MarriageMaterial

Infidelity

16 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

Below is the text of an article that made my skin crawl and my stomach turn. I cannot believe that people think this way, it is so unnatural to me. Anyway I cant put words on how disgusted I was by this article so I'll let you guys read it and see for yourselves>

In an extract from her new book, controversial sociologist Catherine Hakim says it's time to redraw marital rules -- with a radical rethink on fidelity.

Alongside the internet dating revolution, these "playfairs" are evidence of a potentially dramatic shift in marriage.

As dating websites open up a global shop window of sexual possibilities, as life expectancy continues to rise and we become increasingly sexually aware, how can we still take the crushing old rules of fidelity, that turn marriage into a prison, for granted? Why should we not be able to recapture the heady thrills of youth, while protecting a secure home life?

The time has come, alongside the technology, to redraw the rules of marriage for the 21st Century. Just as the Pill opened up premarital sex in the 1960s, the internet is opening up a whole new culture of affairs among married people.

Sex has become a major leisure activity of our time, accessible to everyone, married or not, rich and poor. It's time to start honing our seduction skills and join the playground.

Yet it is the most puritanical nations, including Britain and America, that have traditionally resisted the notion of adultery most rigorously. Here, couples endure the challenges of child care, work pressures, mid-life crisis and dwindling marital sex against a backdrop of repressive Anglo-Saxon hang-ups about infidelity, seen always in pejorative terms such as "cheating".

And they do so at a cost. Statistics confirm that British and American divorce rates are among the highest in the world. Around half of American first marriages end in divorce, closely followed by one-third of British first marriages, floundering under unrealistic pressures, often celibate marital beds and over-reactions to infidelities.

I have always been baffled by the sour and rigid English view of affairs. Marital love and passion only rarely provide an equally rich source of the exalted feelings, transports of delight and misery associated with love and romance. Affairs are about excitement, being alive, seduction, flirtation, love, affection, sexual bliss, lust, caution, eroticism, fantasy, danger, adventure, exploration and the determined refusal to grow old gracefully.

There is also evidence that the more permissive the attitudes of a country, the longer marriages last. In France an affair is dubbed an 'aventure', free of insinuations of betrayal. It is estimated that one-quarter of men and women are enjoying casual flings and affairs at any one time. Indeed, the conventionality of affairs is displayed in the concept of 'le cinq à sept', the magical space between 5pm and 7pm when men see their mistresses.

In Japan, a tradition of geishas has evolved into a modern society where sex is seen as a pleasure to be enjoyed. Japanese pornography is consumed openly, by women as well as men, on the metro and in other public places. Sex is everywhere and it is also clearly separated from marriage.

Meanwhile, Nordic countries are already way ahead of the game. Couples openly discuss "parallel relationships" within marriage. These range from affairs between work colleagues lasting years to holiday flings lasting a few days. Almost half of Finnish men and almost one-third of Finnish women have had at least one serious parallel relationship. Yet marriage is a protected and respected institution in these countries, where families can function and flourish without compromise.

So why have we resisted for so long and are we finally ready for this new 21st-Century approach to marriage? Inevitably there is the morality question. Even as religion has lost its influence, we have remained coy about openly embracing sex for pleasure, stubbornly conflating sexuality with procreation.

There is also the army of therapists and counsellors who continue to pedal their own secret agenda of enforced exclusive monogamy.

Meanwhile, feminists have already missed the chance to find a new kind of modern sexual morality appropriate to the 21st Century. In practice, Anglo-Saxon feminism never liberated itself from the morality that downplays or rejects all forms of pleasure as sinful.

But sex is no more a moral issue than eating a good meal. The fact that we eat most meals at home with spouses and partners does not preclude eating out in restaurants to sample different cuisines and ambiences, with friends or colleagues. Anyone rejecting a fresh approach to marriage and adultery, with a new set of rules to go with it, fails to recognise the benefits of a revitalised sex life outside the home.

Already two American economists, David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald, have attempted to measure happiness through sexual fulfilment in monetary terms. They estimated that increasing the frequency of sexual intercourse from once a month to at least once a week was equivalent to €40,000 a year in happiness. They also estimated that a lasting marriage provided the equivalent of €81,000 a year. If you add the two together -- an affair providing lots of sex and an enduring marriage -- that's a recipe for a lot of happiness.

It is also a handsome sum when you consider how much longer people are living. In pre-industrial Britain and Ireland, marriages only lasted about 20 years, due to early death. Today, marriages can last 40 to 60 years. It is no coincidence that the peak ages for affairs in Britain and the United State is 45 for a woman and 55 for a man.

Of course, it would be misleading to suggest that married dating does not have a certain morality of its own. Just as there are rules for dating non-married people, a new set of rules is necessary to navigate the way through the secretive world of married dating on the internet.

The first rule is "never in your own back yard", where you are most exposed to discovery. This is one of the successes of the websites: they allow everyone to reach well beyond their own social circle. Both parties can quickly establish that they want the same thing and that they are equally committed to secrecy and discretion.

It is also a world away from the deeply unfair old-style "asymmetric" affairs, in which hapless wives would be left at home while their husbands wooed younger, poorer women disparagingly referred to as a "bit on the side".

If anything, married women are at an astonishing advantage in this 21st-Century world of modern adultery, not least because of the disparity in sexual desire in modern marriages.

Recent sex surveys all prove that the received wisdom about men wanting more sex than their wives is not an unfair stereotype but a fact. The gap in sexual desire between men and women is observed

in every country and culture where such surveys have been carried out. This puts women, entering the online "meet-market" of married dating sites, in a dramatically stronger position. While dating websites for singles are dominated by women looking for "the one", those for married people are dominated by men looking for a sexual adventure. The ratio is around one woman to every 13 men, giving the women the power to dictate terms, from dates at the most expensive restaurants and luxury gifts to financial rewards.

Take the case of Peter, a rich 62-year-old judge who lives in a beautiful historical country house with his lively wife. He regularly travelled into central London for work. He also stayed in the same hotel. After several years of this routine he began to welcome the idea of a sexy girlfriend to entertain him during his weekday stays. He signed on to a dating website. When he met his first date, Maya -- beautiful and in her thirties -- he could not believe his luck. They had a flirty lunch, sitting in the sunshine. At the end, they discussed meeting again. Maya suggested a monthly fee for unlimited time with him at his convenience. Peter laughed, assuming she was joking.

But as he worked his way through a similar series of first dates, that were also not followed up, he realised that Maya was right: a crucial rule in this modern world of adultery is that the women are able to call the shots, especially when the men are past their prime.

Crucially the globalisation of sexual cultures facilitated by the internet, where it is said sex in one shape or another constitutes half the traffic, has helped to bring far more adventurous practices into closer view. As a result, we can no longer assume that our own perspective is the only one going, and that it is inevitable and "natural".

On the contrary, the emphasis on sex as a leisure activity in consumer society allows people in celibate marriages to see their situation as something that can, and should, be remedied, instead of something to put up with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:( :angry: :o What! That is really awful and scary, actually. However, I think these people will remain on the fringes of society, at least I really hope they will! I have seen people who have partners outside of marriage on Dr.Phil and he doesn't think it is a good idea, his facial expressions just said it all. Ah, paying for a younger girl to be with you is just so romantic <_<. In my opinion, nothing can compare to the love and commitment between a couple in a loving marriage and that takes work. If these people put the work into their marriage instead of other partners, imagine what a great relationship they could have! Who knew ;)!

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh! The emphasis on discretion in this article implies you are still being dishonest with you're spouse, which should be totally unthinkable, even if you do think that having sex outside of your marriage is fine (which I don't obviously). And even if you and your spouse both knew that there was affairs going on, jealousy would inevitable creep in, which would tear your marriage apart, it's just selfish, especially if there is children involved. So the chap met a prostitute for lunch, there's no other way to put that, I feel bad for his wife. I'm sure this is a million miles from what these people promised each other when they married.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess they'd have us in a triage unit at a local hospital, undergoing lifesaving measures. Ever who wrote that has an IQ lower than a hamster.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh! Grrr! GRRRRR! Sorry, coherent thoughts are not possible right now...

Yuck, I feel sick just reading this. And I hate how many people in the world actually believe this.

Grrr! Send me back to those oppressive "puritanical" times. I'd rather live then than in this new, modern world filled with sexual delights, where there are essays that actively promote infidelity.

I'm glad to have you all as my little Internet family. Reading things like this makes me feel so alone, so it is very reassuring to know that you all exist, and that there are still people who value fidelity.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"But sex is no more a moral issue than eating a good meal."

What?! What?! Just, I just, I can't. Just, ugh. That sentence. That article. Wow, I just, what?!

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I felt so disgusted when I read this article....I just needed you guys to say the same to restore my faith in humanity!!

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I felt so disgusted when I read this article....I just needed you guys to say the same to restore my faith in humanity!!

Yeah..... that article,... yeah it's just terrible in just about every way possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As disgusting as this article is, this far from the first time I've heard this POV from being made. I know girls who just accept the lie that it's in men's nature to be sexually insatiable. So they have no problem with the guys in their life having other girls on the side as long as they come home to them.

The only reason why her argument has any validity at all is because of the casual sex culture that rules Western society. It's not marriage itself that is making sexual fidelity unrealistic, it's the casual sex. Most people today have had multiple sexual partners prior to marriage, it's no surprise they are less likely to be satisfied sticking to one sexual partner the rest of their lives. The author points out that despite the US and the UK's vehement attempts to preserve fidelity, both nations have among the highest divorce rates in the world. However, she fails to realize other cultures such as India and China, where WTM is the norm and divorce rates are low.

Honestly, I don't know why anyone with this mentality would even bother with marriage. I would rather they just cohabitate instead of raping marriage more than it already has been. Because clearly the author views marriage as some sort of prison. In that case, why "trap" herself within the confines of something she views as repressive? Why not just have open relationships?

"But sex is no more a moral issue than eating a good meal."

What?! What?! Just, I just, I can't. Just, ugh. That sentence. That article. Wow, I just, what?!

What an amazing comparison. Because we all know good meals can come raw and don't require lots of careful preparation. Good to know I can get an delicious and healthy meal at a fast food restaurant instead of putting time and effort into an elaborate home cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As disgusting as this article is, this far from the first time I've heard this POV from being made. I know girls who just accept the lie that it's in men's nature to be sexually insatiable. So they have no problem with the guys in their life having other girls on the side as long as they come home to them..

I've heard this POV a few times recently..always from girls, and it really shocked me, I've yet to date a fella who had a real problem with me waiting, and I've dated chaps who've had a load of previous sexual encounters, I don't think it;s any harder for a lad than a girl, and if he's using that excuse to cheat on you, he doesn't love you, as I told them

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However, she fails to realize other cultures such as India and China, where WTM is the norm and divorce rates are low.

Good point Vince.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what a ridiculous woman. she must be so unhappy all the time--being that cynical and bitter takes a lot out of a person.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, the unintended gist of the article is that marriage is terrible, but divorce is worse, and the only way to prevent divorce is to devalue marriage as an institution. How very zen. It's like saying that the best way to prevent oneself from spending too much money on bubblegum is to toss the money down the garbage chute before you can spend it.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even... what.. did... but why?!

It's like saying "Marriage is broken. How do we fix it?... ah what the hay, 'broken' sounds so negative. 'Expand' makes it sound like insightful change! And I don't have to feel guilty when my wife finds out that I had sex with the editor of this article. And then my wife can explain to her husband that we're moving forward!"

UGH! And unfortunately, the way sick worldviews like the one behind this article are presented and even glorified for entertainment purposes, is making taboo alright in the eyes of many, bringing in a new generation that lacks conviction or shame.

jfalskdjfalkdjfaARRRGH that makes me incredibly upset to read. >.<

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now