Fidelity; an act that is held to a higher standard…it is virtuous and yet virtually unattainable. But has it always been? Were people more faithful in the 1920’s, 50’s, or 80’s then they are today?? How about during the dark and conventional middle ages or the enlightened era of the renaissance? It is suspected that Genghis Khan fathered 30,000 offspring…doesn’t sound like there was any fidelity in that marriage. Cleopatra was said to have slept with Mark Anthony (he wasn’t even that good looking) and Henry the 8th he had 6 wives and myriad of consorts. Truthfully it’s been an ongoing conundrum since the day of caveman and cavewomen. It seems that people have honorably sought to engage in exclusive, monogamous relationships, but somehow almost no one is able to make it stick for any length of time. And the most compelling reason for our inevitable infidelity; it is a proven fact that humans are by nature NOT monogamous.
Why are we so hell bent on faithful?
It’s nothing but frustrating and ultimately disappointing to anyone who believes they are in a “relationship”. The notion that one human being can be absolutely faithful to another for any length of time is scientifically unrealistic. And possibly the most compelling reason for cheating…it’s vanilla, boring. the same thing time and time again. Like the main character in the new book “My Lover’s Keeper.” Jen Gregory has no intention on leaving her husband but she certainly has no qualms about “hooking-up” with her college sweetheart. And what happens when he ostensibly wants to “cheat” on her? Well, you’ve got to read the novel to understand her convoluted sensibility.
Conservative infidelity statistics estimate that “60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. These figures are even more significant when we consider the total number of marriages involved, since it’s unlikely that all the men and women having affairs happen to be married to each other. If even half of the women having affairs (or 20 percent) are married to men not included in the 60 percent having affairs, then at least one partner will have an affair in approximately 80 percent of all marriages. And then there are those people who are unmarried but in “exclusive relationships” cheating on their significant other. Furthermore, consider how all the social networking sites that exist have opened vast opportunities for emotional infidelity.
It’s time to let go of the notion that humans are absolutely capable of fidelity.
Holding husbands/wives or boyfriends/girlfriends to a fidelity standard only setting people up for a lot of hurt. Lets all take a break from that mightier than thou standard. Afterall; we all know that nothing in life is 100%. Why should faithfulness be an all or nothing? Not everyone is capable, nor should they be required to be. This should not be a societal standard.
A wise person once told me that if you have an expectation you will most certainly be disappointed, if you have acceptance than you will always be filled with gratitude. I have a proposal for a better alternative for people who choose to enter into a “relationship.” Rather than assume that monogamy is a given, a couple should talk about their expectations of each other and create their own relationship rules.