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婚姻与感情不忠的讨论:何为婚内出轨

  Why we need to talk about cheating

  婚姻与感情不忠的讨论:何为婚内出轨

  Mike Pence refuses to dine alone with women other than his wife. For the US vice president it is a mark of respect for his wife, Karen, and a rule guided by his strong religious convictions. Some commentators have hailed it the solution for men unable to control themselves, others call it patronising, sexist and insulting. (It is not an entirely rare attitude, however: in one study, around 5.7% of people surveyed thought that buying food for someone of the opposite sex would qualify as an act of infidelity.)

  美国副总统麦克·彭斯(Mike Pence)拒绝同妻子之外的异性单独共餐。这是出于他对妻子凯伦(Karen)的尊重,也是出于他强烈的宗教信仰。有评论家称,此举是男人无法自控的应对之术,但也有人批评说这是屈尊就卑的姿态,是性别歧视和对他人的侮辱。(支持者并不在少数:有一项研究发现,有5.7%的受访者认为,买食物给异性无异于不忠。)

  Whatever you think about Pence’s justifications, at least he and Karen have clear boundaries about what is appropriate to do with people of the opposite sex – which is more than can be said for a lot of heterosexual couples.

  无论我们怎么解读彭斯的行为,至少他和妻子对如何与异性相处是确定了清晰的边界。在异性恋伴侣之中,这种模式是比较值得一提的。

  Most people rarely have good definitions of exactly what it means to be unfaithful, and vastly underestimate how likely it is that some kind of betrayal will occur (despite being unfaithful themselves). They also have little understanding of how they will deal with infidelity if it does occur (with many people’s reactions surprising them).

  到底怎么样算不忠,很多人都没有明确的定义,他们也大大低估了伴侣背叛的概率(尽管有时,自己也并不够忠诚)。他们也不知道的,如果伴侣不忠应该如何回应(很多人的反应都出乎意料)。

  异性恋中,20个人里就有一个会认为对方给其他异性买顿饭就算是不忠。

  Given its prevalence, that’s lack of communication and understanding is causing a lot of heartbreak – and many psychologists suggest that we should have much more open conversations about cheating.

  我们知道,不忠现象并不在少数。一旦发现伴侣不忠,会让人心碎、又无人可以倾诉,因此许多心理学家建议,人们需要以更公开的方式谈论不忠现象。

  Working out how many people have ever been unfaithful is challenging, not least because researchers are reliant on the honest confessions of cheaters. As a result, estimates of infidelity can vary wildly and are often affected by how data are collected. At the higher end of estimates, 75% of men and 68% of women admitted to cheating in some way, at some point, in a relationship (although, more up-to-date research from 2017 suggests that men and women are now engaging in infidelity at similar rates). One of the lowest published rates of infidelity is 14% – still a sizeable number.

  有多少人曾对伴侣不忠,这是很难统计的。尤其是因为研究人员的数据来源,仅为那些坦白承认自己对伴侣不忠的人。因此,预估的数据会有较大的偏差,通常会受数据收集方式的影响。最高估计值显示,有75%的男性和68%的女性承认曾经出轨(虽然,2017年的最新数据显示,男女出轨概率已经趋同)。按其中一份已公布的最低估计数据,有14%的人曾经出轨,但这也是一个不小的数字。

  Yet only 5% of people believe that their own partner had cheated or will cheat at some point in their relationship, meaning that even the most conservative estimates would suggest that this happens much more frequently than expected. Perhaps we’re too trusting of our partners.

  尽管如此,相信伴侣曾出轨过、或者有出轨心思的,只有5%。这也就是说,出轨数据中最保守的数字都已经数倍于此数了。大概我们太过相信自己另一半的忠诚了。

  “Those of us who are not depressed generally have a really inflated sense of how likely good things will happen and unduly low sense that bad things will happen,” says Susan Boon of the University of Calgary. “One possibility is that our low presumption that our partners will cheat on us is a manifestation of that. Alternatively, when you are in a relationship it might be helpful to have faith in your partner because it would be unhealthy to monitor their behaviour all the time.”

  卡尔加里大学的布恩(Susan Boon)说:“我们中通常乐观的人觉得,好事会发生在自己身上,坏事会绕开自己走。我们对伴侣忠诚度之信任,也正是源于此。另外,一段恋爱关系中,最好还是对另一半抱有信任。因为时刻监视对方的一举一动,是十分畸形的。”

  Here lies one of the issues; cheating means different things to different people. Researchers might pre-define what cheating constitutes to them, but everyone has a different interpretation, so interviewees might not agree with them.

  还有一个问题:不同的人,对于出轨的定义是不同的。研究人员会先行定义什么叫出轨,然而每个人对出轨的解读都有所不同,因此受访者也可能会不认同研究人员的定义。

  “People overestimate the extent to which others approve of and engage in infidelity in relation to how much they do,” says Boon. “I’m not sure why people don’t talk about it considering how often you see it in movies or songs. Part of it is that we’re not aware of the variability of standards. We assume wrongly that what I consider unfaithful you would too. It also admits that maybe this could happen. People would prefer to believe that you wouldn’t do this.”

  伯恩表示:“人们会高估他人对出轨的容忍度以及他人出轨的可能性。出轨是电影和歌曲中经常出现的题材,但我不知道为什么现实中鲜有人谈及。我想有一点原因是,不同人有不同的出轨标准。人们会认为,自己眼中的不忠行为在别人看来也是如此,这个观点是错误的。这也默认了出轨的可能性,只是人们愿意相信你不是那种人而已。”

  About 70% of people have not discussed with their partner what counts as cheating. Does downloading a dating app count, for example? Between 18% and 25% of Tinder users are in a committed relationship while using the dating app. Presumably, meeting up with people you met on Tinder does. Unsurprisingly, Tinder users who are already in relationships are more likely to have casual sex.

  如何界定出轨?有70%的人从未与伴侣讨论过这个话题。比如说,下载了交友软件就算不忠吗?Tinder(陌生人交友软件)用户中,出于恋爱关系的占到了18%-25%。又或许和Tinder网友线下约会应该算是出轨。已经有男女朋友的Tinder用户约炮的概率更高,这也不足为奇了。

纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com/

  The people responding to the question about whether they thought their partner had ever been unfaithful were free to interpret infidelity in any way they chose. Perhaps that makes the 5% statistic even more surprising. For some people, cheating might only include sex, but for others, flirting with someone might count. With the freedom to interpret infidelity as we wish, we’re still very optmisitic that it will never happen to us.

  被问及是否怀疑过对方出轨时,受访者可以自行界定“出轨”的范畴。5%这一数据也就因此更让人吃惊了。有的人认为只有发生了性关系才算真正出轨,但也有人觉得调情就是出轨。即使我们能自行界定出轨的标准,却还是会盲目自信,觉得绿云不会罩在自己头上。

  Defining emotional infidelity is particularly difficult. One place where emotional transgressions might occur is in the workplace where overlapping professional and personal interests result in close relationships. Plausibly this would allow for opportunities to transgress from innocuous friendships to something more intimate.

  最难定义的是仅止于感情上的不忠。职场上很容易出现感情出轨,因为同事间职能互相重合、个人利益交织,容易产生亲密关系。於是这就给了单纯的友谊升级为暧昧关系的机会。

  In one study, researchers interviewed women about their attitudes towards workplace relationships. These women, all in their 30s and 40s and in committed relationships, were asked about times they felt the lines between appropriate and inappropriate workplace relationships became blurry.

  有研究人员曾对女性进行过调查,询问了她们对于办公室恋情的看法。受访者年龄在30至40岁之间,且都不是单身。研究人员询问了她们经历过多少次界限模糊的时刻。

  “I can’t lie, I look forward to seeing him at work,” said one interviewee, “it feels like a stupid school girl, you know, like when you have a crush on somebody and you see them and you’re like ‘Oh!’ and you get excited.”

  有一位受访者表示:“工作的时候我是很期待看到他的,我不能说谎。这种感觉就像是回到了学生时代,对别人产生了好感,一看见那个人就会‘噢!’地一下,整个人都激动了起来。”

  The interviewees concluded that physical intimacy is not necessary to elicit feelings of emotional infidelity. Withholding information, confiding in another, even thinking about the other person if it prevents you from thinking about your partner were enough. These are all things that might happen considering the amount of time we spend at work and the nature of forming close relationships with coworkers.

  受访者们普遍表示,肢体的亲密接触并非是引发精神出轨的必要条件。在一个人面前守口如瓶,却对另一个人知无不言,甚至想到那个人时会忘了自己的伴侣,这就足够是精神出轨了。鉴于上班的工作时间很长,与同事容易产生亲密关系,所以职场中常发生外遇出轨这类事情也就不难理解了。

  The interviewees talked about ‘relationship safeguarding’; predefining ground rules about what is and what is not appropriate. They also said that choosing to trust their partners was important for maintaining a healthy relationship. “And being in fitness, it can get physical just because [I’m] trying to show people how to do the correct workouts,” said another interviewee. “So, it was a conversation that we had to have... ahead of time just to say, ‘I’m going to trust you to do your job and it won’t go beyond that’.”

  有受访者提到了“情感保卫”的概念:即预先制定基本的规则,界定恋人或伴侣夫妻间合理与不合理行为的范畴。他们还说,保持健康的爱情关系,其中相信另一半尤为重要。另一名受访者说:“比如在健身房,就肯定会(与我帮助健身的人)有肢体接触。但这只是因为我要显示正确的锻炼方法。因此,双方之间必须要...提前说好,哪怕是‘我选择相信你,你一定会恪守本分不过线’。”

  The behaviour of your partners friends can be enlightening as to their own attitudes about infidelity. The greater the proportion of your friends who you believe have cheated in their relationships, the more likely you are to have cheated in the past, and the more likely you are to say that you would be willing to cheat again in the future. We tend to surround ourselves with similarly adulterous, or non-adulterous, people.

  朋友的态度也会影响伴侣自身对于不忠的看法。若某人的朋友圈偷情者多,那么这个人过去对伴侣不忠的可能性就会比较高,未来此人还会再犯的概率也会较高。近朱者赤,近墨者黑,我们选择的朋友圈,是忠实于感情还是常在外偷腥,都与我们自己是否忠诚相近。

  It is clear that most people in monogamous relationships think that cheating is morally wrong. But, if someone has cheated, is the best course of action to admit guilt? When asked this question by researchers, people tend to say yes. In fact, more than 90% of people questioned say they would want to know if their partner has cheated on them.

  很显然,多数单配偶关系的伴侣会在道德上不认同偷情。那么,对于一个曾经出过轨、偷过情的人而言,承认自己不忠是否是最好的忏悔呢? 研究人员提出这一问题后,很多人的回答都是肯定的。超过90%的受访者表示,如果伴侣曾背叛过自己他们希望知道真相。

  One piece of research suggests that the importance of appearing loyal and pure is a key reason why people make those moral judgments. In fact, maintaining loyalty is more important than protecting someone’s feelings. If the most important thing was not to cause harm, then people would have said that keeping the affair secret is more ethical than confessing. Whether in reality this is the best course of action is another matter. Infidelity is the number one cause of divorce in the US.

  一项研究结果显示,人们之所以会有如此的道德审判,很重要的一个原因是想要展现自己忠贞、纯洁的形象。表现忠诚远比照顾情绪来得重要。如果说,最重要的不要伤害到伴侣,那么最为道德的做法不该是坦白行径,而是把劈腿之事牢牢捂住,不让对方发现。至于现实生活中到底何为最好的做法,那又另当别论。在美国,伴侣不忠在离婚诸多缘由中居于首位。

  Admitting to cheating is clearly going to hurt your partner's feelings – but there is a lot of variation in how people react. Greg Tortoriello, a psychologist at the University of Alabama has studied the effects of perceived failure on people; particularly, people whose personalities might mean they react poorly to failure. One example is narcissists, who seek the approval of others and are very conscious about how they present themselves.

  承认自己出轨一定会对伴侣造成伤害,但伴侣的反应则各有不同,下面是一些例子。阿拉巴马大学的托尔托列洛(Greg Tortoriello)曾调查过认知功能受损对人的影响;研究的重点对象,是由于个性而无法面对失败的一类人。其中之一就是自恋者。自恋者极度渴望得到别人的认同,时刻在意如何表现自己。

  “We assessed two types of narcissists: grandiose narcissists and vulnerable narcissists,” says Tortoriello. “A grandiose narcissist has an inflated sense of self-worth linked to higher self-esteem, whereas a vulnerable narcissist is sensitive to judgements from others and usually has lower self-esteem. In both cases, slight threats can activate aggressive behaviour.”

  托尔托列洛说:“我们对两种自恋者进行了评估:一是夸张自恋者,还有一种是脆弱自恋者。夸张自恋者有一种夸大的自我价值感,因此自尊心很强;而脆弱自恋者很敏感,很在意他人的评价,通常自尊心较低。对这两类自恋者,哪怕是轻微的威胁都有可能刺激他们作出攻击性回应。”

  In one study by Tortoriello, participants imagined their partner was engaging in various types of infidelity. Some of the imaginary infidelities were based on emotional experiences; your partner talking late at night on the phone with another person and responds to their text rather than yours.

  在托尔托列洛的一项研究中,他让参与者想象其伴侣的各种形式的不忠行为。有些人的想象是基于过往的感情经验;有的想像伴侣和电话那头的人畅聊到深夜,只回别人信息而不回自己的信息。

  “Grandiose narcissists wanted to assert power and control over their relationships when there was a threat of emotional infidelity,” says Tortoriello. “This took the form of verbal threats, physical threats, surveillance – remember these were hypothetical responses to imaginary situations. What we didn’t find is that those infidelity threats aroused more negative emotions.”

  托尔托列洛说:“如有感情出轨的威胁,夸张自恋者会强势反应,力图控制二人的感情关系。这类人往往会通过言语威胁、肢体威胁、监视等方式来控制对方,不过要记住,这仅仅是在假定的场景之中他们想象的反应。那时我们没有发现,不忠的威胁会引起人们更加负面的情绪。”

  Vulnerable narcissists after emotional infidelity spent more time worrying and had more negative emotions. They took the infidelity personally.

  历经伴侣感情出轨的脆弱自恋者,会长时间心情忧郁,并会有更多的负面情绪。他们会将伴侣的不忠归因于自身问题。

  In clinical terms, diagnoses of narcissism as a pathological disorder tend to be black and white – you are either a narcissist or you are not. Most behavioural psychologists like Tortoriello view narcissism as a sliding scale – everyone can be judged to have some of these qualities to a greater or lesser extent. In this study, he was specifically looking at people who were above average for these traits but who were not necessarily pathologically narcissistic.

  临床上,诊断病理学自恋是比较二元的,此人要么是自恋者,要么就不是。包括托尔托列洛在内的大多数行为心理学家认为,自恋更像是一杆游标卡尺,所有人或多或少都有些自恋的特征。这项研究中,自恋特征高于平均值的受访者正是托尔托列洛的重点研究对象,但这些人也不是说已经达到了病理性自恋的程度。

  “If you are in a relationship with one of these people and cheat sexually, it pretty much looks like they are trying to assert dominance and that will manifest in fairly destructive behaviours, but it gets more complicated with emotional infidelity,” says Tortoriello. “Vulnerable narcissists may not communicate to you that there are these concerns around their relationship and there is turmoil in the relationship. If I were to propose an intervention I would say finding ways to cultivate communication in specifically these relationships where there are a lot of internalised negative emotions is important.”

  他说:“如果有人和自恋者相爱,却又和他人发生性关系,那么自恋者很有可能要诉诸控制权,会以极具破坏性的行为来表达。但如果是感情出轨,事情会变得更加复杂。脆弱自恋者可能不会与伴侣沟通,他们不会将情感关系中的担忧和焦虑同他人诉说。如果要我出主意,我会建议要找到办法养成沟通的习惯。对一方独自承受负面情绪的情感关系,沟通尤其重要。”

  Forgiveness is most likely when cheating is an isolated incident and when an apology is offered. Though, Tortoriello and Boon reiterate that people react very differently in hypothetical situations and in reality. “Unanimously people say they would break up with someone for cheating but in reality it is not how people respond,” says Boon. “Sometimes it's the end of marriages but not always.”

  如果出轨只是个别事件,那么只要一方道歉,我们认为是很容易被原谅的。然而,托尔托列洛和伯恩表示,假设情景和人们的真实反应是截然不同的。伯恩表示:“假设情景中,大家都认为自己会因遭到背叛而选择结束这段关系。但现实并非如此。有人会离婚,也有人会继续走下去。”

  Tortoriello has started to think about collecting real life data and is keen to explore the version of events from both sides of a couple. Do our partners think we’re being more unfaithful than we do? Do they see cheating where others see harmless flirting?

  托尔托列洛打算着手收集现实生活中的数据。同时也对出轨伴侣中,双方如何看待的方式十分感兴趣。比如伴侣是否会过分放大对方的不忠行为?或其他人眼中的调情,在伴侣眼里是否已是感情不忠?

  One thing to consider is that although the lifetime prevalence of infidelity is high – it will probably happen to many people at some point – the odds in any particular year are probably quite low. It doesn’t seem particularly pressing to talk about it right now.

  我们还有一件事情要考虑在内。虽然人一生对伴侣不忠的几率很高,很多人在某些时候都会出现不忠的情况,但是计算一个人在特定某一年的出轨几率,这个数字或许就会小上很多。那么,当下谈论出轨也就没那么迫切了。

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