Sex and the Chester: A Cheated Gene

By Alyssa Velazquez

Elm Staff Writer

Is the way you are today the way you were born? Were you given the capacity to develop your current dispositions at birth, or did you mature symbiotically outside the body? Does our DNA potentially hold the fate of our self and our relationships? Just as a palm reader claims to be able to see our future by looking at the surface of our skin can modern science begin to look at MRIs to foretell the person we are to become?

Is that person, someone who is faithful or insincere, an individual of integrity or self-consciousness, a liar or a cheat? A cheat. The world has been exposed to so many in the news, tabloids, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter over the past decade, that I have begun to wonder: perhaps cheating has evolved on its own, quietly, out of the sight and mind of the society that bred it. No longer can cheating be defined as simply a way of life, rather a state of being. Is in fact, everyone embedded with a “cheating” gene, the maturity of which relies on the availability of ample opportunity and provocations. Has infidelity become a detectable specimen of biological life? Does “everyone” cheat?

If I told you a story of a couple, a couple I once knew, who others looked up to. In a world of devastating reality would you expect a fairytale ending? I had, and for a long time I was under the naïve impression that despite the distance and lack of physical contact they were currently experiencing, it would all work out. When they would look at each other, you disappeared. They could make your teeth hurt with how sweet they were to each other. I can still remember the day I learned that their relationship was only one-sided and that appearances had to be upheld for the sake of the second party. Both individuals were my friends. I was stuck in the worst position a friend could be. Could I stay an accessory of the betrayal or should I choose a side to fight for? And the most crippling aspect of the entire affair was that I felt completely helpless. There was nothing I could do that would be “right” and every idea I came up with seemed wrong. Betrayed by individuals and action, I turned to idea and theory. I do not suppose to know why a person cheats. Relationship experts have generally narrowed down the field into two categories: emotional and physical. What this incident prompted me to question was not if the cheat in the relationship was feeling unsatisfied emotionally or physically rather, why does it seem that cheating is no longer an anomaly among relationships? Why is it not only accepted but also anticipated and dreaded? Was this cheating phobia born out of a sequence of anti-monogamous relationships or are we born with it?

To date, my affiliated couple still exists in ignorant bliss of the indiscretion that was committed within the relationship. A handful of my friends right now are in the process of playing patient watchdogs, while others hope for a slip up that would provide them with hard evidence to illicit a confession…and then there is me. Stuck between action and staying stagnant, I still have no clear answer to all the questions that one piece of gossip set into motion. This was not the first time I have had someone close to me be found to be a cheater, nor will it be the last.

Yes, there are a lot of cheaters out there, nevertheless, I have to believe as a realistic optimist that cheating is not a to be expected, that it is not an assumed underlying characteristic of every human being.  By putting so much emphasis on cheating, we are in all actuality cheating ourselves from all the antonyms of cheating: faith, hope, trust, respect, and communication. We are shorting ourselves of all the genes we have to combat that betrayal or cuckolded spouse. No matter what is said on this topic, whether it is on a blog or tabloid, everyone has the capacity to cheat; but for everyone to assume, for us to accept it as human nature is its own version of cheating. It’s us cheating on relationships, wanting to take the easy way out, and perhaps that’s the inherited gene.

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