Wednesday, May 4, 2011

LOVE and infidelity . . .

Hope everyone is having a really great “merry month of May”! I love this month for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, a reason that might smack of a teeny bit of selfishness J . . .,but,  I am pretty sure that  I can be pardoned .  I was born in this fantastic month of May. Secondly, May is such a beautiful and glorious spring month.  I was in my car going to work this morning and was in awe of the beauty around me; every flower and every tree that I saw was in its full bloom! Such breath-taking scenery that just reminds you that everything about nature is perfection! Simple perfection! . . .; thanks to this glorious month! 

So guys, this topic that I wanted to explore is one that just has hit home for a lot of people. It’s everywhere around us. Society sort of gives it some tacit acceptance. Every time you turn on the television or on the radio, you hear spouses separating because of it! Others stand silently behind a spouse that strays hopelessly grappling for a good reason to stay on in in such relationships! We all jump in, either to condemn or support the parties involved! The fact that this might be the case still cannot and does not make infidelity right.  I have been asked my opinion on whether one can still love and stay with their spouses or significant others even after they stray. Can a relationship really survive and successfully re-build after this ultimate breach of trust.

In a situation when you love your partner or spouse with every inch of your being and then you realize that she or he had been carrying on with a clandestine affair. It is devastating and gut-wrenching! It is even more so, when the other man or woman involved looks a lot better than you do or is on a higher socio-economic ladder than you are. It is the ultimate betrayal especially when the relationship is one that is founded on a marital union which really is sacred. Marriage is a solemn and sacrosanct union. The party in a marriage indulging in infidelity is really committing an atrocity not only against this union and the innocent spouse, but most importantly against himself given the grave potential consequences.

I have to really define Love as best as I can, given that we rightly assume that love precedes every relationship and hopefully is the foundation of every relationship both marital and non-marital. Without being overtly religious with this discussion, I still strongly believe that the best definition of Love that I have yet to see is biblically based. “God is Love” – 1 John 4.8; “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”. 1 Corinthian 13:4. Isn’t that just beautiful? I think it is absolutely flawless!!!

The above quotes are the most authoritative, profound and powerful definitions of Love ever written. 
I do not believe that Love is a visceral reaction or that it is entirely feeling-based.  Last week, I encountered a gentleman who was also an attorney and we started talking about this topic. He stated to me what his perception of Love was. I am compelled to share this with you. J.  He said, “Love is really not a feeling, rather, it is an investment”.  I thought it was really poignant. I thought it was true. I continued thinking about his definition and how Love can really be a multi-faceted investment.  I surmised that Love must be an investment of emotions, commitment, time, effort, etc.  mmmmmmmmh . . . Do you agree?

So, If we truly understand the meaning of love, would we really cheat on our spouses and significant others that we love? I honestly would think NOT! Infidelity is a selfish act! It epitomizes the absence of God or whatever label you choose to give your creator, or that higher being most of us believe exists.

Infidelity is the ultimate breach of trust! It rocks the very foundation on which a marriage rests! It devastates the innocent party and destroys years of “selfless investments” in a twinkle of an eye!

People can and do make mistakes in their lives. We should and must forgive someone that we love when they make mistakes like these not only for the sake of the love that we have for the person, but for the sake of ourselves in order to move on, and create space in our lives for good to come in.

There really are consequences for every good deed or bad deed that we indulge in even when no one is looking. We are endowed with the natural ability to choose Good over Evil. When we decide to “bank wrong”, hefty grime awaits us at the ATM! It is that simple! It comes back to us in form of events that mirror the same good or bad deeds only that it is given back to us with interests and dividends!  Having this in mind, when we do cheat on someone that we profess to love, it not only causes toxicity to our relationship, but the negative nature of the deed itself will ultimately attract to the perpetrators, similar negative events and situation.  These transgressors often wonder why things are going wrong in their lives and are quick to forget that when they purposefully hurt another that they owe the duty of fidelity and protection, they are simply courting disaster. It is sure to happen! It is only a matter of time.

Personally, the sad piece for me is the fact that the innocent party in the whole mess might be affected by the consequences that the perpetrator is suffering -The law of unintended consequences. Innocent children are caught in the fire! Some innocent parties end up suffering intense psychological, physical, and emotional devastation because thing that affects a loved one tends to affect the people in their lives.

If you feel that you no longer wish to stay faithful to your spouse or significant other, take the last honorable step left; take the official walk away from your relationship or marriage into the arms of the meddlesome interloper who is worth giving up that which you have so painstakingly invested in; at least, you are greatly minimizing the grime that which awaits you at the ATM. Then, it is no longer an act of infidelity! You are free to do it! If it would not feel good when it is done to you, why then would you repeatedly do it to someone you profess to love.

As for the innocent parties in relationships who still believe in the ideals of fidelity, marriage and true love, never be deterred at all! You never go wrong when you are in the Right! Continue living your life and giving your ALL to the person or persons that you love. Don’t let a transgressor push you to seek revenge by indulging in the same atrocious act!  I advocate never keeping track of how much you’ve sacrificed for a relationship provided that it is with someone that you love. Relationships are very complex and challenging! It demands a lot of investment! Who says that it is meant to be easy? If it was meant to be easy, then it is not something that is good and true. Be very afraid of a relationship that is seamless! Great relationship demands parties or at least one party that is willing to go one hundred percent! Once you have done your part, leave the rest up to your creator.

In conclusion, I think that infidelity (notice I didn’t say infidelities) can happen in a loving relationship.  People can make one-time mistakes and if they express their remorse, must be given the benefit of the doubt and be forgiven. In forgiving, I do not in any way wish to diminish the selfishness and inherent evil in infidelity. However, forgiveness is the only place to go because it releases the innocent party and opens up for them, more “windows of good” in their lives. It comes from a higher place. Forgiveness equals Love.  

For the habitual transgressor,  . . ., you know, there is no such thing as repeatedly cheating on someone that you love. Repeated infidelity is simply antithetical to the nature of Love. Repeated infidelity and Love are mutually exclusive! Perhaps a further realization that the very negative nature of infidelity will harm them not just literally, but through events and circumstances that will inflict pain on them similar to the pain that the innocent spouse experienced (only that it will be a lot worse) might just be sufficient deterrent.  

As for the meddlesome interloper who has consciously injected himself/herself in a relationship that he/she is aware is alive and thriving especially the sacred marital relationship!  It is coming back at you!  mmm. . .mmm. . .mmm; You end of reaping with huge dividends and interests, that which you give to another.

Irrespective of the side of the table that you are on, you owe it to yourself to treat the other party in your relationship as kind and as loving as possible. It is the right thing to do! It ensures and almost guarantees a happy life for both parties in a relationship.  A happy life after all, is really the whole essence of living isn’t it? I think so J

I wish you a fantastic merry month of May!

Lovingly yours,

Ogor
XOXO ~

22 comments:

  1. What an awesome piece!! I truly believe that if you really love someone, cheating will be the last thing on your mind unless you have some other issues going on. (Issues for a different topic). . .

    What makes people cheat on those they love is a million dollar question. As far as I am concerned, the answer to why people cheat has more to do with how they feel about themselves than about their partners.

    I read an article that stated that when a spouse feels that he or she is intellectually or physically superior to their partners, a mindset may evolve that such disparity in human value is an automatic entitlement to extra privileges such as cheating!! Personally, I disagree that people cheat on their partners because they feel superior to their partners. May be because I am old school, but I believe in the “ONE STRIKE AND YOU ARE OUT system” . I say protect the one you love!! Don’t break the union by cheating!!!

    Excellent but mmmm. . ..; dicey piece Babes!!!. I enjoyed

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  2. Thank you Babes! "One strike and you are out" mmmmmmm . . .,tough stance to take but I guess that is why it is a diverse world with diverse points of view:-)

    I love when you said that cheating signals issues going on with the cheater and not the innocent spouse. so, so, true! I agree somewhat with the article that a false sense of entitlement may be one of the real reasons people cheat.

    As always, thank you for your insights and contribution to this dicey topic:-)

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  3. A great piece once again Darling,I stand for TRUE LOVE,a perfect marriage and fabulous would but it's not always like we want it to be nor as we were taught it would be. I counsel loads of people and have heard all sorts of situations that lead to them living a secret affair but due to what the society is expecting from them,due to the tender of the children,economical dependence,or even religious they are so scared to make that blod step of filing for a dirvoce. Some people can't help but seek a listening ear,a shoulder to lean on,someone that appreciates him/her,someone that seems to care for his welfare e.t.c but unfortunately they fall in-love. Sometimes the good samaritian could be a Pastor,a colleague,a best friend,a distant relative,a friend's husband/ wife. Hmmmm,what the hell could cause this mess? Tiny things that are necglected till they form a mountain,not being as loving as during the courtship,not putting into consideration your spouse before taking decisions,physical and mental maltreatments,LESS OR EVEN ABSENCE OF LOVE MAKING,not spending time together and living life of a spinster/bachelor,constant nagging,careless malhandling of cash(especially by wives),sneaking out cash to extended family (mainly by some wives) and a very long list can lead to this destruction.If the couple has young children,they may not want to dirvoce for the good of the kids,or because some churches are against dirvoce,I have seen some ladies live the hell of being happy only when they are at work because of that guy that appreciate her efforts to look good but she doesn't earn enough to live alone e.t.c I can go on and write pages and pages of examples but I guess it's better to GIVE MY ADVISE,It's better to avoid things falling appart in the first place because life gets as bad as hell especially as the past love turns to HATRED and fights a most nasty and wicked war that only has the aim of tearing the soul of the EX. We should always be just as we were while we were courting.Who doesn't like a little attention,kind words,kisses and gifts to make us feel like the Queens/Kings of the world? Having children mustn't turn us from Darling,Sweetie to WOMAN,OGA,MAMA BOMBOY,MAMA TITI, PAPA OGBONNA,e.t.c. Keep on writting Soulsister,I love you so much!!Loads of kisses and bear hugs!!

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  4. @Nwanne, thank you very much for the depth of your insight and analysis. You are hilarious, I am laughing just reading your last paragraph. It is usually a rude transformation from "sweetie" to "Woman" and "Mama Bom-Boy". LOL!!
    You just decimated this topic by pointing out the other reasons besides love that will make people stay in relationships or marriages. For those whose primary motivation is not love, they do not owe fidelity to their partners, right? Would you conclude though that one case of straying signals the absence of love?

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  5. You're right on point here! If love was truly expressed the way intended it to be in marriages there wouldnt be all this infidelity in the first place. Once you've made up your mind to be with someone it shouldn't matter to you if someone more beautiful or more handsome came along your path. I still believe in true love in the midst of all thats going on in relationships today! There are so many things couples can do to keep their flame alive. Thanks once again for letting me put a token of my thoughts :)

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  6. Love does not hurt, love is self content, and when you are married you became one body, whatever affects or hurts your partner does same to you. No one would want to cheat his/herself, so you cannot cheat someone you profess to love, it is impossible unless the marriage is materially based.

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  7. In theory, you are absolutely correct Atty Ogor, love and infidelity are mutually exclusive. The challenge comes however, when reality is tested.

    There was a study done not too long ago that revealed that 76% of all marriages do experience ...infidelity at one point or another, and when you ask various spouses about it, they deny infidelity and point to their neighbors and others as culprits.

    For me, to love another is to be faithful to that individual in all aspects of the relationship; it requires the utmost discipline, commitment and practice of the Golden Rule. Anything short of that, mandates that I do not commit AT ALL, to anyone or union.

    Be aware that many unions exist for purposes other than love. Some exist for companionship, financial maintenance, procreation, business partnership, criminal enterprise, political convenience, or what have you. In such instances, there is no genuine love….. and infidelity may rule the day.

    However, where there is genuine love, infidelity is absent.

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  8. Atty Ogor, your question re: zero tolerance is an important one. It has always been a thorny issue. Zero tolerance presupposes that it is the "first" instance of infidelity. Is it really the "first" instance that the non-cheating spouse kno...ws about the infidelity OR is it the "first" instance that the cheating spouse has actually cheated?

    You see, this very question shakes the very foundation of any relationship....TRUST. Once trust is shaken, one can tolerate all the zeroes possible, the relationship is difficult to get back on track. Of course, trust can be rebuilt if the parties want and commit to rebuilding it. In such instances, bravo to them and may the Almighty help them.

    As for me, I do not intend to spend my precious and finite life time in any relationship where there is no trust and where I am trying to REBUILD trust. I have no time and I don't care. Marriages are not for everyone, ya know. To answer your question, Atty Ogor, I have zero tolerance for shenanigans. I have neither the time nor the patience.

    You laughed at my mention of marriages based on “criminal enterprise”, I laugh at those also. As an Immigration lawyer, I’m sure you get my gist….too many Green Card marriages. Atty Ogor, a good marriage is a gift and blessing from God Almighty, but what the devil has joined together, any man or woman can put asunder. Cheers!

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  9. Sure Darling,I believe the abscence of love can open the door to infidelity because if all the married couples are in love and happy,they can resist flirting or falling for even the most beautiful women on earth/ Mr Universe. Now the question is,HAS THERE EVER BEEN TRUE LOVE THERE? This issue is truely complex,I enjoy reading others comments so go ahead and make my day.Kisses

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  10. @Melanie, my dear, keep believing in true love! True love does come to those who believe it! I still believe in the ideals of true love and marriage and even though the road has a lot of twists and turns and demands a lot of hard work and sacrifice, I am happily walking that road! Thank you my dear for sharing your insight with the forum:-) "major gorgeous" :-)

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  11. @Ify, "No one will want to cheat on his or herself unless the marriage or relationship is materially based". I love that a lot Ify! You are right because there are really a lot of motivation besides love in a relationship! Thank you very much for pointing that out!

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  12. @Atty. Chis, that is a WOWWER contribution to this discourse! 76% is sadly a high statistics for marriage and infidelity!

    You are absolutely right when you say that reality puts the real test on the issue of love and infidelity. I, like you, still believe that both are mutually exclusive! The various motivations behind marriages really tests the validity of this assertion because if we take a solemn oath to be committed to each other in a criminal enterprise, then the issue of fidelity of course will not matter because Love is not in the equation:-)

    Atty. Chis, I am practically falling off the chair reading your comment especially about the criminal enterprise and what the devil had joined together:-) LOL!!!. Thank you. . . ; thank you. . .LOL!!! Too funny but quite poignant! Please keep these insights coming!

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  13. Another intense one, Ogo! Whether love and infidelity are mutually exclusive? Absolutely! Infidelity in any relationship, especially marriage is a very intricate issue. Even though marriage was founded on God's word which makes it a rule that everyone involved should follow, it goes beyond what we actualy see. It is much more deeper than we think and bear in mind, like one of the commentators already mentioned, a lot of people marry for reasons other than love. Also, I believe that the guilty party should be given a second chance. Ultimately, it centers around discipline and being God-fearing.Thanks for having me over to share. God help us!

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  14. @Arit, thanks for always coming over and being on point:-) Bottom-line as you stated, it demands a lot of discipline and awareness of God on the part of the parties involved in the relationship. We may not be in the majority but I believe in second chances just as you do:-)

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  15. Can love and infidelity co-exist? Of course it can. Can love and repeated infidelity co-exist? Absolutely not. By nature human beings are monogamous, that is how we express our love to each other. We exclude others from our relationships. It makes sense for us to be this way both psychologically and biologically. Infidelity is the antithesis of a monogamous relationship, which again is an expression of love. If it happens once, it shows that something is not right in the relationship, but the relationship may still work. If it happens so often that it appears to be a way of life, love is missing and someone has a problem. If you find yourself in this situation, it doesn't necessarily mean you’re a bad person, just you need to work your feelings out and make a decision about your life and where you want to go with it. You can't continue to go on hurting people simply because you're confused. And if you really are a decent person, you can't continue to hurt yourself. Interesting article though...

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  16. @Atty. Durden, you stated it as concise as possible! I agree with you that Love and infidelity can co-exist. Like you stated, when it becomes repeated, "love is missing and someone has a problem" I agree! Are human beings monogamous by nature? That really will be an interesting area to explore. . . A lot of men vehemently deny this assertion:-) Thanks for taking out the time to peruse and comment on the article:-)

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  17. Ogor dearie this is a complex issue i must say. I believe that love is acceptance and true love is unconditional. Attention forms the basic component of love. There is nothing as good as giving your partner/ spouse a listening ear, it sure works.
    According to William Shakespeare, "love all, trust a few and do wrong to none". I concur that love and infidelity can co-exist, but when infidelity becomes repetitive then there is a problem somewhere. Infidelity is likely to have a long term impact on relationships. Some people are unfaithful for the thrill and excitement. Some people have affairs cos they want to get out of the relationship and can't communicate that fact. It could also be sexual addiction, revenge or inability to resist the advance of others. Ultimately being God fearing is the key word to resisting such temptations.
    Ogor i really enjoyed the write up. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. @Oby, thank you so much for the depth of the insight that you are able to share with this forum. You are right about repetitive infidelity. This appears to be the prevalent view as most people on the forum agree that repetitive infidelity and Love are really mutually exclusive. repeat infidelity signals the presence of other issues including like you mentioned sexual addiction. I appreciate your input on this topic:-)

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  19. Honest PomegraniteMay 8, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Relationships are very complex and challenging! It demands a lot of investment! Who says that it is meant to be easy. ~ogorgeous blogspot.

    Spot on!!! Though, I don't consider myelf a relationship expert, i do believe honesty is a necessary ingredient in having a successful and long lasting positive relationship.

    Because this is such a human experience, we must also be willing to forgive, which can be hard. Perosnally, if my significant other cheated on me, I would be left with no other choice but to forgive and divorce him. Trust is a delicate thing. It's extremely hard to rebuild once it's been broken. I do agree that Love and infidelity are mutually exclusive.

    If a person really love the other, the last thing they'd want to do is hurt them.

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  20. @Honest Pomegranite, I agree with you when you said that trust is a delicate thing that is extremely hard to rebuild once it is broken. I think the human element in relationship almost compels us to have a kinder outlook towards all its possible permutations, including infidelity! I like that you will forgive an isolated incident. I will however, still stay in that marriage. Would you really divorce your spouse over one remote brush with infidelity? :-)
    Thank you so much for your contribution to this topic:-)

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  21. Another way of putting this topic across is by posing this question: How many times will your spouse cheat on you before you declare the relationship over? You'll be surprised at the answers and the indignant responses from men...'the very thought of it, how dare she!
    Ogor, I could write a book on Love and Infidelity. For me, it is two sides of a coin. Depending on how often the different sides is being flipped one may end up with more heartaches than love. Men and women share very different views on these two related topics. Like all women, I am an incurable romantic and believe if you truly love someone you will remain faithful and devoted for the rest of your life. How wrong can you be? It is not the depressing statistics of cheaters or serial adulterers that make me say this but I have come to the truthful reality only God truly loves. Is it any wonder that the bible says God is love. The kind of love we all yearn for -sincerity, devotion and absolute love without straying whatsoever can only come from a perfect being. The small percentage of women who engaged in extra marital affairs have taken the dictum WHAT A MAN CAN DO A WOMAN CAN DO EVEN BETTER, too far. If your husband has done the unthinkable or unforgivable, why follow suit in the same damaging direction? It hurts like hell when you find out he has been playing away but here is no need for tit for tat. Bringing in a celebrity mentality upon your marriage by calling in divorce lawyers will not help either. What is the guarantee the next man or woman will not be worse? Love does not mean your spouse will not stray, by no means am I encouraging infidelity in a relationship but if you are in it for the long haul be prepared for a few surprises, inevitables, mistakes or whatever you want to call it. Is it not surprising that men will say, 'it is a mistake' and women foolishly condemn the other woman as tarts or home wrecker. The truth is, it takes two to tango. Every woman will openly say 'my man will never cheat on me' but it is happening right under their nose. Sad. They might as well say, my husband will never lie to me. He loves you and you love him be grateful to God for that. Do not let your whole world come crashing down when you discover his extra marital affair. Many men genuinely love their wives but they still cheat. What kind of love is that you wonder? This is the way one man put it to me,'men are entitled to some foolishness' Some have it buried in their psyche that men are polygamous by nature therefore even when they are married they are entitled to have affairs as long as the wife does not know! How wrong is that? When people have beliefs such as these one can only deduce their warped mind is a result of their upbringing, ethnic beliefs or a promiscuous life style they are used to.
    Your Learned friend is also right when he said Love is an investment. Women always invest enormous emotions while men are more practical. They do love but their sensible cap is always on their head. That your man who has professed undying love for you and promised to love you even when you wrinkle will stray probably once or twice in the relationship is to have your sensible hat on. It is wrong from a biblical point of view to expect such absolute perfection from a man or woman. For this reason are we required to love and forgive at the same time. It is a theology that is hard to swallow even in the days of Jesus that a woman caught in the very act of adultery was asked to go and sin no more( John 8:3-11). Devastating as it may sound you have to forgive and start again with the same spouse of course.
    On the other hand, how can you live with serial adulterers, cheaters or philanderers? Nobody becomes one overnight and whoever is saddled with one should be honest enough to admit the problem has been there from day one and not necessarily a third party curse. They can get help, the Godkind of help.

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  22. @Love Absolute, I thank you immensely for this heart-felt analysis of this topic! You spoke from a place of truth and conviction. You said it all. . . I surmise from your analysis that you do agree that there may be one or two infidelity hiccups that might be forgiven during the life of a relationship but you also vehemently oppose the idea of repeated infidelity because you agree that it signals an absence of love! I hear you when you say that God is the only perfect being and so, expecting perfection from humans might be contrary to reality:-) . . . I say, I would hope that we will all strive for that "perfection" in our relationship so that even if we then happen to make mistakes, it will be a remote one. I hold men to the same standard as I do women. There is nothing that I know that makes them biologically predisposed to polygamy. (I will leave that topic to the experts :-) ) What can say. . .; you touched every aspect of it! As always, I thank you immensely for educating us on this forum. ;-)

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