Today I was interviewing a woman, whose husband had an extra marital affair and left her alone to find her means. Of course the experience has made her grow wiser and stronger but there was so much pain in the story, that I actually became aware of a part of me that holds insecurity in my marriage. This interview had triggered something important in me, something that makes me question the integrity and longevity of my marriage. It makes me ponder in the institution called marriage and its relevance in today’s society. The new generation looks at marriage as a unwanted responsibility. For me marriage is a companionship vow, and it is supposed to help us evolve into a more compassionate and wholesome being. However, due to patriarchy the norms of marriage have been flouted and there has been a power struggle between the man and the woman, where the masculine has mostly emerged as the victor. In my marriage we have always shared a space of equality and respect until now, but the deep seated trigger button of betrayal is untouched. I don’t know, what would happen if this button is pressed either by me or my husband. Hence I decided tonight to nudge my husband into a conversation about betrayal, he said something very interesting. He said , “I am not the type.” I wonder if I am the type, but mostly the answer that is alive for this question in me is “No, I am not the type, either.” Does this make me and my husband cowards, who are not able to express our needs and have the courage to go beyond social boundaries? Maybe, yes. And at present that is what is important for us.
Betraying is about letting somebody who loves you, down, somebody whom you have loved too at some point in time, but drifted away. Drifting is interesting, it creates a sense of lightness, a sense of freedom, a feeling of freshness. So for most marriages going through a mid- life crises, drifting could add a new flavor, new pleasure. However, I believe this pleasure could be short lived, and drifting may become a pattern. In some cases just to mask the pattern the individual may continue to live a compromised life, with the second lover after separation from the first. Always hoping to find what he or she couldn’t find in the previous relationship. I am not a religious fanatic, or a moralist, I believe I am a free thinker and am looking at this whole point from a very rational perspective. Here, I hold some beliefs, I believe that a person who has developed the capacity to handle bitter separations from parents, dear and loved ones, also has a capacity to create separation from a perfectly loving spouse. This is no judgement but a logical way of saying that once you have found a certain way of being, it is easy to access the same, until something has drastically shifted in your way of being. We start living in a pattern. There is no right or wrong way of being, and everyone has a choice of who and what they want to be. A person who values his or her freedom more than family or relationship might find a relationship to be a burden and may struggle to keep a relationship. Thus sets in a pattern of betrayal and pain, to break away from the pattern doesn’t need a different experience of sex and intimacy, it could just be an illusion that you might reason as personal freedom. This is a behavioral pattern, which needs deeper introspection and acceptance. Denying it and giving it exotic names won’t change the pattern, soon you will get bored again of the monotony and will be looking for something else, someone else. A deep nourishing marriage is the one, where there is a practice of mutual respect, admiration and connection. There are many ways in which you can escape from yourself and trying to find love outside is a exciting and thrilling adventure, which can create enough drama to keep you and your family occupied for a life time. Awareness of your patterns that you hold will bring you to a new consciousness and choices that you have. Looking for an external anchor to nourish your bored veins, is never going to be a solution. Communicating about your feelings, needs and connecting authentically to self and your spouse can give you and your family all the nourishment you need. Then of course, if there is no alignment and there is disconnection, then please pick up your part of the mess and move, don’t shove everything down your spouses throat and let him or her wallow in self doubt and rejection. Don’t run away, cutting all cords and leaving your once loved one to bleed. That is being coward and being irresponsible. Remember it is you who have found someone and moved on, but the person whom you are leaving behind is still living in the world that both of you had created together. You are an important part of that world. When you leave that world the person will be very lonely and wounded from the devastation that you initiated, to get more from life with another partner. Have grace and courage to express, accept and truly love.
A friend shared this really insightful talk on Ted
while you say that you are writing about this rationally, towards the end of the article your strong emotions and judgements are visible. Your issue is not so much about seeking other relationships, but breaking one and the “devastation” that brings in to one of them.
In my perspective, sometimes seperation is better for both people than living together without a relationship. Seperation also liberates and new possibilities open up in life.
Relationship comes from the word relating – as we know relating is a process. So, as long as relating is happening, there is a relationship. Marriage as an institution was developed by tribes to build a relationship between them to deal with a third tribe who is the enemy. The only issue with marriage is that a relationship is created and since the relationship exist, it is assumed that the people in the relationship are relating!
These are my two cents…
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I love what you bring, I think it is an important perspective, being stuck in a marriage that has no life is foolish. A separation in such a case could be a solution and many cases might be the only solution. The article is mainly focussed on betrayal, and yes it is a perspective that I saw and felt in the hurt of a woman who for four years did not know that her husband was having a affair. I think it is not fair on a committed partner to have gone through this devastation. The devastation did bring a lot of strength to her later but also left traces of bitterness in her and the family, which they are still processing. This article is to create awareness, if “looking out” is a pattern, which can be self absorbing and might end up violating boundaries of others, then it is time for “looking in”. In marriages most times we don’t go out looking for love, we just are looking for some help and it is “Ok” to look out for help.