50 shades of grey
I learned more about relationships from “50 Shades of Grey” than just hot, kinky sex.

If you are a woman and haven’t been living in a cave for the last month, I am sure you have heard of the latest new author, E.L. James and her book “50 Shades of Grey.”  I cannot go to work, a soccer game or a dance competition without seeing women peering into the book or gazing at their Kindles, blushing ever so discreetly.

Since Doug’s emotional affair I haven’t been able to read this sort of book, especially if it contains any type of romance or fantasy.  However, I was enticed by my co-worker’s lively discussions about the graphic sex scenes, so I succumbed and purchased the book.

I can honestly say I couldn’t put the book down.  In fact, I also purchased the other two books in the trilogy and am currently on book two and have realized that reading this kind of book has been very healthy for me.  I am not saying that it hasn’t produced a few triggers, but I had forgotten how nice it is to totally escape reality and dig into a fantasy that is not related to Doug’s emotional affair.

I can also say that Doug has benefitted as well, although I may have accidently called him Christian (the main character) during sex a few times.  Let’s just say that the book definitely gets your juices flowing.  The sex scenes are very graphic and the characters are like animals.

I also have concluded that even though the books are totally based on fantasy, there are many thought provoking questions concerning the characters and their behaviors.  Simply, this book makes me think not only about sex but about the behaviors of men and women when they are involved in relationships.

See also  Don’t Let the Cheater’s Story Become Your Story

The main character is Christian Grey, who of course is handsome, rich, perfectly built, talented, intelligent, and has an endless ability to satisfy his lover.  However, he is also messed up in a big way.  He had a traumatic childhood which in turn has left him unable to have an intimate relationship. He is completely clueless about how to show love and be in an unconditional relationship.

As a result, he masks this fear of getting close to someone by acting controlling, angry and quite frankly by being a big jerk.  And even though his behavior is extreme, it definitely reminded me of Doug’s behavior during his emotional affair, as well as the behavior of many other (cheating) men we have encountered through our blog.

I know I’m generalizing here, but Christian Grey has taught me that men want nothing more than to be in an intimate relationship – but they don’t know how.  It truly scares them to death.  They are afraid of being unloved, abandoned or seen for who they really are.  They feel like they have to pretend they are this tough, prefect man, when deep down they feel vulnerable and inadequate.

Anastasia is the woman in Christian’s life and seems to portray the typical female.  She wants to save him from his pain and show him what it really means to love.  In order to do this though, she has to change him.   Her attempts at changing Christian are constantly met with opposition and anger.  Their relationship exemplifies the typical dance that occurs between husband and wife.

See also  Emotional Affair Recovery – 12-Steps for the Cheater

I also was taken aback by the way Anastasia’s emotions directly affected Christian.  When she felt secure, happy or content, he felt the same.  When she wanted to flee, was emotional or discontent, he felt completely out of control.

When I think about Doug and our relationship it is very much the same way.  When I am happy and relaxed, Doug is as well.  I really didn’t realize how much my moods affect the way he feels.  I believe that men want nothing more than to make us happy, and when we are happy they have accomplished their goal in the relationship.

In the end I believe I am enjoying this book not only because of the exciting and descriptive sex, but the way Christian and Anastasia relate to each other.  Christian is willing to be vulnerable and be completely honest about himself and all of his “baggage.”  Anastasia loves Christian unconditionally, however she is not willing to compromise herself in the process. She openly displays her anger and articulates what she will and will not accept in their relationship.  This is everything any woman would want in a relationship and especially during their affair recovery.


    34 replies to "I’ve Been Educated by 50 Shades of Grey"

    • Teresa

      Wow!! Amazing what you wrote here Linda…My H had his first counseling session yesterday after months of saying he’d go, then backing out! It was only after I told him that I couldn’t see us being together, 5-6 yrs down the road if something didn’t change, that he made an appointment HIMSELF and actually went and ENJOYED it!!
      And the therapist told him that he has “battle scars” that he usually see’s in adults that have been raised in an orphanage or foster care! My H was raised in NEITHER!!! He was raised in a home with a mom and dad…BUT his dad is a alcoholic and cheater, his mom VERY bitter, and resentful of her husband, kids, life, etc!!!
      He also told my H that he can’t love me the way I want and deserve to be loved because he was never loved like that, so he doesn’t know how!!
      It was like an AH-HA moment for both of us! This last 16 mos since DDay has been SO hard because my H kept promising to change, yet he would never do the work and I kept telling him that he didn’t love me enough, because I was in so much pain, and he’d do hardly anything to help me…just shut down and close me out!!
      The therapist told my H that he can help him, it’s going to take work, but that he CAN overcome his past!
      My H has A LOT of emotional issues, and the EA has really brought that to the forefront! I finally realized about 3-4 mos ago that this is deeper than an EA, that the EA was just a symptom of something bigger!!
      I’m happy now that he has the help that he needs, and I’m hoping in the months to come that I’ll see a real change in my H and he’ll FINALLY be able to meet my emotional needs and make me feel safe!
      I’m almost at the point where I can say those dreaded words “I’m glad the EA happened” because this has opened up my eyes to what has been happening in my marriage since we were married…I wasn’t 100% happy, I KNEW something was missing, just not sure what and I felt alone and on my own for so long…almost since his first EA 23 yrs ago!!
      M H just NEVER really connected with me or my children…he worked hard, came home every night, is a really, really nice guy, but it seemed like he was always on the outside looking in! Now he will have the tools he needs to overcome his abusive childhood…and I’m excited for both of us!!!
      I know that we are still going to have our ups and downs but at least now I know WHY he hasn’t been there for me the last 16 mos…he’s wanted to help me, just didn’t know HOW to do it!

      • Chevelle

        Wow Teresa! Im really happy for you…
        Your H sounds alot like mine with regards to childhood.
        Alcoholic cheating (step) Father, and a distant cold mother.

        My H would never go to marriage counseling. He thinks it would be an all out attack on him and everything hes done wrong.

        I dont feel the same..but there is no changing his mind on the subject. (I wish he would go I think it would be very benefical for us both)

        • Teresa

          Actually, if you find the right therapist, they are there to HELP you, NOT attack you! My H and his therapist never even discussed the EA except when my H explained why he was there!
          Tell your H this Chevelle…and ask him to go for you AND him! I’ve learned in the last several months just how damaging it is growing up in the home of an alcoholic….and throw in my H’s cold, bitter mother…it’s a lethal combo!

        • Paula

          Chevelle, spouses who think therapists will “attack” them, are really just resistant because they are not quite ready to OWN what they did. Of course, any decent therapist would NEVER play the blame game, their job is to help, to guide, to inform, never to judge. Your CS sounds like he is not yet ready to own what he did, because when he is, he will be able to push himself out of his comfort zone, and see a therapist, like Teresa’s H did, like my CS did, neither of these men were comfortable in any way with the idea of “talking” to someone about their perceived inadequacies, but they pushed themselves to do it, anyway, as what did they have to lose, really, by that stage??? He won’t believe how much it may help him, but, as always, you can’t help those who won’t (or are not yet ready to) help themselves. BTW, I’m absolutely thrilled for you, Teresa, and more so for your lovely H!!! The definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing you always have, and hoping for a different outcome, right?

    • Patsy50

      Well said Linda! I am also reading the book.

    • Anita

      Actually I haven’t heard of this book till now, life has been
      pretty busy and hectic, but good, however I good use some
      time down to read.
      Even though my life went into a different direction, I can every now and then excape into the fancies of a book, however reality takes over when I am done.
      I have learned along the way that happiness is something I
      have to choose, along with love peace and joy.
      My worth and value come from God, and his word. I am
      sure this raises some eye brows and other may roll their
      eyes, however once you understand that your responsible
      for your own happiness, it takes the pressure off of others
      to make you happy.
      Everyday I have to choose to put right thoughts in place, and get rid of stinking thinking. The past is over.
      Forgiving the past and letting it go, allows me to enjoy the
      here and now.
      I choose my thoughts so I can have love peace and joy
      according to God’s way.
      Because life is life there’s always going to be some kind
      of offense, however by forgiving and letting it go, I can
      enjoy my life, without expecting others to make me happy.
      My best to you all!

    • E

      I am about halfway through the first book. I too have heard so much about this book over the past month. We were with some friends Saturday night and all of the women were talking about it, so I downloaded it Sunday afternoon. Wow! I honestly had not purchased it because of the BDSM relationship that I had heard about and I could not get past that. But I, like you Linda, have been amazed at how closely it resembles a real relationship between a man and a woman. My H is exactly like the guy you describe … he just wants to make me happy and take care of me, he feels complete when I am happy and taken care of – like he is doing his job. I forgot this so many years ago. I forgot to acknowledge him and I certainly forgot to respect him. I took him for granted. What a realization for me!!

      Yes, we women have come a long way in independence – but let’s face it, what is it that we really want?? I can speak for myself and the truth is, that I want to be taken care of! We may have some equal rights gals here who don’t like what I am saying but there is nothing sexier to me than when my H is taking care of me.

      The book – the erotic scenes are mind blowing (and I’ve just gottne started!) and just a few days in to it my H has and will reap some benefits too!! The BDSM – well that’s certainly not for me. But if you read beyond this … you really can get some insight into how men and women work.

      Here’s the way I have been thinking about it these past few days while reading: I believe God made us, men and women to have certain natural desires. Again, yes ladies, we have come a long way but I believe God made me as a woman to have the desire of being taken care of by my man. Think about this – when you are with your man at home, he quietly looks across the room at you, points his finger at you and says “Come here” … Do I want to “submit” to this request? Damn right I do! 😉

      • Anita

        Your right God did make marriage, and told us to be fruitful
        and multiply.
        Unfortunately my exhusband didn’t remainful and our marraige ended due to this. However instead of me living
        in the past of that, I have chosen to get an annulment, now I
        am waiting for it to be granted.
        I have learned so much since our divorce, and recovered
        from that time in my life.
        Marriage can be wonderful when the person your with
        shares your values and remains faithful. However it can
        be very painful when your spouse cheats and to restore
        the broken trust is extremely difficult, myself I wasn’t able
        to do it. I could leave and forgive, but not trust.
        I now place my trust in God, as were subpose to, not man.
        Being single is also wonderful, I don’t have to worry about
        infidelity and all the problems that arise from infidelity.
        Instead my life is more simple. However I due miss not
        having a man around to fix household items, but then
        again, I have learned I am also just as capable and can do
        just as well, if not, I call my son.
        As far as the other, I find other things to think about and
        since I am not in love with anyone special at this time,
        its not a problem.

    • Helena

      Sounds really interesting, and I’ve always really enjoyed erotica, but do the characters have any kind of infidelity or any kind of polyamory going on at all? I like to steer clear from literature or film that celebrates or glorifies that kind of thing in any way nowadays because it upsets me. For example, I used to really like the film Unfaithful; not so much anymore.

      • E

        Helena, the characters are single and unattached. I haven’t read anything that references anything of that nature, I too am very sensitive to it.

      • Anita

        I use to enjoy those kind of books and movies also, however my interests have changed, and I prefer other
        kinds of literature and movies. However sometimes
        I get a craving and I do watch or read a romantic story.
        Because time has healed my wounds, I actually enjoy
        the stories more because it doesn’t apply to my current
        However now that I’m single, I get the benifit of dating again. To be honest I am thankful for caller ID it has
        saved me from answering the phone from dates I’m
        not intersted in. However this blog is not for that so
        I will spare you.
        So if you enjoyed these movies and books in the past you will again.

    • Rachel


      So glad you blogged about the book “50 Shades of Grey”.
      I have been wanting to purchase this book because all of our surrounding library’s are out of stock. Also, our local Target and Walmart are out.
      I was a little hesitant because of triggers. But after watching Dr. Oz yesterday and your write up, I’m anxious to find the book and get started.
      Thanks, Linda!

    • chiffchaff

      Just purchased for my Kindle. I’ll let you know…

    • onmyway

      Linda, I have had the previews to these books downloaded to my Kindle for several months. With everything going on I just wasn’t into reading (anything!). It’s good to hear your insight into the characters and also that their are no cheating references. I don’t think I am ready for that. I think I will go ahead and just start reading them! I know several women who have and they all say the same thing, that they are wonderful reads.

    • ChangedForever

      Still can’t even watch people on TV getting intimate so not sure if I’m ready for Shades of Grey yet…single characters or otherwise…as his OW was single…it would be nice to read something different but then again, I just bought Rhonda Byrne’s 3rd book, ‘The Magic.’ The other 2 books, given to me post affair discovery were so very positive & helpful….hopefully this 3rd book will have same incredible impact on my life.
      Maybe its because I’m the victim of my H’s EA turned PA…but, those of you who’s CSs had PAs…were you able to get thru the book Linda describes? I’m just so hesitant…still so badly damaged.
      Linda, I always look forward to your posts…always great to hear from you.

      • Linda

        ChangedForever, I would probably recommend you do not read the book at this time. It may contain too many triggers, even though it is truly based on fantasy as in an affair it is very hard for a BS to differentiate what really happened and what they believe happened. I am pretty certain that it wasn’t as special and exciting as we imagine it was. I hate to tell you that you can’t enjoy something so simple as a trashy novel, however I don’t want you to feel anymore pain than you already do.

    • chiffchaff

      I’m 9 months past Dday#1 and I’m at chapter 5 already. I’d say I can read it because there’s no love apparent at all. I don’t desperately like the style of writing but it is very readable. Similar in ‘shock tactic’ style to The Crimson Petal and the White, the latter being much better written IMHO.
      Oddly my H came home and saw what I was reading and said ‘I thought you might like that one’ – which was very funny. Esp. as there’s still nothing intimate between us at all.

    • Michelle

      Why are women who are always complaining about Pornographic descriptions of women in film and not being able to “Find a good man” always so head over heals fantasizing about degrading relationships with obviously very damaged men? This really says something about women say they want and what they really desire.

      • chiffchaff

        Michelle – my H has a porn use problem, that’s in part a reason why he developed into having a PA. I don’t have an issue with reading stories, which is what they are, about odd relationships but I would never go and see a film made based on this book. It doesn’t tell me anything about what I ‘really’ desire, it’s just interesting. I really enjoy reading books about poverty of napoleonic France but it doesn’t mean I want to live there or be poor. In the same way I have no desite for (another) dysfunctional relationship at the extremes of what this book portrays.

        • Michelle


          This book is simply Porn for women, we call it “Erotica” just so we don’t have to admit that it’s Porn. I don’t know why we don’t admit it for what it is instead of trying to rationalize that it’s the same as ready history. For men Porn is more a visual thing, for us girls it’s it’s more mental, but I don’t really see it as being much different.

          • chiffchaff

            I thought about this point this weekend. when I read this book I felt ‘keen’ on my H. When my H views the revolting stuff he has been viewing he feels ‘keen’ for someone who isn’t me but who is a pumped up, one dimensional fake. Like the OW.

            I think there is a difference between reading this stuff and viewing. You don’t have to think when it’s all laid out in graphic visual detail.

    • Dol

      It’s interesting what you can say you can tolerate, Linda. Perhaps still early days, but anything remotely reminding me of my CS’s physical desire kicks my ass. Nothing except embraces and hand-holding happened, but I read her journal so I know where her head (and other parts!) were. (And if I could get past the pain, I’d be proud of how hard she fought, but not quite yet… )

      Once I was triggered into a full panic attack by an unexpected scene in a film. That’s never, ever happened to me before, which goes some way to illustrating how powerful the effects of these things are.

      But it’s interesting: I wonder whether this highlights the different reactions of men and women to betrayal? I have never been (very!) jealous or sexually paranoid in this relationship before, but I can honestly say nothing horrifies me more than thinking about what she’s thought about and longed for. Urgh, even writing about it…!

      I guess over time these things get easier. It was interesting you saying “yes, there were some triggers…” So perhaps we all have to get used to that always being there, but it reducing to a niggle over time.

      I couldn’t read that book yet, 7 months in. The power these things have over us is terrifying.

      • Linda

        Dol, I think after three years I am at the point of saying to myself- “I am not going to allow these thoughts and triggers to take over my life!” Yesterday while I was reading book two I became somewhat upset and wanted to run to Doug for reassurance. Then I thought to myself how stupid it is to allow some fantasy book get into my head. In no shape or form to I need to believe that their affair was like the content I am reading and if it was then it was more messed up then I imagine. I have just come to a place where I am tired of letting those memories or how I believed it was to ruin what I want to do and feel in my life. It has taken me a very long time to get there but I feel so much better that I am.

        • tsd

          Linda, wow!!!! You should be proud…I wanna be just like you when I finally grow up,..good for you…

    • chiffchaff

      Finished reading it. Enjoyed it mostly but looking at it objectively it showed how the intensity of ‘passion’ eventually meant that Ana spent virtually no time with her friends, indeed had to give up Jose for him, and entered a ‘bubble’ with Christian where she couldn’t focus on anything but him and his needs. In return, he did the same as I’m assuming his work went down the pan if he was jetting off here there and everywhere as driven by his ‘groin’. They both became very isolated by the end and entirely absorbed in themselves to the exclusions of all others, which is very toxic. I know both of them were essentially free to be with each other, rather than the CS/BS situations here, but it was similarly an unrealistic and short term physical relationship very similar to affairs. I don’t think I’ll read the sequels.

      • Linda

        chiffchaff, I agree, as I am reading the third book I am becoming even more aware of how their relationship mirrors that of an affair. Therefore I am having trouble reading it. I agree the passion is there, however everything else about the relationship is unhealthy. They are definitely living in a bubble, and the escape from “real life” is unsettling.

    • E

      Finished the book tonight and although I wasn’t really captivated by the story or the writing, I did enjoy the entertainment factor 😉 and I will continue with the trilogy. The book did not really trigger anything for me until the very end and then it hit me all of a sudden – I felt like Ana during my H’s affair, like I kept taking it and tolerating the pain and punishment. In the end, I felt Ana’s heartache. I sat and cried while I re-lived the day I packed my suitcase and left my home and my husband. Feeling completely in love with my H but feeling completely defeated and in desperate pain, and not having any hope of saving the relationship. Definitely not a recommended read for anyone new in their affair recovery.

      • chiffchaff

        I’d agree with that E, I couldn’t have read it in the early months post-Dday as I would have projected all the passion and obsession onto my H and his OW. I couldn’t even watch comedy programmes that had the tarty mistress and the wizened stupid old wife and the misunderstood husband in the middle. I think I’ll always see that stereotype in a bad and unfunny light now.

    • Gizfield

      I’m not on a hurry to read this, has really bad reviews on Amazon. I will read if anybody lends it to me but wont buy it. neither character is married so it’s ok him that stand point. Going forward, I refuse to participate in anything that glorifies adultery. Like Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy thing. Can I just say ughhhh. I cannot look at either of them without feeling disgust, yet she is idolize d as a female role model??? Not, in my opinion.

    • Gizfield

      Have you noticed all supposed great “love stories ” contain a Barrier to them being together? And, yes, I just read the article on Limerance, lol. If one partner is married, dead, dying, sick , insane, incarcerated, or just plain unavailable, you KNOW it is your destiny to be with them. It is so much easier to maintain true love when you dont have to deal with any pesky details like actually living with them. Lol. Think Romeo and Juliet, Titanic, Love Story, you get the idea, lol.

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