French psychologist Maryse Vaillant in her book
Men, Love, Fidelity
points out that women whose husbands are having an extra-marital affair mustn’t worry, as it is a sign that your marriage is a healthy one. Vaillant reckons that men who keep mistresses actually improve their marriage. In her book, she also insists that fidelity is not, by definition, proof of love.
Priyanka Goenka, a clinical psychologist at BLK Memorial Hospital, does not agree. She says, “A long term marital commitment requires stability. And infidelity does not help achieve that.”
In an ideal relationship, the couple shares a lot of emotions, views and opinions with each other. Experts believe that extramarital affairs start brewing when there is a lack of freedom in a relationship. On the contrary, Vaillant in her book writes, “They [men] simply need breathing space. For such men, who are in fact profoundly monogamous, infidelity is almost unavoidable.”
Rachna Kumar Singh, lifestyle expert, Artemis Health Institute says, “If the author really believes that infidelity does good to the marriage, then there should not be any gender bias. It must stand true for both men and women. Why is she just focusing on men?” There are a large number of unhappy couples that seek expert help every month. Singh says, “While it is emotional gratification they seek in an out-of-marriage relationship, it is in most cases a case of sexual dissatisfaction. Couples need to be open about these issues.”
Communication is the key to a healthy married life, not infidelity. “Like in the courtship period, couples listen a lot but the same doesn’t continue years into marriage. It is imperative that you know what your partner is doing, thinking and wants but one must not invade into his space too much, in the quest to keep a tab on every move he/she makes,” says Goenka.
— With inputs from ANI