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August 21, 2018

THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (4) – EFFECTS OF INFIDELITY

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 MIND AND BODY with  Rev. Fr. Vincent E. Arisukwu

Infidelity puts a snag in marriage. It can make a sweet matrimonial bond turn automatically sour. Some of the effects include: distraction, mistrust, lies, anxiety, suspicion, loss of affection, frustration, violence, separation, etc.

 

Distraction: Christ was very blunt when he warned in the scripture, “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other” (Mtt. 6:24). The principle of Non Contradiction also holds that something cannot be and not be at the same time. The Igbos say, “Anaghi eji ukwu abuo awufe ogwe”. All these go to point out the danger of infidelity in marriage. When a man engages himself in another love-relationship in marriage, he becomes distracted. Such a person loses concentration, becomes divided in his approach to his marriage partner. He begins to give little attention to his immediate family. He becomes unsettled whenever he is at home. He clings so tenaciously to his mobile phone, even becomes aggressive to anyone who dares touch it without his authorization. The unfaithful person battles between satisfying the legitimate partner and the sex companion. He simply becomes internally distracted.

 

Mistrust/Suspicion: An unfaithful partner is always unsure of himself/herself. For the mere fact that he lacks the basic trust for himself, he projects what he does towards the wife/husband. He cannot trust  any person any more. He imagines that the partner is also cheating on him. Infidelity leads to mistrust in marriage.

 

Anxiety: Infidelity can cause constant fear and tension in the home. This is because the unfaithful partner is always unsure of what may happen. He is afraid of having his secrets revealed should he fall out with his sex partner. He is afraid of keeping his mobile phone carelessly since it may ring and be attended to by his partner. He is afraid of having his text messages read by his partner. He is  also afraid of offending the external relationships so that they don’t implicate him in his marriage as well as afraid of the legitimate partner discovering his illicit affairs.

 

Lies: Infidelity is characterized by lies. The unfaithful spouse must tell lies in order to manage the different relationships. This is because the various interests in the relationships clash and for him to satisfy those varying but pressing interests, he must play smart. He must tell lies to satisfy the interests and also to play safe in his commitments. He lies to the wife/husband about his activities, movements, income and expenditure, commitments and also lies to the sex-mate on the reason why he/she couldn’t meet up with certain demands. Infidelity gives rise to unsettled lifestyle.

 

Loss of affection: When a man/woman begins to have affair with another person outside of his/her marriage, he/she begins to develop affection for the new relationship. Although some individuals can pretend about the whole thing, psychologists have shown that it affects the previous relationship. It leads to loss of affection for one’s spouse in marriage. Here there is a conflict in feelings or even a total shift. Apathy sets in.

 

Frustration: One major way to know when a man enters into a strange relationship in marriage is his approach to his legitimate home. Such a man often becomes unnecessarily aggressive. He appears frustrated and worried. Some times, as a result of the pressure in maintaining the relationships, he adopts the avoidance approach as a defense mechanism. Perhaps he begins to spend wastefully and vents his anger on the wife each time she makes demands for the upkeep of the house. This aggression could also lead to violence. He is pieced off and snaps at the slightest demand.

 

Wastefulness: The task of maintaining multiple relationships is costly. It is costly because of financial commitments which the man must necessarily fulfill. It is also costly because of the conditions for meeting up with such demands. It is easier and reasonable for a man to tell the wife that he has no money as both could put heads together and seek for solution than to satisfy the needs of a concubine. This is because some unfortunate men fall prey to shameless women who are ready to milk them dry. They live under constant threats in their estranged relationships. Such shameless ladies feel they have nothing to lose and are ready to deal with men especially when they notice that their ego and family image have been compromised. They threaten to have their illicit affair exposed each time the man fails to meet up with their financial demands. Such a man has no option than to keep paying salaries and unwarranted bills to silence the mistress. Since he cannot withstand the shame of exposure and public ridicule, he prefers to remain indebted and committed to spending his hard earned resources in regrets.

 

Unhappiness: The unfaithful partner is always unhappy. He is unhappy with himself internally due to his actions though he may lack the will power to disengage. He is unhappy remembering how he is unable to save. He is unhappy with his cheating attitude. He is unhappy with his marriage partner who sometimes constitutes obstacle to his stupidity and eventually tells him the hard truth he wouldn’t want to hear at his passion driven moment. He may look happy but is unhappy within.

 

Vulnerability: Any unfaithful man/woman in marriage makes himself/herself vulnerable. He faces the danger of contracting sexually transmitted disease as well as the danger of infecting his marriage partner. He is also vulnerable with regard to what he eats. A man who eats out is highly insecure. He can’t say with certainty where his problem comes from should he fall sick. He equally lacks the boldness to open up to the cause of his problem when they do not arise from his legitimate home. He is vulnerable because external factors can easily harm him and through him, can gain access to his home.

 

Spiritual Blindness: Most married couples in the game of infidelity have become blindfolded spiritually. They sell their souls to their sex partner and are completely taken over by them. Infidelity in marriage is characterized by lack of spiritual strength to do battle and erosion of conscience to acknowledge the truth of one’s crime. Once passion is at work, the spirit is suppressed. This is why a person indulging in infidelity is ready to even fight his wife once he’s subsumed in the concupiscence of the flesh. He shies away from his family especially from things that have to do with God. One of the reasons is that such a person would not want to listen to the scripture condemn his unreasonable behaviour. He rather prefers social gatherings where his likes share and glory in their idiocy. He sometimes gets easily irritated with those who confront him on his anomalies. He simply avoids occasions that expose his ills.

 

Separation: Infidelity has torn apart many marriages in the society today. Because it carries with it lies, fear, mistrust, loss of affection, frustration and all negative tendencies that jeopardize the marriage relationship, it brings about apathy towards the other. Often times, the guilty fellow no longer tolerates his marriage partner. He lives a life of antagonism lacking the humility to acknowledge guilt and make amends. Since the unfaithful partner has become spiritually blindfolded, he lacks the capacity of recognizing the harm done to his marriage. He overlooks the fact that the home is gradually corroding. It often gets to the unbearable point of separation.

 

Comments
One Response to “THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (4) – EFFECTS OF INFIDELITY”
  1. ezinne says:

    my husband has been unfaithful and the annoying thing is that he blames me for it. presently, I have lost all trust in him, I don’t have any affection towards him. i simply hate him for that. he has apologized for that but I still don’t believe him. I feel better when he isn’t around cos his presence irritates me.

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