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Isio Knows Better: After Cheating

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Isio-Knows-Better-May-2014-Bellanaija1-562x600I sincerely lay no claims to being more knowledgeable than anyone, but I do confess that better than I did yesterday, last year and a decade ago.

Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. The conversations between my mind (the sharp witty one), my soul (the lover and the spiritual one) and my body (the playful one concerned with the more mundane things of life). She is the eternal referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul. This is Isio. So, here’s to making private conversations public.

She sat there on the bare floor, asking herself how it had come to this. She was once strong, innocent and vibrant. She once spent her afternoons in the parks; beautiful moments spent on the swings, swaying and laughing with wild abandon…she had been told that she had a beautiful laugh. That was then. These days she didn’t feel beautiful. She felt weak, tired and worn-out. She didn’t even remember what it felt like to laugh.

At least you are not crying anymore…

That defiant part of her that was once her self-respect reminded her feebly. She was surprised she still had it in her though. She went everyday with pain in her eyes she tried to hide. She didn’t believe she was special anymore. Somehow he had beaten it out of her- life had beaten it out of her. After a while she thought that if she wasn’t crying, it meant that she was happy- it had been so long- it seemed she had forgotten what it felt like to be truly happy.

Why am I here, dear God what happened to me? It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

“Can you move out of the way? I am late for work!”

His harsh uncompromising tone had jeered her out of her self-pity. Indeed she was seated on the floor by the doorway. She looked up with sad eyes- the windows to an almost broken soul- at the glorious man who had vowed to love and honour her until death did them part. Clad in an Armani suit with a crisp new haircut and his currently tightly tense jaw, he looked glorious yet formidable. He did not even look at her, he looked through her. She wondered how he could be look so beautiful on the outside yet oh-so-ugly inside.

She scampered out of the way and called out his name. If only he would look at her, perhaps he would see her.

He didn’t.

He just strode out of their bedroom and barked to Adamou to bring the car out front.

He was going to work indeed. It was a Saturday. Perhaps he was going to see that woman. He would touch her and kiss her and he would love that woman the way he used to love her. She had suspected for months, but he had said she was just being paranoid. And then that morning, he had told her that he was in love with someone else. That she was pregnant with his child. That they were going to keep it. Yes- it was her. He just thought she should know (so he said).

She wailed hot, miserable and bitter tears as she slumped on the floor broken. She didn’t care that the domestic staff could hear her. She didn’t care that she wasn’t as strong as she thought five minutes ago.


The above is the story of a woman who is being cheated on.

A lot has been said about love and happy endings, but not enough on how you are supposed to deal with the mental and psychological consequences of a cheating spouse and worse- a partner who has simply fallen out of love with you for whatever reason. It is very hard to deal with, especially if you are still deeply in love with them.

Please make no mistake, men are being abused and cheated on just as women are being cheated on. Perhaps in different ways and for different reasons, but both happen.

So how do pick yourself up after you’ve been so betrayed in a marriage? I have met many married folk who out of kindness or concern have given me some advice on “taking the giant step”, and I listen intently. But when I ask back how one is supposed to deal with a cheating spouse in marriage, they either quickly change the topic or mumble something about “all-men-cheat”, ignoring, praying-and-fasting and or living for your kids and simply co-existing with the said partner.

Statistically speaking, one or the other in a marriage will have affairs. Physical or emotional. It is very romantic to believe that neither you nor your partner would be attracted to anyone else until you both wither and die. Highly romantic, yet idealistic- and kinda naive.

“So how do you deal with this when this happens?” I asked God in my quiet moments.

What if we love each other but somehow he strays? So many people are hurting, desperate for courage and understanding to heal themselves and their marriages.

And just like that on one night I spent reading like I usually do before sleeping, I came across these words on

Both parties must scrupulously avoid making the marriage ‘about sex’. They must also, from the outset, plan for the most challenging issue that will, statistically-speaking, arise for them: that one or the other will have affairs. Someone is properly ready for marriage when they are ready to behave maturely around betraying and being betrayed.

The inexperienced, immature view of betrayal goes like this: sex doesn’t have to be part of love. It can be quick and meaningless, just like playing tennis. Two people shouldn’t try to own each other’s bodies. It’s just a bit of fun. So one’s partner shouldn’t mind so much.

But this is wilfully to ignore impregnable basics of human nature. No one can be the victim of adultery and not feel that they have been found fundamentally wanting and cut to the core of their being. They will never get over it. It makes no sense, of course, but that isn’t the point. Many things about us make little sense – and yet have to be respected.

The adulterer has to be ready to honour and forgive the partner’s extreme capacity for jealousy, and so must as far as is possible resist the urge to have sex with other people, must take every possible measure to prevent it being known if they do and must respond with extraordinary kindness and patience if the truth does ever emerge. They should above all never try to persuade their partner that it isn’t right to be jealous or that jealousy is unnatural, ‘bad’ or a bourgeois construct.

On the other side of the equation, one should ready oneself for betrayal. That is, one should make strenuous efforts to try to understand what might go through the partner’s mind when they have sex with someone else. One is likely to think that there is no other option but that they are deliberately trying to humiliate one and that all their love has evaporated. The more likely truth – that one’s partner just wants to have more, or different, sex – is as hard to master as Mandarin or the oboe and requires as much practice.

Two people have to be able to master these feats, because they may – over a lifetime – be called upon to demonstrate them. This – rather than a vow never to have sex with another human again – should be the relevant test for getting {and staying} married.

Wow. Food for thought. Thank you for the clarity sweet Lord.

And what about you? Have you been cheated upon? Did you cheat? Have you simply fallen out of love or have someone fall out of love with you? How did/do you cope?

Have a blessed Tuesday my lovelies!

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: to see her professional body of work.


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