EXTRA MARITAL AFFAIRS – Do they always equate to CHEATING IN A MARRIAGE?
Trust a millennial to give a brutally honest review on the concept of marriage. Whilst a sizable proportion of the present generation may have reportedly experienced being raised in single families or witnessed their parents separating early on, does it really take away from the stereotyped, sweeping you off your feet and making you go weak in your knees kind of a ‘happily ever after’? Yes, we all want to preserve our ideas of true and eternal love resulting in a rock-solid marriage ‘till death do us apart’.
Honesty, integrity and commitment- they are undoubtedly the three pillars on which a successful marriage is based. With spouses becoming more vocal about their needs and wants, do you think there has been a rise in the prevalence of extramarital affairs? Now, now! Irrespective of whether you decide to call it quits once the betrayal has been revealed or you decide to take the high road and work through your issues, the very essence of infidelity is akin to be thronged in a messy rut.
DECODING THE INFIDELITY THAT COMES WITH EXTRA MARITAL AFFAIRS
Don’t we all remember the sullen look in George Clooney’s eyes, when he found out that his dying wife and the mother of his children was cheating on him in the Oscar-winning film The Descendants? Utterly devastating, wasn’t it? The insurmountable pain and anguish that he must have experienced in that moment cannot even be fathomed.
Coming back, marriage is seen as a lifelong commitment, where you decide to share your life with your better half for the rest of your life. Unwavering faith, loyalty and trust are the keystones to it. And, rightly so! A daunting territory to set foot on, does the moral clause associated with it deem it as accurate or inaccurate? Well, well! A highly contested topic, extramarital affairs involve any kinds of illicit romantic or sexual relationship or romantic friendships causing obstacles between both the partners.
Yes, we may shun this reality, and probably accuse the ‘other woman or man’, but if we really come to think of it, there are three lives that are uprooted; that of the husband, wife and the outsider. A largely frowned upon concept; adultery ranges from lust, love, emotions, resentment to even revenge alliances.
Unlike popular stereotypes, many telling signs could be hinting at trouble in your paradise. And, it’s extremely important to watch out for them. That being said, lassies, do not always go by these textbook criteria, and unnecessarily create an atmosphere of mistrust and indignation.
Read on to know more. Just as earth-shattering the news may seem when it’s revealed, it’s filled with inadmissible guilt, hurt and trauma. Imagine being betrayed by the one person you love the most; that someone special whom you share your life with or even created one.
Without a plausible explanation, have you noticed your partner’s schedule changing drastically, wherein they have started staying out more than usual? In no way are we trying to misrepresent people who work hard, but there is a difference between having a deadline at work till it culminates into a pattern. Does your partner shower you with an overdose of gifts or emotions? Well, dearies, they may be overcompensating out of guilt or that moral compass that may be oscillating. They probably know that it’s not okay to cheat, but does the phrase, ‘the heart wants what it wants’ takes over. Is that truly palpable? From being unreachable or unapproachable, which is unhealthy for a couple, they may suddenly detract your sexual liaisons, for they are getting it elsewhere. On the other hand, it is believed that guilt-ridden people may also increase their lovemaking.
Moreover, they may cling onto their phones, letting out that smirk while texting; start immaculately grooming themselves because it’s their period of blossoming. Another characteristic that stings your relationship would probably be that they remove lesser time than usual, setting you to experience a vicious cycle of self-doubt, desolation, despair, and inevitably, fights. Isn’t it ironic that the person who is supposed to make you feel safe and true to yourself, actually arouses your guards, probably even getting ridiculously defensive or chiding you for being an overthinker?
With them being withdrawn, you’re desperately seeking an ‘in’ into their daily lives because they don’t bother to disclose the details anymore. It’s probably the lover whose status has risen in prominence. Entrenching further distress upon the relationship, these infidels may displace their fear of getting caught by turning the tables on you, suggesting that you’re probably the one who’s cheating.
Lastly, taking time to show the cracks, one of the worst forms of infidelity is emotional adultery. Yes, you may raise an eyebrow in bewilderment, but isn’t there always a difference in what you share with a friend and a spouse. It’s all about maintaining boundaries, honey!
PROBABLE REASONS FOR AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR
Although we may have created a scenario of treading on a thorn-filled path, where things may end devastatingly or in a horrid manner, with children being torn apart, do you feel that sometimes you may find ‘the one’ in a bittersweet juxtaposition? In a bid to protect our dreamscape of what a happy marriage should look like, are we unknowingly being despicable where we lose sight of its essence? Calling out to all our Grey’s Anatomy fans, didn’t Dr. Derek Shepherd find his true love after an affair while he elongated his failed marriage? And, poor Meredith isn’t it?
But then, wasn’t he a classic example of ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater?’ Personally, we feel that it would be absolutely wrong to generalize as there may be other factors involved. Sandy (name changed) just underwent a divorce with her husband of ten years because he cheated on her with a colleague. Sounds like a clichéd ruse, but was it acceptable? Hell, no! In a regrettable moment of pure lust, her husband gave in, deciding not to ever indulge afterwards. Are such ‘spur of the moments’ scenarios even acceptable in such scenarios?
Putting a stench on womanhood, wouldn’t we all feel disrespected and betrayed because we’re not only talking of ten years of love, but it equates to ten years of building a home or a foundation, creating a picture-perfect, loving family together and building dreams to chase together! Damn, being livid is an understatement. While we may have to deal with an undeserving present, what about the uncertainties of the future?
Having said this, there may be reasons for such a decision, which may probably be beyond our realm of understanding. Often times, we may realize that we are living quietly, but despairingly in a loveless marriage, with zilch compatibility. While the couple may be sharing the same postal address, are they really sharing a wholesome and fulfilling life together? Ask a top marketing honcho about his experience of enduring such an unsatisfying marriage, where his wife and he were so incompatible that they would have friends over on weekends after a long ‘busy as bee’ weeks that would lead them to avoid spending time together. Finally finding love outside, his wife met an artist and started quite a “scandalous affair”. Yes, they may not have stayed in the marriage for the right reasons, but is this so called sanctity worth it? In these contemporary times, when divorces are being normalized, should we not liberate ourselves and set free due to the gravely embedded patriarchy?
Speaking of a patriarchal society like ours, where women continue to flourish and find their voice, the misogynistic reality of domestic violence still prevails. Especially rampant in rural areas, you’ll probably witness women enduring these atrocious and abusive marriages due to the lack of financial independence and security. Their husbands often batter them psychologically and physically leaving them bruised and scarred. But, often struggling by themselves, they aren’t confident enough to start on their own. Even happening in affluent families, who remembers the gravely displaced family set up in Dil Dhadakne Do? While his wife may have possessed all the luxuries, she decided to stay put because like her son exclaimed, “She didn’t have anywhere to go”. And that’s just disturbing. As women, we too need to take control of our lives.
You may find this flabbergasting, but the unfaithful partners may enter through these forbidden gates because they may have a terribly low sense of self-esteem, where they need to seek validation from others. And, what better way to satisfy that drive than to feel desirable and attractive? From anger to neglect and fading love to low commitment levels, sometimes it may take a lifetime to fathom these acts breaking our very notions of romanticism.
Well, well! In a happier light, those affected due to infidelity may choose to work through their issues with the help of a marriage or a relationship counsellor. Working through the tears and the deception, if a couple decides to save and re-kindle their lives, the zest and passion is testified to have increased manifold. However, it takes a long time to reach that state of bliss, and an even longer time to rebuild that trust. While this testing time may be unfair, but the meandering partner isn’t exactly in a position to command, right? Beyonce and Jay-Z, Hillary and Bill Clinton (astonishing right) and Kevin Hart and Eniko Parish are just a few shining examples of the same.
Finally, even though we may not know the actual reason for an otherwise wonderful marriage hitting rock-bottom, but at the end of the day, a marriage that may be a holy union between two souls can break up! And for reasons best remaining between the couple, that is okay, but an extramarital affair is a hard-hitting no! Fair motives or not, that’s when the feeling of its pious virtue should be considered.