I was reading Chimamanda’s AMERICANAH sometime ago when I had this revelation (as I like to call it) about Cheating. Let me just say I was able to understand people better (this isn’t an excuse for cheating and it definitely doesn’t make it right but I gave me one more reason not to judge).
So why do people cheat? Or rather why do the most faithful of people cheat? By this I mean those men or women who have never thought about cheating before, who don’t look outside or compare their spouse to others, who have happy homes and love this spouse senseless but by reasons unknown to them find themselves flirting with, having sex with, or just going out on dates with someone who isn’t their spouse.
The reason is the word “Attraction”.
I like to think of attraction as a force, a force like love though not as strong, a force that is capable of making your knees quiver, a force that can turn your head – make you incapable of thinking, a force that can draw you out but keeps you in.
Like in the book, americanah ‘ifem and obinze were terribly attracted to themselves (yes they loved themselves but if not for the attraction obinze wouldn’t have cheated on his wife, kosi. He wouldn’t had been so drawn to ifem after all those years and ifem would have not seen ceilings with other guys).
Attraction no matter how strong can die after awhile, that’s why sometimes after the deed has been done the cheating spouse remember’s his/her spouse at home and cuts away from the new love, in some cases the new love starts irking them but when attraction is mixed with love, the bond is stronger.
It’s harder to cheat on someone who you love and who you are attracted to than someone who you just love. Attraction makes love less maudlin.
So I guess in relationships we should look for a spark. The more intense the connection (emotional, sexual, and mental), the more the attraction, the more intense the love and the chances of cheating are reduced.
Now, when someone who never cheats, I know how bad the act is but I understand better the cause.
Life is simpler yet more complicated than we perceive. Don’t judge