The man married to sexpot chef Nigella Lawson believes that the 10th commandment is a "no-hoper" and is happy that his wife is – ahem – alluring to so many other men.
"Who would want to be married to someone who nobody coveted" Charles Saatchi asks in his new book, Be The Worst You Can Be: Life's Too Long For Patience & Virtue.
The co-founder of the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency, who married Ms. Lawson in 2003 after two previous marriages, argues in the book that the commandment, "thy shall not covet thy neighbour's wife," has no chance of success because "coveting is all everyone does, all the time, every day."
And it's practically what makes the world go round, according to Mr. Saatchi's view of the universe.
"It's what drives the world economy, pushes people to make a go of their lives, so that they can afford the executive model of their Ford Mondeo to park next to their neighbour's standard model. And who would want to be married to someone who nobody coveted?"
Some might interpret that notion as crass and shallow, but it's not as if he's saying that the only thing he likes about his wife is that her come-hither cookery attracts the attention, shall we say, of viewers. Instead, he's asking an honest question: Would you really want to be with someone who nobody else wanted to be with?
Perhaps you would. But it might actually help your relationship if you felt other people were interested in your partner.
A study conducted by Elizabeth Dunn, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, found that when married couples were separated and then told to interact with unmarried strangers, they were much more charming than they were with their spouses. When reunited and told to pretend they had just begun dating, the married couples showed a bit of that spark that had brought them together in the first place.
In other words, they put their best foot forward – the kind of foot that wins a mate over other desirous hearts, not the kind that wears comfy slippers around the house and takes it for granted that the competition is over so why bother turning on the romance any more?
"This is speculative, but it's quite conceivable to think that if people feel a little twinge of jealousy and feel that they have to actually work hard to keep their partner's attention, that could spur them to engage in positive self-presentation," Prof. Dunn told The Globe and Mail's Micah Toub.