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Economics->MBA->Analyst->Business aaahh... Looks like a damn CV. Let me try again. Foodie-Moviefreak-Travel & Photography enthusiast->and of course a Blogger.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The disillusionment with infidelity

The other day, I accidently overheard a discussion between two ladies in the Delhi Metro, who were conspicuously talking about a couple who were still staying together and decided to continue their marriage, inspite of the fact that the husband was caught in an extra marital affair. The tone of their conversation displayed their hatred to the entire community of men who according to them were dogs and lacked any loyalty. They detested him even more because he was a father of two. However, they were all in good words for the wife who had showed supreme sacrifice and decided to remain in the marriage for the sake of their kids. So while, the husband represented the lows, the wife epitomized the highs of life.

It isn’t any news as such. Probably, with the passing days, such incidents are becoming more and more common, giving a big boost to the disposable income of the ones who were smart enough to spend their parent’s money on getting a degree in law. Infact with the relative ease of divorce laws, they are having a great time so to say. But somehow amidst all this, it still made me think on certain aspects of it.

Is infidelity always wrong and unjustified, no matter what the circumstances were? I had a chat with a female friend of mine and I sought for some answers and a point of view. What if one is not sexually satisfied either due to lack of it or incompatibility in the current marriage? Since she was relatively in the so called categories of people with modern thoughts, the way ahead, accordingly was to first seek a divorce and then venture for the sexual gratification mission. I ignored the sarcasm and asked what if you have kids and thus divorce would mean ruing their future? This time the way ahead was to compromise. Now my point is why didn’t she suggest compromise at the first place and secondly, why compromise at all. Two things come out. The so called list of moralities, values and ethics which we keep using the way we want are very much conditional and can be easily used to prove either side of the debate. But amidst all this I only ask why does an individual have to suffer because of the deficiencies of an inefficient and corrupt system?

In a free market, when you try to bring in restrictions in form of a floor or a ceiling, more than often, it results in unexpected distortions and emergence of black market or a parallel economy for better use of words. And it happens at the first opportunity one gets. So in case of an absence of a black market, may be its just not yet discovered or may the right opportunity hasn’t surfaced. I would abstain from explaining the analogy I was intending to present.

Also, why is infidelity always measured on a sexual parameter? How different is a man (or a woman) who seeks sexual gratification outside marriage to a one who seeks emotional support which ideally should also be present in the marriage. And for all those dreamers who talk about marriage being a bond of two souls forever, please get over it. As much as I myself would love to live this dream, which the literary figures created and made us internalize from the time we were born, the hard fact is, that marriage is an institution created by the society to tame the unbridled human sexuality in the pre nomadic and nomadic phase of life to a rigid structure, and then adding the function of economic co operation and child rearing and bearing to pass on the property from one generation to the other. Well it is a different matter that with the stroke of a pen, the process of metamorphosis began and thus the reason for varying levels of sacredness and romanticism attached to the institution. But, being rest assured, the degree of indoctrination is so high that, there is rarely a scope of an alternative line of thinking. So, no qualms against those who by now, would have been offended and may be already judged me. For what I know, judging shares its own place in the list of the basic instincts of human beings, which rarely get eliminated. They just lie dormant at the best.

As a matter of fact, I do not intend to stand for the cause of those poor bastards who were caught cheating. Like everybody else, I too despise the act of cheating. But I despise it in all forms and do want to restrict it to mere sexuality. But more than that, I despise the hypocrisy surrounding the human sexuality and the act of institutionalizing it. It is relatively easy to close your eyes and remain ignorant or remain disillusioned with eyes wide open. After all, I too am standing on the peaks of disillusionment, desperately trying to figure out something which might not even exist.



Ankur Srivastava said...

In the given nature of hierarchical and power structures in play, it was a simplistic account. As far as I agree with the over-emphasis and control of sexuality and desires, and despising institutions of repression; I am not sure how you place this argument in the morality/ ethical line without examining the gendered nature of this concept of 'infidelity' and the differential consequence of this act.


I think it's the decision to opt out which needs some introspection. We really don't put effort to actually find support in the one who we committed to. We don't commit to find a solution within the two but outside.

If it is the last option (going out), I agree with your friend that one should stick out his leg from one and then move into the next

Sriram Agrawal said...

@Ankur: Focus was entirely on the excessive control and institutionalization of desires rather than the persisting gender inequality, though completely agree to the fact that the consequences are certainly different.

@Rohit: I think both the aspects need a lot of introspection. My intention was to question the very reason and rationale of making an attempt to find a solution within the existing framework coz the moment we indulge in it, it is coz of inherent loyalty as well as we being having internalized the virtue of loyalty since the beginning. The attempt is to change the entire paradigm of thinking and not just dealing with the consequences in the very same structure.

Vismay said...

To begin with I would say that the point of "generalisation" is well emphasized in the first paragraph and I totally agree with that.. There are legal cases where men have been prey to female infidelity post marriage. Hence to label a sex as being dog is definitely unfair, and I believe an individual should be seen within limits of his own lights and action.

The next idea I disagree with is the issue of fidelity. In case of sexual repression by a partner in marriage it might have helped to exercise external psychological help, which in turn might have helped retain marriage fidelity..

Sriram Agrawal said...

Agreed... But In the context of our country and the hypocritical society we live in, don't u think the "Exercise of an external psychological help" if a far fetched dream. Esp with the taboo on any kind of sex talks. Though I agree, if that system of help could be accessible, It could bring some stability.