Friday, December 3, 2010

Faithless or less faith?

The other day I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a colleague when she suddenly banged her cup and snapped me out of my reverie. “I need to talk”, this sentence was the first inkling I got that there was trouble in the horizon. Although my break was running short I decided to listen and find out what was troubling her.

Well, it was the same old marital problem, the best friend of the husband who happens to be a beautiful, smart female. My friend was deeply troubled because her husband spent too much time talking on the phone with the other woman (excuse my pun), she calls him all the time, they go out very frequently etc.

My first question was if she had spoken to her husband about this and the reply was “Yes”, it seems she had confronted him many times but he just dismissed her concerns as trivial tantrums. I could gleam from her descriptions that it was probably a harmless friendship and nothing else, so I gave her as much consolation and pep-talk as I could manage.

However this got me into my thinking mode. In this modern world where words like fidelity and faithfulness are out of fashion and temptations are spread across all the corners, how far can a husband/wife remain loyal? And what exactly are the triggers that lead them astray? Is it a troubled marriage, an incompatible spouse, a fickle/restless nature, the attraction towards the forbidden or simply boredom and the availability factor? I am sure there are people who will point out the fact that they might have found their true love at last and they could not help themselves but to be with whom they perceive to be their soul-mates.

The renowned psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck in his bestselling book, “The road less traveled” had advocated the benefits of an open marriage, however he also pointed out that one needs to be strong-willed and capable of controlling ones urges for a marriage to be successful (although he himself had numerous adulterous affairs and ultimately divorced and re-married). So the question which remained in my mind is this - is there a single "couple" in this world who haven't ever had a moment of doubt about their spouses’s loyalty, no matter how close and happy their relationship was? The answer is probably yes, after all we are all humans but then the fact also remains that in spite of temptations and greener pastures there still exists that rare breed of faithful loving people who will brave all and still remain faithful to the vows they have taken.

So although this might sound cynical, it would be foolish to blindly trust our better halves but at the same time equally foolish to jump the gun at the least mention of another individual from the opposite sex. The best course of action is to remain calm and talk about the feelings we have instead of pointing fingers. After all, its known that most times doubts arise out of insecurities and fears. These are always deep waters, best we tread smoothly and be careful we don’t hurt the ego of the person we love. All it achieves is to make them drift away from us. It might seem like we can speak about anything and in any manner to our spouses, after all they are our life-partners, but we should never forget that they are individuals in their own rights with very fragile egos and insecurities. All couples have their unique differences and areas of concerns but I feel listening, understanding, talking and being observant are factors that act like cement in our relationships, it can only become stronger.   

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