Stories about affairs?
September 15, 2012 6:17 AM   Subscribe

Searching for stories about infidelity. Specifically, stories about emotionally-involved affairs (not one night stands) where one party in the affair is married or in a long-term relationship and the other is single. Can you help?

I am trying to wade through many many recommendation posts and tags here and elsewhere for this type of story, but I keep coming up with books & movies where BOTH people in the affair are married with kids. Or the instance of infidelity is a one night stand or the relationship is imbalanced because one person just wants sex. I am writing a story featuring this sort of relationship and am much more interested in exploring the emotional dynamics and possible consequences of a mutually involved affair -- particularly where one party is single and likely to be characterized as a homewrecker because of the other party's longterm relationship/family.

Thank you for your suggestions, as always.
posted by houndsoflove to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Family Happiness by the late and peerless Laurie Colwin.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:20 AM on September 15, 2012

It's a massive spoiler for a recent best seller, so I'll just link here.
posted by nicwolff at 6:40 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

In Asylum by Patrick McGrath, the wife of the asylum's warden has an affair with an inmate. I believe there is also infidelity in McGrath's Port Mungo, but it's not the one major plot point. Both are excellent books.
posted by youngergirl44 at 6:52 AM on September 15, 2012

The Paris Wife (

The Senator's Wife (
posted by semacd at 6:57 AM on September 15, 2012

A dear friend edited an essay collection called Homewrecker, which deals with infidelity in many forms.
posted by mollymayhem at 6:59 AM on September 15, 2012

Lorrie Moore's "How to Be the Other Woman" from Self-Help is an interested and complex story (as I recall; it's been ages since I read it).
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:01 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think Prsimed Innocent but it's been a while.
posted by tilde at 7:26 AM on September 15, 2012

Anna Karenina
posted by brujita at 7:40 AM on September 15, 2012

The Darren Effect
posted by InkaLomax at 7:44 AM on September 15, 2012

you might do well digging around "real" stories over on:

quick searches revealed:
Theory on Marriage and Limerence
Happily Married & Limerent
posted by mrmarley at 7:59 AM on September 15, 2012

Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple is a great read and focuses in the affair and aftermath from both the viewpoint of the wronged wife and single mistress.
posted by Jess the Mess at 8:30 AM on September 15, 2012

Reclaiming Paris describes her affair with a doctor who is married. There's a lot of detail about why she allows herself to be drawn into a romance with someone who is obviously never going to leave his wife.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:39 AM on September 15, 2012

Anne Enright's The Forgotten Waltz is a very good recent one The man is a married father, the woman single.
posted by jamesonandwater at 9:08 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors"
posted by pazazygeek at 9:19 AM on September 15, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom - in theaters now! Go see it.
posted by princelyfox at 11:08 AM on September 15, 2012

If I've read the question correctly, the classics Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary both fit your criteria.
posted by trip and a half at 12:32 PM on September 15, 2012

Oops hi brujita!
posted by trip and a half at 12:33 PM on September 15, 2012

Some additional classics:

The End of the Affair - Grahame Greene
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
The Awakening - Kate Chopin
- D. H. Lawrence
posted by psycheslamp at 4:42 PM on September 15, 2012

Waiting by Ha Jin does this beautifully
posted by Mchelly at 6:00 PM on September 15, 2012

A Married Man by Piers Paul Read. Also by Read: A Season in the West, Monk Dawson, and there are probably others. One jacket blurb says, "Read always does adultery well."

Probably more of Alison Lurie's books than not too, but especially Love And Friendship.

Alexander Theroux's is a horrible book in my opinion, but some people like it and it's certainly about adultery with a married woman.
posted by BibiRose at 6:08 AM on September 16, 2012

Sorry; Alexander Theroux's An Adultery.
posted by BibiRose at 8:50 AM on September 17, 2012

« Older New roommate at 40, where do I start?   |   Mystery Date Kit Ideas? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.