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Forbidden Relationships

Why do people cheat on each other?

What makes a man cheat on his woman, and vice versa? Is it a need? Is it a sickness? Is it a reaction? Just what is cheating all about? Why do men hide their rings once they strike a chord with a potential single lady? Why do committed women flirt reluctantly once they’re in a conversation with specific type of men? Why is it that a married man always thinks that the single beautiful lady is flirting with him when she’s only being nice? And why is it that married women always think a single guy is sending mixed signals? Is the whole ordeal sexual, pure and simple? Or does it have to do with satisfying emotions with a monstrous appetite?

Is it okay for committed people to be friends with the opposite sex? Can a woman be okay with her husband having a best friend as a woman? The other way around, maybe? If you’re raising the “trust” flag, well, is it really about trust? Is “jealousy” anywhere in the formula? What if the wife has a nerdy overweight guy as a friend, would the husband feel the same if this friend was a tall, tanned and muscular hunk? Would the wife be okay if her husband’s best friend was a classy, slender and attractive young woman in a mini skirt? Better yet, would either spouse be okay if their partner had a best friend whom they share killer secrets with?

Forget committed people.

Is it natural for men and women to be friends even if they’re not committed? Can men ask other men about women? Can women ask other women about men? Who’s to say that men are experts on women when all they know about women is what they want to believe they know? And who’s to say that women are experts on men when all they know about men are the facts that other frustrated women told them? Do men and women date more than one person in an attempt to date the “perfect person” who possesses all the good traits? Or is it simply the fact that it is human nature that people can never have enough of something..or someone? So then what becomes of marriage? Does this at any level make it seem that marriage is the only way out for all the men and women on this planet? Or is it staying single?

I have not the slightest idea. But here’s a clip that sums it up…

Categories: Silent Theorist
  1. Miss Good Egg
    August 5, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    That’s funny! lol I was folding clothes and watching that movie just a couple of hours ago and I was thinking the same exact thing!

    For the cheating part I think there has to be something failing or missing in the relationship that drives either one to cheat on the other. The couple could still be in love with one another but in some bizarre way lack something that they find in another person and due to lack of ethics, faith and honor they find it easy to cheat; sometimes not knowing how much that is hurting the other person. You’d be surprised how common it is.

    The truth is it is most definite that you will meet people that you are going to be attracted to in some way or the other after getting married. This shouldn’t pose any fear or threat to two people who fully understand the essence of their relationship and who are fully responsible for what it entails to keep their relationship thriving. In fact, I meet couples who are so relaxed and trustworthy with one another they are able to express their attraction to someone else to their partner without any hesitation. Often that helps them fulfill each other’s needs and understand them.

    As for the friendship thing, just like Harry said I don’t think it’s possible for two people to become friends who are ultimately attracted to one another. It’s hard and will eventually open unwanted doors. The whole situation is different here in Kuwait of course but more or less it’s the same. And if you wanna look at it from a different angle Islam clearly reveals to you the consequences of such relationships and therefore puts down certain boundaries between the two sexes to avoid the embarrassment. I can think of a number of men that my family members and I call “friends” who are people of faith and the nature of relationship is very comfortable and very endearing since it pertains to these boundaries. Faith doesn’t restrict interaction between two genders at all but protects you from committing mistakes you would much rather avoid.

    Now the part about having friendships while you’re married is tricky. I suppose it depends on the person. If two people are mature and wise and their friendship is kept within certain limitations then I guess it’s okay but I can’t really say it’s completely okay unless I’m married myself because there are certain occasions when the relationship could be purely innocent but it might cause the spouse jealousy and in my opinion that’s a good of a reason to at least lessen the interaction with that other person or even bring that friendship to an end if it is causing marital problems. The friendship itself might be innocent and both people are responsible but if one spouse has expressed a certain degree of distress despite all reassurance then I honestly see no hope for that friendship because the priority should be their marriage and not really some kind of friendship.

    Finally in regards to marriage being the answer; I can’t say myself but what I could tell you is that it shouldn’t really be the means in itself to reach something. I think if you have met the right person and find yourself able to become that person’s “friend” with mutual respect, understanding, chemistry and communication then consider yourself lucky and at that point marriage could be something more than amazing for you.

    I think Nora Ephron has done an amazing job with When Harry Met Sally because in so many levels it is very realistic. Harry and Sally were foremost friends and not lovers. In fact, they were each other’s punching bags and Kleenex boxes before finding in each other a soulmate. Interestingly enough they couldn’t even stand one another at one point but despite all their quirks; they had chemistry, they did respect one another and they had a way of communicating and that was a very good start for them to embark on a journey with each other.

    Too bad her writing isn’t good as her movies 😛

    • August 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm

      I was watching that movie too!! lol

      Actually I’ve had this post saved as a draft for a couple of days. It was a pure coincidence that that movie was on, and a huge light bulb went on above my head when I saw that scene. It was perfect for the post, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

      I honestly wrote this post in the form of a series of questions because the factors were endless. And so one could go on and on explaining what the situation is; yet it is only right to concede that each situation is unique and different than the other, because people are different from one another!

      But I do agree totally with what you’re saying. I’m pretty confused lately about what “friendship” really means and how that relates to marriage, which is why I’ve been wondering if there’s such thing as “friend”.. the usual sense of the word. What does it mean to have a friend, really? What good is a friend if it just means you have to be there for them? What if they can’t be there for you? AAAAAHHHH! Too many questions…

      People do find their perfect match right after they tie the knot. I’ve witnessed it. But yes, people do have to make sure they’re marrying the right person, if they can, of course. I think even You’ve Got Mail kinda sends the same message, you know? Face to face they despised each other, but behind the monitor they thought they were soulmates. It is extremely rare that people stay friends for life. Each phase in a person’s life requires certain types of friends, but once that phase is changed, friends get changed as well. So looking at it in this context, I’m not sure what it means to be a friend.

      Thank you for a thorough reply, MGE!

      • Miss Good Egg
        August 5, 2010 at 11:23 pm

        You’re welcome 🙂

        I never thought You’ve Got Mail was similar to When Harry Met Sally. I always thought it was closest to Sleepless in Seattle but what Ephron had in mind at the time was actually Pride & Prejudice. In those two movies she centers around the two concepts of fate & coincidence. I suppose it’s much more evident in Sleepless in Seattle.

        She also cleverly speaks to you in a language that is very contemporary. You’ve Got Mail came out at a time when everyone was fascinated by the AOL & E-mail outbreak whereas her last movie Julie & Julia explores the concept of Blogs.

        She always seems to be blending romance, fate, literature, food & technology in a very delicious mix. I thought with a vision like that she must be an amazing writer. I bought her old novel Heartburn and slept through the first chapters :/

  2. Bader
    August 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Why do people cheat? You ask a very good question. It’s one of the questions that cross my mind from time to time especially when I see people doing it. In my mind, this question is up there with why do people drink or get high. What is the reason that people continually do bad things to themselves? Why do they inflect damage to their bodies, hearts and minds? I mean, they know it’s wrong. No matter what your religion is or what you believe in, deep down, you know it’s wrong.

    For married people. Well, unfortunately, I do have friends that are married and that are in affairs with other women. Some of these women are single, divorced or like them, are married and have kids. I try to understand things from people’s prospective, but sometimes, you can’t process the information.
    I have a mathematically view to most things in live. When algebra is nightmare to some, it’s my idea of fun. To have an “answer” to a question like this, you really have to ask the people who do it. Based on their input you draw your own conclusions. When I ask my friends why do they do the cheat on their wives and why would they risk losing their wives and kids over the so called concept of self pleasure, most of them say the same thing, “it feels nice to change partners and experience other people.”

    This is where I get lost. I mean logically, if you found something that “feels nice” wouldn’t you want to share it with the people closest to you. Its “ feels nice” to him or her to cheat on his wife or her husband, but they won’t want their partner to do the same. Why? Because they will the feel pain that their partner will endure if they found out about their affairs. They will know how it feels to hurt on an emotional level. I also ask them why do the married women they cheat with, cheat on their husbands. The answer is mosty the same, “he’s not there for me, he’s only there when he wants to stratify himself”

    Based on their so called “answers”, I came to this conclusion. People that cheat on their spouse get married for the wrong reason. I am not a women so I won’t speak for them. I am man, but that still doesn’t give me the right to speak for all men. I still think that the reason married men cheat is because they got married only to satisfy their physical needs. They see their wives as a means to end. Nothing more than a piece of gym equipment and flied to planet his seed on.

    Physical attraction is important in a relationship. That is true, but it’s not the most important thing. A spouse should be someone that is there not only to pleasure you physically, but to be there for you emotional. When you’re happy, you want to be around someone you love, when you’re sad you want to be with someone you love. It’s that simple. It may sound conry, but it’s true. Therefore, I truly believe that married people cheat because they got married for the wrong reason in the first place.

    I love seeing an old married couple together. People that are in their seventies and are holding hands and walking together. You can feel the level of love around them. I have an uncle that’s married. He and his spouse are in their late sixties. You would think that the amount between them has died down. Especially since they have been married for more than 40 years now. 40 years of waking up to the same person, over and over and over again. I mean come on. But when I see them together, it’s as if they were married yesterday. The way they talk to each other. The way he flirts with her, the way she smiles at his comments. It’s just amazing to watch. This is what marriage is about. This is what sharing your live means.

    I also think that people cheat simply because they put themselves in bad positions. I truly believe that if a guy and girl meet secretly and alone then third party is the devil. I mean you couldn’t have given the devil a more easy prey. A man meets a women in a place where they are completely alone and these two people are physically attracted to one another well then 1 + 1 = 2. Deep down, everyone knows how things will end. That’s why, single or married, people should not put themselves in positions that will force them to act against their will. Against what they believe is wrong. I say this because I believe that all people are pure hearted. They only difference between the good and the bad is that the good listen to their hearts.

    Relations with the opposite sex for married people is a tricky one. Personally, I think within certain limits, it’s “okay”. What limits? Well, I work with women at my company. I study with women at my schools, I interact with women from different places in my life. Some are colleagues, some are friends, and some, are something more. This is where things become difficult. What does something more mean? I think it means different things to different people. To some, something more can mean that you have labeled this person as a brother or a sister. You know that her or she does not share your blood and you understand that still there are limits but nonetheless, they are your brother or sister. To me, being friends with someone at work or at school or online is ok as long as I don’t meet outside these places.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can be at work and everyone at work might decide to go out for lunch it doesn’t mean that I won’t join them. Two reasons, because everyone is going, that means no two people will be alone, and the second reason, it’s lunch, who misses out on that? To me, this goes both ways, for me and my wife, once I find her that is 😦 .

    You see what I’m getting at. I wouldn’t go out of my way to meet this person alone unless it was related to the place that we interacted at (work, school) That doesn’t mean if she has a flat tire and calls me I won’t help. That’s different. But I would do it for the sake of being good, the sake of helping a sister. In other words, for the sake of Allah.

    Now, If you see that this person that you have extend your blood to is the “one” then in my book the next step is marriage. You can always get to know the person before marriage but this period is very dangerous so precautions have to be taken on both sides (please refer to the part about putting yourself in bad positions). That’s not always easy especially if physical attraction is part of the equation (math nerd I know). Signs and signals are not always the best thing.

    I have a friend which I truly admire. Why, because of his honestly and his ability to not sugar coat things for people. I go to him to straighten myself out sometimes. He is one of the main reasons I lost weight because he got tired of me saying I’m fat and told me that it’s my fault and he was right. Getting back, this friend of mine was working with a woman that he wanted to marry. He liked her, he understood that she liked him and he wanted to become her husband. One day he goes to work and he says to himself that this is day. Goes to her office, looks her straight in the eye and with his hand shaking and his heart pumping he ask her to marry him?

    Sadly, things didn’t work out. But for whatever reason, he did his part. Sure he didn’t get what he wanted, but it was not meant to be and he understood that. He is now happily married to someone else and so is she. As the old Arabic saying goes, “He entered the house from the door and not the window.”

    I hope this very very long comment helps you in finding your own conclusions about your questions. Wish you the best.

  3. Miss Good Egg
    August 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Bader,

    “it feels nice to change partners and experience other people.”

    Allow me to reply to that with 1 eloquent word – “araf!”.

    Your friend sounds admirable mashallah. No offense but men usually would rather walk through fire than to humiliate themselves with rejection or scratch their sacred ego. I applaud him for his confidence.

  4. Bader
    August 6, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I couldn’t have chosen a better word. You’re right about the rejection thing. I asked him if he could live with it and still be able to work with her if it doesn’t go well. He said that he’d rather face rejection than waking up one day and asking himself what if?

  5. August 6, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    MGE, I actually never thought You’ve Got Mail was THAT different from Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle. But it is interesting that you think so. I mean, sure maybe the communication medium was different in When Harry Met Sally than in You’ve Got Mail, but I thought the concept was the same. Remember how in When Harry Met Sally all three women sat around a table discussing how Sally was supposed to get hooked, and her friend took out some weird address-card book, I saw that and went like, “wow…that was iPhone back then.” So yeah, all I noticed was the communication technology gap between the two movies, but not the concept. Yet I don’t think I realized who Ephron was or who wrote the scripts and all, but once again thanks to you for making it a fact 🙂

  6. August 7, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Bader, THANK you for the effort! Must have taken a good chunk out of your day to type all that! 🙂 Much appreciated, bro!

    I think you wrapped up the whole issue when you said that married people only cheat if they got married for the wrong reasons, which is very very true. Though it’s not as simple as it may sound, yet it is true on various levels. The way some of your acquaintances put it, that they do it because it feels nice to experience other partners or whatever, is in fact a very common response from cheating spouses. Some of the answers I heard can range from “Because there is no reason not to do it” and “Because my spouse is too busy to care”. Surprisingly, one of the weirdest answers was from a colleague of mine back when I worked at the bank, she openly told me about her affairs though she had a husband and child, and her reason was “to make him jealous, hence, takes better care of me”. At that level of complexity, I don’t think I’d like to understand what their relationship is like to begin with!

    And as for your friend getting rejected, see, if you’re doing it the right way, then no need to fear rejection. Because it won’t be “rejection”, it will only be that they had a differing opinion. Rejection is a harsh word that carries with it some connotation of some wrong-doing, while there’s nothing wrong in asking for the hand of a girl and her family or even the girl does not accept for whatever reasons.

    As it is my friend, if it were rejection, then I can safely say I’ve been rejected three times in a row for reasons I don’t understand to this day 🙂

    P.S: I’m not sure I agree with the “friends” part… which tells me I better post something about what “friendship” means…

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