A term by which a married woman is so tightly bound, that it becomes a sacrilege for the thought of cheating to cross her mind. A term which a woman is also expected to ignore when it relates to the man. She is expected to close her ears and ears to its non-existence, and pray for its reappearance.
It is also said that it is not always the man’s fault that he cheats. The single women won’t just leave them alone. How can we fault them; after all, a man is only human. He can only resist for so long before he falls prey. That’s why we need to pray really really hard, so that the women are blinded to our men.
But the married woman is never assumed to be at risk of cheating, or even chased by any man. She is married, no longer single and available She now belongs to a man and no other dares come close. She is tied down by children and house business and will be too busy to even look at another man. Between market, school runs, work and church, where will the man see her to even chase her. Does she even have the time to stand and talk?
Alas, I must reveal to you men that for a lot of us married women, we have to dodge the male bullets almost daily. I won’t speak for others, but I know that for most married women, the deep love and respect for her husband and children (if any) and frankly her own sanity is the only thing that keeps her grounded. Not because of the rule of monogamy.
Because for some men, a woman’s wedding ring is not a deterrent, but an incentive. It’s almost like a moth to a flame syndrome; the man sees this Mrs. and simply just has to try his luck to see if this one too will succumb. Like my former neighbor says “some men no dey like find their own meat or chop the one dem get. Na the one wey another person don catch, keep for house, na dat one dem go wan collect”
Maybe I should blame us, the married women. Maybe we are the ones tempting these men chasing us. Have you seen us, the wives and mothers of nowadays? We dey pepper them die. Fitfam activists, Waist trainer enthusiasts, Gym Junkies, Makeup and hair slayers. Long gone are the days of the dowdy wife and mother. Women are now more empowered, take care of their skin and bodies and are looking better than ever.
A woman can endure the occasional admiring look, the singular respectful compliment or the forced side hug she has to give at the last minute. But how many does she endure before she realizes that boundaries are being breached.
How he insists he does not give women handshakes, but would rather hug you too close and too long. How he inserts as much sexual innuendos as he can into every conversation he has with you just so you know the way he feels, to see your reaction, to know if he should proceed or back off. How he pays you one too many compliments daily and tries to walk you to lunch or to your car as often as he can. The prolonged glances, the lunch orders, the list goes on.
How he gets your number from a friend (guys support each other) and calls or sends “wetin dey bring this kain leg?” messages. Yes he knows you are married, but all’s fair in love and war abi?
Maybe the woman is reading too much meaning into his nice gestures. Some men are actually just nice and gentlemanly. But as most women know, we can usually tell when a man is interested.
It’s even worse in an office environment. Let’s not forget that it doesn’t take very much for talk to spread in the office. Office gossip is like wildfire; people are bored with work monotony and looking for what to talk about. Just one too many innocent hours spent at your table chatting, or one too many innocent walks together to the car park or to lunch and the woman’s image is tarnished, while the man is seen as a correct guy.
Psst… She is not safe from her husband’s friends either. They will try their luck.
At first, especially for the newly married, She doesn’t quite know how to handle the situation. The man doesn’t come out to say the obvious words so how does she even begin to deal with it.
At first, she handles it by being nice and courteous, mostly because she is flattered by the fresh and unexpected attention and compliments (that some husbands are stingy with). Then she begins to worry as the man gets encouraged and bolder, driven by her smiles. He decides to go a bit further. Compliments turn into innuendos; handshakes linger and turn into hugs. The looks get longer and more lingering. She begins to avoid him, ignore his messages or calls and turn sentences into curt words. She sends the message across subtly and the man backs away. Some men still continue even with the subtle message given by the woman, but that one is a demon from the pit of hell and deserves every insult that she may eventually give to him.
This Mrs. doesn’t know if she should tell her husband. She eventually does, and he harasses her for not seeing the guy’s intentions from the start, for subconsciously encouraging the man and for not cussing the man out immediately. She tells him how she handled it and her husband is proud..that he has a virtuous woman.
For some other women, starving of the husband’s affection, maybe naivety, or simply because she wants to, she could also continue the game..to see how far it could go. At this point, her husband needs to start praying to God really really hard. That his wife doesn’t succumb to the scavenging men. He needs to go the extra mile and work harder. Pay her more compliments, buy her more stuff, and draw her back to his bedside.
Monogamy should apply to both spouses, irrespective of gender. I believe that the simple fact of a mutual deep respect, love and the thought of causing pain to the one you love so much, should be enough.
Photo Credit: Isaiahlove | Dreamstime.com