I am sitting comfortably in the living room on this peaceful day, looking out the snow slowly melting, vanishing from the roofs, trees, and roads. I have had just finished a quick online chatting with a dear friend in Indonesia, which leads me to a simple summary: fidelity is almost nonexistent in Jakarta.
I have heard so many stories about people I know who are engaged in affairs. I have heard the stories from both sides: from those who should have committed to monogamous relationships but keep playing around, and from those who are officially single but playing around with committed persons.
I hear stories about girls being mistresses and guys having one (or more). I hear stories about a guy seeing someone’s fiancee, and a girl who occasionally sleeps with a married man. I hear stories about a girl bringing a new bag that cost five times her salary, bought by her married boss. I hear stories of a male colleague who was being sexually harassed by a married lady, and everyone thinks it’s funny (not wrong, just funny). I saw a married man filled some woman up in a bar, and a committed girl vanished in a hotel room with some guy. I had client who offered me an apartment, and a vendor who offered himself if I need it. I had single friends who were in relationships with married men for a couple of years, and my friend who just chatted with me, is married but ready to break his own vow.
The survey result chart on the right was done by MSNBC.com and iVillage in February 2007 to find out about what their readers think about love, sex, and fidelity. The survey result shows that it’s never OK to cheat for any reason, and not only sexual intercourse and oral sex, even sending a sexually flirtatious e-mail to a co-worker is also considered cheating. (click here to read the complete result).
Adulteries, affairs, or infidelity are everywhere in the world. But personally I feel in Jakarta it reaches the point where fidelity is an utopia and an absurd concept. Worse, Jakarta people are now more permissive, and those who commit infidelity are no longer frowned upon. Cheating becomes justifiable. The lack of moral boundaries, combined with presented opportunities and specific needs (money, sex, intimacy, thrills, you name it), are blamed as the triggers towards infidelity.
What I don’t understand is why people condone this behaviour. The married (or committed) people keep seeking excuses to continue their infidelity; the singletons seem do not care whether the persons they like are married or committed to someone else; the persons who are cheated on accept the situation and continue their lives with the shadows of the third party.
If you think you know the answer, feel free to share your thoughts.