This woman is no expert, but I dont think infidelity will SAVE a marriage!
Any married couple will tell you, compromise is key to a successful marriage. As a poet once said: "Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy." But exactly how much should we compromise? One expert seems to think it's reasonable to adjust our views on cheating in order to have a successful marriage.
It sounds counterproductive, but sociologist Catherine Hakim says keeping an open mind toward infidelity could actually save relationships.
In her book, The New Rules of Marriage: Internet Dating, Playfairs and Erotic Power, Hakim says a "sour" view of infidelity weakens family life because it leads to divorce.
As a British sociologist, Hakim primarily references relationship dynamics in Britain in her study, but I think it's safe to say Americans also have a taboo view of cheating. Cheating is associated with scandal, deception and betrayal. But that's not the case in some countries, Hakim says. According to her, the French are "masters of seduction" and have a "philosophical approach to adultery." She adds that the French often allow their spouses to engage in affairs.
"The key point is that we need to be more tolerant of them," Hakim said at the BBC Radio 4 show, Woman's Hour. "Sometimes they can ruin marriages, but if you take the view that most of them blow over and a good marriage is still a good marriage, we should be a bit more laid back about them like the French, Italians and Spanish."
While her perspective is undoubtedly controversial, there's no denying that infidelity is prevalent. In fact, it's estimated that about 30 to 60 percent of married people in the United States will cheat at some point during their marriage.
"I am not saying that everybody should do it, and most people do not have affairs," Hakim said.
But the foundation of Hakim's argument is that cheating is the cause of many divorces. And renowned relationship researcher John Gottman would disagree. He has said in the past:
"Only 20 percent of divorces are caused by an affair. Most marriages die with a whimper, as people turn away from one another, slowly growing apart."
Hakim might counter-argue that compromising one's views on infidelity could bring you closer to your partner, preventing that slow growth apart. But when people turn to infidelity, that's often a sign of deeper issues in the relationship.
Or is that just my "sour" view of infidelity talking?
"The temptation is always there for everyone," Hakim says. "Total discretion is the absolute rule, the other party should never find out."
What do you think-would you put up with infidelity to save your marriage?