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Loyalty in a marriage is important to me, so I am unable to reconcile with the ease with which people go in for infidelity – even in good marriages! A personal look.
Most people these days are exceptionally busy and are on the go, all the time. Technology seems to have made our lives easier and has supposedly brought people closer (more so if people are living miles away from us). Modern amenities which were luxuries not so long ago are a necessity now. Our lives have altered in ways our ancestors couldn’t have imagined.
But along with that our priorities and values also have changed.
A successful career, a wonderful family, a beautiful house and a good bank balance; seems like a content and balanced life, a dream one! Yet, with everything working out in their favors, certain people look and seek pleasure outside their marriage too. Maybe such things did happen in the past too. But I presume that they have just increased over time. At times, this freaks me out. I do not wish to pinpoint either of the genders or hold one of them responsible for the infidelity issues in marriage.
When I read or hear of such instances, I am rendered speechless and wonder about a few things. True that such incidents are not really a surprise anymore, still they leave me bewildered.
1) What about the institution of marriage, in all? Is it not sacred anymore? When two people get married, they vow to stand by each other in thick and thin. In most cases, they do. What then makes one of them look beyond their spouse and seek someone else? Years of love, affection and everything else, lost for a few moments of pleasure.
2) I have heard of cases where it’s just a one-off incident. The person just chose to have sex with someone other than the spouse, just for the experience of it or feel of it or the variety of it. But for some of them, it is a regular thing, with different partners. My question then is; here is a person who has lived with you for a decade or more and stood by in all your difficult times, given you strength, encouraged you and helped you overcome your troubles. But you choose to have physical relationship with others too. After doing so, when you come back and share a bed with your own spouse, is there even any remorse or any guilt about it? And does your spouse deserve this after all that he or she has done for you?
Definitely a physical relationship is not the basis of a successful marriage but here it is purely breach of trust. The trust that your spouse bestowed upon you when you got married to each other and of the belief that there would be no one more important than your husband or wife, as the case maybe.
There would also be situations where a spouse is deeply and emotionally involved with another person and the partner is absolutely unaware of this. Ignorance is bliss in such cases.
But coming back to the same question again, how can one come back to the spouse at home, after spending moments of love with someone else? Isn’t there any realization at all, of the unfaithfulness and betrayal of trust, or is it just too easy to be ignored? Why then live the life of farce? Why not just make peace with the situation and let go of one and choose the other?
All the excuses of children in the marriage, societal pressure etc seem absolutely baseless to me. If someone has the guts to go and have a relationship outside marriage, they should have the spine to call off the marriage also. It is better to pursue a genuine relationship with one of them, than fool both of them.
As we grow older, our views on many things in life change. And the one question that I always have when I read about infidelity, is ‘How would these people who indulge in acts of disloyalty feel if the same thing was handed out to their own children? If their children fell victim to a spouse who cheated on them?’
Having said that, I also feel that maybe it is our commitments to our career, stress due to personal and professional reasons, lack of time and sometimes an emotional disconnect with one’s spouse which may be some of the reasons why the same is sought outside marriage. I cannot be judgmental about people’s actions and the reasons behind them. Yet it still seems unfair that all the time and effort that are spent over the years in nurturing a marital relationship is given up for momentary pleasure or something that is short-term.
Maybe an extra marital affair and a relationship outside marriage is a normal thing these days. But it is personally unacceptable to me because I belong to the old school. Luckily, I have people around me, in their 40s, who still are loyal to their partners to the core. These are the people who strengthen my belief that marriage is for keeps and not just a societal norm.
Header image from the movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kahna