Everyone who knows someone who has cheated on their significant other, raise your hands! Yep, i'm guessing you did. Now, all those who blamed the other woman/man for breaking up a marriage, raise YOUR hands. I'm thinking the number of hands just went up by atleast half. I'm hoping not, though.
Because in today's day and age, you don't have a leg to stand on.
When my parents split, it was an unusual occurence for that time. For the longest time, the rest of the extended family even managed to pretend that it hadn't happened. In the meanwhile, my Dad met and fell in love with another woman. He technically cheated on my mother since they were still married at that time.
When they decided to officially call it quits, it was a shocking revelation for most people. Probably because in the rest of the family, something like this had never happened. Marriages were sacred and 'through thick and thin till death do you 'part' was a literal statement. And yet, here were two people, who had supposedly been madly in love and shared two kids, just calling it off. While my parents went through their share of grief, I believe that what really riled the rest of the family was the incomprehensible choice they made - personal happiness over societal norms.
Personal Happiness. Two words that changed a culture. Or not. My point being, once THAT can of worms is opened, there is no going back. Personal happiness doesn't stop at just relationships anymore, it extends to your job and career path, your possessions, your friends, etc etc. It goes from buying the right toothpaste (because it makes you feel good about yourself) to studying for the MBA (great pay packets!) to backpacking around the world to 'trying out' partners to see who best suits you.
Ofcourse, behaviour like that comes with its own share of value judgements from others. After all, one man's "partner trial" could very well be another man's "cheating partner". We've all heard "Do unto others as you'd like them to do unto you." (An Aside: That argument falls apart in the vicinity of a masochist who would in that case be giving everyone a royal thrashing.) And yes, we've all heard about the repurcussions of inviting 'bad karma'.
But really, whom are we kidding?? Pursuit of happiness is a choice you make every minute of every day. From the mundane - fried or poached? - to the complex - Shall i dump his sorry ass or shall i stay? - once that choice is made, it's YOUR choice. And hence, it's nobody's problem but yours.
So, if a man/ woman strays, it isn't because there was someone to stray towards, but that he/she CHOSE to risk what they had for the promise of something else.
Bottom line - If you single-mindedly chase your happiness (and that's a good thing, incidentally, since no one else will chase it for you), then it's only logical that others are doing it too. The bad news - their choices may not always fit in with your life plan. But those are the breaks of being an adult and taking responsibility for your life. It's not about paying your bills or doing the laundry - it's about accepting that whatever you do (or don't), has repurcussions on your life. That you have the power to choose. And hopefully you're adult enough to deal with that without hiding behind cliches.