Writing about fidelity reminds me of the weight of this subject. It took me 3 high calorie orange cream biscuits, 2 unimportant phone calls, and 3 trips to washroom in 1 hour. Oh yeah! I’m able to make a prelude. Gulp! A glass of water to celebrate!
Fidelity is something we never discuss in our relationships. Something when discussed is open to interpretations, open to discourse, and can be challenged. Fidelity is a given. You can never ask your partner that –
Hey! Can I be infidel?
Hey! Guess what, I’m turned on by the dapper man I saw at the airport.
Fidelity can only be served as an indirect but grim reminder of what can spell a death knell for a relationship. Just a week back, my partner at the end of an hour long adorable phone call, where he confessed how fortunate he is to have me and a soul-promise to be with me in all my ups and downs of life, gently reminds-
‘I will never stop you from doing anything you want. You want to write on sexuality. You want to go on night dates, long drives, even outstation trips with men. You do not want to get married. You want to smoke and drink. But I only have one expectation in return. Your loyalty!’
Cut! The mother of all boundaries, the reigning queen is fidelity. Why do we insist on fidelity or monogamy of our partners? And what wonders me is the absolute quality of it. The either or. You can be monogamous or you cannot. It is not that you are mostly monogamous or partly monogamous or 98% monogamous.
I call myself mostly monogamous.
My grandmother was monogamous as she had one sexual partner for life, her husband. I too call myself monogamous as I remained sexually exclusive within each relationship I had. Though I had multiple sexual relationships over a period of time. But isn’t this an irony? Today a person can have more than one relationship in his or her lifetime. Has an affair->heartbreak->marries->divorces->remarries. Like the case of my ex-husband. He is still considered a monogamous. So has the definition of monogamy changed?
Just yesterday, the partner mentioned that his AD has left her husband as he cheated outside their marriage. She did the right thing! He concluded. Really? As a society we have a huge tolerance for divorce – where there is a total breakdown of a long term bond and painful effects for the whole family including children – but we have no tolerance for maybe a onetime sexual infidelity?
Esther Perel, noted psychotherapist writes –
‘The sexual exclusiveness we seek in our romantic relationships has roots in our earliest experience of intimacy with our mother. The baby knows no separateness. The mother is a person whose only role was to be there for us. To the newborn the mother is everything, her lap, her breast, her milk it is all for him. But that oneness itself is a fantasy. The mother has always known other people. She even has a jealous lover – The father. Turns out, Mom was never totally faithful – not once a time.’
Monogamy still exists?