“Is the man single, divorced or slightly married?” A friend of mine asked me when I mentioned I was dating.
I laughed and asked, “What do you mean by slightly married?”
“Oh you know, the married man who doesn’t want to get divorced but is happy to date other women.”
“Isn’t that a typical extra marital affair?” I asked to which she replied, “An affair is where you sleep with multiple people. A slightly married man is comfortable with his marital status but chooses to have a girlfriend. He may not want affairs with multiple partners but is okay to have one extra someone special to look after him!”
And then I thought about it. All my close friends were at some point involved with a “slightly married man.”
Take the case of Gautam and Priyanka.
Priyanka is divorced. High flying lawyer. Gorgeous eyes. Single mother. She refused to get on dating sites. “No yaar! I’ll probably find my junior colleagues on Tinder and how will that look if I have to scream at them the next morning?”
So she met a man through friends. Gautam was dashing, CEO of a company, intelligent, funny and slightly married. Had a wife in another city. Two grown up kids. After 16 years of marriage, he didn’t want to divorce and go through another “chakkar” of matrimony. He started dating Priyanka and they fell in love.
Now he meets her on the week days and flies home to his wife and kids on alternate weekends. He leads a double life. Priyanka is fine with that. She refuses to look after a man after her nasty divorce. This way they get to romance each other and still care for another without boredom setting in!
Then there is my friend Gauri and Kunal.
Gauri is single, young, long brown hair, terrific singer. She met Kunal at a wedding where she was singing. One too many drinks later they ended up in bed. She thought it was a one-time thing since he was married. But he told her how his wife hates sex after the birth of his second child a year ago. He spoke about why he can’t leave his family because he has responsibilities towards his small kids but he was unhappy with his wife who had “let herself go.”
Kunal gave Gauri everything she needed in a relationship. She could call him about her woes, ask him for help with her career, and he even gave her a bank balance to spend as she liked. What was wrong with him being slightly married? He was more a husband to her than he was at home anyway! And he had the best of both worlds.
Then there is my friend Pallavi and Rahul.
Pallavi is married to a consultant in a top firm. Her husband travels extensively and leaves her at home with their son. She works in the media industry. After one high pressure successful meeting which she had been working on for months, her boss Rahul took her out for a celebration. He was slightly married.
Rahul confessed to Pallavi that his wife was having an affair but he couldn’t do anything about it. She had given him permission to go out with whomever he chose as long as they could stay married in the society.
Being the CEO of one of the Forbes Top companies he was stuck as he had a massive wedding with the who’s who of the world. A divorce was out of the question. Pallavi started her affair with him feeling sorry for him. Soon it blossomed into a proper relationship. She never wanted kids and was quite happy to have his company whenever he was free from his commitments.
So I began thinking:
Are we serial polygamists?
Do we need constant love and appreciation?
Is our own happiness greater than loyalty?
Relationships have changed over time. There are new definitions to the “al dente” relationship. The perfectly cooked romance. Men are no longer hiding the fact that they’re married and women are understanding that they might not get single men anymore. In fact some women are preferring the slightly married man to the single one. He understands what is at stake. He sees the disintegration of his marriage and cherishes the new woman better because he’s evolved from a bad marriage.
Single Women are also realising that having a good man in your life is better than having a whole set of in laws you need to cater to. They are also realising that there are many aspects to one man and the one that he shows to his wife might be exactly what she needs and by becoming a wife, she may have to see all of them which she knows she won’t like.
There are several men who have got married because of pressure or love and choose to stay in the marriage because “it’s not terrible. It’s tolerable.” And over time, men have got accustomed to their wives and the social status it gives to their career.
Men also understand that divorces are messy and require a lot of alimony, explanations and cooking for oneself! They want to be in a relationship that gives them space, allows them to work, and they can still be the perfect husband and boyfriend.
The SLIGHTLY MARRIED generation believe they have it all. Love. Romance. Sex. Stability.
Until one day we realise that any form of an affair or relationship leads to 3 things
- A sexual karma that you’re creating for yourself. You’re bringing in energies from another person that WILL affect your life – professionally and personally.
- A shift in balance that WILL harm someone in the end.
- A moment where you will need to choose.
If a relationship is not working out, solve it. If it’s something more you want, discuss it. If you’re not happy, answer it. And if it’s something that propels you forward, choose it.