The institution of matrimony is the one which has to wade through many troubled waters and thereby is considered to be one of the most volatile and sensitive relationships which is quite often threatened by infidelity. For instance, in today’s world, we get to see marriages falling apart like a house of cards and the culprit of these mishaps are more often not the infidelity of one or both of the partners. It is quite natural for a married couple to lose interest in each other’s personalities which if often perceived to be the root cause of infidelity.
The issue of infidelity has been present in our society since ancient times. There are many depiction of this kind of behavior in the world of art and literature. One can also find numerous literary works of renowned authors which have an underlying theme of infidelity.
Thesis Statement: In this article we are going to evaluate the circumstances which give birth to infidelity and the repercussions of the act. This article includes references taken from the literary works of Graham Greene and various other scholars who have delved deeper into the realms of infidelity.
The Choice of Being an Infidel:
We are well acquainted with the fact that infidelity is primarily found in older people, who are old enough to be called adolescents at the least. This reflects that infidelity is something which is committed consciously by adults and it is not be mistaken for a simple error or a childish adventure. Infidelity is something which a person chooses to opt for in order to experience a seemingly better life.
The question of infidelity arises when a person is not happy in his/her relationship, and by that we are referring to a full-fledged romantic relationship. A romantic relationship is strengthened with virtues like commitment and loyalty and the mere whiff of infidelity can break the foundations of a seemingly strong relationship. When a person feels that his/ her relationship lacks something which is rather important, or if they feel that their partners are not being able to meet their needs adequately, they choose to tread of the path of infidelity. It comes to them as a means of escape and they welcome it into their lives with a hope that now things will turn in their favor.
In his short story about a married couple, the author, Graham Greene has portrayed two characters that look like they are leading a perfectly normal life. However, their lives are tarnished with the acts of both of them as they decided to cheat on their partners in order to find something new in their lives. The normalcy of the scene is heightened by the common activities like having a casual acquaintance and a harmless lunch. But the roots of infidelity had already sprouted and the lady protagonist admits to her feelings while she is in the secure boundaries of her household. This is how infidelity starts its initial attacks. A person goes deeper into it despite knowing the fact that they are inviting nothing but trouble in their relationship and their life.
What causes a person to be an infidel?
Many studies have been conducted with regards to the cause of infidelity and they all have shown varied results. This indicates that infidelity is of a complex issue which can occur due to multiple reasons and have multiple consequences as well. First, the cause of infidelity has been related to insecurity in a relationship. Insecurity may arise due to present or past experiences. It has been claimed that as we grow older and understand the meaning and value of relationships, we tend to form a perception about them which can also be influenced by circumstances. For example, a child who has gone through a troubled upbringing feels more insecure in an adult relationship as compared to a person who has felt the security and comfort of family ties. For the former, a romantic relationship is a big step which involves loyalty, trust and faith and the person in question can either welcome these feelings or shun them as per his preferences. If he chooses to accept the complexities of a relationship in a positive way, that person has relatively lesser chances of being an infidel. On the contrary, if that person does not believe in the virtues of a healthy relationship, he/she has more chances of cheating.
Bur for people who have witnesses all the secure bonds in their childhood; it is highly unlikely that they would cheat on their partners. However, it also depends on how they feel at that particular moment when they are fully aware of their commitments. If a person feels trapped in a relationship, the easiest way out would be to go looking for happiness elsewhere. So the way we perceive our relationship plays the most significant role in our life. There can be many reasons why we might incline towards infidelity, but it is only our own judgment that either encourages us to go forward or stops us at the very first step.
Consequences of Infidelity:
It is a well known fact that infidelity does not lead to favorable outcomes. The mere fact that this is a violation of trust enhances the gravity of the issue. Many people feel that their partner’s continual infidelity has caused the relationship to fall apart. Not many can, or are willing to, accept the relationship once they find out that they have been cheated upon. Infidelity is something that not only affects the victim, but also the doer. People who cheat on their partner somehow have the hope that they will come out clean, which in truth, seldom happens. The act of infidelity involves the risk of letting it out in front of your partner and hurting their feelings.
According to some studies which have been conducted in this regard, a person who cheats admits that it is not a smooth affair to be disloyal to your partner. More often than not, the revelation of infidelity hurts the doer more than it hurts the spouse. The spouse always has the chance to walk away with dignity whereas the cheat has to either let go of the loved one or try to make things better on his own without the support and concern that was familiar. You can look at it from any perspective, but the results are always disastrous.
Works of Art Which Portray Infidelity:
Infidelity has been the cause of many artistic outcomes in the yesteryears. The example can be derived from the works of Pablo Picasso, a pioneer in modern art, who depicted the notions of infidelity in his massive collection, many of which were the depiction of his life. Pablo Picasso, the renowned artist, was also famous for his infidel pursuits. He was associated with numerous women and he portrayed them all in his paintings in various forms. Some of his paintings include the depiction of the struggle women went through in order to gain his faithfulness. One such painting, named “Birds in a Cage” is an artistic portrayal of two of Picasso’s lovers, Dora Maar and Marie-Therese Walter. There are numerous other paintings which portray women as an object of Picasso’s pleasure and indulgence, thereby accrediting him with the title of an irrepressible infidel.
However, in today’s times, the sensitivity of the issue of infidelity hinders the creativity that can arise out of it. In the modern world, there are very few works of art, as compared to the massive archive, which depict the notion of infidelity. Especially, in the United States of America, which is known for its cultural and artistic aspect, one can see the lack of inspiration drawn from such topics. However, in countries like France, Italy and Russia, artists are more comfortable in depicting such issues in the form of sculptures and paintings.
One such example of an extensive range of display of today’s world, which comprises of sculptures depicting infidelity, can be seen in the site Infidelity.redversion which comprises of sculptures created by the Russian artist,Dionis Solo, who specializes in such sculptures. The artist has sculpted many figures which portray “infidelity” in its abstract form.
The topic of infidelity is not an unknown thing in the United States of America even though they refrain from accepting it in the public domain. The lack of artistic creation regarding this issue could be attributed to the facts and figures pertaining to the nation. According to the recent statistics of America, 57% of the male population and 54% of the female population have admitted that they have committed infidelity at least once in their relationships. Consequentially, the divorce rate in America is 53%. From the point of view of infidelity, the American society is quite unstable and in most often in an emotional and psychological turmoil. This could be one reason why creativity is hindered in these aspects as the facts and figures pertaining to infidelity in America are not too favorable.
Owing to the developments in the field of human psychology and science, expert guidance in these matters is readily available. There are many couples who seek the help of professionals in resolving their marital issues. There are many kinds of therapies which have been specially designed for couple who experience a troubled relationship owing to infidelity. However, these therapies can only prove to be helpful if both the partners have a mutual understanding to bring a positive change in their relationship and inculcate some behavioral values which will help their relationship bloom. This is a more reasonable way of dealing with such a sensitive issue even though it is easier said than done. Many people just find the easiest solution of abandoning their partner the very first time they become the victim or cause of infidelity. To conclude, the issue of infidelity can be dealt with in a fair manner with the help of healthy communication and mutual understanding.
1) Krauss, S. Who Is Likely to Be Unfaithful, and Why? : An inside look at what causes infidelity. (2013).
2) Weiss, R. All About Men and Infidelity: Ten Reasons Why Men Cheat.. (2013).
3) Greene, G. Collected Short Stories: Twenty-one Stories: a Sense of Reality: May We Borrow Your Husband? London: Penguin, 2000