Life is interesting! We never know who we will meet and when! The long flights make us bump into people we would not have met otherwise!! I met with a reader of my blogs. I was happy to hear her feedback. The good thing was, she did not know that she was talking to me about me! She went on to talk about my writing style, topics & so on and later she suggested me to read my blogs :-) When I revealed that I write them she was surprised and we exchanged our names and whereabouts only at that point!! The fact that humans can have conversations for hours together without even knowing each other's name is even more interesting I guess:-) (that, probably, is another article - "What is in a name?"). We went on to talk about many more topics including some articles in my blog. That long conversation made me think of a follow up of an article that I wrote about three years back on "Adultery". She felt that extra marital affair is more sinful than the other forms of disrespect and I should not be justifying it. We did not discuss that topic any deeper as we had many other things to chit chat about.
I have been thinking about her views… Am I justifying it? Is it more sinful? My article was more against the single point view we have most often about many things in life (single point of view could be an article by itself)! I am not priest of any kind who can declare something as a sinful or not; All I felt / feel is, there are many other behaviors that are very close to or even worse than what is called as adultery! In my article, I tried to highlight that there are more forms of adultery that is still accepted by the society ironically and I am amused / surprised how society ignores these aspects. The point is, adultery need not necessarily be extra marital; if the spouses do not have mutual respect and love but they are together in this act for other reasons, it is adultery or at best it is trade, in my view. Their reasons could be social (in our family, separation/ divorce is never heard of, our religion does not accept it), familial (my parents want me to be with him/her, my child needs a father/mother), economic (it is not viable option to live individually), safety considerations and so on. In my mind, it is not better than "adultery"!! It probably is more disrespectful and distasteful!
Friends, let me be clear about the best case scenario "the trade"!! I cook for you & you drive for me is just trade. I am not saying trading is bad; all I am saying is, let us not glorify trade as the best thing to do in a relationship… While there are other names/forms of such trade, for some convenience reasons, if the couple decide to settle down for the exchange of care giving actions / services, it is important for them not to forget this fact: there are ethics in all trades & only when these trade ethics are respected it is a good trade! If you decide to trade, be an ethical trader is all I can say. On the other hand, if there is no companionship, it has already failed irrespective of whether it is within the boundaries of a marriage or not. I feel, companionship is all about compatibility - intellectual, emotional / mental and physical. It is a life of blessing if the spouses can get into compatibility in all three levels; but if compatibility is only at physical level and there is no compatibility in one or more of the first two, then, it is at the most primitive form!
Of course, we may share intellectual / emotional compatibilities in other types interaction as well. If we have intellectual compatibility with someone, it will make us the best working partners. For example, Henry Ford and Edison had best intellectual compatibility; I don’t know about their emotional compatibility; but I guess, most likely they would have had good emotional compatibility as well; this does not mean that they have to have physical compatibility. (It is interesting to note how the statement feels / reads awkward when the example is about two men and how easy it is to imagine something physical if one of them was a woman!!). We may have just emotional compatibility with a few others; we may share our happiness or sadness with these individuals but may not discuss our ideas either because of our ability to communicate with them or their ability to grasp. Again, the emotionally compatible people need not have physical compatibility. But if the compatibility stops at just the physical level and does not evolve to the other levels, it is more primitive and comparable to that of the other mammals; it has a potential to die after we cross certain age! People know this inherently! This is where lack of trust and suspicion thrive. In my mind, such suspicious relationship is inferior (or at least limited & constraining) and harmful; it can affect the mental peace and intellectual progress of the couple.
Now, coming back to the topic. The term adulteration is defined as "mixing other matter of an inferior and sometimes harmful quality with food or drink". The term adultery has same origin as adulteration and it means very similar idea at a different plane of life. Any form of disrespect is inferior and harmful; it does not need to be only sexual or physical! If one harms the mental peace or blocks the intellectual progress of the spouse how does it matter if they have the best physical compatibility and/or exchange the services such as food / transportation/safety to each other? How is it not adultery?
How long would we brainwash women that "அடிக்கிற கைதான் அணைக்கும்" (literally translates as "only the arms that beat you will hug you")? How long would we brainwash men that the most possessive woman is the most loving woman!! Though the possessiveness can look to be love and give a high, it will start to become a constraint and lead to abuse! If there is emotional connection or intellectual connection will there be room for such abuses? If there is abuse, will there be higher order compatibility?
That is why, I feel, lack of compatibility and all the other forms of disrespect are adultery as they mix things of inferior quality and harmful actions! In other words, any deed done without love has the potential to be disrespectful, inferior and harmful and it is adultery. It does not matter if those involved are married to each other or not. If they love one another, they will have the best interest of the other; that means, they can't do anything that is harmful or inferior; that means they cannot do anything that has a potential bad consequence to the other in future or present! At that level, there is nothing right or wrong about it!! It is just it is! There is no need for a priest or rule book to tell us! You will just know!