Why I Write about my Own Personal Experience
by Peggy Vaughan

One of the reasons I think it's useful to share my own personal experience in dealing with affairs (rather than just talk about the issue from the "outside") is because I believe that despite whatever differences may exist in the specifics of our experience, those of us who have "been there" share a common bond.

To more clearly describe my motive/goal in writing personally...
I'm following a pattern employed by one of the most inspirational people I ever met, Barry Stevens. Along with Carl Rogers, she wrote a wonderful book many years ago called: "Person to Person."

Here's what she wrote in the Introduction:

I write of my own experience because I am the only person I can really know the happenings in, but I write of these happenings not as unique, but as something that it seems to me is true of all of us. Even when my experience is not usual in the external events, it seems to me that in some way or to some degree you must know through your experience the inner happenings that I write about.

I have a very strong feeling that I am not exceptional. I like this. I wish that I had been aware of it all my life. I write about myself, but the comments that please me say, 'That's me you're writing about,' and 'It says something to me. It sounds like it should have been me saying it, as though you were me when you wrote it.'

I am pleased to say that through the years I have received confirmation of the validity of this feeling of solidarity. For instance, below are some comments I received from people who read Beyond Affairs, our first book back in 1980 that details our personal experience:

It's uncanny how although our circumstances were different—how very similar my thoughts and actions were, as were his.

How did you get my husband long enough to write a book with him? Your story could be mine.

I felt that I could have written your story, it is so much like my own.

So I hope that my personal sharing will serve to support and enrich the value of all my writings about the issue of affairs. It's a complex and difficult issue that has occupied my life for more than 30 years, and I continue to do this work because I know how important it is to see that you're not alone—that others have "been there" and understand.

For more on this, see: The Prevalence of Affairs - You're Not Alone.

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