Compassionately culpable: Why we must talk about cheating differently?
Samiksha and Sanjay (name changed) have been married for about 8 years now. While one of the many dinner-dates the couple goes to, Sanjay happened to read a lustful and longing message from Arnav (name changed), one of his closest friends on Samiksha’s mobile.
Infuriated, angered, humiliated and honestly disgusted, Sanjay confronted Samiksha and found out that they have been seeing each other secretly for a while now. Obviously unappeased, the marriage had hit the rock bottom when Sanjay felt that the only way that things can get better was through an intervention by a therapist. He dragged his wife for therapy because he believed that she needs to be ‘fixed’.
Samiksha sat in front of the therapist with eyes filled with guilt, remorse, and utmost regret. Without looking up, she started telling her tale of cheating on her husband. It has been about 6 months of therapy for Samiksha and the path for her, as well as Arnav to get back to their respective relationships, has been a task.
“Over a period of time, I have come to realize that we need to shift our focus from the victims alone and look into what is the cause of the whole issue,” said Anu Sachar, a psychologist as well as a Thriive-verified life coach.
This conversation with Sachar was the beginning of a discussion about cheating in my head. ‘Cheating‘ as a term is used very loosely today, for one. And as a matter of fact, what acts come in the ‘cheating category’ is different for different people. We must, therefore, talk about cheating very differently in today’s day and age.
Emotional backlogs or relationship incompatibility?
Compassion needs to be the key when you talk about addressing any sort of issue, especially in the case of relationships. The third party in the given matter (here, Arnav) need not be at fault always and most plausibly, maybe your own partner is fighting an underlying condition of duress.
“Samiksha had tons of emotional problems herself. Her husband, Sanjay too was very weak emotionally. As Samiksha realized that she will not have Sanjay as her emotional anchor, she started distancing herself away from him. Arnav, on the other hand, was more of a support system for her to lean on. That is what happens with a lot of relationships these days,” added Sachar.
Most adulteries happen because one partner is emotionally looking for a vent out while the other has unresolved conflicts. This is not to justify any of the actions committed by anyone in the picture, but to clarify that there could be unsolved emotional battles that you may be fighting within yourself.
Automatically, when you don’t get support in your close-circle, you will look for it around you. In majority of cases, you will need to talk about adultery in a rather compassionate manner. Again, you can’t justify your actions of cheating on your partner, but simply realize that cheating has become an ugly leitmotif in our lives.
What amounts for cheating?
Well, cheating could mean different things to different people. For most poeple, hiding anything from your partner could account for cheating, while for others even dining out with anyone from another gender could be adultery. Mike Pence, for example, believes that he or his wife have never gone out for dinners with anyone from the opposite gender because that accounts for cheating for the couple. Simply put, it’s best to discuss with your better half about what is or isn’t adultery for you as a couple.
Also, if you have found that your partner is cheating on you- don’t just start blaming the person but think through.
Sachar strongly believes that one should cope-up with his/her own emotional battles. As they rightly say, “if you don’t heal what hurt you, you will bleed on those people who didn’t cut you.”