Neena Gupta, who’s known for her candour has previously gone public about her life experiences, opening up earlier about having her daughter Masaba out of wedlock. And this time she spoke about being involved with a married man.
The experience Neena talks of is not singular to her; many a woman have been in relationships with married men. And life doesn’t always deliver a fairy tale because illicit affairs do not often offer the happy ending most couples involved in these imagine at the start of their tryst.
Why are women attracted to married men?
According to Dr Purnima Nagaraja, Psychiatrist and Therapist, Dhrithi Wellness Clinic, married men who lure women into having liaisons with them are usually charming and good at convincing women to do what they want them to. “Unfortunately, some women invest a lot of trust, love and affection in the relationship, with usually nothing coming of it,” she says.
Single mother and artist Sravanthi Juluri points out that being married or in a committed relationship is the same. Adding that she believes in the institution called ‘love’ and not in labels given by society, which define relationships, she adds, “I do believe that in the course of life you can fall in love with the most unexpected person and in the most unexpected ways. Added to it, I strongly believe a relationship between two people is sacred and that there are boundaries one has to respect. But love is about respecting others’ boundaries and letting them fly,” she says.
Most reasons married men involved in an extramarital affair offer revolve around unhappy marriages. A married man could usually claim to be unhappy because his wife does not give him the affection he desires or because she is a nag or even because there is no sex in his marriage.
However, Dr Purnima states her argument against falling or such excuses. “Let’s say any of those reasons are indeed true and that the man wants to date or marry someone else or have any kind of relation with her, then he should first divorce his wife. Then again, it is prudent to remember that if a man has left someone for you, it’s possible he’d leave you for someone else,” she warns.
IAS officer and single mother, Sumita Dawra, also appears to share a similar logic. “I believe getting involved with a married man is not an ethical choice in life. It damages a marriage and a family irreparably, with its repercussions on children if the couple have kids. Yes, there will be married men who claim to have a bad marriage and try justifying their involvement with another woman. To such men I would just say, ‘First resolve your basic issues and come clean — either stay in the marriage truthfully or come out of it, truthfully.’”
Impracticality of love
Love may be blind, but Dr Purnima believes there are certain things we simply have to take note of when that someone makes your knees go weak. “As a marriage counsellor, having come across many cases of extramarital affairs, I feel one must not get involved with a married man because it will most certainly result in heartbreak,” she shares.
But the heart wants what the heart wants, right?
Wrong, says relationship expert Dr Nisha Khanna. “If you are involved with a married man who claims to be in love with you but does not have the courage to take a stand in public or before his family, then you have to accept that you are definitely not his first priority,” explains Nisha. “He may not be available to you emotionally, physically or as per your needs, using you only as a ‘spare tyre’ when he needs. And in a judgmental society such as ours, it is the woman who is disrespected, her character that is called into question.”
A future minus the heartache
Even as social mores change and concepts around honouring commitments and staying faithful to one’s partner blur, it’s good for women to keep sight of practicalities and protect their own interests before investing their emotions in a relationship that the other party is not willing to commit completely to.
“If you really love him and he feels the same way for you, wait for him to leave his wife. After he does that, give him time to recover from his marriage and let him work out his finances, childcare, child support and such issues. Meanwhile, think about how the change in his life will affect yours. Are you going to be his wife as well as the mother to his children? Would you be sharing him with his ex-wife and children? Do you want children in your marriage to him? All these things must be worked out both in your head and across the table with the man before you sign on the dotted matrimonial lines,”concludes Dr Purnima.