How long can, and how long does an extra marital relationship usually last? Who starts it, who ends it and what finally ends the illegal, amoral relationship? And lastly, who are the people who indulge in an extra marital affair?
(As told to Anita Babu Narayanan)
How shortlived is an extramarital affair?
These were a few questions that Meera pondered until it happened to her. And though it seemed trite, she had to admit it happened just like that! Though when she looked back, it would seem things were leading to it anyway, her entire life. Guess these are the facts about extramarital affairs.
An ordinary life
A middle-class urban existence, orthodox parents, and in-laws, a ‘stuck up’ husband was just not reason enough for a woman to stray out of her safe and stable marriage. And stability was one of the main reasons she had ‘opted’ for in an arranged marriage.
There was no real sorrow. But within six months of marriage, the restlessness had begun. It was a nagging thought whether life had something more interesting to offer other than a secure marriage, a husband who comes home every evening and decent in-laws.
And then he entered her life
It was during this listless stage that Vishal entered her life. He was unlike the other philandering charmers she had met before. She had always enjoyed the harmless flirting of other men at her modest workplace but Vishal was different. He was not a player. Even though he was married, there was certain integrity in his flirting and she could not play the game as guiltlessly with him as she did with others before.
That’s how the affair began
That particular day, they were walking to the railway station when he suddenly took a detour… “Care to see the beach?” She had often told him of how in spite of living in Mumbai, she had never seen the sun set on the Arabian sea. She heard herself say ‘why not’ without really thinking.
Soon they were on the beach, the sun had already started setting and before she knew it, his right hand was on her left breast. The touch was thrilling and even though she knew she had to stop it, she couldn’t bring herself to say so. Instead, she found herself enjoying the kisses which rendered any other communication impossible. At that moment nothing mattered, that’s how she knew how it started. But I didn’t know then extramarital affairs come with some unspoken rules.
After that, it seemed a shame to cry foul. She let herself into the throes of passion and being desired as she had never known before. The gifts, endless phone calls, the holding of hands, stolen moments in parks and lifts, everything was delicious, making her break into a smile when alone. She had not known this fervour in the so-called famed honeymoon days too. The laced guilt only added to the heady concoction.
The end of the affair
Love affairs like this come with a time line. So the sun had to set and one day it did. Fewer phone calls, the reluctance to be seen together, the distancing didn’t happen all at once. It took five months. Finally she asked him, “What’s up? Why are you avoiding me?”
“I am sorry. My wife seems to have guessed. She keeps asking me vague questions about you all the time. Every day I lie to her. I can’t take it any more. I thought I could, but I can’t. This is not my cup of tea. I love you, but we are through.”
So now, she knew how these things ended too!