While the meme might seem trite or trendy, this lengthy essay by a couples therapist makes a compelling case that younger couples are actively creating relationship innovations designed to dampen the destructive power of infidelity — whether it be emotional, sexual or otherwise.

Psychotherapy Networker (via AlterNet):

If the stories we hear from couples coming into our offices these days are any indication, we’re in for a sea change. Whether we like it or not, many couples are far less encumbered with the legal, moral, and social strictures and expectations around marriage that held sway for our parents or even for us, if we were married 20 to 30 or more years ago. With divorce rates hovering at 50 percent, couples today are extremely aware of the impermanence of marriage in our culture and the many centrifugal forces in society pulling it apart. Once past the first, dewy, romantic days as newlyweds, many couples seem to expect that infidelity, however defined, is likelier than not. But far from becoming jaded and cynical about their own marriages, they want to protect their relationship — in ways that may surprise or even shock some of us. Instead of wanting to trade in the old partner for the new person, they reject the assumption that, somehow, the second time around, love will be “real,” and they’ll never again be tempted to stray.

Today’s couples are far likelier to think about negotiating ahead of time what they mean by “fidelity” and how they define and live monogamy in their own relationship.

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