.. and more importantly is it a western or catholic way of looking at commitment?
A one-sided argument* a few days ago forced me to think about this. Is fidelity overrated? Is man inherently a multi-partner being and does commitment mean only responsibility and not loyalty? Can one be in a committed relationship and not be loyal sexually.
As part of that discussion we got around to talking about how (its still a maybe in my head) its a concept that our schools latently have fed us and movies, especially American ones, with sappy books like M&Bs have fed us. Its seems to have crept into our psyches, I was told.
I don’t know whether this has any merit of truth in it. I am not a psychology or a sociology student and have not studied any theories which seem to make a case for and against every scenario. I am not of any religious belief that tells me adultery is wrong. Of course the law of the land tells me its a crime, but that’s a different matter. I certainly did not overdose of sappy stories. So is it conditioning?
Yes we are the land of the Kamasutra and were at a point, a liberal society that shared husbands and, at the same time, threw wives out at the whiff of a rumour. But looking at history is, perhaps, not the best place to look for answers. History anyway just repeats itself.
I work on the principle of not doing things to people I would not like done to me. Somewhere along the way, in college and amid boyfriends and some may-have-beens, I realised while not big relationship freak (am not big on labels and can be happy if the bond keeps me happy), I would hate disloyalty, even if I am aware of it. In an implicit consent of sorts.
So if I cheat I should be ok with my partner cheating and if I since I am not, to me it means, that my future partner also should not cheat on me. I say should because currently its only a thought. I would want that my eventual partner agrees to this and marriage should not be a step necessary to make this happen.
Ok so this is an expectation but to my mind, its not a big one or not one which is not open to discussion. But its there nevertheless. So when a married man is happy to take on a lover outside his marriage, with consent of his wife, why should it seem wrong to me? I am neither party and not affected by their decision. So I guess it is conditioning..after all.
* I say one-sided because after a while I stopped arguing and was digesting what was being said.