I usually prefer to assume that infidelity does not exist and that everyone is faithful to their spouse. Unfortunately, the reality is that infidelity is rampant. Today, monogamy is less about having one partner and more about having ‘one partner at a time’. After watching the TED talk by Esther Perel about “rethinking infidelity”,where she attempts to justify unfaithfulness, I felt the need to discuss this subject further. Apparently, forbidden fruit tastes sweetest, so its ‘powers’ lure several people. Doing something that we are not meant to do makes us feel like we are doing what we really want, like we are “free”. There is a serious misunderstanding about the meaning of freedom in this context. Aristotle says that freedom is not the ability to do whatever we want; freedom is choosing to do the right thing even when you have leeway to do what is wrong.
So why stay faithful? Well, TO BE TRULY FREE! In part 1 of Pentoalk’s reasons to be faithful, we asked Pendotalk followers between the ages of 23 and 35 why they stay faithful to their partners and these are some of the inspiring responses we received:
Abedi:Cheating is very expensive! Pendotalk: So you would cheat if you were rich? Abedi: Haha no that’s a joke, although some men find the expensive bit to be a valid argument. For me, I stay faithful out of respect: Respect for my partner, respect for the institution of marriage, respect for my vows and my own self-respect. I would not want to lose all that! So no, I wouldn’t cheat if I was richer because being rich doesn’t make cheating any “cheaper”.
Janet: Faithfulness doesn’t happen by chance it is a deliberate effort. People should practice faithfulness while young so that it is natural for them in the future when they get married. Being unfaithful while dating is like practicing and perfecting the art of unfaithfulness, the desire will never end. Monogamy is the way to go!
Timothy: Timothy & his girlfriend Maureen
To me, faithfulness is a choice, guided by love of one’s self. I borrow from the second greatest commandment: Love you neighbor as you love yourself. When the commandment talks about a neighbor, it means that who is closer to you and who is closer to you than your partner? One must first love themselves before loving another and this means appreciate, honour, respect, care and be faithful to yourself for you to able to do so for another, which obviously includes being faithful to them.
Fiona: I stay faithful because I love him. Also because I know how painful it is when someone is unfaithful to you especially when you have dedicated yourself to them.
Fiona & her boyfriend Calvin
Lawrence: Simply put, I would say it’s a matter of respect…Your partner has placed a great amount of trust in you. Showing respect for your partner starts with faithfulness.
Adil: It is worth noting that there are 2 types of faithfulness: physical and emotional faithfulness. Faithfulness goes way beyond having sex with one person. Staying faithful is being true to yourself. Nobody else knows who or how you really are. It is up to you to decide the kind of person you want to be. But while doing so, imagine the love of your life being unfaithful to you…even men who claim they are “hard core” know how it is when they really fall for a woman, they can kill the guy she cheats with! Everyone thinks about their partner for a moment before they cheat, yet they still do it. Think about how it would feel if the tables were turned, & STOP!
Wachira & Joy (Husband & Wife)
I stay faithful because I have made a personal commitment to myself and to my partner. There is no back door in marriage so I never say things like “if he does this, I am out…” Also, my man has chosen me, accepted me and he loves me so I want to be the BEST partner that I can be to him and that includes being faithful. It also helps to have great role models in my family and friends who have set the example of faithfulness in marriage.
Wachira: As one grows up, you realize the important things in life. It is hard to find the right person so when I did so, I decided that I was going to be faithful. I cannot speak for my peers or on behalf of other men.It is a personal decision to choose to be faithful.
Rachael: A healthy relationship blossoms where there is trust and loyalty otherwise the couple will always have arguments about the same issues over and over again.
Benjamin: Love goes hand in hand with respect. Also, trust is like a piece of paper, once its crumbled it can never be perfect again. In addition to that, once one starts being unfaithful, it’s hard to stop.
Others gave us funny, but truthful responses:
Meddie: People should stay faithful so that they do not get sick. Your partner might bring bad chicken home after they find out you cheated and you eat and you get sick.
Richard: I stay faithful so that I am not heart broken. Also, life is too short to waste it on side dishes. It derails a lot of plans and it is too costly.
Edith: AIDS is real
Infidelity shutters the grand ambition of love.
Infidelity is a home wrecker, a facilitator of arrogance, malevolence, anger and worst of all, sadness.
Last but not least, infidelity denies us our very own self freedom, true freedom.
STAY FAITHFUL TO YOUR PARTNER