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Is sex outside marriage on your Secret Wishlist? :)

cheating photo: cheating z182986840.jpg

A review I read this morning about my book 'The Secret Wishlist' amused me. Because  while the reviewer loved my writing style---he said it was so gripping that he just couldn't stop reading it---he had a problem with the extra-marital affair. He said he had read the book at the same time as Deepika Padukone's video came out and he felt that the book glorified adultery. Many people,both men and women,who aren't able to put the book down are not able to accept the fact that a woman can find love outside her marriage. It is not entirely impossible you know!

I came across a brilliantly expressed piece written by a marriage counsellor who sees hundreds of couples in relationship crisis. The piece is titled 'Why women leave the men they love--What every man needs to know'.
I quote from the above piece:
As a marriage counsellor working with men and women in relationship crisis, I help clients navigate numerous marriage counselling issues. While many situations are complex, there’s one profoundly simple truth that men need to know. It’s this – Women leave men they love.
They feel terrible about it. It tears the heart out of them. But they do it. They rally their courage and their resources and they leave. Women leave men with whom they have children, homes and lives. Women leave for many reasons, but there’s one reason in particular that haunts me, one that I want men to understand....

To read the rest of the piece go here 

Also he points out that the gender dynamics in the above piece is reversible. It can go both ways.

If you haven't read my book (The Secret Wishlist) and want to read it there might be spoilers ahead in what I am going to say. So do not read further if you hate spoilers.

What the counsellor talks about--- It is  exactly what my protagonist Diksha did too. She  is married at 19. Her husband isn't a bad guy--just a workaholic who finds it more interesting to play golf during weekends than spend time with her. She chooses to be a stay-at-home mother as she wants to be there for her son with whom she has a wonderful bond. Her husband says that he never stopped her from working. It is a choice that she made. He is an emotionally absent husband. And to top it there is marital rape as well. He has sex with her when he is turned on and even when she doesn't feel like it. She is financially dependent on him. She has no resources of her own.Also being married at 19, she lacks the courage to speak up and she has a child as well. So she stays in the marriage.
I find the scene where her husband  has sex with her, particularly heart wrenching. I cried for Diksha while writing that. The later scene in the book where she has sex with Ankit is so beautiful in contrast.
I am surprised that people do not see it that way. All they can see is 'sex outside marriage' and they sit in judgement about how it is morally wrong.

But I guess each one is entitled to their views. Maybe they would prefer being raped in a marriage than go outside a marriage. Maybe they think marriage is sacrosanct and everything that the husband does is okay and the wife has to dutifully comply. Maybe they feel that sex is a husband's right. (What about the wife's rights?)

I must also mention here that I got hundreds of mails from women all over India, who said that they felt I had crawled into their heads and written their stories--except that they did not have an Ankit in their life.
 I can tell you one thing--it takes far more courage for an Indian woman to walk out of a bad marriage than it does for an Indian man. The odds are skewed heavily in the man's favour.


Shinie and me



My friend Shinie Antony  who is  one of the best writers I know (and also one of the founder members of the Bangalore Lit fest)  had written a very relevant piece about Marital rape in Economic times. Click HERE to read her piece.





 I have said it earlier (in my piece on Deepika's video) and I say it again: Ultimately a relationship is between two consenting adults. If you are in a committed relationship then both parties have choices to make. The choices they make might hurt the other person. Whether you decide to compromise and stay or whether you decide to walk out or whether you decide on other ways to navigate the twists and turns of the relationship is up to you and your partner.
Nobody else has a say in it---Not the Government, not your parents, not your children nor your best friend.
And rape is rape--whether it is outside a marriage or within it. I am sure Diksha would agree :)

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Comments

  1. Anonymous1:31 PM

    i think sexual assault in one's life is a different matter but one cannot compensate that pain by cheating on him...they can always have the authorities to complain or better yet..leave that man and move on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody is talking about 'compensating by cheating'. That would be ridiculous. This is about consent, marital rape and the courage to move on. Complaining about marital rape to authorities in India? Are you kidding?!! Complaining about rape itself is an unbearable ordeal because of insensitivity of the system. Marital rape is not even recognised as an offence in India. Please read Shinie's piece which I have linked.

      Delete
  2. Very True Preeti Ma'am. Marital rape is not recognised as a crime in Indian constitution. Infact there is no such word called marital rape in India. They believe sex within marriage is legal even if it's without female consent. We need to change this. I totally agree with you. It's all about choices and one should take a stand and move on.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes Shefali. I think Kiran Bedi too has now spoken up for changing the law. The more women speak up the more chances we have of the law getting changed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. An interesting piece!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Totally agree with you here about finding love outside marriage. I have seen many many 'emotionally absent' husbands. Yet people (read men) find it tough to understand why a women would leave a man who is giving her freedom and money. The lack of love somehow doesn't seem to matter.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Agree with you Preeti on this.. every person has there choice and a couple have their own private space and no one has to come in between. Also with the husband having rights same goes with the wife as well and that husband HAS TO understand..!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The counselling article is terrific....thank you for sharing. Your ability to articulate a common (wo)man's experiences into a gripping story is amazing, and that is why it appeals to so many.

    ReplyDelete
  8. But my question is having sex outside marriage will b called cheating or wat?? Marital rape is d fact in India 75% Indian women face this. I don't understand dt jst bcoz ur marrid, a rape will nt be understood as rape. A rape is a rape. But unfortunately marital rape is not even recognized as a crime in India.

    ReplyDelete

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