Relationship: Should love always go hand in hand with fidelity?

The therapist explains the couple
Should love always run faithfully?

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The column written by our couples therapist Oscar Holzberg is about typical love wisdom and its true content, it explains famous proverbs, lyrics and quotes. This time: If loyalty is fun to you, it’s love. (Julie Andrews, actress and singer)

Something small: Oh, if it were that easy.

Now in detail: As a couples therapist, I am a neutral. This is called an attitude of sympathy with both parties and support of both in their interests. This is always important. In a conversation with Z., she is very important. Because Mr. Z wonders what to do with his feelings for other women. Perhaps polygamy is right, and we weren’t made to be limited to just one romantic partner? Mrs. Z. is shocked by such thoughts. Does he really want a love threesome? She does not think about it in her dreams. And indeed their communication was disrupted, so they sat down with me on the red sofa.

Somehow, all the people are sitting helplessly on the sofas and wondering what it is like now with loyalty and love. We’re at a loss because we’d like an answer. But can not find. Unlike jerboas, because on the one hand there are lifelong faithful jerboas and on the other hand there are species associated with it, which live up to its name and jump on every mouse. On the other hand, we seem to be rats who love to be loyal and want to get away just as much.

There comes a time in relationships when Julie Andrews was right: In the beginning, when love is young and transcends everything. Then being loyal is fun. Later we still like to be loyal because we don’t want to hurt our loved ones. But despite all the interconnectedness, pleasure quickly emerges as we lose our heads and simply follow our desire. Or our romantic longing, which promises to bring everything we haven’t lived to life. It’s a big mess.

Love is not honest, attachment

Neither biology nor any culture gives us a reassuring answer. Are affairs now inevitable or moral failure? We live freely, we can believe both. The enlightened children of modern times have seen their divorced parents fail their sexual fidelity. Or spoil bold loyalty. So they are looking for new ways. Like the generation before you. So we remain confused.

But this is our chance, too. If we don’t pretend we have the answer. When we make room for our impotence. Then it’s still terribly scary. Then it still hurts like hell. Then we will continue to despair. But it can connect us. Like Mr. and Mrs. Z., who have to open up and listen to each other.

Love is not honest, attachment. A contradiction that cannot be resolved. Beyond sex, fidelity can be fun because we’re in love with each other, because we value each other’s presence, because we don’t feel too familiar, too close, too understandable with anyone. Loyalty is fun when we are the right and safe place for each other. But from the fact that loyalty is easier when we love, we must not draw the opposite conclusion that everyone who betrays us no longer loves us. It is not that easy with love. It is possible to find a common path with the dilemma of infidelity. Even if it’s always bumpy and painful. Let’s not forget:“Anything is possible if you only allow it.” Who said this? Mary Poppins. The role that made Julie Andrews famous. Supercalifragilisticexpialigetic.

Oscar Holzberg He has been treating and writing about couples for nearly 30 years. “Love is not an illusion,” he says, “but we have many illusions about love.”

Falling in love with your partner: Oscar Holzberg

Oscar Holzberg, 67, has been counseling couples at his Hamburg clinic for more than 20 years and has been married for over 30 years. His current book is called New Key Phrases in Love (240 pages, €11, DuMont).

© Ilona Habin

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