“You must concede that we men are constant as far as wives are concerned,” commented my cousin. We had been discussing a friend who had terminated his ‘affair’ with one of his colleagues and gone back to the ‘fold’. Naturally, my cousin saw it from the man’s point of view — but I can only blame both the wife and the ‘other woman’ for their meek acceptance of a situation which calls for more than divine forgiveness of tresspasses.
The film industry has contributed many such passive wives who have quietly borne their husband’s flings and welcomed them back when they were tired of the grazing. Why do wives put up with this straying sheep? Are they so hung up on the title of a ‘wife’ and the legal privileges it offers, that they will tolerate anything?
Marriage calls for a certain commitment from both parties and it is but fair that they keep to the rules of the game. If either wants to explore other possibilities, it should be with the explicit understanding that the other’s commitment comes to an end. Unfortunately, men do not play it fair and the women are to be pulled up for this.
Let’s look at it from the point of the ‘other woman’. When she knows she is up against a barrier set up by social norms, she should avoid any emotional or physical link with the man. She is, on the other hand, easily taken in by his promises to get a divorce and marry her. With this sop thrown in at psychologically strategic intervals, he gets the maximum out of the relationship and goes back to his wife after some time.
There are times when both the wife and the mistress carry his child, each believing that she is the only one! It is all very well to call the man a cad and write him off as true to type. But what we women must understand is that we can’t change them. So, the only way out is to get out of their way.
The world is large enough to have enough men and women to go around. Why not leave married men alone and seek the company of the unattached ones? This will save the single women a lot of frustration and ignominy.
A man who can divorce his wife and desert his children for another woman is quite capable of more such acts in future. A man who can ignore the tenets of a holy alliance and philander with another woman’s affections is not to be trusted. If his love is genuine and his intentions honourable, then he must prove it by positive steps and the woman must insist on it. Instead, he blackmails her emotionally and lulls her into a false sense of security. This can only lead to a sorry state for the woman.
Despite all our claims to progress in actions and thoughts, there are still some age old traditions that cannot go up in smoke overnight. Marriage is one of them. Society only recognises the legally proclaimed spouse — whatever her drawbacks, the other woman is only a pastime. The sooner she realises this and opts out of this position, the better for her!