Are you saying the devil made you do it?

29 May , 2007

FlashEarlier tonight I was idly paging through some of the mags that my mom left lying round on the counter when a story from the Huisgenoot caught my eye. (I know, it sounds unlikely – but I blame it on blogging). 😉 It reminded me a lot of the excitement about the whole Patricia de Lille vs. blogging debacle that was so well publicised over the last few days.

This woman tells her sad story about how her husband was getting hooked on chat rooms and messaging strange women on MXit for months, and how after she found out and confronted him he is now asking for a divorce. It’s very sad… but now here comes the bit I don’t get. She blames this marriage failure on Mixit. Am I missing something? Is the problem not between the two parties to the little marriage arrangement? The technology only provides the opportunity, but the actual choice to fool around is still made by a person, not so?

I don’t think it’s possible for a chat room to break up a marriage. If a silly little chat room can ruin your marriage then it was probably in trouble waaaaay before that. If you don’t believe me I want you to imagine for a moment a time before computers. No e-mail, no text messages, no IM. If your husband was having a torrid affair and you came across his stash of love/lust-letters would you blame the Post Office for wrecking your family? I think not…If you found him holed up in a hotel with his new lover would you blame it on the car manufacturer that made it possible for him to drive there?

wolf battleAnd another thing, how can a woman whose husband is as promiscuous as an alley cat, or a husband who didn’t manage to secure a one-man-woman, blame the outside party? Is the person who needs to face the music not the one who made a promise to be faithful? It’s a cut-throat business this mating game. Can you really blame them for trying to take yours? I don’t think you should…I think you should let loose your wrath on the person who broke the promise, who made the decision to be unfaithful. This outsider doesn’t really owe you anything you know? That kind of misplaced resentment is called transference as far as I know.

I’ve spoken to a couple of friends about these views in the past, and it looks like almost no one agrees with me on this point of view. Can anyone explain to me what I’m missing?

Clicking on the images will take you to DeviantART where you can learn more about the artists and the art (Wolf Battle by Fohat)(Flash by incisler).


  1. Let’s talk about this on Friday BEFORE those Tequila’s.

    In the meantime… I do not believe that it is actually the chatrooms or Mxit that stands to be blamed, but the amount of time and resources spent on those activities that results in the ending of relationships. The problem usually starts with having “my-friends” and “your-friends”. In any serious relationship I’m convinced that there should only be “our-friends”.
    As for blaming outside parties, they did have a hand in the break-up and should not be allowed to be excused on the grounds that your partner came looking for them. They still had the choice to say either “yes” or “no”, and knowingly proceeded down the chosen path.

    Perhaps this is a form of transference, but it is a completely natural human reaction. The trick might lay in acknowledging the fact that you made a piss-poor decision in committing to such a person originally, combined off course with the reality you have to face that perhaps you needed to have worked ALOT harder at keeping your relationship healthy way before your partner felt the need to start looking around for attention in chatrooms and Mxit.

    I think I kind of agree with you, which perhaps is the reason why I havn’t really explained coherently what it is that you might be missing. Clearly I’m missing it too.

  2. Dit is so dat dit die een wat die belofte breek se skuld is, ja. Maar die ander party wat weet dat die “nuwe geliefde” getroud is, moet ook gem*er word. Jy weet mos daar gaan dan marakkas wees . . .

  3. I have to agree with you both! How can you blame technology (in this case) for a decision YOU made. I think that you should look to yourself, if you spent more time with him/her, he/she would not go looking for it somewhere else, I do not care how much he likes the internet. And if that is one of his fantasies you would have known about it and you could have set up something.

    No one said being married is easy, you actually have to work at it! And if you are not willing to do this, then don’t get married!

    Maybe someone with a different view can explain this to us, I would like to hear their opinion!

  4. Da Mario: hahaha @ “The trick might lay in acknowledging the fact that you made a piss-poor decision in committing to such a person originally, combined off course with the reality you have to face that perhaps you needed to have worked ALOT harder at keeping your relationship healthy way before your partner felt the need to start looking around for attention in chatrooms and Mxit.” Yes…I agree. And the fact is that a relationship does not fall apart overnight, does it? There are usually many signs that the end is coming if we take the time to see tham instead of trying to tell ourselves everything is going to be okay. 😉 Only 3 more sleeps till the Ostendo freexe on Friday – Whoooohooo!

    Krista: Dis waar dat jy nie jou geluk op ‘n ander se ongeluk kan bou nie, maar wat as die buite perd nie bewus is van die eggenoot nie? Wie is dan die eintlike “victim”?

    Wanette: I’m not sure about that fantasy angle you have there, but I think you hit the nail on the head in the second paragraph – it’s hard work! And the fact is that if both parties aren’t working at the relationship constantly – it is doomed.

  5. I agree about the relationship having had it’s problems before MXit came along – the technology just brings it out into the open I guess.
    But MXit certainly does make it easier to do this type of thing (note: I’m not in any way saying it’s MXit’s fault).
    In the Huisgenoot article (yep, I read it. Good stories in that mag!)the psychologists do say that it’s the people in the relationship’s fault – if it’s broken then MXit will just show it up more quickly.
    Then again: if MXit wasn’t there wouldn’t the temptation also be removed a bit?

  6. Lets face something quickly, and please tell me if you disagree.
    50 years ago technology did not present us with the opportunities we have today. 50 years ago just one partner in a marraige used to work (generally the male), making it extremely difficult for a wife to leave her husband – since she would have thought about societies prejudices, her and her kids’ welfare, where they would stay should she get a divorce etc.
    With empowerment and equal opportunities some of these obstacles were removed, making divorces easier and society became more tolerant of such issues, technology became more widespread used and together the divorce rate sky rocketed.

    So please, do not think that I am asking us to go back and discriminate against women again, on the contrary, the same basic relationship issues have always excisted.

    Technology has nothing to do with the ending of relationships, a lack of commitment to one’s partner usually does the trick just fine… and if you actually take the time and have a committed partner your relationship should be fine.

    Ignore the warning signs at your own peril.

  7. I am in total agreement with you Louisa. It is the responsibility of BOTH parties to the marriage to ensure that they are happy and keep each other happy and work at the relationship. Break up of really happy marriages cannot be caused by technology or by a third party. It can merely facilitate break up of already broken marriages. However – once in a while you do find those funny psychopatic people who cannot be happy in any relationship. They are just adicted to women and sex and hops from one to another and it does not make sense why they do it. Remember the 17 times serial cheater character … ?

    Anyhow … i do not totally agree with the 50 years ago argument. 50 years ago men still cheated their wives. Problem was that the ppor wife could not leave the bastard (for financial reasons) and had to live with his shit. Luckily these days a woman can mostly give the bastard the treatment he deserves.

  8. Esmeralda…. I thought that is EXACTLY what I said. 🙂

  9. ..uhmm… about the “50 years ago” issue.

  10. You read the article in Huisgenoot?? OMG. We need to get you some decent reading material ;o)

  11. Hey, Lord Wiggly, what’s wrong with Huisgenoot?

  12. It is not technology. There is a commandment from early biblical times warning against the wandering ways of man. It is how it is. Some couples are lucky to be together and blissfully happy like a Salusa 45 advert. Some stay together unaware and maybe in deniel. Some are lucky to play safe and never get caught. For a lot the ship hit the iceberg. I think deep down we all have Salusa 45 aspirations at the onset, but we grow at different rates and maybe in different directions. Sometimes that gap becomes too big to bridge and someone else might be able to fill the void. Only insecure and uninformed people will blame lifeless objects for failure and loss.

  13. Well, well – I see this is a topic that evryone feel quite passionate about! 🙂 Sorry for only responding now – but it’s been a rough day without internet for the most part.

    Tbhanks: I don’t think that the temptation would have been removed if MXit wasn’t there – I think it would just have been a different kind of temptation. If you’re prone to temptation, you’re prone to temptation…in whatever form. (Just my opinion – but I could be mistaken)

    Da Mario: It’s an interesting point that you make about 50 years ago. Things certainly were very different regarding gender roles in typical families. Do you think that perhaps the emancipation of women, which led to them(us) being more independant and especially financially independant might have left at least some men unsure about what their role would be in the new family set-up? Insecurity leads to unhappiness?

    Esmeralda: Hehe…yes I do remember that character. All I’m going to say is – Karma, it’ll get you when you least expect it. I like the way you put it: It can merely facilitate break up of already broken marriages. I agree 100% with that statement! 🙂

    Lord Wiggly: If only you would blog more often…;-)

    Tbhanks: There’s nothing wrong with the Huisgenoot per se, it’s just that they tend to over-dramatise stories a bit. If someone had a potato with the face of Elvis on it, I wouldn’t be too surprised to find it there.

    Jo-Anne: Some woman also have wandering ways you know! Shame this really wasn’t meant as a male bashing excercise…it’s pure coincidence that the Huisgenoot story dealt with a wandering male. And I agree with you, no one gets married while planning to divorce. But as they say: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Intentions alone won’t keep a marriage together, there is hard work that goes into it, and it takes hard work from both people!

  14. Well, one thing’s for sure – we’ve all read that HG story! 🙂

  15. 🙂

  16. I blogged about this myself. This issue of transference also has a relation to the issue of banning scissors at schools because a pair was used to murder a kid. If there were no scissors at hand, something else would have been used.

  17. I can’t believe that they actually thought about banning scissors. It’s not the scissors, it’s the one wielding them.
    Soon we’ll have warnings on our peanuts too. 😦 (Open packet. Eat contents. Do not stick in you nose or whatever…)

  18. Lol Louisa. Sad that such young kids know how to wield a scissor to kill though…

  19. Accountability, it’s a great way for people to make them feel better…. Just don’t take responsibility for your actions and just like you put it, the devil made me do it!

    As everyone put it, it’s the person at fault not the tool.

    But to keep this one short, the fact of the matter is that he cheated and the wife is not finding fault with her husband. In other words she is most probably the type of woman who wouldn’t do anything if her husband beat her… It’s a sad state of affairs when people cannot take responsibility for their actions…

  20. Luckily not everyone is like that Freddy… 🙂
    But you’re right, accountability is very much lacking everywhere we look.


    Yes, I totally agree that it is not Mxit or technoloies fault for causing these problems but mainly the individual themselves.

    A month before my marriage I found out my fiance is using Mxit, which he confirmed when I confronted him and replied that he feel its an easy way of chatting to “HIS” friends.Removed even before I could have a look at it and told me also that a colleagues loaded Mxit for him a month ago, he doesn’t know how to load it.

    Someone said: In any serious relationship (marriage) I’m convinced that there should only be “our-friends”, not your friends and my friends.

    A month after that I saw that he had loaded MXit again, I confronted him again and he explained that this was the only means of getting hold of one of his friends cell no. we a had very serious chat about the whole Mxit thing and I requested him show me his contact, which he did- but to tell you the truth I do not understand this Mxit thing. He sweared that he does not have an affair and will not use Mxit again.

    A few days ago I noticed that he had send someone (a lday) an sms to log on to Mxit. I asked him again whether he is still using Mxit and replied “NO”. even though I know he does.

    My point that I am trying to make is that Mxit is not be blames,it is only a means of communication in our new era of technology, it is the individual that makes the decision to these things (for which ever reason) and can uses his/her own discretion and all these unfaithful/immoral things they do are the choices they made, not Mxit.

    I personally feel that Mxit should not be used by married couples, because what benefit has it got for your married life except for being a cheaper way of communicating. It does not make your relationship grow (eg spiritually). You made a decision and promise before God that you will leave your parents house and become one flesh – why then have “your friends” and “my friends”. When being married you become one and what is yours is mine & what is mine is yours according to the Bible.

    It might seem as if I’m preaching but marriage is not a thing to be taken lightly – its scared.

    So ppl I that my story.

  22. Hi Pica, sounds like you’re having a rough time with this at the moment. I hope you get it sorted out. I guess you have to ask yourself: Do you trust your husband? Does he deserve to be trusted? If he didn’t use Mxit, would he just find another way to stay in touch with HIS “friends”?

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