Several months back, I wrote an article on infidelity and why men always find it more difficult than women to forgive their spouses when it happens. I received several responses from our readers, some of which I have shared with you over time. I found these ones tucked somewhere in my mail box. The last contribution is quite instructive and I hope you would learn a few things from it, just as I did. Please don’t forget that there is no time bound for all issues raised on this column, so feel free to hit at me at anytime if you want your contribution published here. My email address is email@example.com. Do have a wonderful weekend.
I read your article in Saturday Vanguard on infidelity and how women have learnt to chop and clean mouth, so to say. It is a very unfortunate thing and it is sad that this is what our marriages have been reduced to. I believe it is a reflection of the times and situation that we have found ourselves in. On one hand, we have a people that are yearning for freedom from the shackles of cultural and traditional practices, empowerment of women and equality of the genders, while on the other hand, we expect that though women attain all these heights, they must still hold on to their old roles they play in traditional African settings. It is high time our men realise that they cannot continue to have their cakes and eat them at the same time.
Today’s women are no longer women as we used to know them in African settings. They are now educated, more enlighten, more informed and more aware of what is happening around the globe. And sex and sexual evolution is one of them. With this education, they have been able to acquire other powers, most importantly, economic power. Many of them contribute substantially, if not even more to the welfare of the family than their husbands. Not even forgetting that there are women who have totally taken over the roles of their husbands in their homes. If a woman can do all the things that a man does, we should not be surprised that she also can cheat in her relationships, like men often do.
Every day of our lives, we are faced with temptations. Our ability to overcome these various temptations depends largely on our values, self esteem and discipline. Add the fear of God and the golden rule that you do unto others what you wish done to you, and you might be able to overcome some of these temptations. However, it is our society that have created monsters of our women. We expect them to live the lives of modern women and at the same time, be submissive, obedient, loyal and all those things that our grandmothers were. As a man who loves his peace and sanity, this is my advice to other men. I think it is best to close your mind to the possibility of your woman playing outside as they are the most difficult to catch if they really do not want to be caught. And if you are unfortunate enough to catch her, remember that no one is perfect. If you can, please forgive. And if you are one of those who still believe it is an abomination, then please let her go in peace. I agree with you, Yetunde that there is absolutely no need to dehumanise a woman for falling into temptation, which any human being can be a victim of.
Thanks for this very informative article as usual. I’m still waiting for the response to my other mail, if you please. Cheers. (Please do remind me Sir.)
Steven by yahoo mail
I read what that man did to his wife and I was not happy at all. Why is it that men are always like that when they catch their wives cheating? Is it that cheating is only good for men and women are not allowed to cheat? Many men cannot even take good care of their wives and children and they expect the women to continue to suffer in silence. It is difficult for a woman to see her children suffering and just stay there without doing anything about it. We all know the situation of the economy, there is no money anywhere. How much are people getting from their jobs that will be enough to take care of the whole family’s needs? Another reason is that some of these men don’t even know how to sex properly. (Hmm!) They don’t know how to satisfy their wives. They think that because they are their wives, they can just do the sex anyhow and the women must take it like that. They don’t want to care if the woman enjoyed it or not. Why will they not cheat if they now find someone who can sex them well? (Interesting!) Lastly, many of the big men only think about money. They believe that because they are giving their wives money to do everything they want to do, they should not complain about anything. Then, they will be running after small, small girls and they expect their wives to just stay there and be looking and enjoying money. That is why these women are now sleeping around with small, small boys too. If the men can do it, why can’t women do it? Men should just stop making noise over this matter.
Gloria by yahoo mail
Please, let me chip in a few lines from my personal experience. I like what you are doing and pray that God will grant you the grace to keep it up. I have been reading your articles for many years now and must confess that I have learnt a few things from them. Unfortunately, I am a victim of male chauvinism when it comes to the issue of cheating. I do not have to tell you how it happened. The fact is that I did and I was caught and could not deny it. And I eventually paid for my mistake. I had expected my husband to react in the typical way most men would but was surprised he did not. He told me he understood my feelings and why I had done it and that he had forgiven me. I thank God that he did not treat things the way the man in your article did. He even promised that no one will hear what had happened from him. I was very grateful and in my heart resolved never to do such a thing again, no matter the circumstance.
From that moment, I rededicated myself to our marriage and tried to do everything to please him, including boycotting all my friends and even some family members he did not like. Yet, it seemed that there was nothing I could do to please him. It was as if on paper, he had forgiven me, but in truth and by all actions, he never did. In my presence he would make stupid jokes and remarks about women who cheat on their spouses. Naturally, this made me very self conscious and doubtful of his forgiveness. He would ask questions about my movement and would want to crosscheck every of my actions even from our four year old daughter at the time. This was also very disturbing for me. However, the most painful was that he would never allow the matter rest. Sometimes, he would ask if our love making was good and met my expectations as he did not want to be responsible in any way for my straying again.
Other times, he would demand that I tell him how the guy used to make love to me and what we used to say to each other. If I refuse, he would get angry and accuse me of keeping things from him. He said that discussing it was his way of ensuring that I don’t do it again. Sometimes, if he sees me discussing about a guy, either from the office, church or neighbourhood, even after knowing what the discussion was about, he could just start warning me. “I hope you are not doing anything funny oh! If I catch you this time, I swear I will not forgive you. I swear I will throw your things out. I swear I will do this and that!” In the end, I became a shadow of myself. It affected me personally and psychologically. I lost my self esteem and respect. Even dressing became a problem as I did not want to wear anything that could draw attention to me or that he could disapprove of. I almost started hating myself. And even when I discovered he was also cheating on me, I could not find a voice to ask him or challenge him.
I finally realised that I was living in a loveless marriage and was trapped. I knew that if I did not do something to change my situation, I will be unhappy with him for the rest of my life. I could not bear to live that way. By that time, sex with him meant nothing to me again, it had become a chore. Yet, it was difficult for me to go and tell my parents what I had done and expected my husband to keep secret for me. I already knew what their reaction would be, especially my mother’s. So, I confided in an aunt I knew would understand me. With her support, I was able to summon up the courage to talk to my husband about how I felt about his so called forgiveness.
To my surprise, he neither tried to apologise nor stop me when I told him of my decision to move out. He treated the whole thing with disdain. He had done me a favour and I should therefore be eternally grateful to him and submit myself to all possible abuse. The marriage ended the night we discussed the issue and from then, I began planning my exit from the flat we shared. Initially he did not want me to take our daughter, insulting me that he did not trust me to take good care of her. But he probably thought over the idea of keeping a wayward woman’s daughter in his home so he gave in. Eventually, what I was so desperate to keep secret became known to some people. Only at that time, they could not really judge me and it was not that I also cared too. I felt the four years of abuse I had endured was enough price for what I had done.
I have been divorced and living alone for over seven years now and I am a happier and better person. The truth is that cheating will always remain a male thing. Only very brave women can get away with it, even when caught. For the rest, it will continue to be chop and clean mouth because there is a lot at stake. The marriage, the children, the in-laws, your own family, society, a whole lot to lose if caught. Hardly would a man truly forgive infidelity. If he does, in all sense of it, he must be an exceptional man and such a woman ought to thank her God. It is either the woman must have contributed something rare and special to the man’s success or progress, such that the man has no choice but to dance to her tunes. Or she is the one with the purse, so she calls the shots. My own contribution is that men don’t ever forgive, they can only pretend to. Please don’t publish my identity. Thank you.