People Want To Assign A Reason For Infidelity, But There's No Excuse For It

People Want To Assign A Reason For Infidelity, But There's No Excuse For It

In the end, the truth always lets out. It is just a matter of when and how.

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Marriage is a sacred vow made between two people who, at the time believe that they are meant to be together for the rest of their lives.

The famous line, till death do us part is reiterated in every rom-com and should be taken seriously. However, in today's time, those words seem to mean very little. 40-50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce.

"When people marry, they have this ideal of eternal fidelity," says Beth Hedva. The percentage of marriages with admitted infidelity is at a very high 41 percent.

"Sexual fidelity is a fundamentally important part of that trust that has been broken, but the whole has been affected. Everything is questioned, then, about the marriage, if the faithfulness was not kept. What was real? Was I a fool? The impact is like a death. The grieving is like a death. Nothing was what it appeared. That is what has to be healed," says Donna Bellafiore.

In marriage, two people, madly in love, make a pact to stay true to each other until death. They promise to be that support they need at the worst times, as well as the best. How does this undying love turn into an ugly and nasty affair with another person?

When did the passion dimmer, allowing for a snake in the form of the other person, to slither into that once happy marriage? How could it settle into that two-person home, taking root and creating an infection that can very well lead to the catastrophic result of divorce? Who is to blame for this breaking of trust?

I know a friend in that very same marriage. They started off strong and nothing could tear them apart. They built a family and a home together. Their marriage together has lasted almost a decade. Then, one normal day, she found evidence on her husband's phone of an affair. Immediate bone-crushing hurt fell upon her. Her entire being ached from the pain taking root inside. Her heart ached physically. She never knew this pain before. She never believed it of her husband. She never believed he could be capable of instilling so much hurt on her.

Questions came, then anger and then grief. She wanted to know everything. Along with her wanting to know everything, she also dreaded the truth. She didn't know if she would be able to handle knowing.

This friend of mine decided to take on the assertive role and directly asked her husband to explain everything to her. Maybe it was all a mistake? Maybe she had some hope. Maybe he would deny it. Despite the evidence being there in picture form. That day, she finally knew it all. For three years, her husband was engaged in extra-marital activities. These were long-lasting affairs that recently ended. Two involved women that called themselves her "friends."

Her mind was reeling. She felt betrayal on multiple fronts. She didn't know who she could even trust. She thought she had friends, only to find out even then, her "friends" knew about her husband's activity without ever saying a word.

Why did he cheat? What did she do wrong? Were those women better than her? Was she inadequate? Then came the anger at herself. How could she not see it? Why did she not go with her gut? How stupid did she look believing her husband, the one person who should have always had her corner, was messing around and everyone knew it besides her?

"I was having a conversation the other day with someone and it dawned on me why Western culture is one that is famous for blame-shifting. If someone commits a terrible act against another, they find a way to blame their victim and others blame the victim with them," writes Emotional Affair Journey.

Emotional Affair Journey provides a list of false beliefs when involving infidelity. If a husband cheats, his wife caused it. If a husband is not getting sex at home, he will find it somewhere else and no one can blame him. If a wife strays, her husband does not know how to provide for the family or for her. Single or married people who knowingly have sex with married people are victims. In reality, they are victimizers right along with the married person.

People are always quick to find a reason for infidelity when in truth, there is no excuse for it. The spouse lost interest in the other person sexually or there is an emotional detachment that formed, further distancing their relationship are not valid enough reasons to justify cheating.

Sheri Meyers writes, "When infidelity occurs, the cheating partner bears the brunt of owning most, if not all, of the blame. Not only did the cheating partner choose to ignore or downplay the pre-existing problems, behaviors and conditions that made the relationship vulnerable to cheating, but they actively made the decision to betray their partner instead of facing up to those problems and working through them."

It is a hard concept to accept that even the innocent party played a tiny part in the affair, being lack of communication or lack of sexual interest, but the reality is, in order to work on a marriage, both parties have to acknowledge and accept their roles involved. Of course, it is my opinion, as I am sure with others, that the third parties involved share a large piece of the at-fault pie since they knowingly involved themselves with a married individual.

I wish this couple the best with whatever decision comes as a result.

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We Need To Stop Treating Arranged Marriages Like Business Deals

We need to stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

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When I was thirteen years old, I spent my summer break at my cousin sister's place. She spilled steaming hot tea all over her thigh leaving a huge burn scar. The first thing my aunt said to her was "What would your future husband think about that scar? You should have been more careful." My cousin was just fourteen.

Growing up, we are made to believe that marriage is the most important thing in a woman's life and is going to be her biggest achievement. I thought it was hideous how we were made to believe this and pressurized to get married in fear of what society would think until I realized just how hideous the process of an arranged marriage itself is.

According to an IPSOS survey conducted in 2013, 74% of Indian marriages are arranged. Being the youngest sibling and cousin, I watched a lot of my older family members and relatives getting arranged marriages. Having spent most of my life in India, I have witnessed no other marriages than arranged marriages. It is funny to me how people have a checklist of superficial expectations like stereotypical beauty standards and unrealistic salary expectations. From publishing ads like "In search of a slim, tall, fair, very beautiful, homely girl who knows how to cook and sew" in the newspaper, the process of finding a groom or bride through an arranged marriage couldn't be more misogynistic and sexist.

Surrounded by all this, I penned down a poem in hope that we would stop treating marriages like business deals where the groom gets dowry in exchange for his willingness to marry and the bride gets a husband in exchange for dowry.

I

The glass bangles on her wrist jingled as she placed a plate of laddoos in front of the guests,

She wondered if this was the family that would finally pass her parents' tests.

"Oh! She is as fair as milk" the boy's mother exclaimed,

Her cheeks flushed to the color of scarlet under her dupatta as trained.

"He is too short" to her mother, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

II

When no suitable match was found, the search was still profound.

"Hush," the girl's mother whispered "Don't tell them about the burn on the leg of the bride"

"What man will marry her once he finds?"

Another man arrived, tall, fair, and handsome- he was perfect,

Except that huge mole on his cheek which left him imperfect.

"The mole doesn't complement his face" to her aunt, he didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

III

Still no luck in finding a groom,

Her father placed a matrimonial ad.

"Searching for a suitable groom, engineer or doctor, 25, fair, slim, vegetarian, no disabilities" the ad read,

The ad was published in multiple newspapers so that she could finally be wed.

Another boy arrived, but this time the tables turned,

"What? She can't cook?" the boy's mother was left concerned

"Oh, what a shame" to his parents' she didn't appeal,

The deal wasn't sealed.

IV

When everything had been tried, a Jyotish was consulted,

Vastu remedies for delay in marriage he suggested.

"Fast for sixteen consecutive days, the kitchen shouldn't be in the southwest."

Yet another boy arrived, tall, fair, slim, no moles- he seemed the best,

With everything from their checklist of expectations checked, everyone seemed to be impressed.

"But his earnings are so less," her father was left depressed.

To nobody he appealed,

The deal still wasn't sealed.

V

The number of grooms decreased as her age increased,

The girl walked in with a plate of laddoos, but this time from the southeast.

"Oh my god, the bride can't cook," the boy's mother noticed,

Thankfully the burn on her leg went unnoticed.

Double the dowry was demanded,

Her father's savings made sure the groom's family didn't leave empty-handed,

The girl's mother approved the boy, so did her mother's mother,

And her uncle, his wife, and their daughter

Even to the distant relatives, he appealed,

The deal was finally sealed.

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To The Girl In An Abusive Relationship, This Is What I Want You To Know From A Fellow Survivor

There is life after abuse

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I got out. I was one of the lucky ones who got it. If there is nothing else that you get from this, understand that not everyone gets out. Forty to Seventy percent of female murder victims were killed by someone they were in an intimate relationship with. That number is staggering. I got out because if I went back even once, there was a chance I could become a statistic.

It wasn't easy to get out. It is hard work and sometimes it can feel like it is easier to stay with the abuser than fight. I didn't leave because I couldn't handle the abuse. I had been living with verbal and escalating physical abuse for years. It was when I saw that my children were in danger that I left.

When people ask why they stay they don't understand. The abuse didn't start out right away. It was slow. It built up over time. It was a process of wearing me down that caused me to question myself. His statements about me made me think I was deserving of the names he was calling me. I wasn't good enough.

You are good enough. If your partner tells you that they are better than you, they are smarter than you, and you got a good deal, it is not true. Getting into a bad relationship does not mean you aren't smart. It means that you had faith in a person and they failed you. The failure is not on you. Their actions are not a reflection of who you are.

I was scared to leave because I did not want people to see that failure in my life. I was convinced that I could make it work. The truth is you cannot live with an abuser and get them help. They need to seek after the help on their own. They need time to get their life straight. If they tell you after two weeks that they are changed and turned their life around, don't fall for it. It is impossible to see a change in two weeks. If they have really changed, give it a year and see what happens. It may seem like a long time, but divorce takes just as long, if not longer.

I wanted to work things out, but I didn't want to be treated that way anymore. I had lunch with my ex and his family just a week after I left. His step-mom told me that was just the way their culture is. Culture is not an excuse. If I wanted to go back, this conversation only cemented my resolve. I reported it to the police and I begged him to get help. He didn't change. He said he would but he didn't. In fact, over the years it has only gotten worse. He had the opportunity to show he changed. He had the chance to be a father and failed.

To those in an abusive relationship, it doesn't matter what you have done, it is not your fault. You are worth more. You are precious and loved. No matter what they say, you are loveable. You can find worth and purpose outside of the relationship. Their goal is to get you to stay.

Find a friend, get someone who will stand with you. Don't jump from one man to another to get out. Get out because you are worth it. Get out for your safety. Get out for your life. It will be hard, but it will be the best thing you have ever done.

Help is Here!

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