In his book “The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating”, sociologist Professor Eric Anderson said:
“Infidelity does not break marriages up; it is the unreasonable expectation that a marriage must restrict sex that breaks a marriage up. One of the reasons I wrote the book is that I’ve seen so many long-term relationships broken up simply because one had sex outside the relationship … I’m not advocating cheating; I’m advocating open and equitable sexual relationships.”
Dr Anderson, who in addition to his work as a professor at Winchester University is the chief science officer at Ashley Madison (an adultery ‘dating’ site who’s tag line reads: “Life is short. Have an affair.”), has produced a study that said more than two thirds of married women were looking for more romantic passion and yet none of them were looking to leave their husbands or divorce.
The numbers are totally misleading because they are exclusively taken from members of the site but the phenomenon is very interesting. Is opening up a marriage to additional sexual partners better than getting a divorce?
As a divorce lawyer I am very familiar with the effect of adultery on a marriage. In my experience, if a marriage is to be saved after adultery it is up to the personalities of the parties and honesty. If a sexual encounter turns into a secret second life i.e., a fully-fledged affair, this is more often than not fatal to a marriage. However, I also know that there are couples that maintain a happy marriage without feeling necessary to remain monogamous. This ‘open relationship’ is not to be entered into lightly but for some it can work well.
There are, of course, options for the couple who feel their marriage requires ‘spicing up’ and I would strongly advise anyone considering a visit to Ashley Madison to try counselling or honesty with their spouse before logging on and finding a ‘sex buddy’. The discovery of a secret second life, often via a mobile phone, is very commonly the reason I speak to prospective clients seeking to initiate divorce. Anger and betrayal are often barriers to reaching an amicable settlement, so the consequences of seeking sexual satisfaction can be far-reaching; beware.
If you need advice on any issue surrounding your divorce or the breakdown of your relationship, call me, Randal Buckley on 020 4311 8464 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.