Gender- Check; Infidelity- Check For One And Not For Another?

Infedelity

Marriage is a communion of two souls, who promise to love each other forever, to behold and to not leave, to prosper and fail together, to cherish the presence and dread the absence, that’s what constitutes the sanctity of a marriage. To be together, without any inhibitions, and promising to stay true and together even while facing the roughest of storms. That’s the definition of marriage we have known since time immemorial. For some, marriage is about love, for some, it’s about family, nevertheless the definition remains intact.

One is expected to respect the other partner for his/her choices, lifestyle and for the self-integrity. Marriage is about protecting one another from the culpable society or from any bodily harm, and sometimes from one-another too.

Recently, I read an article that discussed infidelity among our Indian society, and how easily it is ignored and forgiven. Everyone is entitled to handle such serious matters as their perspectives allow them, and I am not going to challenge it. Some forgive and forget and some never do; some just end up getting divorced. Infidelity has different answers, and there’s no set notion on how to battle it. However, the shocking part of the article was how the infidelity that occurred on part of women is considered to be empowering and as a mean to explore the sexuality.

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I know we are highly sexist, misogynistic, judgmental, but now we have managed to become hypocritical too. For men indulging in infidelity, it’s breaker of families or they are labelled as ‘sex-addict’. However, a woman doing it would make her feel empowered and more embracing towards her sexuality. Yes, we possess bigotry standards and we know it.

Such unfair, and highly sexist glorification of women infidels highlight how the definition of empowerment is playing in the wrong hands, and how the term empowerment is being used to justify something as horrible as cheating.

Affairs are very, very destructive because the bond of trust is broken and it is a nasty thing to get involved in. One not just sacrifice the sanctity of the concept, but it also shatters the definition of marriage for people who are already questioning and don’t believe in it. Marriage is a beautiful thing to experience, and seeing it get ridiculed by infidelity, and for something as lucrative as sex, makes me doubt the entire essence of it.

Our very own Bollywood has never shied away from exploring this side of a marriage. Movies like Thank You, Masti, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Gharwali Bhahrwali, and many more have glorified cheating. While a wife or a husband is always a back-up option or infamously called as dal, those bonds found outside the marriage are incredibly sexy, lustful and fun and yes, of course, it’s a buffet, contrary to the plain old dal. As per the cue of taking revenge, people are beginning to glorify infidel women. Yes, the revenge is on, while one gets ridiculed for it, the other gets celebrated for it. 

It’s important to know that, while affairs can be incredibly sexy, compelling, addictive and renewing, most of them meet a horrific end. That’s because after the thrill wears off, most people recognize that everyone, even the affair partner, is a package deal. Because betrayal is so threatening to marriage and so devastating, many people feel they are losing their minds when they learn that their spouses have been cheating. They can’t eat, sleep, work, think, or function in any substantial way. This causes another layer of concern and self-doubt which often leads to depression and anxiety.

Gender no bar, cheating is devastating and is bad on both accounts. Accepting the idea of cheating for one is just demeaning and unacceptable on so many levels. Yes, it is their choice to indulge in it and shatter the respect of one’s love, but it is not their choice to alter the wrongdoings of the idea of infidelity or rather glorify it.

It would be wonderful if everyone upheld their marital vows, but the truth is, that doesn’t happen. It should, but it doesn’t.

Yugansha Malhotra

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The Viewspaper