Say 'Cheers' if your husband is enjoying a secret rendezvous with another woman. The extra-marital affair is a sign that your marriage is a healthy one.
That's the claim of France's most prominent female psychologist Maryse Vaillant in controversial new book on the effects of infidelity on married life, Men, Love, Fidelity, reports The Telegraph.
AdvertisementVaillant reckons that men who keep mistresses actually improve their marriage.
"[Most] don't do it because they no longer love them, on the contrary," she said. "They simply need breathing space. For such men, who are in fact profoundly monogamous, infidelity is almost unavoidable".
Once women accept that the "pact of fidelity is not natural but cultural", and that infidelity is essential to the "psychic functioning" of certain men who are still very much in love, it can be a "very liberating" for women, she added.
In her book, Vaillant insists that fidelity is not, by definition proof of love.
"They are often men whose father was physically or morally absent ... during their childhood. These men have a completely idealised view of their father and the paternal function," she said. "They lack suppleness and are prisoners to an idealised image of a man of duty."