>Are we okay with adultery too?


We go through our social lives pretending that these things don’t happen with people we know. We pretend that the “other woman” who is always seen with the couple is just a friend when we know she isn’t. We pretend that the reason why we’ve distanced ourselves from the boy whom we used to call a friend is not that he’s been cheating on his wife. We pretend it doesn’t bother us when it evidently does. And how can it not? Can we be so broadminded so as to not care that our friend’s husband may be cheating on her?

Apparently, I’m not supposed to raise my eyebrows in surprise when I hear that someone’s wife has been sleeping around with someone else. I’m supposed to mind my own business, ignore and not get judgemental. But these are not people I read about in magazines, these are not people I see in the paper. It’s not like I’m not talking about Saif Ali Khan leaving his wife for a younger woman. These are people I know, whom I meet, who’ve attended parties at my place and invited me to theirs. How can I not judge them?

Tell me also, how I can see married people hooking up with their friends’ wives/husbands and be okay with it? And dismiss the whole thing by saying, “What’s new?” I wasn’t brought up to think adultery is okay and I’m finding it hard to condition myself to believe that. And if it is acceptable to me – all this adultery that I see around me – I shouldn’t be surprised if it happens to me as well. Because I’m married too and it could very easily be me or my husband instead of that man or woman.

There used to be a time when I felt secure in the knowledge that no matter how much somebody flirted with my husband, they would know when to stop because he’s married. Or that my husband would know when to stop. I felt safe indulging in some harmless flirting myself because I thought nobody would misconstrue it to be anything else but that – harmless flirting. But I can no longer look at the picture the same way – because it seems so easy for people to take that flirting just a little bit forward and then still more till it becomes something totally unacceptable – for me at least.

It doesn’t matter how many incidents of this kind I see or hear of – it will still be something that evokes mixed emotions in me: from anger and surprise to bewilderment and repulsion. Two wrongs don’t make a right. And just because someone’s wife chooses to ignore how her husband manages his mistress, and someone’s husband is okay with his wife having a physical relationship with another man doesn’t mean it should be okay for me too. I mean, there has to be a full stop somewhere, some place where we draw the line and say no more.

I still attach some amount of sanctity to the institution of marriage. And even though I understand it’s futile to be in a loveless marriage or that a marriage may be beset with other more complicated problems leading people to act the way they do, I do not understand adultery. And such blatant display of it as I see around me now is unsettling.

I can give my husband as much space as he wants but I can’t give him enough space to go ahead and find a girl friend for himself. I will be jealous if he showers one woman with too much attention and I will be insecure if that woman makes eyes at him. Even if it’s all in jest! I will not have someone swooning over my man and be proud he’s so charming. I might be a little proud but I’ll also be a typical wife and make sure that that someone keeps her distance from him. My relationship with my husband is still not so evolved that I’d be able to share him with another woman. And I don’t think it ever will be. Thankfully.


35 responses »

  1. >This post is so after my own heart, had done one on the same topic just a while back. I am really surprised at the loose talk I hear about extra marital affairs all around. I see regular people like me taking it so lightly, so easily, it scares me , really does, because to me marriage is sacred and it is for keeps, and I expect others to respect this sanctity too. I just cannot take adultery lightly, with a cup of tea, just cannot do it. Somethings in life are beyond frivolity.

  2. >No, we’re definitely NOT ok with adultery. I totally understand ur surprise and bewilderment, as I’ve had the same emotions myself…on a lesser scale. Even if u’re not married yet, but in a committed relationship with someone, cheating is something which I feel is an absolute NO-NO! I really do not understand the casual attitude towards cheating, when it is clearly a betrayal of someone’s trust and faith in a person. I thoroughly and strongly condemn it.I’m not married yet, not even in a relationship, but I know myself as a person…and I’m VERY possessive. I will definitely not tolerate someone all over my husband/boyfriend. So I understand and salute your stand! You’re absolutely right!Keep Writing! Love reading ur stuff!

  3. >Adultery is something which i just cant accept.I am unmarried, but even then i know what marriage demands and what my wife wud expect from me..I too see such kind of relationships around me.At the end of the day we do nothing except ignoring/gossiping about them..! What can we do?

  4. >well D, i also so totally believe infidelity is an absolute no no! if there are problems in the marriage which cannot be worked out, they should just sepearte and then lead their promiscuous lives if they have to!you know i think even magazines and news papers these days talk about such things so cooly! they call it living it up! spicing up your life!since when did sleeping around become a cool thing to do?!since when did i become a boring aunty because i belive in mongamy?great post D!cheers!abha

  5. >he he, u re making post in a way that i feel writing a comment as long as ur post and I like it. And, again , i m coming with my European point of view, sorry :(I m pretty straight forward in many things, i m completely against adultery specially when married.Now, my dad left my mum for somebody else yep, I think by the fact my mum was a mother before a wife she managed pretty well the separation, it would have been my case I would have been different. In France, marriage is less popular, so in case somebody s is cheating it s easier to dump him and even if we are married, divorce is the marriage 🙂 it s easier to get divorce in France and it s not a big deal compare to India.I guess some people well woman will stay with her husband even if they know he s cheating because of the culture, the family, religion etc etc, we have the tendency to be more selfish in Europe, we don t live with our husband and his family so in a way it s easier for us to get divorced. We sometimes don t even try to make it work at all. Well in my case, I think if he have done it once, even if apologies I m not sure he wont do it twice!There is also the fact of the arranged marriage, u know here we mostly get married 2-5 years after we start dating/living together, we have better chance to know each other rather than an arranged marriage where (as far as know) u meet (sometimes not) chat, talk a bit, exchange photos, not much deeper like intimate stuff which i think (only my opinion) is as much as important than the rest. I don t see myself spending 40 years with a man that i don t have chemistry with (intimately speaking)!It was a great post, do u mind if i blogrolled u?C.

  6. >very fair………but for most people, the tag of “marriage” has not stopped them from going further with someone from the opposite sex.I am very much against divorce, but two areas when i am PRO divorce is abuse and adultry

  7. >@GM: Exactly my point. How can we treat such stuff normally?@Neha: Thank you Neha. Readers like you keep me going!@Insane: I don't know what we can do except not encourage it.@Abha: I agree. The media has talked about these things so much that we may be inclined to think it's so prevalent, it must be acceptable.@Cess: Adultery is committed irrespective of arranged or self-arranged marriage. So I don't think that argument holds true here. And how a person reacts to his or her spouse's adultery is a different matter altogether. How somebody accepts a spouse who has cheated on her is not what I'm talking about – I'm talking about that act of adultery itself. Though I must admit that you may be right as far as Indian men and women's willingness to continue being in a loveless marriage goes.And of course, please go ahead and blogroll me :)@Scribblers Inc: You need a moral to every story? I don't have one. I just have my opinion.@unsung & Mac: My problem is not just with cheating, it's also with being expected to treat it as acceptable.

  8. >D, People are talking about it so calmly and casually everywhere, that it just seems like the most normal thing to happen. There is no longer the shock or stigma attached to adultery and that’s cause for great concern. The day we think of it as normal, that’s what it will be. Though the social structures have changed so drastically, selfishness has become so predominant, that commitments of any kind have no value if it causes personal inconvenience of any sort. And this is visible in every sphere of the person’s life. I am expected to laugh of any attempts made to flirt by or with my husband, if not I am low on the cool quotient. How can adultery be cool?

  9. >Adultery…never ever acceptable..be it in a married realtionship or in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship…what is the point in having two or more partners..?i never understand…i havent come across any such instances in married people..but from your description, its gaining acceptance in indian culture too..i wonder how it is getting popularity…i feel one reason for that will be that before marriage the couples are unknown to each other..i mean i believe without knowing your would-be , atleast for an year or two or three, people jump into marriages..and then later they get into such troubles…anyways, i always prefer to know a person totally and let my would-be know me personally and then get married… then i feel, one life is not enough to live together happily..!!:)

  10. >I don’t think adultery is acceptable at all. It is possible that the couples you saw accepting it have no choice, maybe the wife is not economically independent or the husband fears he will not be bale to raise the kids on his own, or might lose their custody to wife, no couple would accept adultery lightly.If I find a friend’s husband is having an affair- I will make sure she comes to know, either directly and if that is for some reason not possible, then whichever way possible.

  11. >Not okay at all D! We had this discussions sometime back at TheMadMomma’s and I also remember watching an NDTV show – in both places I read/heard a comment on the lines of ‘Everyone cheats’ or something like that. It scared me and also annoyed me. Scared me, making me wonder if this is the kind of society we live in. And annoyed me to have such presumptions made about my husband and myself.Thankfully not all of us think this way. So your post made me smile too!

  12. >Thanks much :)Hmm ya .. It surprises me when I look around me in the US. People making mockery of their marriage lives.. I guess it will be atleast another generation of ours that has to pass by to be OK with adultery. Forget husbands, even if someone you like go out with someone else, it brings the worst out of you!

  13. >totally with you on this. Infidelity of any kind(mental, physical) is so not acceptable D. I`ve known people who are in multiple relationships – married ppl. It angers me.Upsets me.But there`s nothing I can do. Its a choice ppl make. But its definitely not something I can/will ever relate to. Misunderstandings and squabbles in a marriage is normal. That doesnt mean that one should go running into the arms of a stranger to find solace. I mean cmon! We`re humans after all. If God didnt want us to ‘mate’ for life, he wouldve made us animals huh? Btw, thanks for asking how I`m doing. Its means a lot to me 🙂

  14. >I think the last line should read ‘devolved’..relationships are not supposed to evolve into including a third person. It has a lot to do with perceived ‘coolness’. I see a friend with another man’s husband, well sorry, but I am not THAT cool. I have a problem with it and since it is my problem I can be cool enough to not get stuck in with her to discuss it, but not cool enough to say ‘whatever you want ‘babe”!

  15. >This topic scares, and worries me, but I do want to leave a comment here. Been married for over 30 years. Never accepted it and so never thought about it. Humans are the most evolved animals – we have a powerful brain, unlike other animals.D: Maybe its got something to do with what one is willing to accept. Every action, including adultery, starts with a thought. If you accept and nurture the thought, it leads to words – flirtations, in this case. Once you accept this, then action will follow in due course. That’s the human journey – starts with a thought, to word, and finally to action. One has a choice of nipping the thought in the bud or nipping the behaviour at the second stage. Many a times, at weak moments, one’s mind may try to explore issues that are not acceptable. That’s when, I believe, willpower can be used. This is what God has given us willpower for, I suppose. The human mind is a devil and can lead one totally astray, IF YOU LET IT. Mind is the most difficult to conquer. There is a beautiful song from film Guddi that says ‘Hum ko man ki shakti dena, man vijay karein…….’ Sorry, rather long.

  16. >Okay, I know most people won’t like what I’m saying but there are people who have open relationships where each of the partners accept each others philandering. Let’s face it, human beings are animals and some people are not able to control their urge. Open relationships work because the partners have a emotional connection with each other and just see other people for sex. Most of the time anyway. It works for some people and it doesn’t work for others. Personally, I think cheating on someone without their prior knowledge is horrendous and unpardonable.

  17. >well….I am surprised to see there are people who actually are ok with adultery??Can anyone ever be that secure in a relationship that they would let another person share their partner??sends a shiver down my spine..If it ain’t working, end it….but to cheat while committed is just the biggest disrespect you can show to the partner or the relationship…

  18. >@GM: “I am expected to laugh of any attempts made to flirt by or with my husband, if not I am low on the cool quotient.” I think about that too – this whole idea of being a modern woman which does not give me the freedom to say I don’t like this flirting. If I do, I’m seen as encroaching on my husband’s space and he’s seen as the henpecked husband.@Vinz: Interestingly, the people I know who’ve got into “such troubles” are people who married for love. They weren’t in arranged marriages. So I don’t think that argument holds true.@Unsungpsalm: True. And it’s certainly not cool!@IHM: I really don’t think there’s a rationale for this. I know very independent, capable, good-looking women with no children deal with adultery. Or indulge in it too. @Aneri: Lol! Yeah, me too @Devaki: Everyone cheats?! I obviously don’t count.@Vinod: Yeah, perhaps.@Piper: Sometimes, these things happen in perfect relationships too. They call it boring and decide to look for some variety to spice up their lives. Not done!@How do we know: Really? You’re so off the mark!@Roop: And say you’re friends despite the differences.

  19. >@Morpheus: Totally with you.@Monika: I thank my lucky stars too that I’m only a spectator.@JPJ: Words of wisdom. But somehow I don’t agree with this willpower thing on this issue. Infidelity is not just physical. If you have to quell emotions for someone else because you’re in a marriage, that marriage cannot work for me! In fact emotional infidelity is worse because it means your heart is not in this relationship. @Ramby: That’s what we like to think. Open relationships work only upto a point. Beyond that, there are troubled waters. I’m not going to disagree with you totally – because there are people who are okay with their partners going and sleeping with someone else. But it’s also true that in the longer run, insecurities do surface and such relationship cannot continue for too long.@Chandni: Also, how can we as friends and acquaintances be okay with it as well? Beyond me!

  20. >The way I deal with this is… if they don’t attach value to their marriages/relationships, so be it. But I DO attach value to my relationship, its sanctity and fidelity – if someone misses that and tries to violate it, they’ll be in DEEP SHIT indeed!So when girls hit on the Boy, I’m exceedingly annoyed and instantly make my presence felt. But I trust him – because he’s even more violently against infidelity than I am. And that’s saying a lot. I can understand adultery – and it’s different for every person – but I still don’t condone it. So no, in spite of being of the young, “hip” generation, I’m NOT okay with adultery!

  21. >I agree with what you have said in this very well-written entry. The point I want to highlight is how COMMON and “easy” it has become to cheat on one’s partner in today’s world. People don’t think twice before accepting an extra-marital affair because it almost seems like “everyone is doing it”. (Of course that doesn’t make it okay, but it makes everyone think it’s not THAT bad if they indulge in a little bit of extra lovin’ themselves). What a screwed up way of thinking! Also, just a little experience I want to share… whenever I’m out with my girl friends at bars or clubs, it’s inevitable that sketchy guys will approach us. (You know the kind, hoping to find a contender for their one-night-stand) Anyway, I used to think that faking I had a boyfriend was enough to turn them away, but… nope. They just say, “So what? That doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun on the side.” When this technique didn’t work, I switched it around and lied that I was married and had a husband waiting for me at home. What shocks me is… this doesn’t work EITHER! I still get the same response, “So what? He won’t mind you having a little fun tonight.”?!?The world is so messed up.

  22. >I am surprised to learn that adultery and extra marital affairs are so common now. To me, adultery is not ok – I try not to judge others on choices they make but it’s definitely not OK with me. I live by some values and it scares me that some day these values and principles will just be passe!

  23. >A loveless marriage is devoid or romance and the little things of care and touch between two person. This can provoke extra-marital affair. Adultery is not an option, but a temptation which carries more pain than pleasure. Up to each to decide which way they want to go.

  24. >D: I concur with, and respect your sentiments.I too feel the same. However, I do know that everything in life is not always black and white. There are shades of grey too. What you say is theoretically absolutely correct. Practically though, I do believe there may be WEAK MOMENTS, due to any number of reasons – that’s when willpower is required to hold onto something that is dear to oneself.

  25. >I appreciate your sentiments, but I have a slightly different take on this matter.I try to live my own life by a high set of morals, but I do not judge other people's antics and actions, unless they try to harm me personally.I will never cheat or indulge in adultery myself, BUT, I won't really care about who is cheating on whom, unless they ask me to be a party to their cheating.It's very similar to my stand on smoking, excessive drinking and drugs. I don't indulge in any of these myself, but I don't go about sermonizing about the dangers of these 'vices' to some of my friends who do indulge in them, as long as they do not try to force me into any of these vices.I do not interfere in anyone else's personal life, and will not pass comments or judgment on anyone's character or behavior.People eventually will have to face the consequences of their actions.So in a nutshell, I am not okay with myself indulging in adultery, but I don't really bother about what others do 🙂

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