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“For thousands of years, fidelity was not one of the highest expectations of love,” says Stephanie Coontz, professor of history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and the director of research and public education at the Council on Contemporary Families.
Patriarchal societies built rules about women’s sexual practices because they wanted to ensure bloodlines and property rights, she says.
In short, there is a substantial difference between what we say we should do and what we do.
“Every study I know shows 85 percent of people or more saying that nonmonogamy is wrong in every instance,” Ms. “But people also feel that you should eat three nutritious meals a day low in sugar and high in calcium.” Adding to the social confusion is the way public scandals send different pop culture messages on the subject.
Until the modern era, the Bible notwithstanding, there was little attention paid to male adultery.
“There was a lot of concern that a woman would be unfaithful and introduce a foreigner into the bloodline,” she says.
In a lot of ways, it’s much more difficult today.” By the time Anne and Brian rebuilt their relationship – Anne says it took two years before she decided that she would remain in the marriage – she was convinced that she needed to do something.
“Societies have their own rules on who can cheat, and for what reason,” she writes.“There are even scripts for something as private as forgiveness.