By Yetunde Arebi
Saving the man and home from the clutches of the other woman has been taken to a strange new dimension in recent times. Not anymore for women the secret tears, reporting to elders and family members, eyeing, abusing and cursing the strange woman, nor the constant trips to the Alfa, Pastor and Herbalist for spiritual assistance to nail the other woman to hell and damnation. Some married women are now making it their responsibility to save their men from the clutches of side chicks. Indeed, some married women are now taking their destinies into their own hands. And the level of savagery is blood chilling. From sending thugs to beat them up, to engaging in public fights and death threats. A banker in Ibadan got pooh pour on her head in the office for sleeping with the woman’s husband! Heck!
In circulation currently on social media are two video clips of the same event, both allegedly shot by a woman and her friend in her living room. They had a captive, a young lady begging to be released. According to the footage explaining the video, the young lady is the side chick of the husband of the woman reeling out orders, shouting, puffing and huffing uncontrollably. The women had lured the young lady to the house of her married boyfriend, pretending to be him, then proceeded to teach her the unforgettable lesson of her life. She was beaten, tortured and stripped naked despite all her pleas. The dexterity of the camera woman came to play as she tried to focus the lens on the important parts of the young lady’s anatomy such as her breasts and vagina. And though they did not speak English, pictures tell a million words and the issues at stake could not be mistaken, even by the deaf.
In summary, what these women did was kidnap, interrogation under duress, torture, obtaining a forced confession, harassment, dehumanisation and public humiliation of their victim. Abeg, lawyers help me add the rest of the charges. The video did not show if the lady was set free and in what condition she was, but it was obvious that the lead actress, the one struggling to save her marriage, was ready to spill blood and so capable of anything. Her aims as she punched and grinded at the girl was to the face, the well rounded breasts, flat stomach, and vagina. To her, destroying these vital parts, to which she believed her husband lusted after, was the only way her man would not look at her again. Posting it on social media would also ensure that she is appropriately labelled, a husband snatcher, home breaker, wayward girl and whatever other tags the highfaluting ‘respectable’ married woman and her friend imagined in their little minds. They probably also assumed that their action would deter other beautiful young ladies from dating married men and that they would be hailed as super heroines for planning and executing such an historic event and shooting the epic movie of the year.
Nonsense!! Only a depraved, deranged and depressed human being would sink to such a level in the name of protecting a home. Pray, what if something fatal had happened to the girl while in their captive? What if she had slumped and died in the process of the torturing? Who will take the blame? There are so many other ways to deal with infidelity issues, rather than resort to this level of depravity. An example of such is the account of Faye Nelson, an American comedian of Liberian descent and married to a Nigerian. In one of her short video clips trending on Youtube, she gave an account of how she handled her cheating husband when he travelled to Nigeria for two months to shack up with his Nigerian girlfriend. Fay, as she is popularly referred, moved out of the family’s big house into a rented two bedroom apartment, let out their house for a year, eventually sold it and kept the money. Meanwhile, the rent of the new apartment which she refused to allow her husband move into on his return, and maintenance of their home as well as other expenses were charged to her husband’s card every month while he squatted with his friends. That, to me is handling the situation. Not letting out your frustration on a poor, defenceless young girl struggling for survival too.
Whenever a married woman conceives in her head that her husband is seeing another woman, instantly, the woman has been judged and condemned, even before confirming if it’s true or false. The other woman is a thief, who has come to steal her man away from her. Not minding if she also stole him away from someone! The other woman is a gold digger who has come to reap where she did not sow, even where there is no gold to be stolen! The other woman has come to destroy the peace and happiness of her marriage, even when she knows that the marriage is not a happy one, but a status symbol. The other woman is the daughter of Jezebel, even when she knows that she has not taken charge of the bed and it is unattended, cold as ice. But someone must get the blame. Not her. Not her husband. But the other woman. And that is why sister wives, oops, sorry, co wives of whatever number are frowned at by some people. They are the butt of the whole joke.
Please ladies, we need to open our eyes and minds and think more rationally. Yes, the other woman may have come to steal, kill and destroy just like the thief described in the Bible, but she did not walk in alone. She was invited, assisted and assured by someone that all will be well. Every woman desires a man and a nest of her own and has a right to it by nature. That the object of her desires is married might not really be a strong deterrent if he is ready for the responsibility. So, why turn the other woman into the devil? What of the man, your darling husband who swore to keep you safe and happy all the days of your life, before God and man? Why did he invite her into his life and by extension, your relationship if he truly respects, loves you and cherishes the relationship that you share?
An adage say that if there is no crack in the wall, there won’t be lizards in it. If our men do not go chasing these other women, (young or old) they will not be in their lives. I have heard that some of the girls do the chasing themselves, but I insist that it is not a good enough excuse. Such men wanted to be got in the first place, that is why they surrendered themselves. We need to realise that we cannot hold on to men simply because we are married to them and are consumed by our sense of entitlement. You cannot keep a man down if he doesn’t want to stay down. All that, give him food, give him sex, watch over him, be submissive, bla bla bla will only work if he wants it to work! If his eyes are still roving, you can’t keep him down. It takes an inner conviction from him and a decision of his own free will and self restraint, to be with you and solely with you. Humiliating other women and constituting a public nuisance of yourself and so called marital status is not going to keep your husband glued to your side. In fact, it might even force him to run away from you and into the arms of the enemy.
Sometimes last year, I published an article on this page with the title; Women, pick your battles, and some readers disagreed with me, accusing me of encouraging men to be unfaithful. It was wrapped around the story of a woman acting on the suspicion that her darling husband was dating his staff, a troubled and struggling woman with five little children who had become like a friend of the family. She confronted her husband and he denied all allegations, ditto the woman. But those feeding her the stories would not let her be. So, next time they saw them, they briefed her and all hell broke lose. This time, she decided to teach her supposed rival a lesson, with hindsight that the woman’s husband was a champion in the ring of domestic violence and would not spare her. So, just as she expected, the husband beat his wife black and blue and sent her packing with her five children. Madam ‘Mrs’ was overjoyed, her plan had succeeded. The husband snatcher would not dare come near her husband again. That night, she gave her husband an ultimatum, proudly confessing what she had done. The husband rushed to the scene and assisted the woman to a nearby hospital. The next day, he got her an apartment and by the weekend travelled to the village to introduce his new wife to the family. Madam ‘Mrs’ did not lose her cherished status but she lost in the game of hearts. A little caution, a little calculation and a little empathy might have saved the situation. But many of us (Mrs) love to play God.
My gut instinct tells me that such must be the fate of the ‘Mrs’ in the video by now and that her friend who aided and abetted in shooting that infamous video would be wallowing in regret too. The world may be bad, but it is not a jungle for animals yet. Women must realise that their husbands are grown ass men and not babies, therefore they must be held accountable for their actions. We must stop allowing them to use us as ready tools of hate and destruction against each other. Our lives are worth much more than being just wives to immature men who do not respect us enough. We are much more than that. We are daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends and above all, mothers, to some people. All these relationships are sacred too and add up to make us who we are. We have a responsibility to protect and nurture them.
And do I have a word for the side chick or other woman? Indeed, the world is either a playing field or a battle ground, depending on your perception. But the two must produce winners. How you fight or play depends on you. There is a reward for every action and our conscience will inform what our reward should be. In this game, our watchword should be, do unto others what you wish done unto you. Taking our trades into the matrimonial home of other women ought to be taboo, not unless we have been officially recognised and accepted as co wives. There should be a threshold to our level of indecency.
Do have a wonderful weekend!!