MY REVIEW OF “A BEAUTIFUL TERRIBLE THING’ A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite

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Lindas Obsession Review




A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite

Available in paperback on June 5, 2018



“Heartbreaking and riveting.” —Bustle ”   “A powerful memoir.” —New York Post

“Waite has a knack for showing the ways that cognitive dissonance can chart pathways in the mind that cause emotional confusion to obscure rational thought.” Meghan Daum,New York Times Book Review

“[Waite’s] memoir is a great source of strength.” —Hello Giggles

“A well-written and at times gripping story of deceit.” Publishers Weekly


Madly in love, enjoying marriage and new motherhood, Jen Waite was eager to dismiss the nagging suspicion that her husband was having an affair after finding a disturbing email on their home computer. With the intent to prove herself wrong, Jen went into investigation mode, but to her shock and horror, discovered a more complicated tangle of lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have ever imagined. She was forced to confront the fact that her husband—the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life—fit the textbook definition of psychopath. And it was up to her to find a safe way out for herself—and for her daughter.


Waite’s raw and heart-wrenching memoir, A BEAUTIFUL, TERRIBLE THING (Plume; June 5, 2018; paperback)offers readers a first-hand, intimate look at one woman’s harrowing, painful, and ultimately redemptive story. With a dual timeline narrative, Waite shifts between the before and after: she recalls meeting Marco, their passionate romance and early years of happy marriage—and then five years later, reveals the terrifying unraveling of her marriage and the life she had built with her husband. This is a powerful account of the courage it took to break away from an emotionally traumatizing and abusive relationship and come to terms with a new reality.


After sharing some of her story in blog posts for and Scary Mommy and subsequently releasing her entire experience in the hardcover edition of the book last summer, Jen has heard from countless readers all over the world who have had their own traumatic relationships and felt alone and ashamed.  The release of the paperback edition this summer is timelier than ever in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which continues to gain momentum.


A BEAUTIFUL, TERRIBLE THINGis a gripping page-turner that reads like a psychological thriller, but is utterly, devastatingly true.

About the Author:

Jen Waite lives in Maine with her young daughter and is available for interview about the book and her experience.


Suggested interview topics for Jen Waite:

  • What does living with psychopathy look like in real life?Contrary to popular culture, most psychopaths aren’t murderers or criminals. Jen’s husband appeared to be a wonderful, normal man—until his lies were revealed.
  • Prevalence of psychopaths.Experts believe as many as 1 in 25 people in the U.S. are on the psychopathy/sociopathy spectrum.
  • How is antisocial personality disorder (aka psychopathy or sociopathy) diagnosed? How can professionals properly evaluate a disorder in which one of the key features is an uncanny ability to lie and manipulate people and situations to their favor? Where does this leave families and loved ones?
  • Infidelity, relationships and social media. An unusual email initially sparked Jen’s suspicion. The digital trail of Facebook, Instagram, Uber and Seamless all played crucial roles as she unraveled years of lies and pieced together the truth.
  • The importance of a support network in abusive/psychopathic relationships. Jen is extremely close with her parents, and their close involvement in her life saved her while she was getting out of her marriage.
  • Dating and singledom post-divorce.The end of a relationship or a divorce is always difficult, but it’s especially so when it’s an abusive relationship. Jen has found being single to be unexpectedly empowering and fulfilling.
  • How therapy saved her.We all have that friend or family member who would benefit from therapy but refuses to try it because of a lingering stigma. Jen’s experience is a powerful example of how therapy can benefit anyone, no matter what the circumstances.
  • The #MeToo movement. How does Jen think it’s affected how women enter into, or sustain, relationships with men, and particularly abusive men?
  • The culture of shame when it comes to abusive relationships.Why do women and men feel ashamed of being in, or having been in, an abusive relationship? What role does society play in breeding this culture of silence and shame?
  • Talking to your kids about an absent parent.Jen has written for ScaryMommyabout how she’ll tell her daughter the truth about her biological father when the time comes.
  • Gaining full custody when you’re dealing with a potentially narcissist, psychopathic or abusive partner. Jen can discuss the legal choices she made when co-parenting was not an option.



Paperback edition • $16.00 • On-Sale Date: June 5, 2018 • ISBN 978-0735216518


In this intriguing and emotional memoir, Jen Waite, author of “A Beautiful and Terrible Thing, “A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal, honestly writes about a subject that some people like to avoid thinking about. The Genre for this  book is Memoir , but it reads like a fiction book.

Jen Waite describes her suspicions of her husband’s infidelity and lies. This is another example of how public media, Facebook, Instagram, etc. can cause major problems, and cell phones, with text messaging and pictures. Jen is a young mother , and her husband says he feels nothing. As Jen first blames herself, and believes what her husband is telling her, she starts to see certain things on his cell phone and Facebook that make her question everything in her marriage.

Jen is very lucky to have her family as a support system, and as she investigates further she realizes the disturbing and crushing details about her husband. Jen writes chapters alternating  in a Before and After, using a dual narrative.  As she realizes the mental anguish and abusive she has suffered, she writes her memoir to share with others to let them realize that they are not alone.

This memoir discusses Jen’s courage in dealing with the realization she was married to the definition of a psychopath, and starting her new life. I highly recommend this memoir to those readers who want to learn more about this subject.


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