Sis Dolly blogs.

By Drum Digital
03 September 2012

This caption on a news article recently caught my eye “Infidelity rising in South Africa”. As I respond to many reader questions in my weekly column, infidelity seems to be one of the greatest concerns for the readers of Drum magazine and others too.

I’m often puzzled and curious as to what feeds this trend of infidelity and surprised by people who write in to say that because their partner or spouse cheated on them, they too went out and cheated “back”.

I always encourage people to communicate with their partner - let them know what’s making you unhappy or uncomfortable in the relationship.

If the solution to your unhappiness is cheating, then you need to be looking for a new way of life and being in the world. For me it isn’t just about cheating it’s also about the guilt and dishonesty that remains in the individual who has cheated.

Somehow though, this doesn’t seem to feature so much in how people understand infidelity when they say “I cheated”. The response is more “I showed him/her”.

So are we increasingly saying it’s okay to cheat? And if this is what we’re saying, then what are the broader implications for how we maintain our intimate relationships? And even further, how then do we see ourselves as individuals. What has happened to trust, respect (for self and the other) and self love?

And there seems to be a many other places where we’re willing to compromise this. Where a young man writes in to say he’s not cool because he doesn’t have a lot of girlfriends.

Where a woman fights with her current lover, and stays with the philandering man, where a woman is considering having the child of her married lover, where gradually infidelity has become a norm.

In a country where polygamy is still practiced there’s a trend of thinking that multiple partners equate to that archaic tradition. And the infidelity we see is not even in the name of polygamy; it seems that people just think it’s acceptable.

I struggle to understand the connection. Even if we were to say that this is a part of our culture and tradition there have always been correct ways of applying this practice.

There’s no sense from what I see in this trend of preserving our individual and collective pride in who we are.

We squabble over the bare bones of what we are able to gain materially and then extend that to the practice of multiple partners. Always wanting more! I don’t believe this makes you better in any way. Instead we end up as bruised individuals looking for ultimate pleasure and satisfaction outside ourselves instead of starting with healing ourselves.

There’s a very fine line between a polygamist and a sex addict. Very simply, if you need to get your satisfaction from an external source or multiple external sources, you’re missing something inside yourself. I always encourage people to love themselves first.

By loving yourself you are also less likely to attract someone who doesn’t care about you, simply because you care enough about yourself to not settle for less than who or what you are.

Find Love!

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