As a re­cent sur­vey says peo­ple are likely to cheat if they could keep their li­ai­son a se­cret, ex­perts tell us why this is hap­pen­ing, and talk about the dif­fer­ent forms of cheat­ing

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Collin Rodrigues ■ collin.rodrigues@hin­dus­tan­

Re­cently, the re­sults of the an­nual Hin­dus­tan Times-MARS Youth Sur­vey 2016 was de­clared. The sur­vey cov­ered a wide ar­ray of sub­jects in the coun­try, in­clud­ing re­la­tion­ships. One of the most star­tling as­pects of the sur­vey that caught our at­ten­tion was the topic of cheat­ing. Among those who par­tic­i­pated in the poll, 22.3% said that they would cheat on their part­ner if they had the op­tion of keep­ing it a se­cret. Though the num­ber seems small over­all, city-wise the fig­ures give a dif­fer­ent pic­ture. In Mum­bai 29.6% said they would cheat. Delhi topped the list with 48% par­tic­i­pants say­ing they would cheat on their part­ner. Other cities in­cluded Chandigarh (30.2%), Chen­nai (27.9%) and Luc­know (25%) among oth­ers.


Why are so many peo­ple open to cheat­ing if it’s kept a se­cret Says Dr Suyog V Jaiswal, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in psy­chi­a­try, HBT Med­i­cal Col­lege, “Hu­mans are so­cial an­i­mals who abide by so­cial norms. We have urges and we sat­isfy them within per­mis­si­ble lim­its in so­ci­ety. These urges were called id by Sig­mund Freud and the moral val­ues were re­ferred to as super­ego. In cases where the moral value is weak, one finds the way for urges to take over if the con­se­quences of it can be es­caped. The moral val­ues of peo­ple in gen­eral are the re­sult of the ex­pe­ri­ences of fel­low so­ci­ety mem­bers get­ting away with it. If the guilt is not there and so­cial in­hi­bi­tion is re­moved, it makes in­fi­delity more likely.”

Clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist Tanushree Bhar­gava says that cheat­ing wasn’t ram­pant many years ago, but times have changed. She says, “Nowa­days, there is easy ac­ces­si­bil­ity to dat­ing sites where peo­ple can meet like-minded peo­ple who can give them more hap­pi­ness and com­fort as com­pared to their com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ships. Sit­u­a­tional rea­sons such as a per­son spend­ing most of his or her time with other peo­ple might make him or her vul­ner­a­ble to cheat­ing.”

Peo­ple in the sur­vey were also asked if they would say no to cheat­ing, if given an op­por­tu­nity. While 26% of the peo­ple in the sur­vey said they were un­sure, 22% said that cheat­ing in a re­la­tion­ship doesn’t bother them at all. Jaiswal says these could be peo­ple who are dis­sat­is­fied with their cur­rent re­la­tion­ships or aren’t se­ri­ous about their part­ner. He says, “Peo­ple who said ‘un­sure’, are op­por­tunists, who would cheat if it suits them. In both cases the guilt of cheat­ing is ei­ther not there or is su­per­fi­cial and ly­ing comes eas­ily.”


The dif­fer­ent forms of cheat­ing in­clude emo­tional, phys­i­cal and cy­ber cheat­ing, among oth­ers. Jaiswal says emo­tional cheat­ing is vast in its def­i­ni­tion and is the only kind of cheat­ing which to­tally re­places one’s part­ner on an emo­tional level and de­te­ri­o­rates the re­la­tion­ship. Re­la­tion­ship ex­pert Vishnu Modi says that most peo­ple in In­dia wouldn’t con­sider other forms as ac­tu­ally cheat­ing. He says, “The num­ber of peo­ple com­ing to me with is­sues re­lated to cheat­ing has in­creased dras­ti­cally in the last few years. Al­most, all of these cases in­volve phys­i­cal cheat­ing. Peo­ple just over­look other forms of cheat­ing or don’t con­sider them as cheat­ing.” While peo­ple may be open to cheat­ing, one should know that it is avoid­able, with a lit­tle ex­tra ef­fort. Says Bhar­gava, “In most cases peo­ple who cheat have valid rea­sons as to why they do it. Such peo­ple should open com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels with a part­ner, or take help from a friend. Avoid sit­u­a­tions which can make you vul­ner­a­ble to cheat­ing. Think about its con­se­quences be­fore you cross the line. Take pro­fes­sional help if needed.”


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