In a recent survey by Relate called “The Way We Live Now” it appears that one in four married people in Britain has had or is having an affair. This is a very depressing state of affairs (pun intended). Where do they find these people? If they are asking those that have been coming for counselling sessions then it won’t be very surprising because they are there for a reason – but across the board? Really?
Are we all becoming more of a nation of philanderers and liars? Or is this still a relatively small section of our community? Aren’t there still people out there who believe that marriage vows should be forever – forsaking others as long as we both shall live, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer? I must be getting old because I find this statistic deeply depressing for the future of marriage and for the infrastructure of our society.
Of course I understand more about how life works now and that an affair is often a symptom of a bad marriage – lots of my friends are now divorced and not because one of the team has hooked up with someone else – but honestly, what has happened to commitment and the belief that once you get over the difficult period of time when you are both too exhausted by kids and work to make an effort that things will be better again? That you can wake up one day and look forward to doing things with the person you chose to marry….. is it this generation in particular that are all for personal growth and selfishness? Do we really think that happiness lies in throwing away one life and starting another?
I really do despair and clearly if it’s also the case that less than half of those who responded to the survey are happy with their sex life, then it suggests that having an affair is not really the answer. Does it mean though that 25% of all relationships are unfaithful or that potentially as many as one in two marriages might be affected? Or should I be looking at the 75% of people who haven’t had an affair and be delighted that most of us are still hanging on in there?