18 years behind her, and allows her to move forward with a clearer view of what she'd like to experience in a marriage. This would be a fantastic book club book - so many possible lines of discussion. Although it would be difficult to research & write for Wendy, perhaps a sequel of Susan's experience throughout?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Meg Marie

    Two people get married, spend 20 years cheating on each other, ends badly.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Day

    Personal memoirs are at their best when they are unflinchingly honest. Plump’s decision to write openly about her ex’s affair—the one that ended their marriage—and their respective numerous affairs that came before makes for an uncomfortable, revealing look at the slow unraveling of a relationship. Are we meant to be monogamous? Plump asks this question over and over. Throughout the several affairs she had before she discovered that her husband had been seeing the same woman for years and had a 9 Personal memoirs are at their best when they are unflinchingly honest. Plump’s decision to write openly about her ex’s affair—the one that ended their marriage—and their respective numerous affairs that came before makes for an uncomfortable, revealing look at the slow unraveling of a relationship. Are we meant to be monogamous? Plump asks this question over and over. Throughout the several affairs she had before she discovered that her husband had been seeing the same woman for years and had a 9-month-old child with her, Plump makes clear the blunt facts about how and why she did it. What she questions later in the book is why some people don’t. Her conclusion? “I think you either cheat or you don’t. It’s either hardwired in you or it isn’t. Infidelity may rest latent in you, but if you have that inclination, it will be difficult to resist. Or there will always be the question of it hanging, exhaustingly, in front of you.” Plump’s unusual situation—having been both the cheater and the one cheated on—makes her uniquely qualified to discuss the consequences of infidelity from all sides. To speak to the honest tone she’s taken throughout the book, she doesn’t leave out the parts she enjoyed either. “The arms that wrapped around me at night or the face that hovered above me during sex or the man who waited in my driveway for a homecoming after South Carolina…” I’ve no doubt that a person could read this book and dismiss it as an exotic tale—something so far outside the realm of their own life that they could never imagine themselves in Plump’s shoes, as either the one cheating or the one cheated upon. This book is not a warning shot across the bow so much as it is a reminder. A reminder to anyone in a long-term relationship or a marriage that betrayal does not always happen to someone else. It may not strike your relationship personally, but at some point in your life, you will feel the shockwaves. You’ll feel them as you comfort a friend or listen to a teary confession from a family member or learn a dark secret about a parent that you never expected to hear. We’re human, after all. We’re inclined to want more. “The grass is always greener” is maybe the truest description of human nature. So, do you cheat? Or don’t you? Plump references often her boredom with the safety of her marriage as a reason for her infidelity. Later, after her husband has moved out, she contemplates safety in a new way. “At those times [in the middle of the night] safe didn’t feel boring. Safe felt like a rescue. Safe felt like the most romantic, knight-on-a-horse, warrior-brandishing-a-sword existence possible. Not because I was insulated from trouble when in a couple, but because I was facing it with someone. […] This is not hindsight. It’s serious, keening, howl-at-the-moon regret over not recognizing the luck that surrounded both Bill and me. The sound of my husband sleeping. The cut and cottony smell of his T-shirts in the laundry. […] These are the details of married life. You could slay a dragon with them. What a pity that we missed the most salient point of union, that we fell prey to the most obvious stupidity—not knowing how good it all was.” Plump’s affairs, which took place before her husband moved out, were complicated for her: fun, exciting, dangerous, scary, sad. But, she never felt the pull to, as she put it, “make the journey from Other Woman to Woman.” Why? “In my view, crushing, worrisome regret lies in wait for the single woman or the single man who has an affair with a married spouse, pulls the spouse away, and then marries him or her. As the new spouse, you would have to help justify the sacrifice of the first marriage on a too-often basis. If you or he or both don’t cheat again, you will end your days worrying that it’s about to happen. When you are betraying a spouse, one of the things you demonstrate most emphatically is how untrustworthy you are. Not much of a basis on which to hang a new marriage.” I can’t say this book was an enjoyable read per se. It felt personal, gouging. It is emotionally raw and intensely well-written. It’s a book I won’t soon forget.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Part memoir, part beautiful literary rambling, Vow is a cautionary tale about one woman's marriage as she and her husband both commit adultery not once or twice, but several times. (One wonders if the two did not consider a divorce much earlier on.) Plump is a journalist, and her ability to turn a pretty phrase is a strong selling point of this work. There were pages of metaphors that I thought were sublime, and knowing that the story is nonfiction gives it an weight that a novel would not have. T Part memoir, part beautiful literary rambling, Vow is a cautionary tale about one woman's marriage as she and her husband both commit adultery not once or twice, but several times. (One wonders if the two did not consider a divorce much earlier on.) Plump is a journalist, and her ability to turn a pretty phrase is a strong selling point of this work. There were pages of metaphors that I thought were sublime, and knowing that the story is nonfiction gives it an weight that a novel would not have. That said, Plump is clearly working through her issues in the form of this memoir. We follow with interest the slippery slope of forbidden attraction, exciting sexual trysts, and the cold and emotionless home life that she lays out for us. She describes it all so well, and I suspect many readers will identify with the feelings and situations Plump faced. However, the descriptions go on and on. How many times (beautiful as they may be) can an author insist on going over the same emotions, the same worries, without boring the reader? How many ways does adultery need to be described? This lack of editing seem indulgent on her part. An example here: "The perception is that committing adultery is at least more pleasurable than having it committed against you. This is only marginally true. One side is not a whole lot better than the other. You should know that going in. The guilt, the divided life, the constant state of cunning, take a toll. It cleaves your world into two parts: half miserable, half bliss... You cannot share anything between them, and you have to enjoy -- or at least refrain from demolishing -- the fruits of each in an especially narrow way. You become very careful about your adulterous pleasures. Good at confining them, tamping them down so they remain in the space you have allotted them -- between dinners with your husband or between nights sleeping at home. I rarely allowed myself a long, luxurious swim in the full range of feeling, as the emotions might spill over the levee and swamp the other half." Okay, we get it. Another apt description: "I have watched friends do it as well, blundering along, enjoying the thrill of someone else's attention. Not realizing that they are sinking just a little more into that cushion, into that unkind luxury of desiring someone else and having that person desire you." I find her discussion of "willful oblivion" interesting -- it's that level of denial when you're lying to yourself, telling yourself "We're just friends" or "It doesn't mean anything"...making everything seem like it's all right. I think we've all done that, trying to justify our own misbehavior. And often we don't learn from it. We commit the same acts again and again, serving our own egos. "I'm not doing anything wrong. It's all perfectly innocent." Yes, even I would be hard-pressed to decide which passages to eliminate. They are all so well-put. The prose is poetic, the metaphors perfect. I could picture exactly the dilemma of living two lives and not being able to reconcile them into one authentic one. Then, occasionally there were sentences like this: "When he smiled at me, his teeth were as white as Chiclets and his voice all southern honey." I might have cut those. All in all, an interesting and unique perspective that is well-written, though not well-edited. It was fascinating to a psychologist who studies relationships, to be able to get into the head of someone who has both cheated and been cheated on. I hope all individuals involved have matured and been able to move on to happiness.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ana Rodriguez

    ~My Review.~ Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs) Author: Wendy Plump This novel is about Wendy Plump that is married to Bill and have two son’s. Wendy is the narrator in this novel. Wendy takes us on her journey of her marriage to Bill. They met in college when they were nineteen and married eight years later. A friend coming over one morning thought it was best to tell Wendy about Bill’s affair. As Wendy looks back and pieces things together, It all falls into place. Wendy couldn’t figure ~My Review.~ Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs) Author: Wendy Plump This novel is about Wendy Plump that is married to Bill and have two son’s. Wendy is the narrator in this novel. Wendy takes us on her journey of her marriage to Bill. They met in college when they were nineteen and married eight years later. A friend coming over one morning thought it was best to tell Wendy about Bill’s affair. As Wendy looks back and pieces things together, It all falls into place. Wendy couldn’t figure out Things that Bill had done at times, now it made perfect sense To Wendy. The holes in their marriage were Wendy sensed things weren’t right.. Now did. One day when she was cooking dinner Bill walked in and looked at her saying he’d just had dinner with another woman. Bill explained he’d made a new friend and that nothing happened. The following week when Bill left out of town for a business meeting, Wendy went through the house for any kind of proof of any of Bill’s affairs. All the alibi’s Bill told her. The late night movies Bill been to on his own, times he claimed to drive around “Just thinking”, so he say’s . One day Wendy finds Bill’s diary in the clothset confirming names and of many of his infidelities. Finding more evidence around the house like, credit card receipts for “gentlemen’s clubs”, and American express statements. Wendy confronts Bill. Bill is forgiven. Wendy confessed to Bill that she also had her own affair’s. Bill already knew of one in the beginning of there marriage and forgave Wendy. Later on Wendy finds out of many more affair’s and a child she didn’t know about. Wendy starts her own affairs and that’s how most of their marriage goes. Wendy was shattered that her husband lusted for another woman many of them. Wendy tries to think on why she’d had affair’s and tries to figure out were their marriage went wrong. The affairs they both had in their marriage. All the excuses, lovers, lies, they both committed. One day Wendy and Bill agreed to seek in marriage counseling to try and repair their broken marriage. In one of their sessions Bill was pissed and ended walking out of the office. Bill didn’t like to hear that Wendy had betrayed him, just as much as Bill done to her. This novel was a roller coaster ride for them both. And I enjoyed the ride. The vow is a great book that I enjoyed reading and that I wasn’t able to put down. A wife’s worst nightmare and Wendy lived it. Wendy Plump was able to write and share her story with us. I think that was very brave on her part. To re-live heart break must have been tough and very emotional, I hope by doing this Wendy got closure. I honestly could say from reading this novel that every women should read this novel. You’ll be glad you did. MY BLOGS http://anasreviews.blogspot.com/ http://bookblogs.ning.com/profiles/bl...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    I WON THIS BOOK FOR FREE THROUGH GOODREADS FIRSTREADS GIVEAWAY. I read "Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs)" while in the midst of planning my own wedding. Ha! This book is an eye-opening account of what can go on behind closed doors of marriages, and probably in greater numbers than we realize. Not only did I enjoy this book for the memoir that it is, but almost as a self-help, how-to-keep-this-from-happening in my own upcoming marriage, book. I appreciated the fact that the author, We I WON THIS BOOK FOR FREE THROUGH GOODREADS FIRSTREADS GIVEAWAY. I read "Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs)" while in the midst of planning my own wedding. Ha! This book is an eye-opening account of what can go on behind closed doors of marriages, and probably in greater numbers than we realize. Not only did I enjoy this book for the memoir that it is, but almost as a self-help, how-to-keep-this-from-happening in my own upcoming marriage, book. I appreciated the fact that the author, Wendy Plump, came across as being very matter-of-fact about the situations in the book... how she came to be in various affairs, how she felt about her marriage. She didn't play the "poor me" card when she found out about her husband's affair (even though it was leaps and bounds more damaging to the relationship than her own brand of affair) and accepted responsibility for her own indiscretions. Very enlightening and captivating story! Husbands, wives, and the about-to-be husbands and wives would all learn and grow from reading this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    Vow doesn't limit itself to a memoir of infidelity--which is good, since the author neither especially recommends infidelity nor considers herself an expert in how to avoid it. Instead, it branches out into philosophical topics about the fallibility of knowledge and behavior while embodying a personal, emotional tone. Plump talks about her own denial, inconsistency, and vulnerability regarding an experience that few people are willing to engage publicly to this extent. The strands of story feel Vow doesn't limit itself to a memoir of infidelity--which is good, since the author neither especially recommends infidelity nor considers herself an expert in how to avoid it. Instead, it branches out into philosophical topics about the fallibility of knowledge and behavior while embodying a personal, emotional tone. Plump talks about her own denial, inconsistency, and vulnerability regarding an experience that few people are willing to engage publicly to this extent. The strands of story feel free-form and cascading but really are carefully paced to reveal their insights gradually. There must have been difficulty and bravery in taking the time to tell a story so that it comes across with rawness and ferocity and yet can be remembered more as a philosophical discourse than as a rant. She engages the themes of knowledge and certainty in an original way. Additional reflections on this book were blogged for Underneaththis.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lori Kaplan

    I am torn over this book. I do think that Wendy Plump is a great writer and found the book to flow. I just don t really like her..... Do I feel badly the way her marriage ended? Yes but she is as much to blame. I found myself not feeling sorry -for her - I feel she started the whole direction that her marriage took. I was sick of hearing about her affairs over and over again and mentioning their names throughout the book. I also felt the book could of been shorter since half of it was just repeat I am torn over this book. I do think that Wendy Plump is a great writer and found the book to flow. I just don t really like her..... Do I feel badly the way her marriage ended? Yes but she is as much to blame. I found myself not feeling sorry -for her - I feel she started the whole direction that her marriage took. I was sick of hearing about her affairs over and over again and mentioning their names throughout the book. I also felt the book could of been shorter since half of it was just repeating itself over and over. As I'm writing this, I'm realizing even more how selfish and self centered Wendy Plump is. I think Bill ended up in his situation only after the way he was treated from his wife. Overall, I'm happy I read this book... it was interesting to read about infidelity and the everyday tactics of marriage.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Sanchez

    This book was SO BORING. I expected it to be much better. The main character (and author) Wendy finds out about her husband's affair and the child he has with the Other Woman in the first few pages. I guess I expected this to be a story of coping with infidelity, rebuilding a life or even be a story of self-discovery. I was wrong. The book is one catalog of her affairs and her husband's affairs. They have both cheated on each other repeatedly through their 18 year marriage, but she is still shock This book was SO BORING. I expected it to be much better. The main character (and author) Wendy finds out about her husband's affair and the child he has with the Other Woman in the first few pages. I guess I expected this to be a story of coping with infidelity, rebuilding a life or even be a story of self-discovery. I was wrong. The book is one catalog of her affairs and her husband's affairs. They have both cheated on each other repeatedly through their 18 year marriage, but she is still shocked when he leaves her for this other woman. I found myself glazing over chapters because after her third affair it was, literally, the same old story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I work for the publisher so read this book early. This book took a lot of guts to write. It's a deeply personal story that opens her up to judgment (and many people will snap judge her!) but that explains so well her mindset and explores really thoroughly monogamy and committed relationships. It made me think hard about how idealistic we are when relationships first start, and how I'd handle being in her situation. She's very sympathetic and erudite and it's a GREAT book for a book club discussi I work for the publisher so read this book early. This book took a lot of guts to write. It's a deeply personal story that opens her up to judgment (and many people will snap judge her!) but that explains so well her mindset and explores really thoroughly monogamy and committed relationships. It made me think hard about how idealistic we are when relationships first start, and how I'd handle being in her situation. She's very sympathetic and erudite and it's a GREAT book for a book club discussion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicky Enriquez

    This was a very gritty view of marriage and infidelity. I appreciate the eloquent honesty of Wendy Plump. I've never been in love (and now after reading this, I'm not sure I want to be), but in perfect detail, she describes the ease and thrill of infatuation while still feeling an obligation to another person. What I gleaned from this book is the essence of humanity - our ability to forgive, to move forward, to live - and all the atrocious experiences of love, lust, and infatuation that come wit This was a very gritty view of marriage and infidelity. I appreciate the eloquent honesty of Wendy Plump. I've never been in love (and now after reading this, I'm not sure I want to be), but in perfect detail, she describes the ease and thrill of infatuation while still feeling an obligation to another person. What I gleaned from this book is the essence of humanity - our ability to forgive, to move forward, to live - and all the atrocious experiences of love, lust, and infatuation that come with it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily Capeles

    As a reader who doesn't usually read memoirs I enjoyed this one. I think it was very well written and it explored the subject matter thoroughly. While I do not think I would have the grace that the author showed in that situation it made me think about adultery and the effects are felt by everyone involved. I recommend this book to pretty much everyone over the age of 18 as it has very many lessons we need to learn. *Goodreads Giveaway Book*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Norman

    Interesting topic. Apparently, it's compared to "Eat, Pray, Love" but I don't think that is fair at all. The author of this is way more honest & upfront about her faults & participation in the demise of her marriage & a far better writer. And she doesn't glamorize it at all or wrap it up in a happy ending. I am surprised they even made it through 18 years of marriage & having two kids after the confession of affairs... Interesting topic. Apparently, it's compared to "Eat, Pray, Love" but I don't think that is fair at all. The author of this is way more honest & upfront about her faults & participation in the demise of her marriage & a far better writer. And she doesn't glamorize it at all or wrap it up in a happy ending. I am surprised they even made it through 18 years of marriage & having two kids after the confession of affairs...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    I WON THIS BOOK FOR FREE THROUGH GOODREADS FIRSTREADS GIVEAWAY. I couldn't get into this book at all. In fact I think it was poorly written, each run on sentence seemed like an endless list. I guess my other problem was that I couldn't feel bad for the narrator or her husband. Neither of them should have ever taken the marriage vow to begin with. All in all...maybe this book just wasn't for me...

  27. 4 out of 5

    A Serious Lover

    A perfect how-to guide on 'How to Ruin Your Marriage'. Wife chronicles her infidelities and those of her husband resulting in the demise of their family life and devestating changes to the lifestyle of their two sons. She is unremorseful, but punishing about her husband's actions. Well written, but cloaked in psychological theorem.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This is a heartbreaking story of two people in a doomed relationship which slowly, inevitably crashes and burns around them. Unfortunately, the writing style - very Elizabeth Gilbert, very irritating and choppy - distracted me from the story until I finally skimmed the final few chapters just to be finished more quickly. Perhaps a movie version would be better (did I just say that?!)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diane Snyder

    I thought this book was very interesting. I wonder how people have affairs like that. What they are thinking. I guess this book helped me understand why people do that. She's honest in this book. There is some good advice in this book for marriage. Basicall if you want your marriage to succeed then do the opposite of what they did.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yelena

    I am really confused by this book. no one forced these two people into marriage. they could have decided to have an open marriage. instead what we get is a bunch of screwing around and some very deep thoughts about screwing around. sure, emotions, sex, it's pretty heavy stuff. but imc not sure whats new here? or even that different from a maury episode? meh

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