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afFAIRY Tale: A new beginning

At the end of an extramarital affair, can my marriage survive?


So many celebrities do so, and so many non-celebrities too, there are many examples spread open to learn from. When there is a will a little effort can go long way.

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that in embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.

A restored relationship can be better than before in many cases as the faults in both partners come out wide open.

Most of the extramarital affairs either end up with a divorce or a compromised marriage. I had discussed in detail how and why extramarital affairs are cropping up in today’s world of instant gratification in my article afFAIRY Tale: Extra-Marital Relationships. The overwhelming response to the article made me write more about the fate of an extramarital affair.

The number of divorce cases has gone up in recent times -- it went from 0.50 per 1,000 marriages in 1988 to 13 per 1,000 in 2019. However, to equate this increase to the “arrogance” of the rich and the educated is a stretch, say experts.

Feb 19, 2020, Deccan Herald

This data makes it clear that some marriages are inevitable to fail, we shall discuss the detailed reasons in my forthcoming articles, however, one of the reasons is an extramarital affair of either of the partners.

Most of the extramarital affairs are results of temptations and physical needs, some start with casual flirting, some start due to the monotony and insecurity in marriage, as Rahul rightly said in his article – Love, Sex and Marriage

“In this day and age, we like to walk away and do a “fresh start” as opposed to “investing” in our existing relationship.” Chasing perfection in any relationship or person is chasing a fool’s paradise.

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

After this affair ends there open two options - to save the marriage or to walk out. And there are two perspectives in the situation of both the partners. To make it work again I shall pick up my golden 3Cs (Refer to sMiles Together).

To me, the choice of the partner who was not involved in the affair should prevail, let us discuss this perspective first.

  1. Take responsibility, yes if there was a fling outside the marriage then you have not succeeded to create the everlasting bond where all the three needs of relationships are met.
  2. Either survive the bump and make your marriage a fairy tale affair or quit, do not stay in half-heartedly, solve the problems.
  3. Do not keep reminding your spouse about it when they are trying to make a comeback. No retaliation please, forgiveness should be forever.
  4. If you decide to stay ensure your relationship is free from abuse and your spouse is not a serial cheater.
  5. When you are financially dependent it becomes more vulnerable to take the right decision. Take help of family, counsellor, to decide. Be financially dependent no matter where your life takes you after this, self-worth, self-respect is not too much to work upon.

Now the perspective of the partner who had the affair outside marital bliss,

  1. If caught, accept it.
  2. If you want to save your marriage, walk out of the other affair completely.
  3. Analyze why it happened, take responsibility, do not turn into a serial cheater.
  4. Survive and work towards a better relationship, work on the problems in marriage rather than looking for a solution outside.
  5. Respect the decision of the spouse, let them heal, trusting you again will take time.

Some extramarital affairs turn into a fairy tale for one and nightmare for the other and end up in one divorce, followed by another marriage. As I said at the beginning of the article that some marriages inevitably fail. To quote from my article afFAIRY Tale “Truth is once the thrill subsides, consequences could be many from a split to a crime in an extreme case, so choose carefully”. These affairs are extremely short-lived, from a few months to a couple of years, looked down upon in society. And they end with the mismatch of expectations both – sexual and emotional. Do not judge either of your relationships by producing a list of loopholes to any of your partners. Take the decision and close either of them, while walking away, walk away respectfully. Lures of polygamy are enticing, but loyalty is what stays with us forever. Loyalty is most romantic to reminisce in the old age.

Our heart craves for a partner, a soulmate to grow old with, once found do not ruin the relationship if not the situation is grave.

What should I write about next? Comment below for me to explore.

Paromita is a leader in People Practices with a knack towards solving problems. An IIM Bangalore alumna and a story visualizer, her focus is on bridging the gap between education and industry by supporting fresh graduates to kickstart their career and helping the women to return to the workforce after mandatory breaks. 

She wants to make the world a better place to live for every life on earth. She is a passionate animal lover, loves to write poetry and her encounters with ghosts (real or imaginary :)) during her leisure. She believes if there is a will, any relationship can go long run with the right balance.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author.

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