Today, I was staring at the marvelous sunset and the scenario got me thinking about an issue a friend had brought up some time ago. It was a very ticklish matter, one that seems to perplex everyone — even the so-called professionals.
“Are people faithful?” the question replayed itself in my head. I looked at her for a while and then gave her a laconic answer; “Maybe, ah. I don’t know.” But it was not child’s play anymore; it was a question in need of an answer. I was prompted to put pen on paper because of some recent developments.
Developments that I never could have foreseen.
Are only some beings ‘unfaithful’? Or is everyone unfaithful in this world? This is still a very huge confusion. Even the ‘unfaithful’ who are caught in action, straight up deny it and when their denial holds no water, they back it up with irrational excuses. With each passing day deceit, cheating and heartbreak are getting more and more common; a person is geared up to deftly take ‘unfaithfulness’ in the face without batting an eyelid because they saw it coming.
Even foresight is not enough to stop heartbreak or prevent the affected from feeling dejected after falling prey. But why should one be ‘unfaithful’, why deceit and why cheat?
The human being is like a machine, or rather, a programmed robot with embedded mature buttons.
A push of a button displays a character trait – jealousy, cheating, hatred, love, lost, confidence, rebellion, sympathy, joy, aggression, ego, belief, unbelief, unfaithfulness, to name a few. People are animals.
The only thing that differentiates them from other species is their massive brain development, the ability to decipher between good and evil, to turn away from or embrace a situation, to feel and control our emotions by triggering or muffling them. The animalistic nature of humans still lives within. It only takes a push of the right button to evoke or bring to life one or all of these aforementioned character traits.
Man’s ‘unfaithfulness’ may not have a clear origin but as far as I can tell it is as old as man himself.
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defined ‘unfaithful’ in a brief but concise manner; having a sexual relationship with somebody other than one’s lover; husband etc. According to the thesaurus, synonyms of ‘unfaithful’ include infidelity, deceit, disloyalty, treachery, falseness and treason.
The synonyms of those synonyms are untrustworthiness, fickleness, lying, duplicity, pretence, inconsistency, capriciousness and vacillation.
The sub-synonyms of those are changeability, deviousness, fraudulence, unreliability, undependability, uncertainty, insincerity, untruthfulness, double-dealing, make-believe, charade, contradiction, whimsicality, frivolity, irresponsibility, volatility, indecision, fluctuation and ambivalence.
When a loved one cheats, he or she is guilty of all of the above and should be lynched or guillotined, if I am permitted to use those literal terms. ‘Unfaithfulness’ deals a devastating blow to the victimized partner. They feel crushed, betrayed, like a part of them has been ripped out.
They get very angry and sad. It is not only because their partner wanted and had sex with someone else or just because their partner has shared the ultimate expression of love with the other person.
It is because they lied, murdering the partner in their conscience with little regard for their feelings.
This article examines the causes of unfaithfulness, possible preventative measures and equally possible eradication processes. It is just an attempt, not a proven and/or certified cure, to a disease that is not caused by a virus or a parasite but a much deadlier culprit.
The causes of ‘unfaithfulness’ vary from individual to individual.
In the following paragraph, you will get a clear idea of my perspective on this damaging and provocative attitude. In a long-term relationship, it could be easy for partners to start taking each other for granted. This could lead to unfaithfulness as either one or both partners begins to want to experience what it is like to get involved with someone new.
He/she might feel as though they are being imprisoned by their current partner and become desperate to break free of their choking grip. The catalyst, in this case, is boredom which could be compounded by unnecessary irrationality and is dished out by the unsatisfied partner.
The feeling that someone sticks to them like a leech monitors their private lives and tells them what is best for the relationship galls and prompts them to be unfaithful by seeking refuge in the arms of another woman/women, or man/ men, as the case may be.
Lack of communication is another relationship destroyer. Some partners do not have the time to sit down and have a hearty chat because they are preoccupied with their work, they feel it is unnecessary or they are constantly ‘making out’. ‘Actions might speak louder than words’, but in this case, the reverse does the magic. Sex is subsidiary to love.
Some people think that by engaging in sex with their partners they are actually binding their relationship but it’s totally false. Sex is borne out of the urge to satisfy the flesh more than it is borne out of love.
One could constantly make love to a person of the opposite sex without really loving them, or without making them feel loved.
Communication includes telling a partner how much you love them, the joy they have brought in your life, the vacuum they have filled so fittingly.
You can also talk about their dreams and aspirations, encourage them. Presenting yourself as a pillar of support, and let them confide in you and you in them. Adults irrespective of their gender like to be cuddled, spoken softly to, praised and loved. Some schools of thought think only the female craves such attention but this is far from the truth.
If and when this remarkable aspect of relationship bonding is neglected and not utilized, it gradually breaks the partners apart. One or both of them will feel unloved, unwanted, not cherished, neglected, unimportant, subdued and will feel as if they have lost their allure.
Unfaithfulness seems to be the only answer, as they tend to get back those sweet moments they have lost, or are still seeking someone who can tell them what they want to hear and make them feel loved.
Intimacy, passion, excitement and adventure are other ingredients in the recipe of a lasting relationship. In a relationship where all these are missing, the ugly face of ‘unfaithfulness’ will definitely reveal itself. If one or both of the partners finds out that the relationship lacks intimacy, they might conclude that their partner is tired of them.
A relationship lacking passion, excitement and adventure, eventually falls like a deck of cards. One or both of the partners then try to seek solace and try to recapture these missing bits in another person, thereby committing infidelity.
In our society, where almost half of the population is schlepping under the cumbersome weight of poverty, materialist needs could also force a partner to become unfaithful. ‘Money is the root of all evil’, they say, and in this case, it could be the root of infidelity as well. Like the evil it is, it grips the relationship by the scruff of its neck and forces one or both of the partners to damn every consequence and go after someone more financially stable.
This is a major threat to a lasting relationship. People discard their sense of humour, their ego, their self-esteem, their pride and their personality for money, thereby unleashing an animalistic habit.
When I speak of money as an infidelity stimulant I do not intend to generalize ‘money’ as only ‘physical cash’. It also includes other things that bring wealth, power or fame. A love of money, power and fame overtakes good judgment.
Infidelity can also be caused by an intruding ex-lover, who continues to be in one of the partners’ lives.
Old fires can be rekindled and these old flames do not take time to ignite because the intimacy between them had already taken root.
This could be made worse if the old lover’s break up was not caused by any fracas. Past emotional moments could be relieved and the playback serves a tricky role in loosening the defensive guard of a partner who is under this pressure. The partner in question could find himself/herself attached to this old lover until the urge to repeat past experiences sticks in their head and refuses to go away.
If the ex-lover is desperate, he or she could harp on about what they had shared together in the past, setting the flesh of the victim on fire until the urge paves the way to sheer animalistic desire. And hence unfaithfulness is reborn.
It may even become a constant practice as the person becomes obsessed with the interloper of an ex-lover. The person’s present lover may or may not find out about the illicit transaction of passion between his/her lover with an ex-lover but this does not make any difference since the transgression has been committed.
Distance always presents an unnecessary and lame excuse for unfaithfulness to take centre stage.
With lovers far apart, feelings of loneliness gradually wrap cold arms around one or both partners. When the feeling of disparity engulfs one partner or both, the end product is always infidelity. They could feel very lonely and long for the company of the opposite sex. Libido could start rising, making it difficult for the one in desperate need of his/her partner, who is miles away, to stay aloof from jumping onto another’s the bed.
Nymphomaniacs and philanderers are very vulnerable to this massive distraction in a relationship but this is a topic for discussion in another article.
The preventive measures and perhaps cure to this problematic and damaging character trait are not impracticable. The unseen buttons of character traits that are embedded in every one of us could be controlled by us.
I believe that unfaithfulness sits calmly in one corner, like all other characters of our robotic creation, until we tap into it. Then, gradually it is turned on and released.
This could be reversed as well – the mechanism is not very different from that of a remote control electronic that comes on and goes off at the push of the same button.
Boredom, as was discussed is an infidelity prompter, can be cut off even before it is turned on. A couple in a relationship could prevent boredom from creeping into their relationship so long as the enthusiasm that was in them at the beginning of the relationship stays alive.
In order for this to be accomplished, there should be total understanding. There should be fire to keep the relationship burning. Both partners should constantly explore each other, learn more about each other, get as close as they can and shut out any other intruders of the opposite sex.
They should see each day as the very first of their romantic escapade and re-live the quixotic times they have had together. They should see their partner as the greatest among their gender.
Relationships are durable when dialogue is always called upon. Relationships should not live by bread (sex) alone, but by the words that come out of each partners’ mouth.
It has a psychic power of bringing people very close together. Talking about the kind of life a partner wants to lead, whispering into each other’s ears, encouraging each other when personal life encounters a glitch, being there for a partner and presenting oneself as a solid rock of comfort and making a partner feel he/she cannot get positive and genuine comfort from anyone except them.
They should lay their hearts bare and lead each other to their private lives.
People tend to stick with you when you tell them the truth about yourself and about themselves. There cannot be any dull moments in the lives of partners if they make dialogue a stepping stone in their relationship. Refrain from telling a partner what he/she is not just to impress or make them happy; this is uncultured flattery and in most cases backfires leaving the partner feeling as though they are being played for a sucker.
Intimacy, passion, excitement and adventure cannot and should not be overlooked if the partners want to stay together. Partners have to be romantic with each other, caress and make each other feel ecstatic. Not just an acidulous dose of sex, but a passionate and head-spinning affection of closeness and intimate sharing of love.
A candlelight dinner once in a while, a short walk on the beach or in a greenish garden where only the chirping of birds could be heard besides the pounding of their hearts, a picnic in a romantic and remote place with the great landscape are all things that can do great magic.
A psychic book I once read said that the mind takes in such scenarios and magnets it because only nature was the third party and because nature is everywhere the feeling is remembered.
Romantic gifts are also great in keeping a relationship. Both genders have to give. The uncivilized thinking of some people is that only the male should shower their female partners with gifts. Gifts should be reciprocated. Each time a partner picks up a gift he/she has received from a lover, the mind always flashes back to the giver and a smile.
The partner has to remember at least one good time they had had or else the relationship is under threat of crashing and is thereby opening a door for infidelity to infiltrate. What good is it sticking with someone whom a partner cannot daydream about or even remember one little gesture of generosity about them?
Ex-lovers, what about them? They could come creeping in with the ulterior motive of getting an erstwhile lover back or in most cases, have one final make out with them. What would an ex-lover possibly want that they had not tasted in the past when they already decided that the person was not good enough to be theirs?
They parted because they were not satisfied with the relationship or because they were rejected by the lover involved. What matters here is total resistance and an adamant resolution not to fall prey to a tempting intruder. Avoidance is one tactic that would work like a charm. Staying away from the encroaching ex-lover and seeing less of them would put a big ditch between the two parties involved and as time passes the feeling of obsession and loss they have would gradually die off.
In conclusion, love is the ultimate key to any relationship. Love changes everything.
It may not change who the partners are, but it sure makes the differences between them less important. Love endures, love perseveres, love withstands torture, love passes the test of time and love overshadows all other negative emotions. There has to be genuine love shared by partners. Love should And must be immeasurable with both partners knowing no doubt, nor too shy to act. Love is the foundation of an everlasting relationship, not lust, not a crush – love. Love does not hibernate, it remains forever strong.
The partners have to love each other greatly and there will be no room for infidelity or unfaithfulness.
Thank you for reading.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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