An ultra-popular television mini-series based on real-life incidences of crime has been going on for some time now. Creepy, isn’t it? But for some mysterious reason we humans find creepy, obnoxious and vulgarly violent entertaining…Okay, rambling filter now on.
So like I was saying, there’s this mini-series going on and one of the episodes was based on a guy subjecting his wife to mental abuse for years and then killing her. (Cummon, don’t tell me that’s shocking. Killing one’s wife is our bread and butter here in India. We even have special names for it like ‘dowry death’ etc.)
Coming back to the point (again), this crime stemmed purely out of the man’s suspicions (yes, completely unfounded) about his wife. Well eventually he turned out to be suffering from acute clinical paranoia and is now fortunately rotting in prison (unlike most of the members of the Fraternity. The Wife-killing one.)
That’s the power of Suspicion.
Photo by Allysa L. Miller
But is suspicion bad?
Not completely. What would you do if you had zero suspicions about your partner? If you were completely sure that they are just head-over-heels in love with you and wouldn’t think of so much as looking at another man/girl? You’d mistreat them. You wouldn’t give them the importance they deserve. Well at least I didn’t. No wonder that relationship ended. After years of mistreatment for the guy. Tragic, I know.
But the other extreme, that is suspicion for the sake of suspicion (Suspicion-holism. Yeah, the thing of the mad murderer) is what brings disaster to relationships. A phone call from another man/girl, a lunch with a long-time friend of the opposite gender, a half an hour delay in their coming back home…and you’re pulling off your hair. Bad strategy. Bad bad strategy for a healthy and fulfilling relationship (maybe also for a life outside a hospital for the mentally screwed up).
Gotcha. For life.
Now what if you actually catch your partner cheating? Well that’s the difficult part. We’ll handle it sometime. But let’s say you’ve found out that your partner is cheating and the two of you are through with all the throwing things, calling names, tears and scratches and all of that. Now what? Well of course if you break up there’s no What Now. But if, like most people, one of you decides to ‘pardon’ the other because ‘okay it has happened just once’, then you need to decide the terms of your relationship now.
Photo by jeffreyw
Unfortunately we tend to slip into the ‘Gotcha Syndrome’- treating this incidence of infidelity as a trump card against your partner. Rubbing it in every time you have a quarrel.
“Ah yes, maybe I’ve made a mistake. But at least I’m not the one sleeping around.”
“Look who’s talking!”
“I think not sharing the housework is slightly better than cheating.”
That’s not how relationships work. The choice is: breaking up or staying together. If you’ve decided, together, to not break up, then you have to be a couple in terms of being a couple, not in terms of Now-I-have-a-lifelong-upper hand.
Did you have to deal with suspicion ever in your relationships? Let me know what you learnt which you wish you had known earlier.