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#2730521 05/25/13 03:00 PM
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I have been researching this program because I recently became alarmed when a betrayed wife reported that Mort advised her to "apologize to your husband for exposure." [according to Mort, adulterers have a "right to privacy"] Her wayward, cheating husband was angry about exposure. The betrayed wife was SUICIDAL because of his affair and Mort had advised her to "work on herself" and be the best wife possible. She was already experiencing suicidal ideation but he did not have the qualifications or experience to correctly handle this. I am very alarmed at the destructive, reckless advice this person gives to clients.

His credentials say he has a degree and is not a psychologist and not a licensed therapist. He has no training whatsoever in this field.
Originally Posted by from his website
"Mort Fertel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, was the CEO of an international non-profit organization, and a former marathon runner. He lives with his wife and 5 children (including triplets!) in Baltimore, Maryland."

Dr Bill Harley, on the other hand, is a licensed clinical psychologist who bases his program on clinical experience coupled with the best research in the industry. Here is what he says about trying to win a husband back:

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
When a WS refuses to leave the lover, there are no good options for the BS. At first, plan A is recommended because there is a slim hope (15%) that, with encouragement, a WS will make the decision to leave the lover. But 85% don't do that, even when plan A is implemented perfectly. That leaves two other choices which are both bad.

The first is to continue plan A indefinitely, trying to encourage the WS to leave the lover, and the second is to initiate plan B, which is to completely separate from the WS.

The problem with a continuation of plan A is that it usually leads to severe emotional symptoms, including years of post-traumatic stress disorder, even when the WS eventually returns. Many women that I've counseled actually have nervous breakdowns in their effort to draw their WS back to them. Instead of making the BS attractive to the WS, plan A actually makes these poor women so unattractive that it completely eliminates all hope of reconciliation. And 95% of all affairs eventually "die a natural death." If you do absolutely nothing, they usually end.

So I've recommended plan B rather early in the effort to separate the WS from his lover.

In other words, the advice to continue to try and win her back puts this woman at risk for a nervous breakdown and/or years of post traumatic stress disorder. Dr Harley recommends to betrayed wives to only try to win the spouse back for 3 weeks before going into a completely dark separation. This is done to avoid the inevitable emotional and physical harm that results from an ongoing affair.

I found another review by a therapist who felt the same way:

Quote
Posted by elizabeth s (4 months ago)

Fertel's advice to two of my clients was terrible

I am a licensed marriage & family therapist, and have been for 30 years. Several female clients came to see me after "working Mort Fertel's Marriage Fitness Program." One was told by her MF counselor to tolerate her husband's flagrant, on-going infidelity and "work on being the best wife you can be." Not only was this damaging to whatever was left of her self-esteem, it exposed her teenage daughter and son to their father's shameless behavior. Another client was "working the program" for almost a year, and by the time I saw her with her husband, he had drifted so far away (while she "worked on herself"), that there was no way back.

If you want expert help with your marriage, I recommend going to a professional with advanced training. As far as I can tell, Mort Fertel has great marketing, but no professional qualifications to practice as a therapist.
here

Mort also advised this woman against exposure:
Quote
"He advises keeping the affair a secret (even from someone like my mom), as telling anyone about it would violate H's privacy, rightfully anger H, and hinder reconciliation (H would feel such shame in front of so many people that he would be less likely to come back to the marriage). Also, he thinks that telling a child about a parent's affair is one of the worst things you could do to a child, as it would jeopardize the child's relationship with that parent."

She was told that her husband had a "right to the privacy" commit adultery. That is the first time I have ever heard that anyone has a RIGHT to destroy another behind her back. And she was told that TELLING a child about adultery would jeopardize the relationship rather than the truth: adultery will jeopardize his relationship with the parent. As if lies and illusions make children happy or secure. The exact opposite is true.

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley, clinical psychologist
"The same can be said about telling children about an affair. My experience with the positive outcomes of hundreds of families where an affair has been exposed to children has led me to encourage a betrayed spouse not to fear such exposure. In fact, to mislead children, giving other false explanations as to why their parents are not getting along, causes children to be very confused. When they finally discover the truth, it sets an example to children that dishonesty is sometimes acceptable, making them the judge of when that might occur.

An affair is an attack on children as well as the betrayed spouse. And it's true that children are deeply affected by this form of irresponsible behavior. But it's the act of infidelity that causes children to suffer, not the exposure of it. Facts point us toward solutions. Illusion leads us astray. That's true for children as well as adults."
here

Dr. Harley calls that approach enabling and we have seen many marriages destroyed when a frightened, betrayed spouse enables an affair. Affairs thrive on secrecy, so keeping it a secret obviously helps.....the affair thrive!!

Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
"The reason for the wide exposure is not to hurt the unfaithful spouse, but rather to end the fantasy. Your husband's secret second life made his affair possible, and the more you can to to make it public, the easier it is for him to see the damage he's doing. Keeping it secret does damage, but few know about it. Making it public helps everyone, including the unfaithful spouse and lover, see the affair for what it really is."



Originally Posted by Dr. Bill Harley, clinical psychologist and founder of Marriage Builders
"Exposure is very likely to end the affair, lifting the fog that has overcome the unfaithful spouse, helping him or her become truly repentant and willing to put energy and effort into a full marital recovery. In my experience with thousands of couples who struggle with the fallout of infidelity, exposure has been the single most important first step toward recovery. It not only helps end the affair, but it also provides support to the betrayed spouse, giving him or her stamina to hold out for ultimate recovery."

Dr Harley describes exposure as "the single most important first step toward recovery. Yet Mort tells clients to avoid this effective weapon to their own detriment. Yet, almost every recovered marriage on Marriage Builder attributes that recovery to exposure.




"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Some more Fertel reviews:

Posted by Jim (5 months ago)

Writers aren't professionals
Welcome to the internet where self-help writers just do a little research on marriage, apply a little common sense, wrap it up with some slick graphics and self-aggrandizing testimonials (generated by commission based bloggers) and you've got Mort Fertel's Marriage Fitness. He's only 47 years old (in 2012) and published this material in 2005 when he was what, 40? Married how long, 15 years tops? It appears he apparently decided to research marriage when him and his wife had troubles in their marriage after the tragic loss of several children. Sad and horrible but as far as I can tell, he has no experience personally let alone clinically with infidelity (his largest most desperate target market). Yet he claims he's "a world authority on the psychology of relationships". How?....because he said so???? Until 2005 the internet had never even heard of the guy. He's not a counselor, therapist or even a psychologist (let alone a clinical psychologist). IMO, you are better off taking advice from your sister than this guy and if you are fighting for your marriage due to infidelity.....his advice not to expose the affair (because doing so is wrong and/or too negative) is just plain idiotic. In addition, he doesn't advocate a faithful spouse telling the affair partner's spouse. In my opinion, the other person's spouse is entitled to the truth about their life and Mort's advocating secrecy only protects, fuels and unnecessarily prolongs adulterous relationships. Why promote enabling behaviors? Because it makes for good sales by appealing to faithful spouses whom commonly and desperately fear taking [necessary] action. My peer advice...find a real life MARRIED counselor or minister/pastor with experience AND a history of success (before you hire him/her ask for referrals of success stories and check them out because a bad marriage counselor will make things much worse) or, at least make sure the online author you take advice from has credentials, a good marriage him/herself AND clinical experience. I made a mistake buying and reading this book 3 years ago...but faithful spouses rarely complain because their unaware that the advice (if they made the mistake of following it) really made things worse. It's not like the book made my wife cheat. I just wish had my money back (and he didn't have it to further promote this crap)

Quote:Penny (5 months ago)
Beware of Fake Chatter
I see Jim's review & couldn't agree more. He & I discussed this book at length on our private Christian Marital Recovery Forum. Unfortunately, we were the only 2 that had bought Mort's crap. What's really odd is that after 2 years of disinterest here 3 new comments appear this week supposedly from 3 completely independent persons with positive comments about marriage fitness while 10 persons have given Jim's review a negative "helpful" rating. Seems Mort's office staff or his gang of affiliated marketers who get paid to generate traffic to his sales site do a bang up job making sure potential victims don't see or read negative comments. If u have time go to the bottom of marriagemax.com homepage and click "affiliate" 2 see for yourself how much these idiots get paid to sell Mort's amateur plagiarized junk (he just unwisely combined & reworded Dr Harley, Dr. Hendrix & Dr Weiner-Davis's actually professionally created & researched programs). You can't trust any reviews of his materials. I even found a few giving glowing reviews containing minimally disguised paid "affiliated" links to mf.com in them. This is shameful. Mort should use his Business degree for good not to market crap to vulnerable betrayed spouses desperate for help. Please review free information on the web (like divorcebusters or marriagebuilders) or join a forum (other than talkaboutmarriage where they shill Mort's program for revenue) first and talk/chat with real persons before spending ANY money on silly incompetent marriage recovery materials from these internet self-help snake oil salespersons whom know nothing about adultery.
here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Onlookers please heed this. SMH! Nooo

Thanks Mel for the research.


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Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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I got the same impression from his website.
Thank you, Mel!


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8 kids ...
What to do with an Angry Husband

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Originally Posted by Mort's advice to our board member
"He advises keeping the affair a secret (even from someone like my mom), as telling anyone about it would violate H's privacy, rightfully anger H, and hinder reconciliation (H would feel such shame in front of so many people that he would be less likely to come back to the marriage)."

According to this, feeling shame would be the fault of the betrayed spouse rather than due to the affair. crazy And the affair should be kept secret because it would "rightfully anger" the cheater.

He also blames the betrayed spouse for any damage the affair causes to the cheaters relationship with his children.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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It also sounds archaic. Maybe he is terribly old too.

Many...many..many years ago this was the norm.

Women were taught to turn a blind eye to their husband's "indiscretions" (gawd...what a high falootin' word) and to just continue being a good wife...all the while being a laughingstock within their social circle.

We don't have to accept it as the "norm" now.

committed

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Originally Posted by committedandlovi
It also sounds archaic. Maybe he is terribly old too.

Many...many..many years ago this was the norm.

Women were taught to turn a blind eye to their husband's "indiscretions" (gawd...what a high falootin' word) and to just continue being a good wife...all the while being a laughingstock within their social circle.

We don't have to accept it as the "norm" now.

committed
It says he's 48, February 15, 1965.


FWW/BW (me)
WH
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Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Commie, he is a young dude! And if he is going to be doling out marriage advice, he needs to get some training, sheesh.... Since I have been here I know of 2 betrayed spouses who have HANGED themselves and another lady who shot herself in the head THIS WEEK, leaving behind 2 little kids.

So when a woman comes here and says she has been having suicidal thoughts, I take that very seriously. This Mort guy doesn't seem to GET how traumatic adultery really is and I find that very alarming. How could he be a self proclaimed "international expert" and not get that?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Commie, he is a young dude! And if he is going to be doling out marriage advice, he needs to get some training, sheesh.... Since I have been here I know of 2 betrayed spouses who have HANGED themselves and another lady who shot herself in the head THIS WEEK, leaving behind 2 little kids.
Oh my. pray


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Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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For what it is worth, I have had a great experience with Fertel's program and know others that do also. Having been through his program completely, I can say there is a lot of inaccurate information and representations of what he advocates and why. Best to get facts straight before you post.

thissucks #2761788 10/22/13 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by thissucks
For what it is worth, I have had a great experience with Fertel's program and know others that do also. Having been through his program completely, I can say there is a lot of inaccurate information and representations of what he advocates and why. Best to get facts straight before you post.

Which "fact" is not straight? Please be specific if you are going to challenge someone's points.

thissucks #2762180 10/23/13 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by thissucks
For what it is worth, I have had a great experience with Fertel's program and know others that do also. Having been through his program completely, I can say there is a lot of inaccurate information and representations of what he advocates and why. Best to get facts straight before you post.


First post? Only post?

Wow you must feel very strongly about this topic to create an account to challenge this.

But you haven't said anything specific in spite of that.

Very strange.

indiegirl #2762184 10/23/13 06:56 PM
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Quote
First post? Only post?

Wow you must feel very strongly about this topic to create an account to challenge this.

But you haven't said anything specific in spite of that.

Very strange.
LMAO! indie, get out of my head! I was thinking the same thing! rotflmao

thissucks, how about you give us your story. Tell us how you healed your marriage, and why you are now taking time away from your spouse and family to defend this guy's website on another website. I'd be interested to hear.

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Mort Fertel program is not for a marriage with an active affair and a spouse that is not invested in participating.(faking it doesnt work either)

It does not deal with the issue of the affair, betrayal, etc.
It flat will not work with those situations and you will be disappointed, confused, and angry.


It might be good for healing a broken marriage, where people have drifted apart, too busy for each other, or had other trauma in their life.

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I'm wondering why so many therapists discourage exposure...especially if it was in the past. I read this link, from a pastor, who doesn't support exposure if it's from the past: http://www.bible-teaching-about.com/adultery.html

I'm not sure what to think about this, since if exposure is to stop the affair, what if it was years ago and done? Is exposure still necessary? To me I wouldn't want a marriage that isn't 100% honest, but maybe it's a personal choice? Curious to hear thoughts on that...


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"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

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Originally Posted by wanthealing
I'm wondering why so many therapists discourage exposure...especially if it was in the past. I read this link, from a pastor, who doesn't support exposure if it's from the past: http://www.bible-teaching-about.com/adultery.html

I'm not sure what to think about this, since if exposure is to stop the affair, what if it was years ago and done? Is exposure still necessary? To me I wouldn't want a marriage that isn't 100% honest, but maybe it's a personal choice? Curious to hear thoughts on that...

It is necessary for a couple of reasons. One is to give the betrayed spouse support and the other reason is that the more people who know, the more people to hold the cheater accountable. It is not as easy to cheat when everyone knows what you have done. Exposing an affair helps the cheater see himself in a more realistic light that makes it less likely he will repeat the crime.

Many therapists and pastors believe it is a good idea to keep affairs secret. I don't know how they justify it, especially given the fact that the Bible endorses exposure. Keeping an affair secret only helps the affair. Some therapists like that aspect.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Originally Posted by Dr Bill Harley
"What about exposure of an affair that took place years earlier and is now ended but recently revealed? I feel that the children, close relatives, close friends, and the lovers spouse should be informed. Granted, it's embarrassing to admit an affair, but publicly admitting failure is usually the first step toward redemption.

As you probably already know, I'm a strong advocate of honesty and openness in marriage. I call it transparency -- letting your spouse know everything about you, especially your faults. But should that level of openness carry into the public arena? I believe that it should in cases of extreme irresponsibility, and that certainly includes infidelity. When you have done something very hurtful to someone else, others should know about it. Such exposure helps prevent a recurrence of the offense. Your closest friends and relatives will be keeping an eye on you -- holding you accountable.
here


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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What I'm stuck on is the reasoning of these therapists to keep an affair secret if it would cause more harm to tell. Duh, it's going to hurt the betrayed spouse no matter what! But does that condone secrets?

And many betrayed spouses argue that they wish they never were told. Does that mean it should be a personal preference whether to confess an affair based on each marriage or circumstance? If the affair was years ago, over with for years, and not a threat, what is the reasoning behind exposure if it is no longer an issue for the WS? Meaning, is there some other intrinsic value to confession if not to stop an existing affair? I'm just curious, since to me honesty in a marriage seems like enough reason to tell all, except I can't find biblical support for that.


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I think the reason is that they base their advice largely on feelings, instead of logic

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Originally Posted by wanthealing
I'm just curious, since to me honesty in a marriage seems like enough reason to tell all, except I can't find biblical support for that.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." ( John 3:19-21)

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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