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I Cheated In My Relationship When Everything Was Perfect

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Anmol was in a stable relationship when he cheated on his partner. Did he fall out of love or was it just out of boredom? Let’s find out more.

The Desperate Hunt

I moved from Mathura to Delhi three years ago. Being openly gay and falling in love with another man in a small town like Mathura is not easy. Other than just seeking sexual and emotional independence, I wanted to find someone to love and live with.

It took me two years to find the right guy. All the men I met were only interested either in having sex or being friends. No one was ready to commit. Some even didn’t want to talk about love. They would clearly say that they prefer NSA (no strings attached) stuff.

Representational image.

Finding The Right One

I met Siddhant at a common friend’s party. He was a handsome, single and independent music artist from Mumbai. I was surprised to find out he was gay because he seemed to be charming many women at the party. We were both a little drunk but I remember our first conversation very clearly. Since both of us were open about our sexuality, he asked me about my views on getting married to a man in the future. I told him how difficult it seemed given the law on homosexuality in India.

However, I was still interested in fighting against it and going ahead. So I said yes. He smiled and asked me if I liked him. Even before I could answer him, I knew I was already very attracted to him.

Over the next few days, we met several times. He had the exact personality I desired. His confidence made me feel very secure. Over time, I realised it was not just the mutual attraction between us but even the sexual chemistry that worked very well. Within three months of knowing each other, we started living together.

Too Bored Too Soon?

I was finally living the kind of life I had always desired. There was love, there was freedom, there was happiness and most of all, the kind of emotional security I always wanted. Yet, after around six months or so, I began to feel a sense of void within me.

Everything seemed just too normal. Each passing day was monotonous. There were days filled with love but there was a sense of boredom too. To be honest, I was bored with Siddhant’s regular love. We didn’t have that intense spark between us that used to bring desire or anxiety. The passion in our love was slowly starting to fade away.

Initially, Slowly And Eventually

To overcome this boredom, I thought I would make some other gay friends. I really thought meeting more couples would make me feel better. I told Siddhant that I was bored of both of us being alone. I wanted us to be around other gay couples and have a small social circle. I wanted Siddhant to meet other gay couples too just so we both have a life outside our house.

As these thoughts kept cornering me, I had already begun to wonder if it was what all married men and women complained of. The boredom that love eventually brings. Just to make myself feel attractive, I went ahead and created a profile on a few gay dating apps. I began chatting with a few good looking men there.

Initially, I was extremely clear about my intentions. I even told a few men that I was only there to make friends and to meet like-minded people. Slowly, the desire for something more kept cropping up in my head. I’d end up feeling sad that I was entertaining thoughts of other men. When Siddhant would ask if I had made any new friends, I would, for some reason feel very scared and apprehensive.

Eventually, as more and more boredom sank in, I went ahead, met them and ended up sleeping with a few. The truth of sleeping with other men outside our relationship felt overbearing. The more I did it, the more I felt trapped in the relationship.

Self-preservation Or Not?

I found myself so heavy and burdened in my relationship with Siddhant that I kept searching for a way out. No doubt there was a lot of love. I just kept feeling it was not enough or maybe I wasn’t the right one. As time passed by, I went ahead and slept with a few more men I met through the apps.

Finally, I couldn’t hold my secret. I confessed the truth to Siddhant because I felt extremely guilty.

Today, a year later, I am single again. But I am still grappling to figure out that if it is not love then what is it it that I actually need. I constantly felt incomplete with Siddhant. This confusion is not just mine; I have had many other friends share with me an equal and similar confusion of ‘to love or not to love.’

Names have been changed. This article was first published on Oct 18, 2016.

Anmol (name changed) is a 24-year-old IT professional from Delhi and identifies himself as a gay man.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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