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Below the belt(5)

HI, It is said that what you don’t know cant hurt you. So, most women love to turn a blind eye to the activities of their men, even when the obvious signs that they are playing around are glaring.

Many are even of the opinion that as long as these other women know the territorial boundaries, there can be no problem. Sadly, many men are also being forced by prevailing global economic and social situations to follow these paths.

But is love or relationship worth preserving when partners are forced to look the other way just to maintain the status quo and not rock the boat, while the other goes about enjoying the licence offered by his/her sex and libido, while endangering the lives of their partners and family members?

Is it not enough emotional and psychological trauma to discover that a spouse  is dating someone else? Naturally, one feels hurt, spited, betrayed and cheated. Oftentimes, insecurity and helplessness creeps in, and one begins to wonder for how long one has been deceived to believe in a deceitful partner.

To make matters worse, is the manner with which these discoveries are made. Some are so callous such that the chain of trust is broken and may never be repaired, the relationship ending abruptly.

For those who decide to remain in the murky waters, the seeds of doubt, already sowed, can only lead to a life of suspicion and webs of lies. Some respondents share their experiences with us.. Please, send your contributions/views and opinions on this issue to The Human Angle, Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. Or e-mail address: cheers!!

Judith, (26) works at the Treasury Department of A Finance House. A few months ago, she could not visit her boyfriend Henry, a Banker, for a whole week because another girl was visiting. Her story:

I did not feel comfortable somehow, I felt quiet uneasy, so instead of waiting for him like I would have done,  I locked up, put the key back under the door mat and went home. Funny enough, I didn’t leave any of the things (food) I had packed from my Aunty’s party. I mean, it was just unlike me.

Early the next morning, Henry came over to my pace looking quiet uneasy. He was on his annual leave, so, I wasn’t surprised to see him. But when he sat me down and said he had something important to tell me, I knew something was wrong.

He began telling me how wonderful our relationship had been since we started seven months ago. He said he had been happy because its been having positive effects on him.

My heart started to beat faster than normal. I thought he was going to propose to me. I wouldn’t have been surprised since we virtually live in each other homes. Then he told me “she has come”.

I didn’t need to ask whom, because I already knew. It was Shade, his girlfriend who lives in Kano. I have seen some letters written by her and, of course, he’d told me about her too. He said she just burst in on him and he met her at home, when he came back around 7.30pm the previous night.

He pleaded that I bear with him so he could handle the matter in his own way. That he would not want to end their relationship on a bad note for future purposes. He said Shade will be staying over for a week and in the period, I was to keep away from the flat.

I was really pissed off. I asked him what he expected me to do in the meantime. He told me to behave myself and act maturely, after all, we live in Lagos together.

Moreover, Shade knows about me as my things and photographs were all over the apartment. He insisted that he just wanted to settle the matter by himself and didn’t want me involved.

We spent the whole day together. It was a Monday, and he went back home around 10pm So was the pattern of our lives for the next four days. He will come in the morning and pick me, and we will  spend the whole day together.

However, he will always go back home to sleep of course, and I will worry myself sick over what they might be doing together in the middle of the night.

Then on Friday morning, he said we were going to the flat. At first, I didn’t want to go, but when he insisted, I gave in. On getting there, I saw Shade’s things packed at a corner in his bedroom but she was no where to be found.

Then he told me that she had not come home for the past two days. According to him,  she was visiting her sister and some friends.

We stayed in the house that day and in the evening, I prepared to go back home. That was when I received another shock.

I met Henry’s sister in the living room and she gave me a cold look, then she asked her brother slyly, “wey Shade”? Henry did not answer. I felt cold, insulted and betrayed. I have always been so nice to Gladys that I thought she was my friend.

When I greeted her she didn’t answer me but started scolding me about some clothes I had soaked for washing that Sunday morning before the ordeal began. I had to keep my cool or I would have said something that we might all regret later. When Henry took me home, I couldn’t help it anymore.

I had to tell him my mind and what I felt about his sister’s behaviour. He only continued to plead with me to ignore her, that he would speak to her.

Shade has not come back since then, while I have been searching for evidence to know whether she is still in touch.

All I have found is a letter. When I confronted him with it, he was mad with me. He accused me of trying to look for exhibits to nail him.

He claims he understands my anxiety and apprehensions about the whole thing, but he doesn’t want to do or say anything just to prove a point to me.

He claims he knows what he is doing, and he will do it when he wants to and not under pressure.

I have been trying to keep the episode behind me since then, but then, its not been easy as I keep suspecting him. The only advantage I think I have over Shade is the proximity between Henry and me, otherwise, Shade is probably the choice of his parents and siblings.

They have much in common, having grew up in the same environment and have common friends. The advantage of the  proximity here all boils down to sex, which means I could use pregnancy as a bargaining chip. But that is if Henry allows it, or a mistake happens somewhere.

To make matters worse, I just overheard Gladys telling her friend that her brother is just using me for sexual pleasures and will not marry me.

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