Extramarital Affairs: The Spark and the Shame

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Extramarital affairs pose huge challenges in the minds of those involved in the fling. There’s the feeling of guilt coming from centuries of being programmed. Guilt and shame arising from how the society would view the person, how tough it is to hide the affair from a spouse and feel natural. There’s the feeling of risking the marriage and everything it represents. But, still, the attraction of being wanted/desired is intense. Rina tells us about the sweeter forbidden fruit, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

Marriages are the matches and occasions made in heaven. It’s the occasion everyone waits for – mostly – and celebrates as the single most important moment in life, other than their birthdays. It defines a moment when two adults choose a partner who they will spend the rest of their lives with. The times that will either be radiantly joyous or terribly nightmarish.

Most couples find a mix of the two at phases of their marriage. The good times are easy – nobody wants them to end, nobody thinks those times will end, and couples often make promises that are meant to last a lifetime.

The hard times are the ones that show up chalk and cheese or the wide gap within.

Several adults enter into a marriage either with the knowledge of a spouse quite well known through a period of dating, some with full familiarity borne out of years of dating, or some marry a stranger.  

Irrespective through any of the situations above, the truth is life gives every human several situations of challenge, of joy, of victory, and of deep disappointments and learning in others. These bring profound changes to people.

In one complex situation though, adults meet a person whom they often like much after they’re married or are very deep into their marriage. That could mean several years after being together, or having a massive change like having one or more children from that marriage.

Every adult believes fidelity is right and virtuous from a long-standing sense of health and hygiene, from emotions, and from a sense of plain human trust. Of trust that a wedded partner would never look beyond each other at someone else to entangled with.

Laws of attraction often challenge this and give us the moments, frequently drawing women and men together. Today’s world allows both the genders greater space to meet. At work, at fitness clubs or lifestyle places, at shopping centres, during holidays, at the school for the kids, or just the neighbours, we meet the flame of our lives.

It draws people into a relationship, increasingly common these days, due to the convenience that communication offers. Social media, telephony, dating sites on the Internet, or just the ease of travel allow adults to come and stay close to each other.

Extramarital affairs are never easy on any adult – save a few exceptions. It poses huge challenges in the minds of those involved in the fling. There’s the feeling of guilt coming from centuries of being programmed. Guilt and shame arising from how the society would view the person, how tough it is to hide the affair from a spouse and feel natural. There’s the feeling of risking the marriage and everything it represents, socially, including children, and the possible negative impact on them. But, still, the attraction of being wanted/desired is intense.

Nuclear families mean that both the partners have greater freedom to interact with another person outside of their marriage.

For men mostly, an extramarital affair brings the risk of financial gloom as well. Divorces are increasingly hotly contested for material gain instead of for emotional peace. The risk of having to part with a lot of material asset (which may have created the affair/s in the first place) causes the adults to keep it a hush-hush affair.

In the Asian context, divorces cause immense pain and disappointment in the parents. It takes a serious toll on the health of elders and this causes younger adults to conceal, and to hide their flings.

For a moment though, keep aside the conscientious wrongs and rights and see an affair for what it is.

It has liberated a lot of adults in those aspects of their lives that have stunted and decayed the relationships between spouses. Often the emotional, physical, and sexual sparks go into a nosedive. It has potentially rescued marriages from breaking down and bringing a whole host of issues with it – spicing up the stale marriages.

Adults involved in extramarital flings that are stealthy, state that they’re happier and are better able to deal with a bad marriage because of having something more joyous in parallel.

Perhaps it’s just the feeling of being involved sinfully, or the feeling of just being able to brush off differences with the spouse, or just that people wake up to a day that involves hope and joy.

Adults involved in extramarital flings also know marrying that person wouldn’t give them the perfect marriage. It might actually take away several important aspects of their life such as financial stability and prosperous living. An ideal situation would give every adult all the happiness needed for a marriage.

Sadly, that’s not how the world functions.

Easy communication and social media have now allowed extramarital affairs to develop over long distances. It doesn’t solve the problem of physical proximity and increases the longing for a person; but it also allows the adults involved to feel emotionally good of having someone for them, in ways that their spouses cannot support. It certainly causes people to connect better over long distances and wait for the time of the meeting.

People change with time. Habits change and so does emotional reactions and maturity. Not all changes are easy to adapt to and not all changes are well accepted.

Critics and most people will argue that this is wrong on the karmic and conscious planes. It is easy and like a single line comment that needs no explanation.

Supporters will argue karma dictates they find their peace within. Supporters will also state various reasons to be involved in an extramarital fling. This isn’t easy. Extramarital flings are hard on most involved (save some who only are sexually promiscuous) but they go there in order to find their inner peace.

Perhaps their internal conscience barrier on this front is too low or just too fragile but it’s their barrier. It is also true that most adults give a lot of time to salvage their marriages before choosing an affair outside the wedlock.

In the world of crime, however, extramarital affairs lead to great crimes of passion when one of the adults involved is single or is criminally wired. It creates situations of intense passion and an urge to ‘own’ a partner – ironic as that may be. It’s similar to stealing from someone, isn’t it?

It’s drastically different when both the adults involved are married. Globally, this seems to be another trend for those seeking safe extramarital flings. Often the marriage is dead in terms of intimacy and life is reduced to a process or a journey of routines. Extramarital affairs are never the whole package; they’re significant bits in a relationship.

As research has found, men are in an extramarital affair because it makes them feel proud and strong – of being able to have many women –because of sexual lust. Women crave for appreciation and a man that makes them feel younger and loved. Of course, that involves sexual trysts as well but the motivators are very different.

In a world, where freedom of life and expression seems to be blurring lines between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours, extramarital affairs are an added dimension but these are increasingly more common and acting as a supplement in reducing stress within a marriage.

But, life goes on…


Photos from the Internet

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Rina is an accomplished graphic designer with a strong knowledge of Adobe software, visual communication, multimedia scripting, human-computer interface, and also the knowledge of 3D animation and production techniques. Creative, resourceful and flexible, able to adapt to changing priorities and maintain a positive attitude and strong work ethic. Passionate about art, not only practicing it but also spreading, appreciating, and learning it. She is currently situated in Singapore.