"Raj I had been having an affair with Vinay, my boss, for the last six months but it is over now. I know you might want to throw my cheating ass out of the house, but I swear I will not do it again. I promise to be faithful to you for the rest of my life." These words came out of the mouth of my wife Shabana as we sat down to have breakfast that Sunday morning.
"Okay." I did not even bother to take my head out of the newspaper.
"Is that all you have to say? Okay?" She was taken by surprise and came back with the only emotion that she had shown to me in the last six months - Anger.
"Yes, Should I doubt your word? Should I be worried that you will have an affair with someone in the future?"
"No, I will not have any affairs in the future."
"Then I guess I am okay with it. Unless, you think I should not be okay with it and throw you out as you suggested."
"No, you should not throw me out, but you should be angry, hurt, anything but totally okay with it."
"I was angry when I found out about the affair four months ago. I am not all that angry anymore. I was hurt when I heard the recordings of your telephone conversations with Vinay in which you referred to me as a wimp, a cuckold, tiny-dick sissy, an arrogant bastard, a grave mistake and inept lover. I got over that too. I got second opinion and then third and then fourth and so on and each woman told me I was wonderful in bed. Hell, I got the second opinion because of the glowing reference that the first one gave and I have only worked up through references. So, I know that those things were said to make the whole cheating scenario more exciting. I am not that hurt anymore. I was also worried about all the lying that you did but now that you have told the truth I have no worries left. I guess I am okay with it."
"You cheated on me too?"
"Legally, yes. Technically, no. Since you broke the clause of the contract of marriage, the whole marriage contract was null and void. I did not break our contract so, I have nothing to be guilty of."
"So, where do we go from here?"
"You find a replacement for Vinay and we go on living as we have in the last few months. We keep on looking for the perfect match for ourselves and when we find one, we divorce and move on. I have been looking for your replacements but I have been having too much fun to think seriously about it. Now, I will be more serious towards it. I suggest you do the same."
"But, I just said that I was sorry and I am not interested in having any outside relationship."
"Okay, then here is what I propose. Since you do not think it is a big deal for married people to sleep with other people, I will keep on doing so. Since I believe that I need a faithful wife, you will remain faithful to me and me alone. Each of us will live life by each other's code. I will live by the values that you have set for this marriage and you will live by the values that I prize the most. I have already been living my life by your values; all that needs to be done is for you to start living by mine. This will mean that we respect each other enough to let ourselves be guided by each other's values."
"But these are not my values, I just got lost in the wonder of some illicit sex. You can't punish me like this for the rest of my life."
"Then how long can I punish you for?"
"You've run around too. Shouldn't this be counted as punishment?"
"Have spent even a single day thinking if I would leave you because I might fall in love with a woman I was banging regularly?"
"Have you had to go to party where everyone was looking at you as if you were a loser because you could not satisfy me in bed?"
"Have you been to a washroom where the topic of conversation was how good I was at anal sex?"
"Have you been in a situation where you had to shake hands with a woman I was sleeping with and see the contempt in her eyes?"
"Then how can your punishment be over?"