“I take you to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
My mother used to say in Yoruba language, ‘what one will not eat, you won’t tolerate it’. To play with it or even taste it out of curiosity implies the possibility to eat it eventually. How does this apply to the concept of marriage and cheating?
As a bachelor or spinster, you must have had choices before you made the decision to be with your partner and felt strongly enough to take such vows as staying together for better or worse, in sickness and in health. It sounds like an unconditional vow, one which is not subject to whether your spouse makes you happy or not or whether you are able to have children together or even if you ‘stop loving each other’. Marriage is an unconditional awareness to stay together no matter what. They key word is to be aware and stay committed to your promise.
However, the conventional wedding vow is nothing as conservative as its original intent. It’s surprising how a partner just readily believes that cheating is a healthy distraction to whatever issues he/she has in their matrimony.
I read a story where a man says, ‘I love my wife too much and I think she’s beginning to take my love for granted’. Then his friend says to him, ‘if you cheat on her, you’ll find a leveler for the affection and attention towards her’. Another story goes, ‘my husband and I have been trying for children for a while. We recently just discovered that he has low sperm count and is being placed on some supplements. I don’t know if it’s the drugs or pressure but now, he bed wets and I feel like I’m being punished in this marriage. Can I just cheat on my husband to get the sanity I need as a woman?’ A common one is ‘I have stopped loving my wife or husband. I need to feel loved again’.
Just as much as the human emotion is a radical one, we can’t always be in control of our emotions except if we’ve perfectly mastered emotional intelligence. Even at that, when we realize the emotion we’re feeling at any particular time and it’s one we do not appreciate, there is tendency to remove ourselves from such a situation just so we are not affected by the unappreciated situation or have some sort of sanity for our peace of mind or balancing of lifestyle as it were. Either way, I do not understand how cheating in a relationship solves any form of marital issue. It’s like drinking alcohol just to ease the mind, if you’re taking it for that purpose. Once the effect of it wears thin, you’re back faced with the reality of your life. The alcohol won’t take your problems away. And even if cheating on your spouse seem like a yoga balancing act, it won’t be forever. Even worse, you’ll be left picking up pieces of the life you neglected as a result of lies and complications.
Cheating isn’t a sudden occurrence of physical involvement in most cases. However, in other cases as I mentioned above, it’s a pre-decided attempt to engage in affairs for different personal reasons. Once it’s been decided, it’s only a matter of time before it manifests into an affair. In other cases, it starts with being really close friends from acquaintances, colleagues, even strangers. When you become comfortable to share things you ordinarily wouldn’t share with the opposite sex except your partner and you get comfortable to some extent, your guards are down. There’s no telling what might ensue except if you’re quick to come to the realization that it’s not what you need in your life no matter your situation at home.
Even if cheating seems the easy route to take, is it really the solution to all/every marital issue?