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The Two Dimensions of Infidelity

Iulian Apostu ()
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Iulian Apostu: Lecturer PhD, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania

Postmodern Openings, 2016, vol. 7, issue 2, 167-178

Abstract: An objective assessment of a conjugal relationship should measure the level of satisfaction of each partner, so that the happiness produced by such a partnership to be equal for both of them. Also, in a relationship, guilt doesn’t have to be sought in one of the partners, or in a final effect, but in the context of factors that generated it. However, conjugal postmodernity shows that the tendencies of partners’ orientation are more obviously guided by conjugal individualism, which marks another stage in the development of the relationships between genders, but also in the type of functional relationship. The partners tend to see the other as a resource for individual fulfilment, and their fusion no longer gives priority to solidarity, but to the personal need for self-accomplishment through the other. They pretend from each other more than they are willing to offer themselves in a conjugal relationship, and all these new orientations seem to outline more obviously the postmodern structure of the conjugal individualism. Therefore, from an appreciative perspective, individualism appears, either in a client centred approach, or in an approach centred on task, both models being tributary to the model of deconstruction that underlies postmodernity. The individual and its actions matter more than the social and moral norms of the society, and the individual’s dysfunctionality in report with the exterior norm is correlated with the more evident inconsistency of the systems to which they belong (Sandu, 2015, p. 185). The negative individualism is easy to explain conceptually. It is gradually being extracted from the moral norm of the majority, and it transcends the idea of solidarity; the personal ideal becomes norm for the other, and the solidarity towards the other quickly turns into a type of self-solidarity. The positive individualism is appreciated in a certain scientific community due to the sincerity of the partner in asking what he wishes from a conjugal relationship, but the impact of this “sincerity” can only have an individualist effect, not one that would lead to fusion. This is because the other’s solidarity with “myself” ensures my security, while my solidarity to myself ensures my self-accomplishment. Thus, all the conjugal values have a double value, based on the type of evaluation: evaluation of own actions or evaluation of the partner’s actions. My fidelity must be contextually appreciated, with fluctuations based on the circumstances of life, while fidelity of the other must be seen as an inflexible moral norm. In this regard, the very concepts of fidelity/infidelity acquire double value, based on the type of reporting: towards self or towards the other.

Keywords: fidelity; infidelity; conjugal modernity; conjugal postmodernity. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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