Infidelity amongst British Asians

Infidelity is a subject seldom discussed amongst British Asians in the UK. We look at this phenomenon which affects relationships and marriage.

Silence of emotional and physical needs turns the potter’s wheel of infidelity

The monsoon rain patters silently as the infidelity epidemic rattles in the grass of the UK like a venomous snake. Owing to its clandestine nature, the prevalence of infidelity among British Asians is disguised; contemporary trends help capture the situation.

Polygamous relations that were once cited only amongst rich dynasties, whispered in folk tales; yet displayed in many a passing monument and famous South Asian architecture, was something of a novelty for ordinary man.

Sexual and emotional exclusivity accepted in only the legitimate relation of marriage, with intimacy outside wedlock met with impeccable disgust. This could be said of both South Asia and the UK within their own history for those of us who have experience and knowledge of both.

Despite the destruction caused by infidelity, contemporary times weaves its own basket, strands varied and many as relationships are far more dynamic and uncertain than ever before.

Bonds of South Asian values once appeared so closely woven are being loosened amongst British Asians, pawned in non-secular attitudes and casual sex. What was once considered the taint of an illicit affair can be seen as a much sought after chic accessory enticing even the ‘happily’ married.

Like the effects of mehndi in which fascinating colours and patterns are achieved, so many new relations are being made and experienced both within and outside the bounds of marriage. As with mehndi the leaves must be crushed and undeniably, so does such actions’ leave behind many a different crushed person.

We as British Asians have all seen and heard of actions that will or will not upkeep family honour. Amongst the big discussions by those obviously holding the power within the family structure so much is said needs to be done, needs to be hidden to maintain it. Too often those suffering go without support and those who are at fault can remain unpunished, even unidentified.

In gossip ridden conversation the girl who leaves a cheating and abusive control freak partner is mentioned to be that girl who mindlessly deserted her family. The stigma of divorce and being labelled as of loose character is no less a prison than that of actual brick and mortar.

Chaste devoted wives play sandalwood dolls, while given the opportunity to discreetly be unfaithful. Finding ways to display self-expression away from the patriarchal structure where they are unappreciated and unsatisfied. Silence of emotional and physical needs turns the potter’s wheel of infidelity.

A bitter Taj Mahal on quicksand foundations is created by cross border arranged marriages where it is used to curb promiscuity, but does it actually increase it? Such can be seen where the person was betrothed at an early age or married under pressure. Even in situations whereby one partner is in the UK and the other remains abroad many hopes and dreams are shattered on both sides with infidelity.

The mix of cultures and mismatched partners ride alongside each other as if they were a jaguar trailing a palanquin. The gulf in the expectations of a partner remains unfulfilled. Together with romantic ideas of what married life should be like many temptations become irresistible. Secret families are occurring with children produced out of affairs reconstructing family dynamics.

Having children can no longer be said to be a deterrent to infidelity. DNA testing, abortions, use of infidelity detection agencies is increasingly more common. Whilst still used more discreetly by today’s British Asian society, they are still a reality.

Much criticism is available for the arranged marriage and the problems it can create. Yet marriages of choice also foster infidelity. While being passionate with another person, couples still stay in relationships and families for financial security or because they are used to each other. With no intention of changing marital status they remain in multiple relationships for fun, adventure and to be desired by someone else.

We all have seen or still watch Bollywood movies and its glamorisation of infidelity where love out of wedlock is portrayed without remorse. The publicity attracted by celebrity affairs particularly where such stars are idolised also gives it added appeal.

Infidelity is indifferent to gender. Power, financial independence, confidence, thrill and desire are its defining features. It prevails in offices, business premises and even amongst the everyday folk, whether working or not. Sometimes it’s the businessman having an affair with the female assistant or it’s the younger woman in love with the married man or the unsatisfied housewife, they all smear the clean glass with deceit.

Tides are being made, sweeping with it the British Asian women who are now swimming in the sea of infidelity alongside securing occupations of power and independence. Across the oceans even in India times are changing as women now have opportunities in employment and are less reliant on their partners and families.

The Tata Institute for Social Science research into modern Indian marriages captured a rise in extra marital affairs with couples knowing and accepting of their partners’ infidelity. ‘My wife’s boyfriend’ being the reoccurring syndrome as Indian wives are readily acting on sexual urges and openly dating other men. It appears that regardless of where we are living, we are seeing increases in infidelity by men and women.

British Asian women now face new wreckage like mermaids out of water, stranded on land gasping while being promised everlasting love. Oblivious to the treachery that will befall them when they realise they are just one of many fantasies and sexual experiences of the British Asian man that will not be taken to meet the family.

Opportunities to experiment sexually are vast today. The global reach and anonymity afforded by the Internet offers infinite choice of partners like a hot spicy Bombay mix.

Such anonymity gives way to men or women the chance to to prey on potentials to start affairs.

They are willing to participate in ‘no strings’ dating websites where such intentions are clear. Appealing to those looking to be unfaithful to abandon real relationships for online ones at the click of a button.

With the absence of physical contact many British Asians do not consider inappropriate emotional intimacy or cybersex chatting as infidelity. Instant communication whether by mobile or Internet has created an infidelity expressway.

In comparison to the hard work and effort making needed to resolve arguments at home, these online affairs can easily develop into real offline relationships.

Use of mobile phones have paved a convenient way of entering the world of infidelity. The multitude of Asian men and women known and seen to give separate telephone numbers to spouses and other ones to lovers is commonplace.

Even relationship counsellors and therapists now say the threat of cyber affairs is a trending issue. Something not seen as an issue in previous decades.

With infidelity on the rise amongst British Asians will this become a case of Delhi belly for so many relationships heading straight down the pan or is there hope of strong family and morale left? Do you think British Asian men and women are more unfaithful in today’s society?

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Noori whilst being disabled has a vested interest in creative writing. Her writing style delivers subject matters in a unique and descriptive way. Her favourite quotation: “Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass” ~ Chekhov.

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