Life and marriage don’t workout like they do in the movies. Modern life conspires to make marriage harder than ever. This leads us to today’s model, self-expressive marriage, wherein the average modern married person is looking not only for love from their spouse but for a sense of personal fulfilment. People seem to be increasingly looking to their marriage to help them meet idiosyncratic, self expressive needs. People are not just looking for intense, physical and emotional connections with their partners but also economic stability, family values, societal acceptance and all traditional marriage related factors. Having such diverse expectations from one person is a tad bit unfair and not entirely feasible to fulfil. This is one of the reasons why “modern” marriages have become so difficult.
Even if one does have all almost all of the above in a partner, one still finds people seeking for something outside of their marriage. And then you hear those three words ……………E-X-T-R-A…M-A-R-I-T-A-L…A-F-F-A-I-R…….and the saga of Pati, Patni aur WOH ! continues….
Today regardless of their socio-economic background, it seems that people all around are having extra marital affairs. With some it really seemed like things were going great in their marriage, so when you hear, it does come to you as a shock. You can’t help but wonder…….WHY ??? Something obviously went wrong somewhere. Has it always been so ? Did people hush it all up in the olden days ? It’s just that we hear and see much more nowadays as more and more people are expressing it openly.
A very successful man, married to a beautiful woman, an enviable couple and were cynosure of all eyes. When people started giving her too much attention wherever they went he began to feel uncomfortable and insecure. He then started ill-treating her and isolated her completely. To make things worse came the news that he was cheating on her and soon he was moving from one woman to another which left her with no option but to keep her dignity and move out. Why did the man stray ? Was it due to his value system, his family background or his psychodynamic structure.
The woman could be everything wonderful and the man may still stray. The old saying “keep-your-husband-happy-so-he-won’t-stray” puts too much burden on a woman. I do feel that people can create a pattern in marriage that is not enhancing, and the man instead of dealing with the dissatisfaction and complex within himself and trying to work on the relationship, escapes it and goes some place else to feel better about himself. Do people even try to understand or identify with what is making them seek outside of their marriage when in actuality it is something lacking within them.
An instance of a lovely couple with two kids, they seemed like a perfect family to all until one fine day the wife decided to elope with the man’s friend. This man was in complete shock and could not comprehend why would his wife want to leave him for a loser. What do you think lured her to take this step – was it physical dissatisfaction, an emotional disconnect or did she feel the husband stopped loving her ?
Another couple who had an early marriage, where the wife found out that her husband was cheating on her. She was so devastated that she decided she will get back at him and had an affair to seek revenge. Having gone through all they are still in the marriage due to kids, societal and family pressures. So was this revenge sex on her part ? Contrary to what people assume extra marital affairs are neither rare nor exclusively male behaviour, nor is it certain to end a marriage. Statistics show that women infidelity are swiftly catching up to those of men and chances of a marriage surviving are less where the woman is having an affair.
Oh and there is much more where the partners are in an open marriage and both know about their respective affairs yet continuing to live together. For what sake is this one fails to understand. So is this a kind of a convenient arrangement ? This is not a marriage for sure though it may have been in the early stages but now seems like they are putting up a facade for the society. Our society gives lip service to monogamy but actually supports affairs through role models, advertisements, TV, news, media, literature and of course the movies.
Although monogamy is still a cultural norm in many parts of the world, a huge percentage of men and women end up having an affair at sometime in their lives. The reality one has to accept is monogamy is not in our nature. We have just been conditioned into believing that we are monogamous. The nature of attraction has to do with a fact that people want it all.
The biggest threat to modern marriages are the internet and the online affairs. The internet and its booming pornographic and sexual businesses have probably contributed to not only to an epidemic of online affairs but to real life affairs as well. The internet population seems to be exploring sexuality in ways that are unprecedented. So what is the sine qua non of an affair ? The common belief is that affairs are about sex but in fact affairs are most often about secrecy, emotional intimacy and sexual chemistry. No marriage is immune from affairs. Most couples survive the affair rather than end up in a divorce. In spite of extra marital issues it is possible for marriages to survive and grow stronger when the coupe deals with it constructively by facing it, apologising and ultimately forgiving. Truth is that without conscious effort, marriages can stagnate. All in all I feel marriage is still a wonderful experience…….