Peggy Vaughan died last week at home surrounded by her family after a long illness. I didn't see it on the news here in Australia but thanks to social media I am not too far behind. Hearing this news made me sad. Peggy, although she didn't know it, was like a role model to me and I had a dream that I would get to meet her one day and thank her for how she had helped me. Peggy and her husband, James wrote a book called Beyond Affairs that was first published in 1980. It was their personal story and was enormously brave at a time when affairs were the domain of the home - not something talked about in public. The book is a raw and honest account from both sides - the one who was having the affairs (James had 15 over 7 years) and the one betrayed. It was one of the few "affair" books my husband read and it helped him enormously - it helped us both. We are grateful that they shared their story and, nearly 30 years later, it helped bring hope to us and our situation. I know that is what Peggy did for so many after making it her mission to help anyone affected by an affair move on with their lives.
Peggy's book The Monogamy Myth helped make sense of a seemingly senseless situation. It contains invaluable information on affair recovery and should be read by all involved including therapists helping individuals and couples recover. It is one of the few books written by someone who has personally recovered and as such, adds to the literature on affairs from a unique and hope filled perspective.
Peggy's legacy is enormous. She has left most of her writing - books, articles and answers to hundreds of questions to the public available to download free at her website and I encourage you to spend some time looking around...
Last night at our BAN meeting, we remembered Peggy as the founder of BAN back in the early 1980's when letters written on paper and sent through the mail was the main method of communication. She understood the power of knowing that you are not alone in getting through a crisis and from the letters that were sent to her, she found people able to coordinate groups in their areas and BAN was born. Now 30 years later BAN has helped hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people find support to move on from their partner's affair.
Thank you Peggy, you will be remembered always.