I’m a secular, middle-aged woman, and I’ve been married for nearly three decades. I’m marrying off my daughter in a month but I’m feeling worried and disenchanted with the institution of marriage as a whole. Too many of my friends have been hurt by their husbands’ infidelity; I myself can well relate to the disappearance of intimacy after some years of living as a couple. Has marriage gone bankrupt only in the secular world, or is this the same across the religious spectrum?
“People are people,” as Pam is fond of saying, though she usually adds that religious men are no different and perhaps even worse. Yet, deceiving a spouse is hardly exclusive to men. “Since 1990,” writes Esther Perel in The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, “the rate of married women reporting unfaithfulness has increased by 40%.” To further disturb us, she adds that “monogamy is a spectrum.”