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Winifred Adebayo: Tolerating Mr. Phil



I got into a conversation with an older woman and she mentioned that she wanted her son to live with a woman before he got married. She emphasized how she wanted him to be sure of his choice – implying trial and error with different girls will make him certain of his choice of a life partner. During the same conversation she mentioned she wanted her daughter to get married as a virgin. She talked about how honorable it is for a woman to enter a marital union ‘intact’.

So then I said to myself ‘sleeping and living with different women is a process of decision-making for your son, but your daughter has to make the same decision by not sleeping and living with different men’. These are the questions that followed in my mind: Who are the unfortunate women that your son will be allowed to sample? What makes them of lower value than your daughter? And why is the same choice of a life partner for your children to be done through different ways…solely because of gender?

Now this is not the first time I’ve heard this ‘double standard’ requirement for the male and female gender which is predominantly common in our African culture. But this time it was said by the same person, in the same breath, and at the same time.

I remember when I was younger; I would hear young girls say things like ‘I want a man with sexual experience ‘and ‘I want to save myself for marriage’ or my favorite ‘I want a man that knows what he is doing’ but still maintain its honorable to be married as a virgin. Who are the women we expect the men to sample from?

So here comes Mr. Phil: The man who believes it’s a show of manhood to pursue women and lure them to his bed without intentions of long-term commitment. Mr. Phil is a playboy and sows his wild oats, but should automatically change and become faithful when he meets the ‘right woman’ and says ‘I do’.

We often forget that miracles don’t happen at the altar. Messed up single people become messed up married people; a cheating single man would be a cheating married man. The cliché of forgetting all other women and clinging to one is not a miracle that marriage works.

We make Mr. Phil the reason we fight each other and equate femininity to being able to win his affection. Mr. Phil is comfortable making women sexual objects because majority of us have said ‘that’s what men do’.

We say ‘a man can love you and still cheat on you’ and feel bad when we catch his eyes wandering. When did we become so confused? And what actually nurtures this lunacy? Yes, MR PHILANDERER is this man and where did he come from?

Sadly, we contributed significantly to his existence. Yes, you and me! Women have a hand in how these men turn out and we are complaining. How many times have you heard in diverse ways forgive the cheating men and chase away the cheating woman? How many times have we given unfaithful men a pass and directly or indirectly pushed them in a wrong direction to express manhood? Whether as mothers preaching celibacy to our daughters alone: either by omission or commission telling our sons the opposite; or as sisters somehow encouraging our brothers to date more than one person at a time; or by not saying anything about it when they do; or as girlfriends dating, someone who we know is seeing or talking to other women … and whatever excuses we make for these actions. Sometimes it by being the ‘runs girl’, ‘fast-food chick’, ‘aristo’ and this list goes on. Or is it when we tell our children that seeing their father sleeping with other women while being married is ‘normal’ and women are to ‘endure’?

We have wronged each other! We have to change these attitudes and behaviors. I’m tired of watching music videos and movies where a ‘successful’ man is shown celebrating with a bottle of expensive wine and a few naked women beside him, flaunting their bodies and then we turn around and say ‘behind every great man, there is a great woman’. Think about those two pictures again! How can we complain about how certain men treat women and still say it’s acceptable? When Mr. Phil has another casual sexual relationship and hurts who he is committed to, another woman is in that picture and this is only a ripple effect of all the women that has been in his life.

I am fully aware that not all men are this way and not all women think this way. But there are many people who consciously and unconsciously encourage this. Men and women should be required to be faithful in every form of relationship. When you see your brother double dating, don’t ignore him. When you preach fidelity to your daughters, do same to your sons, when your husband is found being unfaithful, don’t tell your children ‘it’s normal’. In this case of philandering we are all equally guilty if we don’t change our attitudes especially the subtle ones. Mr. Phil exists because of you and me, and if we don’t stop our contributions to molding him, he won’t stop existing.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sean Nel

Winifred Adebayo was born is Rivers State. She is a registered nurse and working on a PhD. She loves to write; it’s her form or art, designed with self-expression, experiences, and fiction. She blogs at


  1. Chukwuma

    October 15, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Breakfast, thanks. And you as a nurse, i hope you dont entertain them when they come to your clinic for ‘flushing’. Ofu aka ruta mmanu, ozuo ora.

  2. zeenie

    October 15, 2014 at 8:31 am

    well said, thanks for this post. Was actually thinking about this some days back. we really need to change the way we think and act.


    October 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Winifred, this article is very on point. You are blessed for writing it. Men won’t kill women. My friend and I were walking with her boo one day (years ago). We met his sister and her boo. This sister was our age mate. My friend’s boo started warning the sister’s boo to leave the sister alone. It was a serious warning. His reason: he didn’t want the sister to “date any man that may not take her to the altar”. But he was with another person’s sister! Of course, my friend left the fool. with his twisted mentality. Girls should stop being used as sampling materials. A guy who is not a virgin should not desire to marry a virgin. A good guy deserves a good girl. A bad guy should marry a bad girl.

    • Bellemoizelle

      October 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Thank you!The bad guys want to marry the good girls and these are guys who still go behind and cheat on the same good girl they marry
      La vie est belle………….

    • Miss K

      October 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      “A good guy deserves a good girl. A bad guy should marry a bad girl.”……and this is the conclusion of the whole matter!

  4. ms.b

    October 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Good write up. And when ladies find out thier man to be unfaithful they quickly accuse the other lady for been cheap and dating him knowing hs married or in a relationship. We always exonerate d man from all wrong n blame d “other woman”. Sum say “A man can be anything;BUT a woman Must be good”. I don’t agree. We MUST both be good to create a sane society.

  5. miss pynk

    October 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

    They day women start understanding the importance of their roles in the structure of the future, the better for society. Women should endeavor to raise the type of men they would want themselves or their daughters to be married to. Its that basic. Half of the ones who raise mr. Phil types expect the wife to accept his excesses and bullshit and will tell the poor wife to be a good wife and just accept it.

  6. Olaide Muyiwa

    October 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Here is an amazing post. I just hope some of our young girls could read this and strengthen their resolve to maintain their sanctity for the perfect man! Have had the same experience with a mother who doesn’t even cares what become of her daughters too. Our world is not thinking straight again, and we’ve came to reason that ‘this’ is right. I think am opting out on nairaland to ‘bellaland’ where I can capture exciting, inspiring and thought changing piece. Keep the good work up sister.

  7. Daisy

    October 15, 2014 at 11:14 am

    This article, I love.
    It’s realism as sad as it is addresses the reason our society is the way it is. Raise boys that are also morally upright and have integrity. You do your world a lot of good with that.

    Coming from the spiritual angle, I hope we realise that God requires the same degree of obedience to his laws regardless of gender.

  8. Ossy

    October 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Like I always say the bible does not condemn ploygamy, neither does the quran. Even our traditional values support polygamy. Monogamy is a standard that will never stand the test of time. We should look for ways of encouraging polygamy. Men and women will never be equal when it comes to cheating. Men can always play the field, women cant and those that do will always be judged harshly by even their children. I believe most men are capable of loving at least three women at the same time. It is the society that forces us to pick and love one woman. Our bible, quran and traditional values support that women that cheat should be looked down upon….Please make una just live life as u see am.If your husband cheat, if u like forgive am, if u like call aunty bella, if u like form independent and walk out, u gp play akons lonely tire…,

    • benny

      October 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      The animals within us will rather lock us up in the same cage theyv found themselves in… shame on you


      October 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      it is because of people like you that Nigeria is still where it is today. your almighty thinking is very retarded and archaic, please take a queue from this write up and let’s make Nigeria a better place.Thank you

    • Iris

      October 16, 2014 at 3:55 am

      Nobody is forcing you. If you like cut a penis into 1500 pieces and give one to each woman. Just don’t lie to her and tell her you will be faithful so that you can marry her and start spewing your BS once you have her. I have infinitely more respect for people that support polygamy without trying to justify it with the bible or forming that society is pressuring them. Stand up to the pressure and own your polygamy…just tell your girlfriend in advance. By the way women can play the field. In many cases they choose not to because unlike you who are probably a big disgrace to your sex, we recognize that we are higher animals and have A CHOICE. Anyone who cheats chooses to do so. There’s no “it is in our psychology to cheat” BS. You know who uses that excuse? People who cheat in life, in exams, in politics, at work. When she cheats now you will get together with your menfolk and start weeping like a bunch of b*****s, talking about humiliation and betrayal and demons in heels. Rubbish.

    • L.U

      December 11, 2014 at 9:32 am

      I pity the woman that will make d mistake of marrying you. Would you in all honesty say these words to your sister?

  9. Neo

    October 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Nail. Hit. Head. God bless you for this. If we are inexperienced let us do it together and learn together. I want to marry a virgin as a prize for an Adonis virgin conquerer? Even the most experienced man needs to find his groove with every woman, we are all wired differently so that logic cannot work. Nobody is seeing virgins should attend a convention and marry themselves but please lets lose the mentality of being prizes for men that dont aspire towards the same.

  10. Rachel

    October 15, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks so much 4 this post .I love ds so much..more of these should be posted..I av neva been a fan of pple who justify men imfidelity.i really hope alot of people reads this .God bless you.

  11. Jane

    October 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    @ossy pple lyk u re d kind of guys dat dis article Is talkin abt. U say “polygamy” does polygamy means sleepin wit so many girls nd dumpin dem?plsssss if u don’t av value for d female gender,jst shut dat tin u call a mouth nd go nd rethink ur way of lyf. #stupididiot

  12. Bluebell

    October 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    No-one is forcing these girls to have sex before marriage. Howver, there is no correlation between being a virgin at marriage and remaining faithful in marriage. Anyway, with the level of promiscuity in today’s society, finding girls to ‘sample’ will be a doddle. I’m not saying it’s right, but it will happen regardless of what I think or say.

  13. Truth Teller

    October 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I see the problem two ways, and it’s mainly from women.

    1. The way we raise our sons/boys.
    I see no reason why in a family of both male and female children of similar ages, the girls should be made to do domestic chores while the boys sit and watch tv or play video games. That is happening everyday in so many African homes because the boys are made to believe they’re better off just for being male. I’ve even heard comments from very young boys telling other girls ‘after all you’re just a girl/woman’. This ‘na woman’ mentality has to stop already.It has to stop.

    2. Accepting such behaviors as the norm from men.
    If a man doesn’t want to be cheated upon, he should not cheat, if a man doesn’t want to be disrespected, he should not disrespect. If a man wants to be shown love, affection and appreciation, he should show love, affection and appreciation!
    I really don’t understand women that are in abusive relationships. I mean a man hits you several times ( even once) before even getting married and it’s fine? I’ve heard women even state themselves that it’s normal and required for a man to beat his girlfriend/wife from time to time to discipline her, and we think it’s normal? Shouldn’t we have a zero tolerance approach to this?

    Women should learn to work hard and get some form of independence, at least that way the chances of men feeling like the alpha and omega and Gods greatest gift to the universe would greatly reduce. When women constantly cling to them for everything, it makes them desperate and at the full mercy of the men.
    Some men have no intention of changing their habits of being philanderers, but if they can’t find women who agree and accept to be used, who will they do it with?

    Women are the architects of their own problems.

  14. Femme de l'Avenir

    October 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Mr. Phil is a playboy and sows his wild oats, but should automatically change and become faithful when he meets the ‘right woman’ and says ‘I do’.

    We often forget that miracles don’t happen at the altar. Messed up single people become messed up married people; a cheating single man would be a cheating married man. The cliché of forgetting all other women and clinging to one is not a miracle that marriage works.

    – No one and nothing can change us, we must change ourselves. Perfect your life before coming into another’s: Know thyself, love thyself and let love rise up to meet you. No one that is doing nothing to perfect himself or herself should come into your life and pull down every good work, training and consciousness you’ve strived to build for yourself. Make no excuses for cheats and liars. We may not all be perfect but we all have the ability within us to live up to and become our higher selves. While doing your part to stay faithful in a relationship/marriage, the other party should try to do same (it is easy for no one, temptation has no gender boundaries…..NO to double standards! – Amen?

  15. Truth Teller

    October 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    @Ossy please don’t say what you don’t know. The Bible CLEARLY states ONE man ONE wife, meaning neither the man nor the woman is allowed to have multiple partners, that’s why marriage is a very serious issue and until one is fully prepared, shouldn’t go into it. Marriage is not for boys and girls regardless of age that still want to ‘enjoy life’, testing all waters. The case is different for other religions and even Islam has a condition for marrying more than one wife- love all equally but If you’re writing as a Christian you’re not supposed to cheat and Gods word can never be altered to suit any gender or because were in the 21st century. If you do that,it’s out of your free will but never backed by scriptures.

  16. Mbeke feeling funky

    October 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Winifred thanks for your post .

  17. Frances Okoro

    October 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Well written winifred.
    It starts from the roots, if mothers will ingrain same standards for their male and female kids, atleast both sexes will have same ideas about virtues locked in place from their teens. It would help a lot.

  18. bamidele

    October 16, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Well this is my say on this…… I believe in live and let’s live but don’t ever tell me men and women can be equal or on the same platform… Reasoning be that
    1. women fight each other, despise each other,talk down each other, raise the poor boy in what you just describe of him up there yes it is your fault, and for the fact you are created after God made adam first in his own image.
    2. Men don’t have petty time on their forehand to be thinking about how his hair look like, my boob is small, I have flat backyard and so on…Men always have much on them from the society, like being the man, how many of you want to raise a weakling ass man?? So think about your priority women, man can never be on the same thinking faculty as women. we look at the future and what he hold down for us, not on how we are going to acquire the latest channels, louboutin and the likes.
    And lastly look at all the tedious and sacrificing role in the society, you will notice that men are being thrown in the equation more e.g going on war front, mining work, astronomical research and so on. So MEN remain men in their own right so there is nothing you woman can do to make us be on the same level kapish. thanks

    • Truth Teller

      October 16, 2014 at 11:24 am

      For your information, more women are getting into those fields you mentioned and not all women are interested in weaves, designers e.t.c , even though they love to look good but it’s just not their priority, so stop generalizing. On the other hand, we are ALL equal in the eyes of God, God doesn’t love men more than women and vice versa. We ALL have our strengths and weaknesses regardless of gender.

  19. ossy

    October 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Iris see as Annie forgive Tuface polygamy. NA why na she tubaba marry. Remember some women abandon their homes and relationships for one tenth of what Annie endured from Tubaba …
    My point is nobody and no manner of preaching will change the equation. Just live life as u see it. If ur bobo cheatsand u break up, lick ur wounds in peace. ALL THIS NIGERIAN BABES believe sex during dating no be sin but when i start nackin my 2nd wife durin dating na cheatin and na sin.
    Thee are no rules to this cheating shit. POLYGAMY will help more women than monogamy…..
    Methinks men dump women bcos society demands that they keep one woman..left to some men them for like keep all of them.
    And there is no standing up to polygamy because everybody will kill u. See as Jane abuse me na bcos i dont share her ideas f one man one wife.

  20. Maris

    October 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Winny darling, thank you

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