Faithfulness is overrated

I’m a woman. And I’m faithful. But I think faithfulness is overrated.

My grandmother would now be 100 years. My grandfather was a butcher. And was unfaithful. Those were the days back then. As a butcher he had tons of female clients with a lot of time in their hands and he was a handsome man. Grannie suffered horribly on account of this. When her husband passed away, my mother, who was then 14, fell ill with symptoms similar to his. It was the sadness. So her evil aunt called her to one side and told her all about her father’s imperfections. Mum was shocked. And turned into a woman having to reconcile the image of the unfaithful man with the loving father and husband that he had been. For her, the latter mattered more. She later had to make decisions about her own marriage. Dad was not an unfaithful man by tendency, but wouldn’t say no to a dish well set. He would now be, God, he would now be 85 and those were the times. Mum never minded too much. She didn’t applaud of course, she was sad for a while, but she went over things.

Of course, in this day and age, husband of mine who leaves my bed to see another woman and then returns to my bed is in trouble lest I find out. Personally, I find the behaviour promiscuous and I do not like promiscuosness in any of the genders. Things have to have class and respect and a heart. And womanisers for the sake of it deserve to be treated for the object they are.

But at times we must be sensible. When I was married, my husband went through long term unemployment. Then he found a great job in Mexico, which is on the other side of the Atlantic from me. I decided I couldn’t cut his chances to grow as a man. And I embraced the certainty that he would, sooner or later, despite any promises, at a point be unfaithful. I embraced that as part of my decision. I was never jealous. As long as he treated me and only me with all his love.

Thing is, we can’t want irreconcilable things. We must embrace the consequences of our own decisions with adulthood.

There are marriages out there with years and years without sex. And one of the partners, often the one denying the sex, has the nerve to be jealous! That is not love, that is possessiveness and pride and desire for power!

There are marriages out there that are an emotional desert. Where people are there for the sake of the children because from their spouse comes no more “enoughness”. And the spouses know it, if only they took the time to notice. Emotional deserts are created by two people and can be fixed by two people. With love and attention. But people let it drag and then wonder why all of a sudden their marriage is a triangle. Marriage is about looking after the needs of the other as well as ours. It is not about permanent complaining. It is not about not noticing our partner because we are too busy. Even if we are too busy trying to achieve the objectives we think are important for the family, like a career or minding the children. Minding your spouse is important for your family too. One day someone passes below his or her nose and then society points an angry finger at the unfaithful one. But how did he or she get to that? How many silences did he or she have to sleep with to feel so alone? Is that fair on anyone? We all just have one life and one life is all we have to be happy in!

I know, the complaining and the emotional deserts did not appear out of the blue, they came from a place of emotional pain that we can not get over. I remember looking at my husband, knowing he was saying he loved me, knowing he loved me, and still just seeing pain. The pain of 3 years of long distance marriage I no longer knew how to surmount. But, as a divorced woman myself, I can surely say, pain is a nasty little thing, if you don’t make an effort to get over it, it will steal everyone you love and, trust me when I say, it has nothing at all to give to you, it is there just to take.

So yes, do whatever mourning you need to for any sadness you have accumulated in your relationship, but then soon enough make an effort to make your relationship an enoughness or even an abundance for all involved. We all only have one life.


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