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Love, Conscience & How Not to Feel Guilty After Cheating *It’s Not Your Fault!*

Why are humans so complicated? Why do we fall in and out of love, and why is it that nothing is ever our own fault? In life, we always try to look for excuses to blame someone else, be it in our love lives or at work?

Should you feel Guilty about Cheating?

Why can’t we just understand that at times, our losses and mistakes may be the consequence of our own wrongdoings and faults?

“It is impossible to fall out of love, love is such a powerful emotion that once it envelopes you, it does not depart.”

I am a writer if that’s what you call someone who can pen their thoughts on paper. Or these days, on a white screen with a flashing cursor. But I’m a reader too, and I read more than I write. I read a lot, and my interests solidify in phases. Since the past month or so, I’ve found myself roused by murder mysteries. What I have quoted above is a quotation which I read somewhere at the phase when I was into romantic novels. And it is a wonder that I haven’t forgotten it yet.

Isn’t it incredible that we never forget something about love? I’m quite certain you remember your heart tugging moments too. I bet you even remember if your sweet first love had a mole on their chin. As surprising as it may seem, we never forget our love interests. Not after a decade. And not after a century, if you ever live that long.

You may feign forgetfulness, but in reality, the thought of a loved one always lingers inside our heads, waiting to magically recreate itself in moments of solitude. That’s probably because love or the feeling of falling in love is something that isn’t impressed upon you by circumstances. You ‘choose’ to feel it. You choose to strike the romantic chord that harmonizes you and brings you bliss, in a manner that a thousand words would never be able to explain.

Almost all relationships that exist outside the boundary of true love are purely ‘need-based’. You like someone a lot because they’re fun to be with. You want to hook up with someone, because they’re just smoking hot. Or you hug someone and speak about anything that comes to your mind because you need comforting. All of these people who come into your life can be forgotten. And they will be. So will that little crush of yours, back in seventh grade.

No one can force you to choose the one you love. Try recollecting the early days during the spring of your love. Everything was so warm and sappy, the flowers looked so romantic and the clouds so blue, and more blah. Your lines were so corny and stupid, and you loved stupid baby talk. But even that didn’t make you feel stupid! Your whole existence revolved around your sweetheart. Those long phone calls late into the night, moments when both of you just wanted to hold on to the phone and listen to each other breathing, and other mushy things that you now overlook or feel quite unnecessary. Your love evoked and insinuated you into what seemed like a web of magical imagery.

It’s so perfect, isn’t it? Love. Recollecting even the way our lips move when we pronounce that word seems to bring joy into our lives. Life can’t get any better than that, can it? But then it can. Because most of us feel that our relationship with our loved one can be inadequate at times. That’s alright, even two peas in a pod come with their own issues and differences. But at times, our love can feel really inadequate, like we’re holding on to something futile, like trying to carry fine sand or water in our palms. But then, why do we have to feel that?

We live in a world of binary oppositions. We recognize darkness, because we can discern light. If there were no light in this world, how could we identify its alter-ego? With the same gist, we are familiar with hatred because we know love. We are acquainted with infidelity because we recognize loyalty. These are abstract terms and their meaning comes with the tendency to defer. Words are such an unreliable medium to convey the idea. Everyone reads the same plot and they decode it to their liking. With that thought in my mind, I have to ponder if there is anything that can be clearly defined, or explained.

We can’t decipher the exclusive meaning and can only attempt to swig a trace out of it. We live in this world according to the ‘pleasure’ principle. We denote the occurrences which give us pleasure as affirmatives. The occurrences that make us uncomfortable are depressing to us, like darkness. Infidelity makes us uncomfortable and love elates us. So we refer to them according to the pleasure principle.

According to Saussure, the profound philosopher and philologist, everything in the world has a binary opposition except humans. Can you claim that someone is perfectly bad or wholly good?  We are but a mixture of both, waiting to pull out a sheaf of our good and bad side by turns, as and when we want it. Good and Evil reside within us. Within us is a conspiracy that never rears its head, but sniffs the air in deep rasping gasps, waiting for the perfect opportunity.

But how many of us would accept that we have the devil within us? All of us just want Mr. God to hang out in that special place within us, the same one we call a heart. No one ever does anything wrong, they just commit a mistake, even if’s its cheating on a partner. And no one ever commits a mistake, they just did the right thing, or what they felt was right at that time. And if there are no excuses, the circumstances get the blame. Think about it, is anything ever your fault?

Wrong acts always come with excuses and reasons. Right acts come with gloating egos and self-reflecting praises.

I can recollect an incident that happened recently, one that involves a good friend of mine. She called and wanted to come over. A few minutes into the conversation, and she huddled closer to me, and with a wet nose, told me about how she made a big mistake and spent a night with a man, someone who wasn’t her guy.

Apparently, she told me that they had gone out for a drink and to shake a leg, and things just went from handshakes to holding hands to hold-what-you-can.

I put my arms around her and told her not to think much about it, and that it was history (though I didn’t tell her that history has a good way of repeating itself now and then). An hour later, she seemed to be feeling a lot better.

We chatted a bit, and she decided to take off. We hugged at the door and she gave me a big grin and waved. “Thank you so much, Laura, God knows how guilty I was feeling until you made me feel better…”

What?! Now that upset me. When did guilt creep into the picture? Was she here with me, only to reassure herself that she was the wounded and shattered one in the picture? She came to me to be reassured that what she did was nothing wrong, and it was all a mistake!

But at which point was that a mistake? She was with that guy for the whole night, and probably days before the inevitable and awaited incident. How could she not have seen what was coming? She had mentioned that she was lost in a haze and didn’t know what was happening until it was too late, until the deed was done. I had accepted that statement quietly.

But pretending like she’s this lost puppy who didn’t know what was going on, on her own body, and oblivious to everything that was happening all around her, and then calling it a mistake?! That was moronic stupidity, or a lame throw at redemption.

For all the words that she wasted on talking about her true love, her guy and how much she loved him, and how bad a mistake that incident was, she was and is still thinking about no one but herself. She was being, aptly put, selfish. She was tempted to know what it would feel like, to explore opportunities outside the relationship. She wanted to taste the proverbial forbidden fruit. She apparently hadn’t given in all these years, while she was going out with her guy, but then, the hopes of orgasms galore and the temptations abound had her knees buckling.

She could call that encounter whatever she wants, temporary amnesia, or carnal mind block, or whatever the heck she wants to call it. But she was being nothing but selfish, and she didn’t care about anyone but herself. And the worst part of it all, she was lying to herself, convincing herself that the lie was the eternal truth. And the best part for her, it worked!

She never gave a thought about anything but her feelings, and her stint at redemption. She was being self-centered, but hey, what’s wrong with that? We’re all self-centered people, who care about nothing but our own happiness. History has shown us enough to ratify that claim.

But the nagging issue that’s gnawing my head is the fact that she’s selfish, and she has no idea about it. She’d get back into the arms of her lover, shower him with more love, and remind herself over and over again that it wasn’t her fault. She was just a mute spectator in an unrealistic overwhelming event that involved her unwilling and confused body. But think twice about this, was she a sweet doe stuck in a trap unforeseen by her and foreseen by fate, or was she just playing to the tune of her carnal desires?

What she’s done isn’t a bad thing. But the fact that it’s so easy to blame circumstances instead of oneself is beyond blood-curdling, it’s the proof of a conscience that doesn’t work within the realm of purity anymore. What would you do if you were in her place? Or just about any place where fornication can penetrate and seep in without anyone’s notice, but yours. It would be your little secret, your little hideaway bang. What would you do?

Say you were on a vacation. Alone, without your partner. A hypothetical situation. Of course, now really! And then you have the hottest celebrity on whom you’ve had a crush on since forever, who’s got to share your room for some weird contorted dreamy reason.

And then, here comes the best part, you’re all smitten by that gorgeous person, and the feeling is mutual. The minutes tick to hours, and the wine and champagne flow from the heavens, the mood music hits a crescendo, and the lights dim into orgasmic splendor.

What would you do? Two things to think about here. You know that making out with this person would be so awesome you would never be able to forget it. Two, no one in the world would ever know it happened. What would you do?

Say what you want, I know what’s going to happen anyways. I’m a filthy hypocrite, yes. So are you. But I wouldn’t use guilt laced with liquor or tears to wash my sorrows away.

Temptation is all around us. And it’s alright to fall prey to it sometimes. Alright, yes. Justifiable, no. But we’re all wrong when we go blaming others for our misfortunes. We just want to unload all our issues on some unsuspecting person, or our partner in crime, just to get away from reality. The reality that we screwed up. Literally and very enjoyably.

Our world is directed forward by the pleasure principle. And we sometimes lose focus of what we want and what we get. When we think we’ve screwed up, we go all out with our guns blazing, and we pretend like it’s not our fault. And soon, the mask of pretence grows so strong, that we actually start to believe that we never did anything wrong.

We convince ourselves to believe that it was all because of the circumstances. We definitely would never have done anything wrong had circumstances been any different. We’re just a part of a hypocrisy that screams “No!” but would rather hope for a lust laden “Yes!” preferably in high monotone, with bed breaking and glass shattering consequences.

Guilt hits us where it hurts and we know when we feel guilty. But it’s very uncomfortable to just accept our faults when we do something wrong. We want the cake. We want to eat it too. Of course, if we can’t eat it, then why the heck would we want it? Whoever came up with that proverb anyways?

We make contradictory arguments all the time. Just to protect ourselves. We believe that our lover wouldn’t be able to handle our little flirty accident, so we hide it from them. Of course, you’re hiding it only because you care. That makes you guilty, the fact that you’re hiding it from your partner. What happened to the deed? Why do you feel bad that you’re hiding a secret? Why on earth aren’t you bothered that you just banged someone else? In reality, the fact that you made out with someone else doesn’t affect you, you obviously enjoyed sleeping with another cutie. What hurts you is the guilt that you associate with that act.

The only thing that bothers you is that you may hurt your mate, and break their poor little innocent heart. Is that the problem? No! Not one bit, you’re all just worried that your mate might do the doggie with someone else, just to notch up the same points on the bedpost. And that would hurt you. And that would make you so sad. You don’t want that, do you? You just want to be happy.

When we draw excuses and reasons out of thin air, we’re not doing anything about owning up. There’s no mea culpa, and accepting our own faults. We’ve been manufactured and modified throughout our formative years to become the perfect idea of a moral citizen. But the irony here is that none of us are even remotely close to that idea. So where are we getting at here?

We’ve all lost our sense of responsibility. We’re prejudiced to blame than accept. We have to understand that it’s alright to give in to our carnal desires. Not good. Not advisable. But acceptable. But stop blaming your mate or the circumstances. Hide it if you think it’s a safer bet, or if you don’t want your mate to hunt on fresh mating ground just to get back at you. Stop trying to make yourself believe that you’re the good one, living in an impure world, surrounded by impure circumstances and fate playing a game of fornication with you.

Why did you have to go fornicate with the decorator? It was probably because your mate just wasn’t good enough, after all these years. But don’t worry, your secret’s safe. You aren’t alone in this guilt-free world. All of us are in it together, and when one of us cheat on our partners, we always have a reason to rid us of guilt and fault-finding, all the way from “I kissed someone else by accident“ to “I’m bored of making out with the same person”.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to tell your partner or tell yourself. As long as you can get rid of that heavy baggage of guilt, you’d be perfectly fine. So what should you do, tell your partner or keep a secret? Quite frankly, it doesn’t even matter, because all that matters is the guilt. If you can tell a friend or yourself, and convince yourself that it wasn’t entirely your own fault, you’d be fine. And if that doesn’t work, go ahead and tell your partner, because that would be the final step. After all, if your partner forgives you for cheating, there’s no reason to be feeling guilty, is there? Well, until that day when you cheat again.

And about cheating in the first place? Of course, it isn’t your fault at all, sweetheart. How can it ever be, especially when you’re so darn perfect! And so guilt-free.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...