As you know, my blogging has been sporadic at best. In an attempt to keep things going, I have invited one or two people to guest appear on the blog whenever they feel like it. I haven’t really had a response yet, but then this came up and my friend felt that she couldn’t post it on her own blog. This is the second guest I’ve had here, and I think she’ll be here a lot more often. The first needed something, and got it.
Please have a read, and don’t forget to comment…
Cheating is a violation of the mutually agreed upon terms of an intimate relationship. Obviously, like any contract, the terms vary depending on what kind of a relationship you have, therefore altering the extent of a breach.
Infidelity may occur in two separate but not necessarily mutually exclusive areas of a relationship; emotional and physical. Physical infidelity deals with any form of sexual activity outside of the “monogamous” relationship, whereas emotional infidelity goes into a deeper involvement with the other person.
According to Freud, it is human and natural to have a desire for sex.
Thank you, Sigmund, for that riveting piece of analysis. Never mind, he redeems himself by stating that “adultery is a classic manifestation of autonomic desires splitting the psyche of the adulterer.”
Traditionally (and I mean traditionally, not culturally or religiously. Yes, there is a difference), the fundamental purpose of marriage was to control sexual unification. According to Mr Freud, however, marriage cannot control sexual desires. This, I find is true. As history and cultures serve us, humans have been led to believe that: primarily, it is a “sin” to commit sexual conduct before a unification of one man and one woman before God (do not even get me started on LGBT’s, for the purpose of this article, I am not going to spur on another debate in the midst of this one); and secondarily, one must be married at a certain point in their lives in order to have a successful existence in the eyes of the community.
In reality, I’ve found that since we don’t really know what will happen to us once our existence has lapsed, we tend to make excuses for what we’ve done. If we do have sex relations before marriage, we don’t feel like we have sinned. In fact, it must have been so earth shattering that we found an excuse for doing it again – “well, I’ve already done it once before, so I might as well.”
Within a marriage people have made “mistakes”; “I’m sorry, my love, I didn’t mean to, she just came on to me” – we find ways of blaming the other person. Great men have fallen due to their “slight” indiscretion (see: Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, to name but two). Freud divides the human psyche into three parts; the id, the ego and the superego. These are not the “ego’s” that we, in this modern day, have grown to understand, love and hate. The id is responsible for our basic drives, has no concept of good or evil and has no morality. The id works according to a “pleasure principle” and avoids anything which does not derive it pleasure, which is where the desire for sex comes from. The ego works according to a “reality principle” and seeks to please the id in realistic ways; i.e. having sex with a partner in a monogamous relationship. The super-ego aims for perfection in a socially appropriate manner and includes ideals (of religion and community, etc) such that it punishes misbehaviour; i.e. getting married and not cheating.
Having said all this, if my partner we to commit an act of infidelity on me, I know what act I would commit on him/her. Ok, I’m exaggerating. I actually would not do anything. I have been cheated on numerous times and my reaction to each one has been different. I always say to myself that if my current partner were to cheat on me and if he told me about it and if it seemed like he was remorseful, I would probably not leave him. It would hurt, a lot. And it would take a long time for me to get over it, but I would, eventually. That’s what I tell myself, and him.
Often, it’s not that difficult to know how you would react to someone cheating on you (in a general sense) because the bottom line is that you can either: carry on the relationship and work through the infidelity; or you can leave him/her. What happens when you find out someone has been unfaithful and you cannot leave them?
A few years ago, I learnt that my father was having an affair. When I found out, it wasn’t the most conclusive evidence that may have been necessary to convict someone of adultery, and therefore, it wasn’t irrefutable for me either. So, for years I’ve known of his indiscretions and without any substantial proof, I’ve done and said nothing. Some years ago my mothers’ family suspected that he may be having an affair and my father made a whole episode of proclaiming that he would not do anything to jeopardise our family. His choice of words were extremely clever, I thought, when he rang me at university to make his statement of defence. He never said that he had not had an affair as I suppose he must have known those words bit Mr Clinton in his gluteus maximus when he proclaimed that he had not had “sexual relations with that woman.” Instead, he said he wouldn’t jeopardise the family. He was correct. He has always been a good father. As for being a good husband, that isn’t for me to judge, which is what I told him over the phone. I had convinced myself that it has nothing to do with me and if he felt like he needed to make amends, or whatever he was doing, then he should speak with my mother.
A few days ago, while I was vacationing, I receive a text message from my father which was OBVIOUSLY not meant for me. Now, I have semi-conclusive proof. When I read that message, I drank, a lot. I was out with friends and the only way I thought I could get it out of my mind was to drink. When I got home, I cried. It all compounded and I broke down.
My father knows that he slipped-up. And I can see that he keeps attempting to confirm whether or not I do, in fact, know. I haven’t said anything. I can’t seem to bring myself to say anything because I still don’t feel like I have conclusive proof. Then I think to myself if it is for me to act on. Because, in essence, in accordance with my previous stance, it has nothing to do with me.