As long as we remember (at least since the institution of marriage), most human beings have always been unfaithful. The difference is that infidelity has never been easier to access than it is today. Virtual infidelity, emotional infidelity, micro cheating … Can we still be faithful (and remain so)?
At her famous TED conference in 2015, relationship therapist Esther Perel found a contradiction: “95% of people say that it is extremely bad for a partner to lie if he has been unfaithful. But the same proportion of people admit that they would do the same if they were unfaithful. “
We rely heavily on the loyalty of his partner, but at the same time, we have never been so tempted to go see what happens elsewhere.
Is it due to our times? In particular today, staying faithful is a big challenge?
To be faithful in love: a universal and timeless challenge
No “it was better before” that holds: infidelity is not a new problem. Since marriage exists, infidelity exists.
Madame de Renal deceives Monsieur de Renal with Julien Sorel in The Red and the Black of Stendhal; Madame de Tourvel, as chaste and faithful as she was, finally threw herself into the arms of the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons dangereuses de Laclos; Jamie comes across his wife and brother in Love Actually by Richard Curtis. And you are probably a deceived or deceived woman.
Literature, cinema, real life, before, during, after, we deceive and we are deceived. “Adultery is universally forbidden, but universally practiced,” says Esther Perel.
Before, even though marriage was an indestructible institution (because it was based on economic agreements between families and on religious principles), one deceived.
Now, when we marry for love and we can divorce in a snap of fingers, we continue to deceive (to return to desire, find freedom, that I still know).
What has changed, and which makes staying faithful more difficult than before, are the sources of temptations, always more diverse, ever more numerous.
Why staying faithful is more difficult today?
Before a couple’s rhymes with smartphones and social networks, infidelity was easy to define: it was a secret sexual (and / or emotional) relationship outside of marriage: a kiss, a sexual relationship olé that give hot (see The Dangerous Liaisons, premises of sexto?).
Today, “the definition of infidelity continues to grow,” says Esther Perel. “A sexto, watch porn, stay secretly active on dating apps …”
If we stick to this panel of definitions, for the specialist, the proportion of unfaithful people varies from 25 to 75%. It has never been so easy to deceive – at least to indulge in micro cheating or virtual infidelity.
And it’s not because we have more desires than before, but rather, according to the specialist, because we live now “in an era where we feel entitled to pursue our desires, in a culture where we consider that we deserve to be happy “.
“In adultery, we often do not look for someone else, we look for another self,” concludes Esther Perel.
Another difference: being deceived today, when we marry for love and looking in his partner a confidant, a best friend AND a lover, it hurts even more. “Unfaithfulness in the digital age is a slow death,” says the specialist.
How to stay faithful, then?
Truce of fatalistic affirmations, if staying faithful can be difficult, it is not impossible (and thankfully!).
At the risk of repetition, again and again, today’s fidelity is primarily due to … communication within the couple!
Already, she returns to establish what is an infidelity for us and discuss it with our partner. If you do not put the cursor in the same place, you better know (and be able to accept the criteria of the other, or not).
From the moment we are clear about each other, staying faithful is respect and honesty.
If one has more and more temptations, he must talk to the other and break up if necessary.