One of the most popular love topics people ask us about is infidelity and how it relates to fate and karma.
The American Heritage English Dictionary defines infidelity as “Lack of fidelity or loyalty, especially to a spouse.” It defines fidelity as “Faithfulness to obligations or duties.”
Let’s consider several forms of infidelity, besides cheating.
1. Withholding affection, and sex in your marriage or relationship, for whatever reason, causes a huge divide between you and your partner. Respect deteriorates, as does trust. Everyone wants to be valued and needed. If someone is denied affection or sex in their relationship, they may feel justified in getting it elsewhere. Would that incur negative karma, you ask? If it involved lying and deception, it’s likely to, as would using sex as a bargaining chip or manipulation tool in a relationship.
2. Being fiscally irresponsible.
3. Allowing yourself to become unattractive to your partner, such as gaining a lot of weight, is considered by some just as bad as fooling around behind your partner’s back.
4. Suddenly ignoring your partner’s emotional needs or their need to connect with you on any other level, such as intellectual.
5. Carrying on an emotionally intimate relationship with a person other than your spouse, flirting (in-person and on-line), and even fantasizing about someone other than your spouse (even though from a spiritual viewpoint, it’s natural) could be considered forms of infidelity. Some have asked us if we believe mutually agreed upon non-monogamy creates negative karma and our response is always “no,” if you are honest and act responsibly with all involved.
6. Not making time spent with your partner a priority, while always going out with your friends instead could be considered a form of infidelity.
7. Promising to cook and run the household in return for your significant other providing financially, then failing to uphold your end of the bargain after getting married is infidelity and also creates negative karma.
Changing your tune in any way that disappoints your partner, after the commitment has been made, could be considered a form of infidelity. This also applies to unspoken agreements and when a person has represented themselves to be a certain way.
In an attempt to maintain fidelity (and in some cases, ignore destiny and karma), prenuptial agreements are common today. Some think prenups should also include things like how household chores will be divided, and exactly how much sex (frequency, style, required attitude about it, etc.) will be included in the union.
After all, as traditional marriage is a legally-binding agreement, like a business arrangement, each partner could be said to be legally obligated to uphold their part of the deal.
It’s unknown what exactly a partner would do in 5, 10, 20, or more years if they’re not getting what they want and need in their relationship. Therefore, taking a business-like approach to love (legally-binding agreement, i.e., marriage certificate) demands business-like negotiations prior to the event in the interest of fairness and to protect both parties.
Not very romantic, you say? Neither is a 60% divorce rate in the U.S. and the fact that many (statistics say about 50%) of those who don’t divorce are cheating.
However, from a spiritual viewpoint, you can’t expect your lover to act a certain way and then honestly say you are expressing unconditional love. Unconditional means that you are expecting nothing in return. Yet in today’s world, where life savings, businesses, careers, the security of children and more are at stake, a less than pragmatic approach with relationships is often regretted.
Attempts to re-write personal fate and avoid your karma with a legally-binding contract may never be successful, but openly and realistically discussing hopes and expectations in the beginning of a relationship will at least help now. Putting them in writing will help later.
If one disappoints, should the other be free to investigate other options without financial or other penalties? Perhaps that should be part of the contract as well.
Copyright © 2008 Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo