Complicated Human Relations: Extra-Marital Affairs
We are tremendously influenced by our pseudo-status syndrome and conscious attempt to make style statements that “simple” and “simplicity” looks out of fashion. Simple life-style is unwanted. We try to make our life as complicated as we can and with as many things as we find around. Then look up to others to take us out from that mess. An Extra-Marital affair is one such aspect of human relations, which is avoidable and not a necessity for our survival but yet, people get into it to make life more “spicy” and complicated. According to a survey done by one of the Human Relations Research Organization based in New York, it is found that during the study period of 1995-2005; more than 78% of married people have been involved in one or another kind of extra-marital affairs. It is also found that married males (80%) have higher tendency to get involved in such relations as compared to married females (68%). Of all the people involved in extra-marital affairs at any time during life, 83% are in the age group of 27-45 years.
Re-defining the extra-marital affair
Extra-marital affairs can be defined as a need for a person to seek love, care, and acceptance outside wedlock. For an affair to be categorized as extra-marital affair, one or both of the involved people should be married. Extra-marital affair should not be confused with infidelity. Extra-marital affairs may or may not lead to any-kind of physical relation between the two involved people. On the other hand, infidelity is about getting physical and having sex for pleasure and fun, outside the marriage. Infidelity is also a demonstration of power and social status.
Elements that leads to Extra-marital Affairs
It is not human nature to look out for another relation outside their marriage. Some of the factors that force any of the partners to look out for comfort and emotional gratification outside their wedlock are as follows:
1) Disharmony in Married Life: Among numerous human needs a few are: being accepted, cared for and loved. If the relation between a husband and wife is not pleasant and if they are spending too much time in arguing with one another or fighting out rather than working as a team, that will force one or both of them to look out elsewhere. Most of us expect our spouse to exchange these feelings and emotions and if they don’t find it, they begin to look elsewhere. Being ignored, abused, rejected, insulted, and hurt (physically) are a few initiators that forces an individual to look out for their needs. For example, a nagging wife and a husband trying to control the movements of his wife are actually forcing their respective spouses to get into extra-marital affairs.
2) Out of Sight and Out of Reach: We are living in a very competitive world. We all seek emotional interdependence and financial independence. We need career and professional growth. The comforts, status and style that we are exposed to, demands both the spouses to work to meet rising expectations of life. This forces both husband and wife to work and support one another, particularly after last two economic recessions within a span of 10 years. Based on the career orientation and expectation of an individual and the kind of professional and monetary growth that one seeks, travel across the globe for short or long duration has become necessity. Sometimes that forces a couple to live in different cities or countries. Doesn’t matter how advanced we get in our communication technologies but distances disturbs the cords of relation. You can hardly do anything to provide emotional satisfaction to your spouse. You cannot touch, hold-hands, hug or kiss your spouse, can you? Many times, such needs of individual forces him or her to solicit such comfort elsewhere and they find it in their colleagues or friends of the opposite gender.
3) Forced Social Values: Apart from extra-marital affairs, the other social stigma is divorces. We get so much scared of our society and the notion that “what people will say” or “how the society will react” that people decide to hang around with their dead marriage and at the same time look elsewhere to satisfy their emotional needs. They look around to find someone to listen to them, care about them and to provide emotional comfort. As our expectations from our relations have increased tremendously, particularly from marriage, the society has to make a choice between accepting high rates of divorces or accepting extra-marital affairs. Some couples are of the view that though they do not stand each other and find no intimate juice in their relation but yet socially, they will stay together and not opt for separation or divorce “for the sake of children” and to ensure that their kids get “love, care and comfort of both parents”. Isn’t it an unintelligent cause to stay together? What kind of emotional and psychological comfort, future betterment will you be ensuring to your kids when you do not stand each other, argue and fight with one another and worse if any or both of you are involved in extra-marital affairs?
Elements that lead to infidelity: As discussed earlier that contrary to extra-marital affairs, infidelity means getting involved into establishing physical relations with someone else, other than your spouse. An interesting fact about infidelity is that unlike rape, all physical acts involved in infidelity are concessional. There are many factors that contribute to infidelity and some of them are:
1) Pleasure – There is no reason for “infidelity for pleasure”. It’s just like that. It is to drive fun and pleasure. This form of infidelity is to enjoy and celebrate the moment. It is to allow the flow of emotions to control you and decide your movements.
2) Out of sight and out of reach – As discussed above, no advanced mode to communication can provide or ensure the comfort of being together. Physical expression of love or sex is one such biological need and if your spouse is not around to fulfill your need, you are likely to look out and engage others to satisfy you. If not someone close to you or your friends and colleagues of opposite gender then may be gigolo or escorts.
3) Compromising for Professional and Social Growth – People are getting more ambitious and they are willing to go to any extent to be a front-runner in the mad rat-race and most of them do not mind to compromise on a few things, even if it means cheating your partner. Career advancement means higher perks and more avenues for wealth creation. We have seen and are aware of incidents of casting-couch in Entertainment and Media Industry. We are also aware of people getting involved in similar kind of incidents in business and corporate world to get a job, promotions and exponentially high increments, perks and benefits. People don’t mind to make or accept such offers to sleep-around to get cozy in order to put their career on fast-track.
4) Demonstration of Power – We are aware that among all the traits that attract one person to another of the opposite gender is Power. Celebrity status of people and power of a person to take decisions for masses and to control movements of finances adds to their sex-appeal. People tend to get attracted towards them and more than anything else people in general are likely to get physically involved with such rich ambitious tycoons, even if it is for one night.
Each one of us has a right to decide the type of life that we want to live – simple, complicated or ultra-complicated. We are responsible for our own life and choices that we make. When making a choice for self, we must also be willing to face consequences. However, it should not be forgotten that whether extra-marital affairs or infidelity, it is not just an affair between two people – more often, all the people around you get affected. As discussed above, no reason can explain infidelity; it is for fun and pleasure and can either be for one night or longer. On the other hand, if one of the partner is involved in extra-marital affair the societal boundaries in general, either directly or indirectly is responsible for it.
In an Extra-Marital affair that malign the reputation of family, one partner in general, and society at large is responsible for it.
We have one life, let’s live it purposefully in its simplest form and not try to unnecessarily make it complicated. Decide for yourself and be responsible for your life. Believe in the phrase, “Simple Living and High Thinking”.
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Have a great day and take good care of yourself.