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Adultery 'can help save a marriage'

world Updated: Jun 08, 2008 17:07 IST

Adultery is an offence. Yet a new book has claimed that it could help save a marriage and those who indulge in infidelity are good and kind-hearted people.

"Cheating on your spouse isn't a moral act, but most men and woman who have affairs are good people who made a mistake. They never thought that it would happen to them but, suddenly, they're in this complicated, dangerous situation.

"We all agree that infidelity is a mistake. But once you've crossed the line, what then?" Mira Kirshenbaum, author of 'When Good People Have Affairs', published this week, told British newspaper 'The Observer'.

According to Kirshenbaum, a relationship therapist, those who develop affairs outside their marriage seek real happiness and love in their lives.

"Until now, the story of these men and women has never been told. Shame and fear have kept it in the closet and they haven't had the understanding that might save them from ruining the lives of everyone involved.

"If handled right, an affair can be therapeutic, give clarity and jolt people from their inertia. You could think of it as a radical but necessary medical procedure. If your marriage's in cardiac arrest, an affair can be defibrillator.

"Sometimes an affair can be the best way for the person who has been unfaithful to get the information and impetus to change.

"I'm not encouraging affairs, but underlying the complicated mess is a kind of deep and delicate wisdom. It's an insight that something isn't working and needs to change," the author was quoted as saying.

But, experts in this field refuse to buy Kirshenbaum's argument. "Adulterers're neither kind nor good people, so what sort of sympathy are we supposed to give them?" relationship counsellor Leila Collins asked.