Richa is a successful doctor in a big corporate hospital in New Delhi, India. She was married to Prateek, who was also a very successful doctor in another big corporate hospital of New Delhi, India. They had a love cum arranged marriage and lived in a joint family. Sakshi was their only child and they both loved and adored her. They had hectic schedules but they loved each other. A year before, Richa discovered that Prateek had an affair with a young nurse.
Neha is a successful doctor in a big private hospital in New Delhi. She was married to Mahesh, who worked in a multinational company and his work took him to United states often, at times even for months. They had a arranged marriage.They had two daughters who were their world. They too lived in a joint family. It was a happy family, till Neha bumped into Mahesh’s secret life.
Sheena is a succesful Doctor enterpreneur and runs a chain of Medical centres of New Delhi. Her husband works in the government sector at a high post. Like Neha, she had an arranged marriage and lives in a joint family. They have two kids and were a contended family till Sheena found about her husband’s endevaours.
“Infidelity, Cheating, Extramarital affairs” happen only in West or in the high society. The middle class has always been seen as the guards of much hyped Indian culture. And this was my belief till I came across a few instances like this. So, I started my quest just for curiosity to know whether this is a recent trend? Is our society at crossroads? And what happens to the much hyped Indian Married couples who claim to be in rock solid marriage as compared to their western counterparts.
When the Ashley Madison- website for cheating spouses was hacked, about 2.75 lakh Indians were at the risk of being exposed. Indians are usually silent on this topic and if ever such things happen, they are generally kept hush-hush. Surprisingly, when I checked the web on this topic, there have been articles about Rising Infidelity in Indian women, but everyone is silent on Indian Male. In a cover story on the same topic In India Today (Secret and Lies) October 2007, 10 years back, Almost 31% men and 6% women admitted to having extramarital affairs. Infidelity is still rising and definitely, it’s males as well females who cheat. So why are media and society silent on Male infidelity and worried about Female.
Polygamy has always been looked as a crime for Common Indians, though the kings were allowed to keep as many wives. The only female in mythology, Draupadi who had five husbands has been looked up with scorn through generations. So, is it that the trend is new? or this has always been a part of society but due to the silence concerning the topic, it has gone undiscussed as far as males were concerned since they were the breadwinners. But now, when females are indulging, society elders are disturbed. Or is it that though the technology has given avenues to cheat, it has also made it easier to be discovered. What’s app, facebook, Chatrooms, have given people private hideouts, but where a deed is done, the trail will always remain behind.
What has led to this increasing trend was another question on my mind. More women coming out of the homes to shoulder the responsibilities, Stressful lifestyles, with less time for families, more females who marry at a later age but still having no qualms to seek a married man ( better established and rich) for fun sake, could be the few reasons, I could think of. Nuclear families have been mentioned as one reason in many writeups, but in the cases, I came across all were joint families. So, is it that Parents have no restrictions for their sons, but a daughter in law is the honour of the family.
Hindu Marriage has always been a sacred institution and the vows taken were usually sufficient to bind people lifelong. This strength of Hindu marriage was always a feature of envy for all the cultures. With the rising trend in Infidelity, it may no longer remain so.
Whatever, the society bias be, Infidelity whether it be by the male or female spouse is like a monster in the sacred institution of marriage. Once a person is betrayed, the pain always remains. And for people who choose to stay back and mend their marriage, it takes a lot of deal of courage, compassion and adjustment to continue, especially for the betrayed spouse. Trust is like a glass, once broken, the crack always remains. Many people do overcome and form stronger bonds, but still for majority pain always remains behind. Even those who choose to walk out and form new bonds, remain suspicious and are never able to trust someone. The children who grow in broken marriages have lifelong issues of bonding and trust.
Let us stop being hypocrites. We still do not discuss sex outside bedrooms, are suspicious of sexual education provided to kids, yet as per Ashley Madison survey have no issues over extramarital affairs.The survey done revealed that 76% of Indian women and 61% of men don’t think that infidelity is a sin or immoral.( Infidelity not a sin ).
A true relationship is not just romance, candlelight dinners, sex and gifts. Let all those who want to get married be ready for a lot of hard work, compassion and togetherness.
* All the characters are fictitious. The stories are from true episodes in life, however, they bear no resemblance to me or the people I know.