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Chineze Eziamaka: The Nigerian Woman’s Guide to Staying with a Cheating Spouse



As a Nigerian woman you are expected to treat infidelity as normal, overlook it for your own peace of mind. I had the misfortune of attending an event that was meant for married women. This event cost about N20,000 as attendance fee, thank God I didn’t have to pay because the main event sponsor gave me a free ticket, I would have demanded for a refund.

I thought it was a prayer, networking and wives connect thing. Incidentally I was the only one who thought so, because the other women I spoke with were familiar with the ‘ get our men back movement’ and knew what they paid for.

To my chagrin, the organizers used the first two hours schooling women on how to keep a man, how to look how to dress, how to endure, how to overlook, how to be, how to target their situation specific goals, how to disregard ‘Facebook advisers’ and focus on healing their marriage through their sole efforts as God will take of the man.

In hindsight, I think I endured because I was waiting for that moment when we will hear some hard facts, the moment came, but alas it was from one story of blame to the next. At some point I almost raised my hand and say to the women in the room ‘maybe some of your behaviors may have led to issues in your marriage, but ultimately the decision to break his vows is your spouses and he should own up to his mistakes, express regrets, it’s not because you can’t twerk madam’ but I stayed tongue-tied, I didn’t want to break any hearts.

The female counsellor blamed the woman for not maintaining her sexiness, her wit, her looks. She told so many stories of men getting bored and wanting out, they forgot to mention that women are also allowed to get bored, I think women should give themselves permission to get bored too, for their sanity. To me the whole event was planned to remind women that a man is free, the woman is bound. Bound to society, bound to the bored man, bound to her children, responsible for making a man stay. I was losing my mind, but I had to feign interest, partly because everyone around me was seemingly having a great time, taking notes excitedly, yaying and aah-ing and also because I didn’t think anyone in the room would understand my crazy ‘unrealistic’ opinions.

While they were at it, I Googled ‘how to handle a cheating spouse’ and a lot of related articles came up, I was amazed at our approach to staying with a cheating spouse in Nigeria or maybe Africa and women from other parts of the world.  I will attempt to compare below.

Other women: Get lots of support, your ego has been bruised, you feel inadequate as a wife and a woman. you will need support of trusted friends, books, support groups (there are many on Facebook)

Nigerian women:Think of the ways his cheating may be your fault and change those ways, try to understand what makes him happy or sad. Pray tirelessly for him. Keep it a secret for as long as possible, don’t air your dirty linens in public

Other women:Set up a time of disclosure and divulgence of the fact, secure a promise that it will never happen again, get an explanation of the reason behind his betrayal.

Nigerian women: Pretend not to notice, this is for your own peace of mind. Do not ask too many questions or request for details of his activities. He is your head, you should submit and even if you lose your cool, apologize for being difficult and move on in the relationship not minding that you have unresolved issues. God will see you through.

Other Women:Following the confession you have secured from your husband, set up accountability rules, such as him being open about his whereabouts often. trust has been shattered and must be built back for the success of your marriage.

Nigerian women:Be committed to not snooping around his things, avoid his phones and computers, even when you catch yourself trying to check, caution yourself. After all you are the one he comes home to, you are the mother of his children and no one can drive you out of his house. remain steadfast in prayers.

Other Women:Charge your husband to clean up his dirt by ending the affair. He can make the calls in your presence, send emails, delete or unfriend partners on social media, remove unwholesome apps or services from his phone. Show proof that he is a changed man

Nigerian Women: Use ‘wisdom’ in approaching his reaction to the cheating allegations, do not trouble him else he will run to the other woman, and accuse of trying to kill him out of bitterness. If he is a nice man, beg him to delete the apps and the women. Do not request for proof, just believe him when he tells you the steps he has taken. continue to find creative ways to retain his love and affection. Do not give up on your marriage, it is your ticket to respectability in the society.

Other Women:You and your husband should get tested for STIs. You must prioritize your health and sexual safety.

Nigerian Women: You have not ceased praying. God will not allow anything bad to happen to a good woman like you, do not show him any suspicion or he may run back to his mistress.

Other Women: Return to sexual intimacy slowly as trust is rebuilt and love is rekindled. Take time to know what works for your dynamic situation and relationship.

Nigerian Women: Return to sexual intimacy quickly, up your sexual allure, use the insecurity and hurt to your advantage. Give him sex on demand.

We have so many women who in trying to conform and stay unhappily married. God designed marriage to be a safe haven from a dangerous world. We should remember that you are first a person, second a wife.

A wife is a person who is gets hurt. A person that shouldn’t spend so much time focusing on the kids because they want to block pain. A person that should have face to face honest conversations with the people you may disagree with, e.g your spouse, a person that can leave an uncomfortable situation.

I do not know what I will do if I caught my spouse cheating, but I think I will be kind enough to myself not to blame myself for his foolishness.

Photo Credit: Rawpixelimages |

Chineze lives in Lagos with her husband and 3 young children. She is excited to connect on twitter @ChinezeAnuli, Instagram @chinezeaina and Medium


  1. Somebody

    May 22, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I didn’t want to read at first but I’m glad I did because your comparisons were spot on….only if Nigerian women in this situation will actually see this and know that cheating isn’t their fault, more a decision that someone selfishly made.

    • pweety fm

      May 22, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      thank you i did not wan to read either, but thank God i did

  2. mama

    May 22, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    I remember while in the university, we had a conversation about fathers cheating, and I and my sister said our father had never cheated on our mom. The other girls laughed at us and said our mom had just been hiding and covering it up, that every man cheats. One even said if he doesn’t cheat then he is gay or has a problem.

    That did not make me doubt my father’s fidelity. That was about 9 years ago, and up till now if even my mom tells me that my dad ever cheated on her, i would find it very very hard to believe.

    And this was something i told my husband when we were still dating. I made it very clear that I was not among those who believed that all men cheat because I never knew my dad to cheat. And if he could live that way, nothing stopped other men.I also let him know that if he ever cheated on me then he should know he used his own hands to destroy everything.
    We laugh over it and I tell him how I would kick him out of the house.

    Now if that ever happens, I may or may not move out, He may or may not move out, But one thing that would never happen would be me blaming myself. The marriage might still go on, The marriage might end. But He would have to take full responsibility and we discuss to know if we still want to be married or not. And if not, we go separate ways.

    I keep wondering why women stay with cheating husbands. – is it because they are financially dependent on them? Is it because they love them so much? Is it because they feel like they will be lonely forever?

    For which ever reason you decide to stay with a cheating man, NEVER BLAME YOURSELF FOR HIS CHEATING. It is never your fault, and NO, NOT ALL MEN CHEAT. Your man made a choice to cheat, and how you choose to handle it is up to you.

  3. Lagos babe

    May 22, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Reward your philandering spouse by giving him mind blowing sex – typical advice given by nigerian women.

    I literally, physically cannot do this. I mean not even if I laid there with my legs wide open, both walls of My vagina would adhere together and my hymen would magically reappear.
    I cannot be rewarding bad behaviour especially if like the average Nigerian man, he refuses to own up to his misbehaviour.

  4. Gerald

    May 22, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Well written. It’s hard to change a cultural perception. Hopefully, we will get our acts right. Love always

  5. Cmbo

    May 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm


  6. pweety fm

    May 22, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    i see no reason why a woman should be sorry to her man after he has cheated on her, but i guess nigerian mentally has eaten deep into lots of women, and they ignorantly blame themsleves for thier spouses fault. lord help us

  7. Janelle Obieroma

    May 22, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Well said dear…..Some even consider as foe anyone who tries to help them see the possible danger of living with a cheating spouse ..the only advice they want to hear is pray,stay and ignore.
    It’s a personal choice really… if being pretentious makes anyone happier than facing the reality then so be it.

  8. Sakura

    May 22, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Kudos Chineze, great article.

  9. Melenie

    May 22, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Lovely article..

  10. Nkechi

    May 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    I’ve always said it that confronting the problem immediately is the best way to handling a cheating husband instead of pretending to be alright while your confidence drops and trust. Well-done chimeze

  11. Mee

    May 22, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Lovely points, so true! Nigerian women really are our own worst enemies. Rather than receive tools like “other women” above that are effective in bringing about true change and a healthy relationship ( the other women aren’t saying leave your husband after he cheats… they are seeking to create true trust, not fear).
    Thanks for taking the time to juxtapose the two thought processes.

  12. Ini

    May 22, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    You have a valid point, Chineze and it’s a shame that we propagate the culture of infidelity communally. I think that more unmarried people should attend professional premarital counseling courses to avoid having to attend this kind of events after the wedding.

  13. John

    May 22, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    But according to statistics. ..women ( especially married Nigerian women) cheat more than men .

    I guess The only difference is make your husband no catch you or Oyo is your name.????

    • Smh

      May 22, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      Lmao e say na statistics. What are the stats based on? People voluntarily giving this information. Second to cheating, what are Nigerian men known best for? I’ll help you, LYING. I rest my case.

  14. The Rabbi

    May 22, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    There’s nothing to see here. Marriage is too important to the average Nigerian woman, it’s almost idolatry. Nigerian women celebrate marriage more than a doctorate degree. I am shocked that Chineze feels these women won’t go any length to keep their “Mrs” status.

  15. Cocoa

    May 22, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Step 1:
    Draw near to God. Believe God when He tells you who you are in Him and live in that righteousness He has afforded for you. Let the Fruit of the Spirit bear forth. Do this in the season of singleness.

    Step 2:
    CHOOSE a mate who has equally taken Step 1. Seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit and then the counsel of other trusted children of God for confirmation. Then accept TO COURT ( notice how this is not accept to marry. Seek God BEFORE even accepting to COURT. )

    Step 3:
    Marry and continue to uphold eachother using the Word of God as the FINAL AUTHORITY in your home, Fellowship and build eachother up and grow in the spiritual maturity.

    Step 4:
    Teach step 1 to 3 to your CHILDREN.

    P.S This husband will not cheat on you because his relationship with God and being in right standing with God is his life’ s purpose and desire. It has nothing to do with you. If you like look 70 while youre 40. He is kindgom minded. No fleshly desire is worth his stance as a child of God.

    • Celine

      May 22, 2018 at 5:52 pm


    • E

      May 22, 2018 at 7:07 pm

      What is step 5 if he still cheats?

    • Hope

      May 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      I laugh at your steps. Pastors and even celibate priests cheat on their vows and you are here listing impractical steps. Every human being is fallible except they themselves decides to uphold discipline.
      My husband isn’t any of what you listed and is the most disciplined person I know, because he chose to. So also are some men who are irreligious and yet faithful to their spouses. It’s a matter of striving for discipline at all times to maintain the commitment you agreed to.
      This is what makes most Nigerian ladies think that any brother who praises God the most will be faithful. It takes more than that. After all Nigerians are so religious and love God so much, and yet so corrupt.

  16. You know why

    May 22, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    You see, other women are like that and wont take thrash from their husbands as they can leave/divorce him anytime because they are financially independent

    Nigerian women are opposite of these in ALL sense of it.

    From a single girl to a married women (with a very few exceptions) they depend on the man for EVERYTHING. including:
    buying recharge card
    subscription of data
    buying of undies
    buying of clothes, shoes and bags
    payment for their vacation
    payment of rent (as you all can neither afford to or wont even pay if you have d money, so she lives with the guy even when shes single and not married to him)
    payment for dates
    take them to the movies
    buy food at eateries
    domestic house chores like changing of bulbs, repair of GEN., servicing of cars..
    school fees of the kids

    The life of a Nigerian girl centers around a man. They are dependent and their umbilical cord tied to that of a man,

    No tell me, if her husband cheats, how will she cope with her life?
    where will she start from? The man that bought her iphone? One of these batter box went to the street to find out if a lady will stay with a man with Gwagon and cheating or a faithful man with keke napep…Your guess is as good as mine.

    You hear things like i want to go see this new movie (cant you go see by yourself and pay)
    I dont want to pay next rent as my husband would have arrived
    A nigerian lady is basically waiting for a man to come and rescue her from her travails and poverty.

    Tell me again, how do you think she will cope if she leaves the cheating husband

    This is a wake up call for you ladies, take responsibility for your life
    Many dont even have a job, they live off men (parasites)
    See the other set on the street
    Even the good girls are doing coded runs (sex for cash)
    Saddening enough, even those who work would rather prefer to save their money, not spend it and depend on a man for everything

    It is a shame

    Do you now know why?

  17. Iphy

    May 22, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    Insightful read… the part about ” nothing bad will happen to a good woman…” cracked me up. The crux of the matter here is that you (woman/man) must never take responsibility for your spouse’ actions. Its stupidity!

    • Cocoa

      May 23, 2018 at 6:45 am

      No, what you are describing are simply people hiding under the cloak of religiosity, THERES A DIFFERENCE. With children of God it’s a HEART thing not a MOUTH thing. Singing Praise and worship on Sunday or being ordained a priest doesnt make you a CHILD OF GOD!

      God gives His children the SPIRIT OF DISCERNMENT. God has told me NO two times already when I prayed about then potential suitors …even though OUTWARDLY they could pass for men of God. You need God to determine the “good fakes”.

      That is why your own intimate and personal relationship with God COMES FIRST.

      SELF CONTROL is part of the Fruit of the Spirit.

      I never said there are no MORAL MEN….but GODLY MEN ARE BETTER! 🙂

  18. Amaka

    May 22, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    @Chineze, I was reading this write-up, I kept saying to myself this writer is way stronger than me. To stay and listen to all those garbage, called advise as to how to handle a cheat as a husband. I would cause a serious discussion, with my question to the speakers. My biggest angst against our Nigerian/African parents is how they would want you to stay in a relationship with a cheat, just because of family image in the society and them not wanting to have a daughter that divorced her husband. Again, I say, I am thankful that I live in a country where man and woman understand the truth about marriage. Good luck to you if you want to hide under the influence of being a married woman to a cheat. As far as I am concerned, there is no place in my life for a cheat. I do not understand how women are made to suppress their feelings to accommodate men, all the time. If a woman dares cheat on her husband, and he finds out, that woman better get some serious metal to cover herself, because she will be given a beaten of her life, thrown out like a garbage and the world will hear about it from the man, and his family. Yes, that is how it works when the shoe is on the other foot. When the man cheats, it’s just don’t say anything, pray for him, after all it’s you he comes home to, and the most annoying one, remember you have children for him…. WHAT???? Are this people for real? Who gave you that impression, that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander? My biggest anger is how the man’s family will carry on as if it’s his right to cheat with reckless abandon, and the woman is supposed to take it and shut the hell up. NO! I mean NO!! All those preaching that the woman should continue praying for the man, should go and marry him and see how it feels like to be cheated on. I get so enraged when the issue of a man cheating on his wife is brought up because I lost two of my best friends to their cheating spouses, and these are men they went to marry from Nigeria and brought back here in the US. The same, oh their parents are family friends to my parent. Ok. I understand. Do you know them? You were born and raised here in the US. You don’t know their behavior or anything. And that was how my friends were praying for these whores called husbands, and they ended up killing them. One was shot, the other contracted HIV/AIDS, and died from the complications because she did not start early to treat the disease. Yeah. That’s what it means to have a cheat as a husband. If you are blessed to get a man that is honest, thank God and pray that he remains that way till death do you part; but if you are joined with a dog in human clothing, my prayer for you is that you know how to move on and don’t look back. Good luck to women.

    • Chineze Eziamaka

      May 23, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Spot on babe… people will never learn. i know someone that died of cervical cancer, when she was alive she was constantly treating STDs, she lost count of the number of antibiotics she had taken correctly or not. eventually she died, on her deathbed she told her family, that she regretted not leaving him, now she is leaving her young children behind, she even begged her family not to ever leave the dog of a man with her daughters.


    May 22, 2018 at 8:20 pm


  20. De Oracle

    May 22, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    I like your view on the topic.

  21. Janelle

    May 22, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Well said dear … Some even consider as foe anyone who tries to warn them about the dangers of living with a cheating spouse, what is accepted as friendly advice is to ignore,stay and pray.
    It’s a personal choice really… If being pretentious makes her happier than facing the reality then so be it.

  22. Janelle

    May 22, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    Well said dear, some women even consider as foe anyone who tries to warn them of the dangers of living with an unrepentant cheating spouse, what is accepted as friendly advice is ‘stay,ignore and pray’.
    It’s a personal choice really … if being pretentious or taking all the blame makes her happier than facing the reality… then so be it.

  23. id

    May 22, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    My dear Nigerian women are the reason Nigerian men cheat so much with so much confidence. I wanted to take this stupid advice when I was about to get married but I cautioned myself “wait a minute” you can’t take this cos it hurtsssss. So God forbid if my husband cheats I will not be dealing with it the Nigerian way.

  24. Chloe

    May 23, 2018 at 9:44 am

    This so apt. Never blame yourself.

  25. Toby

    May 23, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I left my wife for my side chic. It was the most difficult decision I ever had to make in my life. In retrospect, I realized I married my wife because she got pregnant. A month to the wedding I told family to call it of, they didn’t. My parents were concerned about how embarrassing it would be.

    My wife was perfect: I couldn’t find any significant fault, and so was the side chic ( I didn’t tell her I was married ). I separated from my wife and quietly got a divorce. Sometimes I still feel bad for leaving, but I think it was the best thing to do, as there was no point staying in a marriage when I didn’t love my wife. I believe the only thing worst than cheating is remaining in a marriage/relationship with a person you don’t love: you torture them unknowingly.

    Dear Women/Men, you cant force a person to stay in your life, They”ll leave eventually even if they don’t leave now. Its a lost cause. I’m not proud, but if you asked me I’d say I have no regrets for leaving.

    • bea

      May 24, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Hmn……..thanks for bringing another insight into matters.
      Although I would probably not have been able to understand this logic if i was on your wife’s team but I like that you are sincere.

  26. Anon

    May 24, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    David was a man after Gods heart…. and he still cheated. It has nothing to do with how close one is to God. It is a decision. that the man makes

  27. Anon

    May 24, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    David was a man after God’s own heart… and he still cheated. So it doesn’t matter how close you are to God. After all, the commandment ‘ You should not to commit adultery” was given to God’s people not gentiles.

    It is a decision that a man makes plain an simple. And he can easily decide not to cheat if he wants to.

    Toby you are wicked and weak! So after you have used your wife,, you now left her.
    You had the strength to cheat, but you did not have the strength to stop YOUR OWN wedding.. You did not have the strength to stop sleeping with a woman you clearly didn’t love.

    And now you want to stand on moral ground.

    Anyway…I think this article is really talking about men who cheat as a pastime.

    • Toby

      May 25, 2018 at 9:06 am

      I’m weak. Show me one man that is not. “Used” why do people choose to use that word? I probably would have been able to stay.

  28. Ify

    May 24, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    The Nigerian society views the marriage institution as a do or die affair. The shame, family embarrassment, the” what will people say” syndrome. Oh mehnn!! I think that causes a lot more depression than the act of spousal sharing(cheating) per’se cos,well how bout our forebears who had several wives. That’s still cheating, you know? The society plays a major part in this side of the divai.

  29. Dunny

    April 5, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Am a mother of four children, a woman had a baby for my husband while I was pregnant with my fourth baby,,he has being a serial cheater and I know about this,,but his mother always back him up,,my parents wont allow me leave because they are not rich am jobless,though a graduate,,where do you want me to go? I don’t love him anymore but I can’t leave Because of my children and am financially dependent,,he still cheats cos he said he can’t change,he won’t use protection for me and either with his sidechics,,,I always cried because I don’t have job and supportive parents,,,,so I don’t have a choice than to stay ?????

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