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Forbidden Distraction

January 18 , 2020
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at )

An old friend of mine once told me how fascinated he has always been by the concept of adultery. I did not understand him at the time, although I was certain in my mind that the man I would get married to at some point would commit adultery. After all, he is a man, and men are known to be adulterers. Yes, women cheat too, but the statistics are decidedly in our favour.

There are two major categories of cheating - physical and emotional. We all know what physical cheating is. But I doubt if most of us are aware of the other kind, although it is likely that we have done it unintentionally at some point.

People cannot be 100pc faithful to their partners all the time. They may not carry out the act per se, but they are bound to emotionally cheat on them at some point in their relationship. This does not make them less faithful, and these people should still get the credit.

The desire to cheat is stronger in impulsive and indecisive people. The former is evident as our impulses are often the culprit for many immoral acts. Indecisive people do not know what they want, even if it is right under their noses. These people hunt for potential spouses, jumping from one relationship to another, assuming that they are missing out on something if they ever take a leap of faith.

A good example would be trying to buy something at the pastry shop. People that have a sweet tooth like me want to get every piece of cake in the shop. Indecisive people similarly have a hard time picking a partner, because they feel almost equally attracted to every option that is out there. Picking just one makes them feel like they are missing out.

I admire people who know exactly what they want and treasure it right after they find it.

Two stories about infidelity got my attention recently. The first was of a husband who at first glance seemed very faithful to his wife. He is open with his wife up to the extent of talking to other girls comfortably in her presence. He is often home early and spends time with his family. He even cooks on Saturdays. His wife believed that he was a godsend.

What she did not know is that he had been considering divorcing her for another woman that is way younger. He had brainwashed his wife into thinking that he is the husband-of-the-year.

“That can’t be him ... probably a doppelganger,” she would say if she ever saw him cheating on her.

The husband knows this and is cocky about it. I do not know what kind of sick game this is, but it works.

Just because the story is about a man, it does not mean I have not come across women who cheat. Women cheat as mercilessly as men do. They can also be cunning and convincing. Infidelity is genderless and is not exclusive to men.

A good friend to infidelity is alcohol, and that is where the second story takes us. Alcohol has killed more relationships than STDs. Alcohol fuels our urges and feeds on our loneliness and weaknesses. Some people have immense self-control even under the influence of alcohol; some folks know their limits and know when to stop drinking. Unfortunately, some men do not.

I recently heard of a man that swore he loved his wife only to end up cheating on her with another woman he used to have feelings for. Under normal circumstances, this would not have happened as the man loved his wife and the woman had self-control, but alcohol was involved that one night.

This story made me think of the wife. I felt bad for her, because like most of us women she thinks her husband has been faithful. She probably never knew what happened that night.

Hearing these two incidents made me wonder if we really know our spouses. This could happen to any of us, and we may never find out. It speaks to the uncertainty of relationships - of life - in that, at the end of the day, all we can do is wish for the best.

But on the other side, there are men and women out there who are faithful to the bone. They revive our faith in love and relationships; serving as a reminder that no matter how imperfect and weak we humans are, we can still aspire to be loyal.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 18,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1029]

Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at

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