RELE thought she was secured in the love she shared with her boyfriend, Douglas. The mother of a seven-year old son, she’d clicked straight away with Douglas as soon as they were introduced by a mutual friend at a party. “We were both in our 30s, though he was a couple of years older,” Rele said. “A divorcee, his ex-wife lived with her parents – along with the two children of the union.
“Within months of our falling in love, we were living together and even though money was tight, we were happy. It was also a bonus that my son liked him. I ran a thriving hairdressing salon and Doug worked as an insurance agent. His income depended on a monthly stipend and the commissions he earned, but we got by – even hanging out with friends and having the occasional nights out. Our sex life was the best part – amazing and spontaneous. We were even thinking of having a child together.
“Then after we’d been together for almost two years, Doug came home one evening with a brand new state-of the earth phone. I was a bit annoyed with him because we were supposed to be saving for a new freezer to replace the old one.
“Where did that come from?’ I asked him. ‘One of my clients sold it to me at next to nothing,’ he explained. I didn’t believe him. Most of his clients were working class people who barely made their premium payments. How on earth could any of them be this generous? And it seemed selfish of him to be splashing on a fancy iPhone when we could use his money towards buying a freezer – he already had a good phone.
“In the following months, Doug bought more designer clothes, an expensive wrist watch and aftershave. We had an almighty argument about his splashing out on himself – especially as he never bought me anything. Grudgingly, he bought me some inexpensive gifts and took me for a meal at a fast-food joint. Then I became incensed when he came home with an expensive hair cut and a manicure. I could spot all these subtle changes as I ran a salon of my own. – treatments like that don’t come cheap. When he mentioned the salon he used, I couldn’t believe how reckless he’d been with money. I could easily do all he did for next to nothing!
“When I confided in my best friend, she asked me one simple question, ‘Do you think he’s having an affair?’ An affair? Why would she think that? ‘Well, where do you think he’s getting the money from – his commission?’ Call me naive, but I’d never even considered it.
But the more I thought about it, the more it added up. I asked him outright if he was having an affair and he scoffed I was being ridiculous. But lately, he’d been going out without me and our sex life had nose-dived. We used to have it four or five times a week but now I was lucky if it was once. I was determined to get to the truth and watched his phone like a awk. Most often, it was locked and I didn’t know the password but this fateful day when he was having a bath, he forgot to lock his phone. Most of his messages were wiped out except for the last two which was obviously from a woman named Lynda.
“The next day, I called her number pretending I was from a delivery firm and we had a parcel to deliver. I told her the label had been ripped and I only have her phone number. She fell for my story and gave me her full address. Bingo. After I left work, I drove straight to the address she gave me and a woman answered the door, she was at least 50 years old. Attractive but obviously a lot older than Doug. This was obviously a mistake. ‘I’m sorry,’ I stammered. ‘I’m Doug’s girlfriend and there were these suggestive messages from your phone. It must have been a mix up as you’re far too old to be his girlfriend .. .’
She was enraged. ‘Don’t you dare call me-old,’ she fumed. ‘I’m 52 and it’s true he is seeing me. Who do you think buys him all those lovely presents and the money you’ve been spending?’ My mouth gaped open. She was 17 years older than Doug. I felt sick and disgusted. ‘We’ve been seeing each other for ages,” she continued. ‘I prefer younger men. He told me he finished with you months ago. He’d obviously lied to both of us and I think you’re better off without him. The cheek of that man.
“I would get rid of him if I were you and he’s obviously no longer welcome here?’ With that she slammed the door in my face.
“When I got home, he was already at the flat. I went ballistic, smashing up the new stuffs his cougar bought him and stamping on his clothes. He tried to calm me down and I wouldn’t let him. He went out and when he came back hours later, he looked as if the world had fallen on top of him. ‘How could you go to her house to confront her,’ he cried.
‘She’s finished with me and it’s all your fault’. He’d lost two women in one day and I told him he was paying for his greed. I was heartbroken and I needed to move. We both contributed towards the rent and I made a decision to stay until the rent ran out and I was able to find alternate living arrangements.
“I’ve since found out that Lynda runs a fairly successful business and lives in her own house. She bragged she liked younger men because they made her feel good. Some weeks after Doug got busted, he came home with more new clothes and a brand new iPhone to replace the one I smashed. ‘Did you get those from your fancy woman?’ I sneered. ‘It’s none of your business,’ he snapped, and if you must know, we’re now back together – you and I are finished. As a matter of fact, I’m hoping to move in with her soon. She wants to take things a bit more slowly. So until she makes up her mind. we’re stuck with each other!’
“How could a strapping man prefer a woman old enough to be his mother over me?
I was hurt and bewildered that a cougar got her claws into my man – a gold-digger who gave up on genuine love for a fancy phone and designer clothes – I’m well rid of him. And men blame women all the time for going after sugar daddies!”