Staying Faithful

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the whole Arnold Schwarzeneggar fiasco. The fiasco being that he separated from his wife of 25 years after he confessed to her that he fathered a child 10yrs ago outside their marriage. Allegedly, this child was born 5 days after their youngest child. Everyone has had their opinion on the matter, today someone said Arnold is not the first or last man to cheat (with the help), so everyone should calm down and give him a break. While this is true, this just shows how the attitude people are having now towards cheating but it had me remembering an article a friend had directed me to some time back.

See, I have said it before Marriage is not beans, being with the same person for an average of say 30 years? You're practically going to do everything you can imagine with that person. For example, I have a friend who has been married 8yrs and every occasion, he asks me what to get his wifey because he has exhausted almost all his resources between mother's day/bday/valentine's/just because etc. It's all well and dandy the first few years, as time goes on, temptation arises, yes when you choose to get married it is your job to avoid temptation as much as you can and not cheat on your partner at least that's what I believe. Does shit happen? yes it does. I guess that will be for the couple to decide what direction to take from there.

The article was an interview with the director of a movie called "Monogamy". He touched on a few points that I'd like to share with you guys.

When asked about his basis for the characters in his movie he said:

I was interested in the question of, when do you fuse your identity versus lose your identity when you're in a couple? When does someone enhance who you are as opposed to suppress you? Also, they have this lived-in chemistry that can only come from living together and being together for years, but they're not all over each other. There's chemistry, but it's not carnal anymore, which is what can happen after you've been with someone for a long time. I think a lot of couples become best friends, and that's great. But if you lose the sex part, you're in trouble.

To what extent does sex drive the drama forward?

I think Theo's central crisis is that I don’t think his fear is that ‘I’m never gonna be able to have sex with another girl again [if I get married].’ His fear is that ‘I’m worried that I’m gonna be a bad husband. I’m worried that I’m gonna cheat. I’m worried that I’m gonna be like this guy who [he has been hired to spy on who he thinks] is cheating on his wife in an alley.’ When he’s looking at [the man] in the alley, he’s not turned on, necessarily, he’s almost outraged morally. He’s like, ‘I might end up in an alley with a prostitute if I marry [Nat], because she doesn’t wanna have sex with me. Can I do this? I’m worried about becoming someone I don’t wanna be.'

The one thing--really, the only thing--that Theo can say when they're breaking up at the end of the film is, 'I love you.' It seems like everything else has broken down, communication-wise. Is that one thing you saw from your interviews, that love is not enough?

Yeah, it's those three words in movies or novels, and you grow up saying 'when's the first time I'm gonna say 'I love you' to someone?' It is this huge phrase that means everything. And then you realize there are many different kinds of love. And it evolves over the course of a relationship. But I don't think it's enough. You can love someone but find him or her incompatible to live with. You can love someone but not be attracted to him or her physically.

You've interviewed dozens of divorcees about their experiences, so you're something of an expert. Do you think adultery is the biggest challenge couples face today?

I think there's more possibility out there. Of the twenty percent of all marriages that end in adultery, the adultery started on Facebook. It's a lot easier to have an affair now, but it's also a lot easier to get caught. Like with Don Draper, you watch it and he's having tons of affairs, and it's just like, he's calling on a rotary phone. There's no answering machine. There's no paper trail, there's no text that someone can look at when you're sleeping. You look at Tiger Woods or Eliot Spitzer, or a guy who sent a picture of his dick or whatever, there are bread crumbs everywhere. It's very easy to trace back. At the same time, it's made it very easy to maintain this kind of extra-marital relationship.

What are some of the more memorable nuggets that emerged from your research that intact couples can learn from?

Learn how to fight fairly and productively. Be yourself in the courtship phase; don't present too idealized version of yourself, because unless you're prepared to uphold that lie for the rest of your life, [your partner is] gonna find out.

There's nothing more to say but he gave some food for thought in some of his answers. I'll definitely be watching the movie whenever it comes out. What say ye peoples, what do you think?

*Interview excerpts from HuffingtonPost website.


LohiO said…
This is why I am scared to get married....:(
kitkat said…
I just feel women get the shorter end of the stick in almost every facet of life. Not fair!
Sisi Yemmie ™ said…
i am beginning to think that ALL MEN ARE THE SAME...but how coe you guys cant take it when the tables are turned? No fair!
Adaeze said…
Ugh..I can almost feel myself shivering reading all this, being in a marriage that might end upin a split soon! I must say I feel what the previous commentors just said..It's not fair.
On your post, I think all the words of this director were very wise spoken. All the things I've learnt spending my last 8 years with a man! The only good thing to come out of it if my life with him ends, is that I've learnt what to look out for, and they are plenty..
kay9 said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
kay9 said…
@the ladies: One thing is evident from y'all comments - you are scared of losing your man/marriage. Now that begs the question, is your man scared of this, too? Cos if he is, then i don't know what's so frigging unfair. And if he isn't, then whydaflippinfcuk are you even with him??

kay9 said…
Let's forget the shorter vs. longer end of the stick argument for a moment, its beside the point anyway. Thing is, i pretty much agree with the movie director. Sex isn't everything, but it is VERY important. Most gurls i know just huff and call me a sex-freak whenever i say this.

I'm not married, but i've learnt that after a few years, the bedroom somehow loses its heat. I dunno about you ladies, but frankly thats what scares me.

" ...there's chemistry, but it's not carnal anymore, which is what can happen after you've been with someone for a long time. I think a lot of couples become best friends, and that's great. But if you lose the sex part, you're in trouble." There, couldn't have said it better myself.
TayneMent said…
I love you kay9.
Nice Anon said…
I think kay9 has made the most "realistic" comment about it but.. my own issue with this is simply " What happens when you basically keep the "heat" alive and he goes out there to cheat simply because of "new pussy"?

Realistically speaking once you become a parent things change therefore "help" is needed to get that "heat". I feel a lot of men fail to understand that the girl who used to wet her panties because you looked at her a certain way when you lot first got married will now need a lot more work than just " I want you look".

You have to understand the change in the status quo by helping her out, cleaning, cooking and just being there for her.

I think a lot of people don't have realistic expectations when it comes to marriage. Some days I will be bored with your ass. some other times I will need a break and I will not feel bad about that. Sometimes I'll even wonder why i got married to begin with. But the little things will make it all worth it. Love isn't all there is to marriage.

But bia why am I even writing an epistle on top this post sef? As if I sabi anything. Never mind me guys.
Okeoghene said…
I totally agree with Nice Annon, after becoming a parent things change and some men do not realize that. Most men still live as bachelors in their married homes that is why sometimes it is easy for them to cheat. When they do not take part in chores in the home, taking care of the kids,doing things as a family, they have too much time on their hands. They think the woman is not as attentive to their needs as she was before the kids came. If they could help with stuff around the house, I bet she would have time.
I believe marriage is a beautiful rose bush. It takes careful work to make a rose bush beautiful and please we should also bear in mind that roses have thorns. So definitely there will times when you will not see the beauty in the rose when you see the blood flowing from your finger because of a prick from a thorn.

Even if the man says he is just as scared at failing at the marriage just as the woman, that is not an excuse to cheat.

#This is my own 2kobo
Myne Whitman said…
There's no need to be scared of marriage. If you choose the right person, it can be beautiful. I agree with parts of this interview, and also with Kay9 and Nicey. Don't be also scared of losing a man or a marriage, care more for your happiness and let your partner know that so that you're both equally invested in the marriage. Love may be blind but relationships, including marriage, require sense and work. From both people
leggy said…
i do think that both parties stop trying. both the man and the woman after a couple years of marriage but lets not forget that sometimes men still cheat just cos they feel they have a right to.
Dalu said…
I felt so sorry for Shriver, i can imagine hw hurt she felt.

Men, men, mhen!!!!
LucidLilith said…
Arnold's case is not surprising jo. IMO - marriage is all a game of chance. You never know what will happen ten, twenty or thirty years down the road. I think most couples just do the best they can and hope for the best.
MPB said…
After reading this awesome article, and everyone's comments, I don't know that I have much to add. I feel marriage is one of those things that you never know until you experience it. Everyone has good intentions, good feelings. Men plan to not cheat, women plan to keep being sexy, both plan to keep the fire burning...then life and time happen. Like LL said it sometimes seems up to chance if you have no religious affiliation and up to God or a higher power if you do.

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