The fact is that monogamy had nothing to do with love.Men relied on women's fidelity in order to know whose children these are, and who gets the cows when I die.Now, everyone wants to know what percentage of people cheat.I've been asked that question since I arrived at this conference. But the definition of infidelity keeps on expanding: sexting, watching porn, staying secretly active on dating apps.So Heather, she can't talk to her friends because she's afraid that they will judge her for still loving Nick, and everywhere she turns, she gets the same advice: Leave him. And if the situation were reversed, Nick would be in the same situation. So if we can divorce, why do we still have affairs?Now, the typical assumption is that if someone cheats, either there's something wrong in your relationship or wrong with you.(Laughter) So how do we reconcile what is universally forbidden, yet universally practiced?Now, throughout history, men practically had a license to cheat with little consequence, and supported by a host of biological and evolutionary theories that justified their need to roam, so the double standard is as old as adultery itself.
But we also have never been more inclined to stray, and not because we have new desires today, but because we live in an era where we feel that we are entitled to pursue our desires, because this is the culture where I deserve to be happy.When marriage was an economic enterprise, infidelity threatened our economic security.