Cheating in a marriage: the rights and wrongs

Posted by Lakshmi Gopal on Thu, Jan 27, 2011  
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Is cheating on a disinterested, irresponsible, boring spouse, good for a marriage gone sour? Does it give the partner, who has been at the receiving end, the much-needed boost in order to pull through a marriage that has nothing left to offer? Today, many men and women would answer to these questions in the affirmative.


Why, in any case, would anyone want to pull through a marriage that is just not working? The answers are many, the main ones being: securing finances and family ties. Also, many people feel the need to save face in society, as they are unable to bear the ‘social stigma’ of a divorce.


Those who believe that a social stigma is at work against people who are divorced, prefer to rot in a living hell in their current relationships. Worse, they sometimes entertain thoughts of blood and gore (read murder or suicide) which is definitely not advisable. The best strategy for them should be, to end the whole thing amicably and part ways.


So, what could be the third alternative, when parting ways or a violent end to the relationship is not desirable or possible? It would be, to find one’s own island of love and peace, that one can escape to, from time to time. The island is usually reigned over by a god or a goddess of love, depending on one’s preference. There is much gaiety, fun and frolic there.


The island is a real, tangible, material and a mind space. Here, one finds intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic stimulation. It is the fountainhead that nourishes the seeds of future aims and aspirations. The few idyllic hours spent there, gives one inner strength and puts one back on track. One is rejuvenated and feels ready to hit the real world again.


A lot of my friends and acquaintances are women stranded with alcoholic husbands, men stranded with shopaholic wives, or simply two different people accidentally married to each other. They don’t have ideal family lives, and they grin and bear it with a ‘I’m fine’ look. They smother themselves with work and socializing, seeking relief from an overly harsh domestic life that hasn't helped them grow as individuals. They try to create an externally fulfilling material life, while their inner world wastes away.


Is there anything wrong with seeking out a brief rendezvous with the one you love? The ‘wrong’ may be when you want your god or goddess to join you in the real world, or vice-versa. It is very important to tread the fine line of balance between the family and the relationship. Don’t make the ideal become real, and don’t let the real catch up with the ideal. Don’t let the island of peace dissolve in the unrelenting glare of reality.


What’s important about having a relationship outside marriage is: never ignore the family at the cost of the relationship and don’t bring the ‘other’ relationship into the ambit of family life.


Value your relationship tremendously, because it is that which keeps you going as a human being, gives you self-esteem, shows you love and rebuilds your imagination. It may seem like an endless pursuit, a mirage in a desert, but imagine what man would do without the mirage!


Keep your hopes and dreams for a better life alive within yourself. Keep your heart-and-mind space where it should be – within you and outside the boundaries of the family house. Take care of your relationship - and you will draw immense happiness from it as long as it lasts.


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