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January 10 , 2010

For Fidelity

How Intimacy and Commitment Enrich Our Lives


In this direct, eloquent, unabashed argument on behalf of sexual fidelity – its meaning, its blessing, its rewards, its necessity – Catherine Wallace addresses a major concern of our time.
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At a time when emotional commitments are increasingly nervous, fragile, and short-lived, Wallace's vision of faithful lovers – with its aura of warmth, calm, and emotional continuity – is almost shockingly attractive.

Speaking to heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, she reminds us how deeply the powerful physical tempest that is sexual desire is connected to heart and soul, how immediately and profoundly it spirals to the core of our very identity; how reductive casual sex can be, how easily it can mute, indeed injure, the capacity for ultimate sexual happiness that exists only within the full development of true intimacy – intimacy that arises as fidelity is established and a promise is kept.

What's the difference between fidelity and repression or mere sexual exclusivity? How can people stay faithfully married for decades, while continuing to grow – and to change – as individuals? How do we help our sons and daughters sort through the conflicting messages about sexuality with which they are bombarded from childhood? The author's responses to these and other questions powerfully suggest to us that honor and courage, commitment and kindness to self and others, are indeed within our reach.

Catherine Wallace's gentle, moving, and persuasive argument for fidelity as the core of an entire way of being again and again draws assent from the reader – and provides, at last, a mode of talking with our children about a subject crucial to their success in achieving the fulfilled lives we so fervently wish for them.

From the Hardcover edition.
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