Demise of Monogamy


Change is the only constant and in most cases, change is always good. But, is the change in the number of monogamous relationships really a good thing? Binita Singh talks about why monogamy is dying a slow death today

He stares at her, she stares right back at him. A few flirtatious exchanges and months later, you find them selecting the venue for their wedding. In this fast paced life, where relationships build and break at the speed of light, it’s easy to stray. The thought of spending your life with just one person can be overwhelming. While this is considered normal, the demise of monogamy is inevitable. We know that cheating and lying in a relationship is a tie-breaker, but have we ever really thought about why some people cheat? It’s not all black and white. There are grey areas in a person’s life that compels him to commit sins he never even thought he was capable of doing. The other day, I was watching the movie The Intern, in which, a dad staying at home cheats on his tycoon wife because he felt lost somewhere and wanted to find his own identity. Maybe he wanted to feel more like a man. While what he did was cruel, it was painful for him too. His wife’s crazy schedule must have been a serious blow to his ego for him to find marital comfort elsewhere. And while I don’t encourage such misdoings, somewhere I do empathise with him.

Another thing that is very much a problem now, is the trend of giving up. While our parents and grandparents are from a generation where in you work things out, our generation tends to just raise their hands at these things. The short temperaments, the everything-should-be-servedon- a-platter attitude and the self-appraising nature have just added to the problems. People think that they aren’t worthy of going through so much suffering for a person, and there is an air of casualness to it. Breakups happen left and right. Cheating isn’t uncommon. Lies are spewed every other second. What is the world coming to? Is that how we are going to a lead a normal life? Broken marriages and promiscuous partners? On a friend’s recommendation, I saw the film The 7.39. It’s about how a married man with two kids and a beautiful wife, meets an engaged woman, and after a few encounters, decides to sleep with her. He knows what he is doing is wrong, and yet, he says he doesn’t care. He keeps cheating on his wife, to the point where even when his wife finds out about his infidelity, he wishes to run away with the other woman. Somewhere, his thirst for something more than the monotony of his daily life compelled him to find comfort in the arms of another woman. I think, sometimes, people know what they are doing is wrong, and yet they choose to ignore that inner voice. Lust overpowers their conscience. And the fact that they’re completely okay with it is very disturbing.

Cheating has become so rampant in this generation, that the moment you find something off about your partner, one of your immediate guesses is that he might be hiding something, or worse, cheating. And while people don’t think much when they cheat, their actions have a jarring effect on the people around them. A cheating husband or a wife, not only breaks a relationship, but an entire family. Promiscuity scars people. It’s the need for immediate self gratification that throws off the need for lifelong intimacy. One needs to make a few sacrifices on their self-gratification for the intimacy. And when you realise that there is no hope of any intimacy, chances are that you might either end the relationship or cheat on your partner. I remember the first time I read the word “polygamy”. It was in Biology class wherein, one flower pollinates with several other flowers. I found it quite weird and unfaithful as a child, not knowing that this was a major problem in us bipeds too.

We’ve all seen the countless number of movies, and TV shows been made on promiscuous partners, heard the songs sung on unfaithful muses, read the books, and yet, there is a wielding power that compels some of us to cheat. Nobody is a born cheater. Unless it’s some people who really don’t care about who they hurt in satisfying their personal needs, most of us are do-gooders at heart and even the thought of cheating sounds like a heinous crime to us, and yet, it is many of us who do it. One of the main reasons as to why a person cheats is too many boundaries or barely there. While one shouldn’t portray dictatorial tendencies in his/her relationship, it is very much needed to put your foot down when necessary. A suspicious husband might be the cause of a sneaky wife. A timid wife who lets things slide all the time could be cheated on. A partner should strike a perfect balance between overbearing and uncaring. While in most cases, the cheating partner is at fault, there might be a few incidents that could exempt their treachery. For example, if a woman is stuck in an abusive relationship and finds no way out of it, her only solace is the “other man” in her life. It is very easy to point fingers and name the culprit, but being in the shoes of that person and experiencing the plethora of emotions that they face is what really counts.

Another reason for infidelity is unawareness. When a person belongs to a broken home or has lived through a rough childhood, as an adult, he tends to ignore the small things that are usually frustrating for normal people with an average threshold for pain and anger. All those little grievances build up, and might result in either the person who has truly fallen for you and chooses to overlook all this, or an end to the relationship, or our least favourite option, cheating.
While in most cases, a cheating partner is an absolute no-no for a further relationship, there are several people whose love and the idea of forgiveness compel them to overlook this mistake and continue with their relationship. Most of the times this forgiveness turns into life-long resentment towards the cheating partner, but sometimes, miraculously, couples do truly get back together emotionally, stronger than ever.

Relationships, I believe, are a funny deal. Each is unique in its own way and yet, we find a sort of similarity in each one. Maybe its the blinding passion, or the implicit trust or just plain love. Although, it is difficult to have a relationship without bumps and bruises, the very essence of a relationship is the struggle to sustain it. A relationship is full of sacrifices, compromises, adjustments and all the other words that are synonymous. Cheating and lying will only get you so far, till a point where you to let that person go. As someone once quoted, “Cheating and lying aren’t struggles, they’re reasons to break up.”


Volume 6 Issue 1


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