Modern Day Infidelity -- A Violation of Trust, A Crisis of Identity
Above Artwork by EriK Olson The pain of infidelity is one that runs deep. I attribute this pain to that which society has taught us- that infidelity is the worse way that someone can disrespect us.
My last relationship ended in infidelity. It ended by me digging through his iPad to find countless iMessage exchanges with him and other women, several conversations on his Tinder account, and texts from the side chick. As the bible passage says, "seek and ye shall find". Indeed. My intuition pushed me to search through his things. Though I know that it was extremely intrusive of me, I do not regret it, for it opened my eyes. It's such an uncomfortable feeling when your heart tells you that something is off. Our heart always knows, yet we wait to have proof in our hands of what our heart has already REPEATEDLY told us.
It's always painful to know that someone you had been loyal to, WAS NOT loyal to you. I mean, I was giving him my body, my time and my soul. My energy, my love, and my commitment. I felt like I wasn't enough for him to keep it in his pants. I felt like I wasn't enough for him to honor his words. I felt as if I were some really good entertainment. Cute arm candy, friendly, supportive, among other things. All the lies were just a form of manipulation. As long as he told me the things I wanted to believe, he had control. He wanted to keep having unrestricted access to me. It was never about respect.
People will say and do things that you wouldn't imagine for CONTROL.
But life is a big lesson, and people will be WHO THEY ARE at that given moment in time. He wasn't ready for what I was ready for, but he also didn't want to lose me. What monogamy ? Those conversations were a waste of breath. What loyalty? Another waste of energy.
When it comes to love and relationships, our social behaviors have changed. His behavior-- specifically his behavior on social dating apps taught me more about the details to look at early on when building with a man. Oh you still have the Tinder app on your phone while we're dating? Bye.
Today, infidelity also includes staying active on dating apps and sexting.
Some even think that watching porn equals to infidelity. During my healing, I've watched tons of videos to understand human psychology better and to have a better grasp on the male species. A TED talk by Esther Perel has been one of my favorites as she really breaks down how infidelity has changed over time. Esther asks "Why do we think that men cheat out of boredom and fear of intimacy, but women cheat out of loneliness and hunger for intimacy?"
Here are quotes from the talk that spoke to me the most:
- "Throughout history, men practically had a license to cheat with little consequence, and supported by a host of biological and evolutionary theories that justified their need to roam, so the double standard is as old as adultery itself."
- "Monogamy used to be one person for life. Today, monogamy is one person at a time."
- "There are still nine countries where women can be killed for straying."
- "We used to marry, and had sex for the first time. But now we marry, and we stop having sex with others. The fact is that monogamy had nothing to do with love. Men relied on women's fidelity in order to know whose children these are, and who gets the cows when I die."
- "When marriage was an economic enterprise, infidelity threatened our economic security. But now that marriage is a romantic arrangement, infidelity threatens our emotional security."
- "Throughout history, infidelity has always been painful, today it is often traumatic, because it threatens our sense of self."
- "Infidelity -- a violation of trust, a crisis of identity."
- "If divorce carried all the shame, today, choosing to stay when you can leave is the new shame."
- "Affairs are way less about sex, and a lot more about desire: desire for attention, desire to feel special, desire to feel important."
Watch the full talk below: [ted id=2252]
Infidelity hurts. There's no way around it. Healing takes time. Let us know your thoughts on infidelity in the comment box below.