Marriage, Infidelity (cheating), and HIV

What marriage means for the Hindu

Marriage is the union of two independent and equal persons, striving through mutual relationship to attain a self-development which neither could achieve in isolation. Differences exist and we must understand these as far as possible. There is no source of happiness so sure and true as the love of one human being for another. Through it we become wiser than we know, better than we feel, nobler than we are. The heart in its hunger and helplessness feels that it must love at any cost, if only to know that it does not exist for nothing. The way to heaven is through earthly love full of woes and watered with tears.
The great God is said to have divided himself in twofold aspect of husband and wife. Man is not a complete being without his woman. Husband and wife form one whole. The wife is ardhaangi or half-self; Mahaadev and Paarvatii are usually drawn together in one body.
The marriage relationship between two persons is exclusive and no other person can enter. Infidelity destroys the nature of a person for it attempts to undo what has been the fulfilment of one’s personality. A faithful marriage with one partner is the ideal to be aimed at, though its realisation is difficult. It is fidelity through suffering and pain that has moved and won the homage of the world. Marriage is an art which involves both pain and joy. The difficulties of life do not end, but begin, with marriage. It takes two to make marriage a success, but one can make it a failure. It is a partnership in which patience is called for; not an experiment, but a profound experience which, though tender and fragile at first, grows through pain and strain.

Except from Religion and Society by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

So, can we really be happy with one person all our life?

Although marriage can be difficult, partners must stay together and help each other through life with understanding and care. By doing this great love can be realised, the goals of life achieved, and a “way to heaven” made. Having relationships outside marriage never brings lasting happiness. On the other hand, only suffering will result.

Reality Check:

A little “play” outside of marriage may sound harmless and exciting, but imagine if you get HIV or any other disease, think about the suffering and the shame you will put your children and your spouse through. When you get a disease, it is not only you who will suffer but your wife or husband and your children. The family will lose an important member and trust and love will be destroyed.

The Ancient Shastras Says:

“Happy is the possessor of a single lover. He whose heart goes after other loves kills his family, destroys virtue, loses his fortune, and drifts away from happiness”