By Bunmi Sofola
It was supposed to be one of these common-place flings that married men have all of the time but when Banky embarked on his a few years ago, it changed the course of his life, and his family’s forever. According to him: “I was one of the early casualties of the so-called current economic crunch. I lost my job when the small company I worked for pruned its staff to just six. I was the accountant, and my misfortune happened just about when the bi-annual rent of our flat was due and I couldn’t pay up. In the end, my parents-in-law agreed to accommodate us … in their home until I found a job.
“My father-in-law eventually found a job for me in one of these sophisticated hotels on the Island. The owner happens to be his very good friend and I was to double as a personnel manager along with my accounting job. I often mingled with other members of staff at the bar during our less busy periods and became friendly with one of the waitresses. She’s a bubbly and pretty girl with a fantastic body that I couldn’t help being attracted to her.
She was so caring that I found myself telling her about my problems, and she seemed to instinctively understand. When she had her birthday, she invited a few of us to her place for an impromptu party – We sneaked in a few booze and snacks from the hotel and we found ourselves kissing and cuddling. When everyone else left, she asked me to stay and we spent the next few hours having the hottest sex I’d ever experienced.
“From then on, we took every opportunity we could to have sex – at work in one of the free rooms, in the car, or back at her place if I could get away with it. Then this girl started talking about `our’ future. I’d told her I didn’t want to break up my marriage, but she seemed to resent my wife and kept asking when I was going to leave her. I didn’t tell her I had no intention of doing that because I didn’t want the sex to stop … One night when I arrived home, my parents-in-law met me at the door looking like they wanted to strangle me. They told me frostily that my lover had phoned the house, telling my wife about our affair, and my wife never wanted to see me again. They threw a couple of suitcases at me and told me they didn’t want me in their house any more. I was so stunned I couldn’t say a word.
“I’m currently staying at my lover’s boys quarters apartment because I have nowhere else to go. Only I hate her now for what she did to my marriage and plan is to dump her as soon as I find somewhere to live. I love my wife and our two children and want them back, but she won’t answer my texts and her parents won’t let me near her”.
As Banky babbled on about how betrayed he felt by his mistress, I asked what responsibility he was prepared to take for the break-up of his marriage? The fact he hadn’t even been kicked out of the job his in-laws helped him to secure shows they might not be aversed to the marriage being resuscitated,. But what chance of a come back does he have if he still lives with his mistress – and works on the same premises with her. “Stop playing the part of a victim here and grow up. If you want your wife back, you need to find a completely different job and a temporary accommodation”, I warned him.
“Friends warned me I shouldn’t accept favours from my in-laws”, he whined. “I’m sure if I were the owner of the flat we lived in, my wife would be the one moving out”. Typical male thoughts if you ask me but I’d already given him a piece of my mind. Jobs might be a bit thin on the ground but they’re not impossible to find. In the meantime, why didn’t he write to his wife, since she wasn’t picking his calls, and ask for forgiveness? He should forget about giving excuses and let her know how much his family means to him.
When next I saw Banky a few months later, he was a new man and back with his wife. “I didn’t take your advice of course”, he told me. “I thought it wasn’t the macho thing to do snivelling to my wife and begging her to take me back. But Fade, my mistress took the decision right out of my hands. She’d gone to work and forgot to take her phone. A phone-message bleep alerted me and when I opened the message out of curiosity, I was shocked to find it was from a lover and other messages attested to the fact they’d been sleeping together long before she even called my wife to tell her about us.
“I fumed all the way to work and when I confronted her with the messages on her phone, she told me she was sick and tired of my stringing her along with lies of us having a permanent relationship. If I didn’t mind she was also sick and tired of me being under her feet all the time, and I should find somewhere else to live!
“Shock couldn’t really describe how I felt. Within days, I was out of her poky apartment and living with my younger brother and his family. It was my brother’s wife who went to see my wife without even telling me. How she persuaded her to see me was a miracle.
“To my shame I burst into tears when I saw her. I guess I was just reacting to the shock of the slap-in-the-face treatment I got from my mistress. I missed my wife and children and I begged her to take me back – all thoughts of pride flying out of the window. She didn’t agree right away but she agreed to keep an open mind until I found a place for us to stay and another job Thanks to the experience I had at my old place of work, I was able to find a job, again through my sister-in-law and she helped me look for a modest apartment.
“With time my wife’s resolve thawed and she grudgingly moved in with our children . I will be deceiving myself if I expect her to fall back into my arms as if nothing happened. But we’re gradually picking up the pieces of our broken marriage. For those of you enjoying the heady sensation of a fling, be careful! Never underestimate how a desperate spoiler of a lover could wreck everything for you. Don’t learn the hard way like I did!”