I came across an article on The Daily Beast a couple of weeks ago titled, "Is Cheating the Secret to a Happy Marriage?"
In the piece, journalist Jessica Bennett talks to author Iris Krasnow about her new book, The Secret Lives of Wives. Krasnow, a professor of my alma mater American University, conducted two years of research and interviewed more than 200 women to find out the secrets of long, successful marriages.
Some of the "secrets" were obvious: take a separate vacation or have hobbies outside the home. Some pushed the envelope a little, like have a "boyfriend with boundaries" - someone you flirt with and do everything except have sex.
But the "secret" that surprised me the most was cheating.
"To expect one person, man or woman, to make you happy for the rest of your life is a ticket to divorce," said Krasnow in the article.
The book features a number of women who've gone outside their marriage to stay married. The Daily Beast piece quotes four of them:
"If you avoid getting caught, a little affair can perk up a marriage," said a 50-something woman from California.
"My husband is only capable of doing so much, and it's not enough," said one lady who cheats with her landscaper.
"A husband is your costar and a rock in your life, but if you're a multidimensional person, you need a lot of different colors on your pallette," said a 59-year-old actress.
The article goes on to note some startling statistics: 65 percent of women and 80 percent of men said they'd cheat if they knew they wouldn't get caught. And about 4 million Americans consider themselves swingers.
Bennett writes, "one thing's for certain: a life centered around one man is simply not enough."
Though Krasnow has been in a monogamous marriage for 23 years and has four children, she stays in touch with her ex-boyfriend and is friendly with an attractive male neighbor. She tells the author, "Every woman should feel free to create her own marriage."
hmm. okay. I agree.
I don't know guys. Am I living in some kind of fantasy world? I know I am a hopeless romantic, idealistic at times. But is it wrong of me to think I can have a long marriage without stepping outside the marriage? Is it realistic of me to believe that I can have "til death do us part" without cheating on my husband?
There's nothing wrong with a little flirting. But to actually have an affair with someone in the name of spicying up my marriage? hmm. I don't think so.
But this is the thing - I'm not married. I don't know what it's like to be in a marriage. People tell me that marriage is hard work and it takes a lot of compromise and communication.
I'd rather do that than cheat.
Anyway, what are your thoughts on this article? Do you think cheating is one of the solutions to having a healthy marriage - why or why not? Would you cheat to keep your marriage together - why or why not? Is it a "successful" marriage if you have to cheat to stay married - why or why not? Would you have someone on the side to keep your marriage spicy- why or why not?
Alright, let me know your thoughts.