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Busola Adedire: Our Beliefs, Cheating & Polygamy

Busola Adedire

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dreamstime_m_1171460On a slow Saturday afternoon, I decided to watch 9ice’s interview on Moments Girl Talk as they addressed the issue of polygamy and divorce. I had so many thoughts on my mind after this particular episode. Our generation is one that is pretty determined to challenge and correct most of the cultural norms, but we would soon find out that most of these beliefs are deeply rooted in our psyche that it would indeed take much more than a revolution to combat them. Polygamy is an interesting topic because it is culturally accepted, and some religions even sanction it. It is still unclear whether the concept of polygamy is endorsed by Christianity, or if its alternative monogamy, is reinforced by civilisation. After all, all the cool people amongst us know that there is some kind of un-nuanced perception towards polygamy today.

I know a lot of polygamous families might seem fine on the outside but I reckon there is bound to be some level of competition, envy and pain underneath. My mother keeps recounting how her late mother struggled to come to terms with the idea of abhorring a ‘junior wife’ for many years. My father, on the other hand, narrates how his mother was married to his father by the Senior wife. The latter narrative could be one out of a million cases!

Today, polygamy masks itself in different forms. From the man who marries a woman and proceeds to acquire a younger wife half way into the marriage, to the one who never let go of his side chics although he had muttered the words ‘I do’ , to the Babyboy who wants to be a single ‘jaiye jaiye’ boy and a married man all the same time. Infact, the choices are indeed tough. One would think this mentality should have died with our fathers at least. For where? Don’t let the phonetics and fine boy swag fool you. On two different occasions, I have had some guys rationalise polygamy to the point of asking me to reason it out.

The first was ‘Mr X’, a potential suitor who started a conversation one day about my views on relationships. ‘Your views are too strong’, he said. As for me, I don’t want a mechanical marriage but if you are willing to let me sleep with someone else, maybe we can be cool. O si o da ni ile pako!

Sorry if you are non-yoruba, but I honestly cannot translate this quote’. Wetin, I wan talk for this matter again because clearly it has come to this?  The other one was an ex of mine, who in his own wisdom started narrating how his new girlfriend said it was ok for him to cheat – as long as she doesn’t know about it. To be honest, I cannot recall what led to this conversation but this particular response stunned me. Clearly, this life is not a Disney movie o!

Mr X misunderstands my person because I am pro-faithfulness and all things idealistic. Another part of me is a realist who is not oblivious to the fact that life is not divided into black and white especially when it comes to all things relationships. I see two categories of men; Category A will cheat/ or slip up, will be remorseful and repent. Category B, will do the same, albeit over and over again and damn the consequences. Infact, they will be disrespectful with it! To fall into the hands of Category B is slow suicide. My issue with Mr X is that I don’t know if it is politically correct to endorse adultery/cheating yet I applaud his honesty as it gave me clarity. At least it is only a good thing for me to expect the best out of a relationship/marriage as negativity breeds unnecessary trust issues that will eventually kill a relationship. It is rather interesting to see that too much optimism can ‘apparently’ be a bad thing.

Women are not exempt on the other side of these arguments too… afterall, it takes two to tango. Some years ago, I read ‘The Secret Life of Baba Segi’s Wives’ by Lola Shoneyin and although fictional, it was interesting to read the narrative of an educated young woman, Bolanle who was Baba Segi’s third wife. Clearly, there are women who will bid over and over again to be second choices and options. Sadly, we would have zero control over their decisions.

Yes, there will be men who at some point would like to take a younger wife and I don’t have a problem with that… Your Life, Your values! However, I think it is best you communicated that to whoever you intend to marry or be with. It is only ideal that you give her the fair chance to think her options through. And as for the ladies, I guess there is no question that is too small to ask an impending suitor, polygamy and cheating beliefs included… at least, you will know what to expect.

Though, I still think this is an awkward topic to discuss with a suitor but mr X has opened my eyes ooo. How do you even go about it sef? Do you say something like… Toye, are you going to cheat on me in the next 15 years? *hot tears* Or better still, you cling to your faith and choose to believe the best (without being naïve), as per… war room mode activated! If you have a better method of circumventing these muddy waters, please comment below. Finally, to the other guys out there like ‘Mr X’, it is never politically correct to endorse cheating or adultery but if somewhere down the line you find yourself in a sticky situation, please be willing to make the necessary adjustments out of respect for your commitment rather than giving ridiculous excuses.

Photo Credit: Les3photo8 | Dreamstime.com

34 Comments

  1. Paul Adeyemo

    September 20, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Rubbish article as usual pushing all the infidelity in Nigeria to men as if the women are saints. 99% of Nigeria married women are promiscous same as the men. People writing stupid articles for the fun of it. Preach marriages rooted in the foundation and love of God and not gain things as beauty, cute 6 pack and the rest.

    • Busola Adedire

      Busola Adedire

      September 20, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      99% of Nigerian women? Oh wow, I didn’t know that! Thanks for educating us. On the contrary, this is not a male bashing article. Sending you light and love. x

    • Ottawa

      September 21, 2016 at 3:51 am

      Paul Adeyemo is not capable of receiving that light and love you sent oh.

      My dear Busola just don’t bother. He’s on autopilot with his misogynist self.

    • XYZ

      September 21, 2016 at 6:05 am

      It would be interesting for you to write an article from your point of view about 99% of women who cheat. Statistics would come in handy so we know there’s such a malaise amongst 99% of women. I personally look forward to your piece Mr. Adeyemo.

  2. EE

    September 21, 2016 at 12:16 am

    “It is still unclear whether the concept of polygamy is endorsed by Christianity”??????? “unclear”????????? Seriously???

    • Busola Adedire

      Busola Adedire

      September 21, 2016 at 12:23 am

      That’s rather because a number of people had more than more than one wife in the bible i.e David, and God loves David. Though, to be a Bishop or hold some ceremonial titles in the church, you need one wife. If you have contrary views or more understanding, I’m willing to learn.

    • mz_danielz

      September 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      David and the rest weren’t ‘Christians’. They were descendants of Abraham and God’s chosen but there was no ‘Christianity’ until the death and resurrection of Christ.

    • Mannie

      September 21, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Yes it is unclear, and the writer was making a strong point with that statement. There has been a long standing debate amongst theologians and church historians about the Christian teachings regarding monogamy. In particular, there is a puzzle about how the notion that people should not have more than 1 partner at a time was derived. Some quote new testament statements as evidence (e.g. ‘a man must leave his father and mother and cling to his wife…’- with emphasis on the singular ‘wife’), others argue that the earl;y christians adopted monogamy from the Romans, as well as many other concepts that Christians practice today.

      For instance, in the Catholic church today, the magisterium is thinking about how to receive polygamous families into the church. This is a major issue in many parts of Africa (Uganda comes to mind) and the middle east. This issue is one amongst others including abortion and divorce. It may interest you to read up on the Synod on the Family.

    • Kadara

      September 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

      It’s amazing how people remember to say God made Adam and Eve when addressing homosexuality and not Adam and Steve but never mention that God made one Even for Adam and not Eve, Mariam and Deborah when talking about polygamy!

    • nunulicious

      September 21, 2016 at 2:22 am

      Hmmmn. a more interesting phrase by the author would have been “on what basis does Christianity preach monogamy”

      At the end of the day, whatever rocks your boat mehn. It’s good if you and your spouse are on the same page about issues like this just like all other issues. One person I used to know once said, all meat can be eaten, it’s only when people know that you’re eating vulture meat that they say it’s a taboo.

    • Kadara

      September 21, 2016 at 10:53 am

      When talking about Homosexuality people remember to say how God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve but somehow never remember that principle for polygamy. God made one Eve for Adam and not Eve, Mariam and Deborah. That was God’s own model for a marriage. People went on to adulterate it and develop their various customs.

  3. grateful

    September 21, 2016 at 12:55 am

    some think cheating s a normal thing in marriage.. well my exhosbnd elder’s bro..told me like he was advising(I counght husband with a prostitutes or a lady) that I know,men sleep around even after they are married, that I should worry less about horse band cheating that Even their eldest son that is married has numerous girlfriends n the wife knows about it…well I told him my dad wasn’t/isn’t sleeping around like dog.we got married early last year,he started misbehaving after the wedding,thinking I got no where going again,an abusive hosband,hated him like shit even before I parked out of the house 5months back now.then I called him on phone that I ve moved my loads..told my people already the shit was not gonna work.his mum called me so we could settle.even on social network I posted d shit there that I never new I married a bastard…he was just all about d wedding n d committee of friends money raised for him.now busy with my education.
    we wedded in Church but got a paper from local govt.to our rev.before d wedding.will I got to court to file a divorce

    • Kima

      September 21, 2016 at 3:55 am

      “now busy with my education”

      Girl! You need it!

    • Mee

      September 21, 2016 at 4:24 am

      This your English na wa o…

    • Chu

      September 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Seriously? That’s all you got from her write up?

    • Missappleberry

      September 22, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Best comment in a long time!

  4. nunulicious

    September 21, 2016 at 2:02 am

    Have faith in God. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
    may we not be tempted more than we can bear…

  5. What's this about?

    September 21, 2016 at 2:55 am

    What is the direction and conclusion of this article? You are scared of cheating or adultery when you get married and you are already “sexing” before marriage. You have started the cheating and the spirit of cheating will meet you. If every man or woman decide not to sex until marriage or only a person you are married to, there would be no cheating.

  6. What's this about?

    September 21, 2016 at 3:00 am

    What is the direction and conclusion of this article? You are scared of cheating or adultery when you get married and you are already “sexing” before marriage. You have started the cheating and the spirit of cheating will meet you. If every man or woman decide not to sex until marriage or only a person you are married to, there would be no cheating.

    • Busola Adedire

      Busola Adedire

      September 21, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Where in this article did you see sex before marriage?

  7. Tosin

    September 21, 2016 at 7:30 am

    The world is already so complicated, let’s try and simplify it.

    Try and help us find a cure for AIDS and other STDs, but for now we have protection and prevention so we can use those, but please be a researcher / inventor so we can have even more options.

    For the parenting concerns, try and help us find a cure for poverty so that every child can have access to what the child needs. There are efforts ongoing in the world to reduce poverty and increase the pot of rights that every person has. Support those.

    The other reasons to be afraid and spend so much life energy policing dick or whatever:
    – religion/tradition (on that, believe what you believe, as long as you don’t hurt yourself or anybody – be monogamous, praying together, sharing the word, be polygamous, swinging together, choose not to bother with any of it, be Western like Hollywood or be Western like AmeriJesus, be local like Ogbomoso even if you’ve never actually visited before, party hard or don’t party at all, be transgender trisexual, anyone you like. Just be kind to yourself and be kind to your neighbour as much as you can, neighbour including family, strangers, everybody),
    AND another important one is
    – safety, that is, jealousy and a rational fear of the evil in each other. With some awareness and maturity, we’ll see that there is nothing to be jealous of or about. The man or woman you’re protecting from others is not a parcel of land that you can fence and mark, there are more people where that person came from, you don’t own anybody, and if you let them be free they will still be part of you. But while we’re waiting to get that awareness, let us be aware that some crazy people will take a cutlass and kill somebody over love and marriage, let us be aware that some people’s ego can’t take people knowing/guessing that they’re one of a few spouses/friends their spouse has, be aware that some people don’t feel happy if someone has been trespassing on their private property so to speak, some people are just competitive anyway, some people like a neat and secure arrangement so that they can put all their energy into their marriage, etc etc and respect all such people.
    Yo, all over the animal kingdom there is diversity sha, you’ll see jealousy, competition and even fights over bi*hes, you’ll also see avoidance of wahala, adaptation, live-and-let-live. All are cool.

    Even if you analyse it through the lens of Christianity and other religions, you’ll see this all works. I’ll criticize Islam though, it is behind nowadays. Women should be free to be, just as men are.

    And I’m out.

    • FasholasLover

      September 21, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Tosin, Tosin, Tosin, el-oh-el! all l see in this comments section is this your comment! You just have the ability to make me laugh and giggle on this almost perfect day.

      “….. The man or woman you’re protecting from others is not a parcel of land that you can fence and mark, there are more people where that person came from, you don’t own anybody,…..”

    • Busola Adedire

      Busola Adedire

      September 21, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Tosin is an interesting person for real! I don’t know if you are are he or she but you sound like someone I would like to meet.

  8. Marlvina

    September 21, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Childhood, family foundations, lifestyles, religion, ethnicity all contribute to these. I don’t even know which angle to dive into cus the topic is highly subjective. I only pray for the best in my marriage. It’s well…

  9. mia

    September 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Nobody has actually addressed your question so i will. How do we ask the potential partner about their view on cheating, monogamy/polygamy? First, i think a lot of people marry these days without actually talking, i mean, they do not really know their partner’s values, expectations, goals, red flags, threshold and all that. I think a lot of ladies especially, are scared of asking guys these questions because it makes them feel like they’re rushing the guy or they’re all about the marriage. Added to that is the need to look surprised when the guy acts out a ‘surprise” proposal so everybody can think you fit into the current shebang.

    Dear ladies, never be scared to define your relationship. personally, once a guy starts hovering around me like vulture on a corpse, i ask you in plain terms “what do you want from me?” if he gives the ‘let’s just see as it goes” response, i shift. But if he makes it clear that he is willing to pitch his tent, then i ask the questions away. questions like:
    1. What do you think about an ideal home?
    2. As a married man, how do you envision your typical day?
    3. what are your expectations of me?
    4. what values do you hold dear in a marriage?
    5. what are the things you can never tolerate?

    His response to these questions coupled with the way he treats you, his track record with women and his general idea about women will tell you what you need to know. I did these and it worked. Talk!

    • Ninny

      September 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      trust the smart ones to give you their already detailed answers as feedback @ mia. As for me, his answers will only be 40% if he doesnt match it up with actions. i mean, with the replies he give me, i should be able to connect it with the actions he shows towards our committed relationship. Only then will i take him for his words. Believe me when i say some of these men are smart, and know the perfect response to questions like the ones you listed above. So it is not all about talking.

  10. Gloria

    September 21, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Well,dont have much to say..I come from a family background where adultery,promiscuity n waywardness is not accepted but my husband comes from a family background where such is acceptable with lots of pride. 5yrs in marriage now,facing d whole shit,husband throws it to myface like its normal..try fighting back but no way even his parents sees it as a norm…am done trying to make things right in d marriage..Am still in d marriage,furthering my education n focusing on my 2boys is wot am living for now;i need to b available for my boys so they dont follow such path.Its hard to say but am #30 yrs,ready to sacrifice all for my boys….letting husband live d life he desires……

  11. scarlet

    September 21, 2016 at 11:51 am

    @Prince Adeyemo statically, we all know who the biological cheats are abeg! how many women hang out with their friends, arranging boys to hookup and sleep with? or better still how many group of women do you see on say work training out of the state, who will make open arrangement for boys/Men to come spend the nights with them in their hotel rooms? am sure this scenario above rings a bell, that’s how most professional Nigerian young men ball these days!
    In as much as women do cheat, they do so with much more decency than men in Nigeria.
    Why do majority of Nigerian young men feel so comfortable cheating in their relationship/marriage? it baffles me, that part is a mystery to me. And these same set of -1 yard husband material will want a faithful, God fearing and trustworthy woman! like i usually say, they all deserve a serial cheating slut like them,
    From my experience, the few men in this country that are not serial cheat are either the very laid back religious ones, just generally laid back or does few ones with sound moral values.

    Its so disheartening that our society does not see infidelity and cheating as a heinous offense that it really is. We let men off the hook easily with a mere ‘am sorry’, ‘it won’t happen again’, or worse, a make up sex! for someone that was sleeping with a hoard of other women! very ridiculous!
    Lastly, Women should learn the art of Independence, financially and emotionally that is, so if you find yourself in a difficult situation you cant continue to tolerate it will be very easy to ‘shoki’ out of it in style and leave his sorry ass for good.
    Sometimes these men are not even worth the stress at all.

    • What's this about

      September 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      @Scarlet, so there is a “decent” way of cheating or committing adultery? Na wa for “decent cheating” and “decent adultery”.

      If I understand you, once you are not caught or if it is not frequent it becomes decent… ???????????

  12. artklub

    September 21, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Single & Peace of mind, priceless!

  13. Adeolu

    September 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    The writer clearly have parents who were raised in polygamous homes and I don’t think that with all the challenging stories her parents told her, the stories stopped them from making it in life and raising an educated woman like her. So, what is the fuss about polygamy.
    On the issue of Christianity and polygamy, many people need to read the Bible and see that the great men of God in the Bible were polygamists. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He doesn’t change. Why will he now change His mind that He cannot approve a man with many wives?

    • Enn

      September 22, 2016 at 8:54 am

      What makes you think he approved of it in the first place?

  14. Enn

    September 22, 2016 at 9:07 am

    What makes you think he approved of it in the first place?

  15. Luvnaija

    September 28, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Gloria leaving your hubby to philiandering exposes you to all forms of diseases which might lead to death even i.e. Hepatitis , AIDS, HPV which leads to cervical cancer etc then you’d realize you did not live long for your boys you are staying for God forbid! Think and be wise! Blessing to you

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