Sunday 19 November 2017

We need more than the lust resort

A book suggesting that men should be allowed to stray could shortchange the male of the species, says Julia Molony

FAITH in lifelong, blissful monogamy is one of those quaint little ideas that seems rather innocent and fanciful in our age of bald realism. It's a relic of an older, more optimistic or, you might say, deluded belief system, that went out with the notion that goose fat is good for colds and that priests are always nice people.

Still, it's one thing to accept as misconception the idea that a smooth path to happy ever after will run alongside unswerving romantic devotion of mind and body from the altar to the grave. It's quite another to suggest, as prominent French psychologist Maryse Vaillant has done, that infidelity may actually be a useful tool in the quest to keep a marriage alive.

Vaillant has published a new book, the title of which translates as Men, Love and Fidelity, in which she takes the age-old notion that men, pity the fools, just can't help themselves, and that women should shelve their expectations of sexual exclusivity.

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