Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It is Complicated



My husband and I were out shopping one Saturday afternoon. Before long, our stomachs reminded us that it was well past lunch time. I was getting a bit worried about the delay in getting lunch as my husband is  diabetic. But unfortunately, we were in an area where there were not many restaurants. The Saturday afternoon traffic  was scary enough to put us off from  fighting our way through it  looking for the usual places we frequent. Luckily for us, we found a small board with an arrow leading into a lane near the E.V. Kalyani memorial hospital on Edward Eliot’s Road. 

The restaurant was an interesting one. It was located inside a huge bungalow. There were nice wrought iron chairs arranged around a courtyard which had two beautiful trees. Surprisingly, there was no one else there but us. Probably, the location, I told my husband.  But I liked the fact that it was quiet and far from the maddening crowd. My husband had a different take on the place. He told me that this looked like somewhere a married man would bring a woman he is having an affair with! I think he had a point there because the place certainly had what I would call a “hidden away” quality to it. Besides, the quality of the food was rather mediocre. Definitely a place where food is not the priority for the patrons!! But don’t get me wrong..it was not what I would call sleazy. It was very classy in its own way! 
 
We then proceeded to discuss over lunch whether extra marital affairs were sleazy or not. 

I guess the way you look at an extra marital affair depends on who you are in this triangle. If you are the wife you are devastated and yes, it is betrayal of the worst kind! But what if you are the man or the “other” woman? Is it all about a physical need that a marriage is not able to satisfy? Why would a woman go into an extra marital affair? Sometimes she is fooled into thinking that the man is single but often the woman in question is aware that he is married.   So why does she do it?  

I told my husband that one of the biggest “pick up “ lines that married men frequently use with another woman is “ My wife does not understand me”.  I was of course annoyed when he told me that it was often the truth and not a “pickup line”. Before I could pounce on him for being a MCP he corrected himself saying that it was  not specific to men. Women may also feel that their husbands do not understand them. And of course the other woman in an extra marital relationship need not always be a single person. I think it is probably one of the issues at the core of a relationship that borders on infidelity. We get married, settle down into domesticity and then start evolving into individuals who may or may not be similar to the person we got married to. We react differently to the pressure that life puts on us. Husbands might start becoming short tempered while wives might turn into nags. The goals might  be shared but the desperation to reach them makes us behave in ways that would repulse the partner. In our bid to adjust to each other we sometimes sacrifice what we like very much simply because the partner does not appreciate it. It does not disappear but stays buried within us. 

And then suddenly comes along a person who makes us feel different! Sometimes those buried likes surface as we find that this person likes them too. Then there is a feeling of bonding. Ofcourse, there is also a physical chemistry that  goes with it because one does not end up having an affair with every person of the opposite sex that one likes or bonds with. 

With married women, it is a feeling of suddenly being seen as attractive by another man. This can be very flattering and do a lot for her self esteem which often takes a downward slide in her effort to mould herself to be her husband’s wife. I remember a woman friend who once told me that she had an affair just to get her husband’s attention.  “He was beginning to take me for granted and I felt I had become invisible” she told me . And strangely, when she started having an affair, she developed a certain confidence that made her very attractive which suddenly got her husband stand up and take notice! Needless to say, she got out of the relationship once her husband started paying her more attention. I suppose it could be same with a man too. 

But this was one of the better stories. Most of the extra marital relationships are very painful and lonely experiences. Relationships with no future! Yes, there is the thrill of living in the moment and cherishing every minute of it but the pain and the guilt that come later is probably unbearable. They run their course and then fizzle out.  There are really no happy endings there for anyone. 

Someone once told me that no third party can break a relationship. We do it ourselves. Probably true..! 

As we were getting ready to pay the bill, I could not resist asking the waiter if he remembered faces. Feeling rather surprised he asked me “ Yes. But why Madam?” I told him to take a good look at both of us and then giving him my card I told him “If you see this man here with anyone other than me, please give me call at this number” 

“That was a nasty thing to do” said the husband laughing as we left the place!! The poor waiter stood looking as though he had just been at the receiving end of some “sting” operation conducted by two middle aged loonies!

( While on the topic of extra marital relationships , I invite you to read my story “Milestones” in my fiction blog “Kaleidoscope”. You can get the link by moving your arrow under the title "Milestones")

14 comments:

mahabore said...

Given that my daughter was born in EV Kalyani, I know the restaurant you are referring to, however, that being said, I have never been to the place myself.

As for the place looking like somewhere where extra marital affairs would flourish, completely agree with you on that count.

Loved how you managed to put up an entire post on extra marital affairs with just that one burst of inspiration. Loved the post in its entirety and am now hopping off to your fiction blog to read the story and post my comments there.

Leela Pal Chaudhuri said...

Well-thought out and articulated. Btw, what is the name of the restaurant?

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Leela the restaurant is called "Ashvita". But I don't think they are located there any longer.

Kalpana Solsi said...

With the restaurant as a backdrop you have given a very clear picture of the flings. two is company but three is a crowd in a relationship.

Camila Rafaela Felippi said...

Married people can be different? Well, I have a boyfriend now, and when we say we want to marry, everybody say something like: ooh, it's a pitty your love will end!
I really don't understand -.-

SG said...

“My wife does not understand me” is a big BS. The only reason people have extra-marital affair is lack of sex or tired of being the same partner. If both feel the same way, they can try open marriage.

People who do will not talk about it. People who talk will not do it.

Meera Sundararajan said...

@SG I disagree. I do not think it is only physical needs that drive people into extra marital relationships. The physical need is just one dimension. About your prediction " People who talk ..." don't be so sure. :)

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Camilla welcome to my blog. I think it is important to keep the romance alive in a marriage. Most people do not work on their marriages.

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Kalpana yes, two is company and three is a crowd. Thanks for the kind words

SG said...

About your prediction " People who talk ..." don't be so sure. :)

Oh!

chennaidailyfoto said...

The Story apart, i guess the place is Cafe Ashvita :)

Divya said...

There are many reasons why infidelity can happen in a marriage - there are various reasons not just one...Marriages require work and in our everyday lives, nothing is easy thanks to all the stressors that are present.

I really laughed on reading the end of this post :P

Meera Sundararajan said...

@ Divya you are right. Marriage and infidelities are research topics in themselves :)

@Chennaidailyfoto - you guessed right ( well it was not a guess really because I have already mentioned a name in an earlier comment.). And what exactly do you mean by "Story apart"? This post is not about Cafe Ashvita it is about an issue. So the story is very much a part!!!

anilkurup said...

The last part of the post was riveting and is a matter that amuses and laugh uncontrollably! Wonderful you thought to do what you did. Ha!
Someone told me that if the social taboo and restraint is absent then extra marital affairs would be dime a dozen - bloom

Yet there may be some relevance in the statement that the partner failed to understand.It can happen either ways , I guess.

Post a Comment

 
;