Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd

Those of you who have read 50 Shades of Grey will be familiar with the discomfort felt by the presence of Mrs Robinson. Irrespective of all that had transpired between Christian and Mrs Robinson in the character’s earlier years, her continuous existence in his life is undoubtedly something that is a little disturbing.

She had been in a relationship with a wonderful person for almost two years now. The relationship had it’s ups and downs… there were moments of magic and there were the swings of devastation until she realized, a year into her association with him that whether she liked it or not, she would have to deal with a Mrs Robinson of their own.  They were both in their twenties and “she” was considerably older, probably in her thirties. She was married and had a daughter. She didn’t claim to know much about “her” life but from what she’d heard, “her” husband was a very busy man.

Her boyfriend and this lady, it seemed, had hit it off quite well. They breezed in and out of each other’s life, as per convenience and need. As for her, there were a million questions in her mind to which she knew, she would never get any honest answers. There were days when she would call her boyfriend innumerable times and he would be on a call with “her”. They would be in touch while he worked and after he had finished work while she was always left stranded in the waiting line. Then  there was this night where everything that had been built over the last one year came crashing down…and unfortunately, “she” was involved. He was, as usual now, on a very important call with her nearing midnight while his very own girlfriend had tried calling nearly twenty times.

This is around the time when she came to understand the meaning of the term “emotional adultery” which can be defined as “a relationship between a person and someone other than (their) spouse (or lover) that affects the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage. The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage.”  They were not married yet but the definition gives an essence of this actually is. Her boyfriend always claimed that there was nothing beyond the texts and the phone calls. He had told her that there were no clandestine meetings which gave their relationship a more comprehensible definition. A relationship of emotional adultery neither necessitates intercourse nor physical affection to affect the committed relationship of those involved in the affair. It is theorized that an emotional affair can injure a committed relationship. She had made desperate attempts at reasoning with him but having denied anything beyond a very pure friendship, she had felt that he would have chosen “her” over their relationship…and so she had rationalized and settled.

Upon reading further, she came to know the characteristics of emotional adultery –

  • Inappropriate emotional intimacy: the partner being unfaithful may spend inappropriate or excessive time with someone of the opposite or same gender (time not shared with the other partner). He or she may confide more in their new “friend” than in their partner and may share more intimate emotional feelings and secrets with their new partner than with their existing spouse. Any time that an individual invests more emotionally into a relationship with someone besides their partner the existing partnership may suffer.
  • Deception and Secrecy: Those involved may not tell their partners about the amount of time they spend with each other. An individual involved in this type of affair may, for example, tell his or her spouse that they are doing other activities when they are really meeting with someone else. Or the unfaithful spouse may exclude any mention of the other person while discussing the day’s activities to conceal the rendezvous.
  • Increased fighting: When a person becomes emotionally involved with a third party, they may begin to discount their primary partner, or to view the new person as all good and their committed partner as all bad. This person may blame their interest in the third party on their committed partner, which will lead to increased fighting and strain on the relationship.
  • Denial:  Denial of the attraction and limerance felt may be exhibited by the cheating partner.

She had, unfortunately seen all these attributes building up over time and she felt violated. She had a very strong set of beliefs about a commitment and a partner. With “her” mere presence, it all came undone. She knew well that “they” would never leave each other’s side because their’s was a relationship of convenience. They didn’t require tangibility but somewhere in their picture, she didn’t fit in.

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