We should face it: our so-called modern society still enforces quite an infantile view of sex and relationships. Likewise, most of us are compelled to keep drawing lines between right and wrong, when sometimes it simply isn’t possible to make such clear-cut distinctions. Human behavior is a complex and multi-layered phenomenon, and we should keep ourselves from rationalizing too much, as well as over simplifying. Otherwise, we’ll just end up confusing ourselves and wallowing in unnecessary suffering.
For example, when a man engages a sexual encounter with another person besides his spouse, he’s committing adultery – right? So, this man is a big horrible cheater and his wife is an unfortunate victim, isn’t that so? Well, not necessarily. Not in my book, at least. First and foremost, we should remember that a couple is a essentially combination of two separate wills. For this reason, I believe it’s inaccurate to lay the blame for something on just one of the members of the couple.
Besides, we should remember that sex is something we do with our body, whereas marriage and love is something that calls for the whole of our being: of which sex is only a tiny fraction.
So that guy cheated on his relationship. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? All the while, we should keep in mind that something never comes out of nothing. That goes to say, if someone feels compelled to engage carnal affairs with someone other than his spouse, there are likely underlying reasons which thrust him in that direction. Sure, that person may simply be a philanderer; but he may also be a decent guy who just happens to be frustrated with the lack of sexual response or interest from his wife. Now, let’s look at things from the reverse perspective:
A woman who neglects her husband may be doing so for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s just a phase where she doesn’t feel as interested in sex. Maybe she really is losing interest in her husband. Maybe she’s already cheating on him as well. Whatever the actual reason may be, it’s important to realize how the behavior of a member in a couple influences the actions and reactions of the other person. Human beings are intricate and complex creatures, and oftentimes the very person isn’t quite sure why he or she behaves in a certain way. Do you know why is that?
Because we keep hiding ourselves from others – especially the people we love the most. That’s something we do because we’re terrified we don’t conform to their expectations.
Further, here’s some food for thought: is a marriage defined merely as the act of committing oneself sexually to another person? Is sex really the single most important thing in a marriage, to the point where so many marriages keep faltering and possibly failing when adultery happens? It’s sad to see so many promising relationships get trashed just because some sexual mishaps happened. Because we’re conditioned with this paranoia (can’t find a better word) that strict monogamy is the “right” thing, the natural thing to do. It’s really disturbing to see the part (sex) take over and disrupt the whole (marriage)… all too easily.
In my opinion, cheating isn’t what you do when you engage sexual activities or take interest in another person without the knowledge of your spouse. Cheating is what happens when you fail to be honest and take responsibility for your actions. The problem is that so many people fail to be truthful because of the widespread infantile views on sexuality! It’s almost as if having sex outside of a relationship is the most terrible sin a committed person can make. Well, I really don’t see things that way:
The most terrible sin a committed person can make is hiding thoughts / feelings / actions from his life partner.
Coincidentally, why do people go to such great lenghts to hide their extra-marital sexual impulses and desires? Well, because the “right” thing to do is supressing such desires, for the sake of holy matrimony. And that’s why so many marriages tend to fail, nowadays: people are just going crazy from all the pressure they’re subject to, and eventually they make a mistake. And then they do everything they can to hide their mistake, and they end up making things worse. They end up making their partner feel like they’re REALLY getting cheated on.
Most people simply can’t bring themselves to realizing this, but… having an affair can actually be a way of saving a marriage! A way of venting our sexual frustrations. If we didn’t place such a terrible emphasis on monogamist sex, if only we could be more light-hearted about the idea of making casual sexual explorations outside our marriages… there really wouldn’t be so much reason for drama. And there would be less infidelity, for sure. And even that would no longer be infidelity. After all, it’s only cheating when your wife doesn’t know about it. Or at least, it SHOULD be so.