10/13/2011 10:17 am ET Updated Dec 13, 2011

Is Cheating The Secret To A Happy Marriage?

In The Secret Lives of Wives, more than 200 women reveal to Iris Krasnow how they keep their relationships together, from separate vacations to 'boyfriends with boundaries.' But can a man on the side really help your marriage?

In the literary classics, the woman who dares betray her husband suffers a predictable fate: death, suicide, social condemnation. Anna Karenina famously threw herself in front of a train. Emma Bovary, from the 1856 Flaubert classic, was driven to swallow arsenic. And then, of course, there was poor Hester Prynne—branded with a scarlet letter for mothering a child with another man.

Today’s modern femme philanderers, if you believe a new book on the topic, seem to take it all in stride.

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