Messy Affairs

Yes that’s exactly what affairs tend to be. Messy. Affairs of the heart, that is. But in a social sense, an affair alludes to a relationship between two individuals that occurs after social and moral boundaries have been breached. They are the consequence of willful transgressions. But I am not entirely convinced with the moral (nee religious!) argument people generally advance. As a society, we tend to look at things in black or white, often ignoring the grey in the middle, the consideration of which is an absolute must. But when it comes to affairs, especially the extra-marital ones to be precise, we ignore the grey. We Need to ignore it, because examining it would throw open a Pandora’s box that would involve emotions, social mores, psychology, need, want and acceptance. And that just won’t do, would it? That won’t suit the society that thinks of an ‘affair’ only in terms of lust, sex and cheating. But the bitter truth is that when we reduce an affair to just lust or sex, we trivialize to a point beyond redemption. We lose the grey, which is so inherently required to make us more sensitive, understanding and perhaps responsible too. Because an average person doesn’t wake up one fine morning and decide that he/she wants to ‘cheat’ on their spouse! An affair might or might not have lust as its undercurrent, just as there is an equal probability that the undercurrent, the aim being sought is simply comfort, acceptance, security, perhaps love and quite certainly an ever-elusive happiness.

A married woman is ‘involved’ with a man not her husband. Call her a whore, a slut, a woman devoid of character for having desecrated the sacred institution of marriage. Oh look at her cheating! O she will rot in hell! But perhaps, beneath the obvious is a terribly lonely and broken woman. Perhaps she is battling an abusive marriage. Perhaps the man she is ‘involved’ with is not just ‘bedding’ her, but maybe he listens to her when she speaks, comforts her when she is shattered, holds her when she is crying and above all, respects her because she IS. And there is that urban yuppie with a fantastic job, married to a gorgeous goddess. His life has all the pretense of an idyllic postcard. But maybe deep within him is a vacuum that seeks not a body to satiate itself with but a soul to embrace. God forbid if this ‘adulterer’ is ‘having an affair’ with a woman who is married to! And even if she isn’t, he has already been labelled by the self-appointed feminist brigade as the typical chauvinistic pig who heartlessly cheated on his lovely wife with a woman who ‘isn’t worth it’. Nobody bothered looking into the shackles his unhappy and loveless marriage is, held together only by a marriage certificate but otherwise as empty and vacant as death. Or somebody else who is caring for a terminally ill spouse, but needs someone to take care of their own scars, somebody to go home to when it is all over.  Or somebody who simply got tired of making ‘it’ work. Or someone who is simply stuck with a real monster!

Perhaps certain transgressions are wrong, while some are not. Justifications might or might not suffice. Hell, they might not even be needed! Perhaps black is white and white is black. But to lose sight of the grey would be to lose sight of our inner selves. And maybe chasing happiness (but not skirts) is not really a crime. Judging people should be, though.

Perhaps a ‘it’s complicated’ might be the dusk before the dawn.


3 Responses to “Messy Affairs”

  1. I Agree in heart, but not in mind. Talk about complicated. 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Careless Whisper and commented:
    Well, I must say its exquisitely written. It’s important to understand the undercurrents, I couldnt agree more. They say that growing up does not mean that you end up judging people, it means being mature enough not to judge people. Besides, we’re different individuals, all of us. We have different frequencies on which our minds and hearts operate. So eventually, each one of us leads a different life. And the ‘society’ cannot understand till they put themselves in a certain pair of shoes. I say ‘pair’ because we’re talking about relationships. Marriage is indeed a sacred institution which is supposed to provide a gamut of ‘safe’ and ‘secure’ emotions, but not everyone’s life is carved out that way. And life has to go on beyond the stigmas and the dogmas. What is really ‘not worth it’ is gossiping about things or scandalizing things that could conveniently be kept within the precincts of the four walls. Life’s not always a bed of roses, and we as humans have an instinctive need to judge. But I think we need to understand that in a relationship, especially a marriage, home is a person you go to. And that’s what matters. As the cliche goes, “the home is where the heart is”.

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