Joke: Hi ladies, I am sorry I am late. Have you ordered?
Tammy: No, we were just about to. Hope you are okay?
Joke: No, I am not alright. I feel terrible. I had another argument with Ben this morning.
Shewa: What about again? When will you two stop fighting?
Joke: It is Ben and his constant womanizing. I caught him exchanging WhatsApp messages with his latest flame. What is it with these men and their cheating again and again?
Tammy: So that is why you are so ruffled and breathless? You will just die for nothing. And when you are gone, Ben will walk all over your grave with one thousand women.
Pat: These men and their ways. I am so sorry my dear. Please don’t let it bother you too much.
Shewa: I understand how you feel Joke, but you need to take it easy. We have to be patient with these men. They are just like children who run after anyone who offers them chocolates.
Joke: So what are you telling me, that I should wait till he impregnates some girl somewhere or brings home an STD? This is not right. We took vows, and he should be man enough to respect them. I have done nothing but love and respect him.
Pat: Why are we talking as if it is inevitable that our husbands will cheat on us? I trust my husband. He would never do such a thing.
Shewa: Pat, are you a child? Is there any man who has ‘Adulterer’ written on his forehead? Even if your husband is not the type, it does not mean he can’t be tempted by someone someday. You had better keep those sentiments to yourself. If you go around declaring your husband untouchable some babes somewhere will make sure he is ‘touched’ by fire by force!
Tammy: My mother used to tell me that all men are dogs and all dogs eat shit. It is just that dogs have different breeds. We have Alsatians, Terriers, Rottweilers, Bulldogs and so on. They differ in habits and appearance but they all belong to the same family.
Joke: If that is the case, Ben is a Rottweiler! (They all laugh)
Pat: So, that makes every married woman a dog trainer? Seriously? Where is it written that men should not take their wedding vows as seriously as women? How would Ben feel if Joke decides to date her boss at work?
Shewa: Joke, that your boss is fine o! And he has a lot of money. Perhaps you should give Ben a dose of his own medicine.
Tammy: Please stop putting ideas in the poor woman’s head. Joke, please don’t listen to them. Keep talking to your husband about how his actions hurt you. Stop giving yourself high blood pressure by going through his phones. He is an adult and is entitled to privacy. Does he go through your own phone?
Joke: No he does not. He trusts me, but I don’t trust him. God, what kind of life is this? (She starts to cry)
Pat: Please don’t cry. You will just make yourself angry and bitter. You need to stay positive. Or do you want to leave your husband because he is cheating on you? If that is the case, then you might as well be single because history will keep repeating itself.
Tammy: Haba, how did we get to the topic of divorce? Joke, let me tell you what I did the first time I caught my husband cheating. I was using his computer and stumbled across some emails. I printed them all out and showed them to him. It is not all the time you catch them red-handed. He was so embarrassed. He begged and wept and promised never to cheat again. After a few weeks I forgave him, and to show him I meant it I ripped up all the emails. Three years later I caught him again. This time I did not bother to engage him in any drama. I just sent an email to his mistress and threatened that the next time I caught her with my husband I would inform her employers. She was a married woman and had a lot more to lose. My husband was so shocked. I calmly informed him that the next time I would do worse. He has not given me any cause to worry since then.
Shewa: Woman, you have heart o. You wrote an email to your husband’s mistress?
Joke: I can’t confront any mistress, I don’t want any small girl to insult me. It is my husband I have a problem with. Can you imagine, some little shrimp dragging our lives on social media.
Pat: In fact, that is what some mistresses are praying for. That you will be provoked into attacking them via social media so that they can involve all their friends in the drama. Shameless girls. I don’t blame them, it is the men who don’t have sense running after every available pair of boobs and fake behind.
Tammy: Hahahaha. Which one is fake behind now?
Pat: When we their wives have big boobs and behind we are called fat. When the girls they are running after go and buy breasts and bottoms, they are called ‘curvy’.
Shewa: Joke, let me tell you a story. Years ago, when I was in University, it was the turn of my mother to host members of her club in our home. I went around serving the women, who were all middle-aged, approximately our own age now. One of the women, let me call her Mama Jide, was talking very animatedly, then she started to cry. Mama Jide told her friends that not only was her husband cheating on her, he had not had intercourse with her for almost two years. She was obviously in a lot of pain and she was very angry. I expected her friends to console her and ask for details. You know what they said? Let me summarise for you, ‘We are sorry to hear this, but is this why you are crying as if you have lost a child? Are you just learning the ways of men? Are you crying because your husband is womanizing or because he has not had sex with you? As for the womanizing, that is not strange. If it is sex, why are you weeping over that? If you husband wants to keep his penis to himself, that is his problem. If you need sex, every other man out there has one. Pick one of them and solve that problem. Now, if you need to make yourself more self-reliant so that no man can treat you like dirt, that is what we are here for. What do you need for your business? How can we help you with capital? Look after yourself and your children and don’t let any man make you a patient at Aro (psychiatric hospital). What about those who don’t have husbands? Are they not alive? Mama Jide, get your priorities straight’.
Tammy: Hmmmmm. That is deep. We do need to get our priorities straight. Infidelity is very painful and it destroys trust. Men do it because they know they can get away with it. It is not fair. We should however not make ourselves into basket cases because of them. We have our own lives to lead.
Pat: Yes, the story is very instructive. Poor Mama Jide. There are so many women like that, married in name only. That is why so many women are now looking for solace elsewhere. And when they are caught, no one blames the man for pushing his wife into the arms of others, they will all blame the woman.
Joke: Yes, that is the world we live in. I will never cheat on my husband, but I will put him on notice that I have options too. You know men. The executioner who chops off heads for a living will never allow anyone swing a blade over his head.
Shewa: This is an issue that will never be resolved satisfactorily. All we can ask for is that couples should respect their marital vows and stop making reckless choices just to satisfy their urges. If people no longer want to be together they should go their separate ways instead of inflicting emotional abuse on each other. Divorce is not the end of the world, as painful as it might be. Men are so greedy. Even when their religion allows them to marry multiple wives, they will still cheat on all the ones they have at home.
Pat: Joke, it will be alright. Talk to Ben and let him know you mean business this time. Encourage him to seek counselling with you. I know he will resist at first but let us hope he loves you enough not to want to lose you. Meanwhile, let us get down to why we are here. Tammy, what is the latest on the land deal?
•Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a gender specialist, social entrepreneur and writer. She is the founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She is currently the First Lady of Ekiti State. She can be reached at [email protected]