Why do I take fools
Mira Kirshenbaum, who has over 30 years' experience as a marriage therapist, says the 'right kind' of affair can be a positive thing, acting to "jolt people from their inertia".
Hey, you know what's an even better jolt from your inertia? Being sued for thirty years of malpractice as a marriage therapist. JOLT!
The author of When Good People Have Affairs, published this week, argues that because society has so far failed to have a sympathetic discussion of infidelity, the positive sides of cheating have been ignored.
Society has so far said that betrayal and selfishness are bad things, which is itself a bad thing, and dammit, we won't let society keep us back from nonstop self-centered childish pleasure-whoring.
Incidentally, the same logic that runs though this article justifies the Holocaust.
However, she insists that most cheating spouses should never own up, because revealing the infidelity is more damaging than keeping quiet.
Hm. Of course, it's not the revelation of the infidelity that's damaging, it's that the infidelity occurred in the first place
that's damaging; the revelation merely removes the veil of ignorance from the betrayed's judgment. So, a healthy marriage is about lying so well your spouse never suspects you're lying. OK. Thirty years, huh?
"Sometimes an affair can be the best way for the person who has been unfaithful to get the information and impetus to change," she told The Observer.
"I want to screw my wife's sister, but is our marriage really in trouble if I don't actually go through with it?" You get going with that self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess.
"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."
So, having just said that an affair can be the best way &c., she's not encouraging affairs. So the marriage therapist is not encouraging what she thinks is the best way to solve a marital problem.
Wow, that class action suit is going to be rough
Most philanderers are good, kind people, she argues, who are seeking real happiness and love.
Ms Kirshenbaum, clinical director of the Chestnut Hill Institute, a psychotherapy and research centre in Boston, Massachusetts, says her book is not aimed at 'creeps' who think they can cheat with impunity, but at decent people who know they have made a mistake.
Oh, a "Ms." Well, she must have awesome advice about marriage!
"These people are suffering terribly and need to be relieved of their sense of guilt and shame because those emotions are paralysing," she said.
Yes, guilt and shame, by punishing the will directly (not through corporal punishment, which is mediated by the body and its sensation of pain), might serve to correct the will and engender morally sound conduct in the future. MS KIRSHENBAUM CAN'T HAVE THAT.
"If handled right, an affair can be therapeutic, give clarity and jolt people from their inertia," she said.
What Newton had in mind when devising his three laws was getting freaky with some chick you met at work, obv obv obv. Leave inertia out of this, ma'am.
"You could think of it as a radical but necessary medical procedure. If your marriage is in cardiac arrest, an affair can be a defibrillator."
OK well marriages do not have hearts so I am not sure how this works but all right, random jolts of electricity are undoing inertia and restarting the heart of your marriage so it can take oxygen to cells and remove carbon dioxide from them, I guess.
But she is convinced that an adulterer must never confess, not even if their partner asks directly.
So when your partner asks you directly, indicating in no uncertain terms that it is vitally important for her to know the truth, you deny her what she wants. You are a dangerous moron.
"This is the one area in which the truth usually creates far more damage in the long run," she said.
Waiting on that citation of dozens of studies that have shown this to be true. Otherwise, you wouldn't say it, right? Wait, I'm expecting the "lying is good" person to be truthful. Whoops.
"If you care that much about honesty, figure out who you want to be with, commit to that relationship and devote the rest of your life to making it the most honest relationship you can."
Well, this is strange. If you
care about honesty, get in an honest relationship. If your partner
cares about honesty, nuts to them.
Her sympathetic approach to cheats has been criticised by some of her peers.
"Cheat-sympathizer" would have served better.
Phillip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists said: "We mustn't underestimate the immediate grief caused by an affair.
"Affairs cause grief" is all it took to rebut this twit. Yay Telegraph! Yay "news!"
"The last thing people want to hear if their partner has had an affair is any sympathy offered to the person who they feel has betrayed them, and acted like a snake in the grass.
Because some people have common sense and morality, and know that cheating is bad...
"However, when they look back in five or ten years, they might take a different view.
...not you, apparently, but people
"Maybe this book goes too far, but we do need to take a sociological view of affairs. To think, 'what are we going to do about them?' rather than to say 'it can't happen', when it clearly does."
Yes, a sociological view, where we study what has happened and offer no advice, because sociology isn't a therapeutic field
I am glad the Telegraph got both sides of this story - "Cheating is awesome" and "Cheating isn't so bad." Way to be.
The comments just prove that Web 2.0 empowers the stupid to annoy not just their friends and family, but whole demographics. Here's just one:
Well, what a depressing list of comments. Everyone seems trapped in a sterotyped existence where we can only react in the same old pre-programmed victorian mindset ways.
Wake up! its 2008. The world is changing. Why do you think so many people have affairs? Could it possibly be that the social institutions and frameworks we have constructed for ourselves are not logical and don't allow us to act naturally?
The damage that is done by affairs is because we all react in the same old predictable way every time - Someone cheated on us so therefore it means that the they don't love us any more. Have you considered that we might have the capacity to love and care for more than one person at a time?
Yeah civilization is a bummer. The war of all against all - now that's awesome sauce.