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 Post subject: Extra-marital affairs happen on a wider scale in Lanka
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:33 am 
Are extra marital affairs tolerated more today?

By Jeevani Pereira
@ DM / 01MAR2006

The older man with his much younger “mistress”, her hand, tucked safely under his arm walks into the restaurant. Everyone knows about it, including his wife back at home. However, much of the truth lies within the fact that extra-marital affairs happen on a wider scale, not only for sexual satisfaction as many people think but includes emotional ties as well, among couples of all standings and ages.

Dr Hemantha Wickramatillake, Medical Director of the Family Planning Association said that many of the married couples who come to them with problems that look inter personal, when investigated into further have been discovered to be extra-marital affairs as the root cause.

“There are some instances that along with the husbands some wives also have affairs while family lives continues apparently peaceful on the surface,” he said adding that often when problems at home crop up men and women find solace at work.

“In the commercial sector as far as I have seen people find satisfaction sexually, emotionally or for both reasons with a partner at work,” Dr Wickramatillake added saying that often women get into an affair with their superiors due to job security.

“I have not witnessed it much among the blue collar workers in society as many Factory workers, for instance, work in groups of women or men,” he remarked however adding that the job security factor applies to them as well, for some superiors try to take advantage of the worker.

But with longer working hours and many spending most of the day at their places of work, the chances of a fling is very much present.

“The biggest reasons for domestic violence and marriages to break up today are extra-marital affairs,” said Dilrukshi De Alwis, legal advisor at Women In Need with another side of the coin in view. “Many women are victims of social pressures and cannot dream of quitting a marriage even with the knowledge of another woman in the background.”

Most of the cases they see, according to Ms De Alwis have given up their jobs and are quite dependent on their husbands. Furthermore, families are hesitant to accept them back if the marriage breaks, following social obligation and some women have to tolerate their situations.

“Many affairs are started out as fun and turn into quite serious relationships,” she went onto say adding that some young girls are willing to get into relationships with much older men with the money factor in mind.

“Marriages sadly are not taken up with responsibility, and the seriousness of a union is often not understood,” Ms De Alwis explained. “It is the children who often are bearers of the consequences with communication with their parents suffering more than anything else.”

Misha, 32, says “ I remember how my parents fought so much when I was young, because my father was seeing another woman. My mother stuck it out because there were two children involved. I hated it, and in the end, after I got married, my sister and mother migrated. I feel it is better for two people to separate on good terms than stay together and fight all the time.”

Dishi, 45 says otherwise. “I have three kids and I turn a blind eye to my husband’s philandering because I feel it is better to provide my kids with a sense of security in having both of us than getting into a messy divorce case and fighting over the kids. Its not all rosy for me, but I have learnt to live with it”.

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