It is no secret that driving is one of my least favourite things to do. So, on that day when my good friend Raphael offered to drive- I did not just shakara at all, but sharply shifted to the passenger’s side before he changed his mind.
Preoccupied as I was with my phone – responding to emails and what-not, I was humming to myself in pleasure until…S-CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEECHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
It was with such great force my lungs fell into my belly and my heart leapt into my mouth as Raphael swerved abruptly to the right. Walahi, I was not hexperrerit at all sha… e remain small e for jam the moto wey dey our front.
I shrieked in terror, clasping the edge of my car’s dashboard – wondering if at all the sign that read SRS Airbag in my old, faithful silver car was more than just calligraphy. As much faith as I had in heaven and its singing angels, heaven herself knew I wasn’t ready to meet any of them in the celestial realm any time soon.
Raphael was very apologetic. I spent the next few moments checking my temperature and my joints.
“Oghene biko o. Ra-pha-eli! Mind yourself o!” my mind quipped surly. Strangely I felt my soul chuckle. That one feared nothing and apparently found my theatrics and alarm amusing. I clicked my tongue at her.
I turned to Raphael. As shaken as I was- I realised he was shaken too, but was trying to handle it like a man. I asked him if he was okay- he said he was fine. Was he sure? He said no, not really. It was Elizabeth (his on and off girlfriend). He found out she had committed a great, grave sin. Apparently she had cheated with some dude. This was NOT the first time, nor the second. He was hurt, angry and confused.
“Why are women like this, Isio? I mean, why do women cheat?” Raphael asked.
“Hahhahahaaa! Question for the gods. Why do you think?” my mind mentally bared her fangs, still stewing and not quite willing to let it go so soon that Raphael almost catapulted us to heaven- against our will.
“Hey… Let it go, woman. It happened, we didn’t die. Moving on…” I chastised her.
Raphael’s floodgates were open now. And he spoke. Over the next hour he tried to make sense of his feelings and her betrayal while I listened.
I listened in silence and with fascination.
Fascination at the depth of a man’s love.
Fascination at that which makes many insist of suffering for what they imagine to be love, even though they know that it is bad for them, and that more importantly, it serves no purpose in actualizing their highest, grandest visions of themselves.
I am fascinated by the romanticizing of this kind of self-destruction as “true love”, and lastly, I am fascinated by the idealist’s idea that such bitter suffering to acquire/sustain another’s love makes it more worthy, more noble, more pure.
Errrr, it does not.
There is nothing noble about it. It’s just penance… the price you pay for an unworthy prize: a love that does not sustain your peace. But as it is in all things, all must walk their own paths, face the consequence of their choice and choose for themselves that which serves them best. Abi na?
“It is what it is, until it is not. Then it is something else”.
I didn’t realize I had said that out loud, until Raphael asked me what it meant. I told him that those were the words of my personal philosophy. That he needed to see things/people for what they were while they were in his life. That things are always as they are, but that we suffer because we imagine it different- ergo “It is what it is, until it is not. Then it is something else”.
He was still giving me the “look”, which made me chuckle and then I simplified it further by adding, “Listen Raphael, you guys have been together for eight years now. You have both been unfaithful at some point but seem unwilling to let each other go. The way I see it, you could either suck it up, stop complaining, marry her already and bear your cross for the rest of your life, or decide to split and give each other a chance for a fresh start. The third option is that you may decide not to make any decision for now, and keep doing what you are doing, until you are ready to make that decision about how you REALLY want to spend the rest of your life. – which will inevitably be the first or second option.”
He seemed to be considering this, so I asked him out loud the question he had asked me earlier, “Why do you think women cheat? And why do you think she did it again?”
And that was how the real discussion began.
Enthralled and piqued, I decided to explore this subject among many of my Nigerian male friends – to view this subject from a different perspective from the norm. Not just to bring to light the “why”, but to see if they understood why a woman would feel compelled to cheat at all. And if they did, the measures they took to preserve and protect their relationships based on their understanding.
According to them, a (Nigerian) woman would cheat:
- If she no longer had an emotional connection with her spouse.
- Out of curiosity (to see what’s out there, especially if her man is boring).
- Out of revenge (to get back at an unfaithful partner / If she feels she can’t trust the man she is with).
- If she is just a wicked girl who just likes to chop-and-clean mouth and not like to see the guy afterwards.
- If she has had a string of bad experiences with men in the past.
- Because of money.
- If another man makes her feel “special”.
- If Okafor’s law were to be tested.
Many (whom I spoke to) were of the opinion that it’s not as rampant as men’s infidelity but more malicious and calculated. Some expressed that these acts were mostly done by babes you would expect it least from.
Hmmmmn, things to ponder. Our women, over to you. If our men missed something please enlighten them. Victims and villains over to you too. Why do you think? Please bring to light these small-small hidden issues and let’s discuss them.
Personally, I neither condone nor celebrate infidelity, but if I were to be asked, I would say I believe women cheat to prove a point and men cheat because they can.
Have a lovely Tuesday my lovelies!