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Oh Come All Ye Unfaithful: Why Silvio Berlusconi's Marital Problems Should Make Americans Happy

It’s been a bad month for fidelity in America, folks. We’ve had Jon and Kate’s split-up on reality tv, Sandra Tsing Loh’s...

It’s been a bad month for fidelity in America, folks.

We’ve had Jon and Kate’s split-up on reality tv, Sandra Tsing Loh’s devastating indictment of “companionate marriage” in The Atlantic, and of course, the ongoing saga that is Governor Mark Sanford’s marital melt-down. (As comedian John Stewart put it so well:¬† “Another case of Conservative Mind, Liberal Penis…”).

As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat writes, American marriage¬† – or at least marriage in the over-educated, hyper-achieving America that Loh writes about – has become a place where pragmatic concerns (read: mortgages, parenting) over-shadow passion and romance. Hence, all those affairs. And what’s worse – at least according to Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory – it’s not clear that those couples who survive infidelity end up all that happily married.

But cheer up folks. There’s a silver lining here. After all these years of being mocked by the Europeans for our prudish sexual norms, Italy, of all places, finally has a bonafide sex scandal. You think Mark Sanford has problems? Try being Silvio Berlusconi caught cavorting with a not-quite-18 year old and allegedly paying an escort to have sex with him.

As I write about today in my very first post for the Woman Up column at Politics Daily, even Italians seem put off by the latest round of accusations about extra-marital shenanigans by their Prime Minister. Read it here.

It’s not that Italians were ever immune to infidelity. Quite the contrary. They seemed to welcome it as an inevitable if not excusable part of long-term marital relationships. Which made America’s quite public and anguished contortions over monogamy seem both exaggerated and ridiculous.

No longer, America.

Somehow, knowing that even in Italy, infidelity is now getting a bad rap made me feel a teensy bit better about the state of affairs – pun intended – back home.

Image: Infidelity by fmarq via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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  1. SC July 3, 2009 at 2:42 am #

    High profile sex scandals: Should we expect more from our leaders?

    http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/high-profile-sex-scandals-2/

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  1. Tips For Adulthood: Five Ways To Stay Monogamous « RealDelia - August 12, 2009

    […] think we all know that this hasn’t exactly been the summer of matrimonial bliss. From Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to author/radio personality Sandra Tsing Loh to our […]

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