In light of increasing evidence that many married people have affairs, the authors study the traditional concept of the American marriage, identify vulnerable points, and propose that infidelity does not equal a failed marriage. 15,000 first printing.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The thesis of this most interesting book by a Cambridge University psychologist (Richards) and a sociologist (Reibstein) is that the institution of modern marriage is ``inherently unstable'' because it's based on a set of impossible ideals. According to the authors (who spent ten years conducting 200 interviews in America and Britain for their study), the Anglo- American marriage model ascendant today is sexually exclusive, intimate, and companionate--in marked difference to, say, Victorian marriage, which had more to do with the exchange of property and the tactic acceptance of infidelity (at least on the man's part). Reibstein and Richards believe that adultery can be studied only in this context, and that modern marriage impels spouses toward affairs that must be kept secret--a secrecy the authors consider more damaging than the affairs themselves. Fascinating, seemingly contradictory facts are noted along the way: that most adulterers are deeply attached to the idea of a sexually exclusive marriage even though they play around; that sexual frequency and satisfaction levels drop in marriage despite an increased emphasis on fidelity. The source of the sexually exclusive, intimate marriage model is traced back to the primary, mother-child relationship, and gender differences regarding how people pursue and feel about sex are studied as well--with a general disavowal of biological causes for these differences. Three types of marriages are given as a kind of menu of choices: the companionate, sexually exclusive model; open marriage (still a rare bird); and the segmented version, in which spouses seek from other sources whatever their partners can't provide. The authors do a lot of dot-connecting to substantiate their thesis and aren't scrupulous about identifying their sources. Nor do they move beyond criticism to point the way to something better. But in dispassionately assessing the nature and effects of marriage as our culture practices it, they reach the intellectual--if not the moral--nub of the matter. A decidedly challenging book. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
For as long as one may wait for insights from this repetitive, rambling and cliche-ridden discussion of infidelity and its causes, the wait may not be worth it. Best here is an interesting account of the different ways in which adolescent boys and girls become acquainted with sex (though their relevance to extramarital affairs is unclear). Despite their numbing litany of scenarios and motives, the authors conclude that the real problem is not infidelity but modern marriage itself. Marriage is too exclusive, they state. According to them, affairs were once considered acceptable, a debatable view. The authors appear to suggest that a few affairs may be just the thing to revive the married. And, offering no statistics, they report that long-term couples experience little sexual satisfaction. Reibstein is a lecturer at Cambridge University; Richards is a reader in human development there.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Scribner. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0684195402 Ships promptly. Bookseller Inventory # Z0684195402ZN
Book Description Scribner, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0684195402
Book Description Scribner. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0684195402 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # XM-0684195402
Book Description Scribner, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0684195402
Book Description Scribner, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110684195402
Book Description Scribner. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0684195402 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1194686