For most women cheating in marriage and relationship is caused by many different reasons
It was a blissful union between Debo and Kemi when they got married about 15 years ago. Then Kemi was just starting work at a Federal Agency while Debo was a rising star in a bank. Then last year Kemi got a promotion, one she has been longing for. But it came with a snag. She had to go to Abuja, the headquarters of her agency.
After long deliberation, the couple decided that Kemi should move, while Debo start working on a possible transfer to the Federal Capital Territory. In the interim the couple was to commute, alternatively at weekend between Lagos and Abuja. When Kemi moved, Debo took a week casual leave to travel to Abuja with the children to help Kemi settled down at Abuja.
However, over the next few weeks as with no close friends close by and increasing long hours of work became lonely and depressed. She missed the children and Debo, who was her ‘gist partner, confidant, and best friend.’ The long hours on phone and video calls did not ease the ache.
Then as the loneliness increased, she succumbed to the advice of a colleague and prompting of Debo to start eating dinner out. On one of such outings, she met Hamza, a top civil servant in another Federal Agency. The meeting led to a dinner date. Hamza was roguishly handsome and with a wicked sense of humour. And he was generous: with gifts, attention and affection.
Within a month of meeting, the friendship turned into an intimate affair.
For Kemi, she cheated on her husband only for one reason. Loneliness. The affair ended three months after, when she called it off while she sought a transfer back to Lagos. Even though she got posted back to Lagos, to a department in her agency as a deputy, she was happy. Then she had to deal with her conscience and the dilemma of whether to tell Debo, the nicest man any woman can ask for, of her indiscretion or live with her conscience for the rest of her life.
Kemi is one of the growing long list of women, educated or not, who are having affairs outside their long established relationships and marriages. However, unlike Kemi, who did because of loneliness, many do so because of different and varied reasons.
Experts and those involved said these reasons range from lack of attention, boredom and revenge to economic, lack of sexual satisfaction, midlife crisis and falling prey on the digital realm.
Chioma, a housewife, said she cheated on Chigozie, her businessman husband because she gets bored from staying at home all day long. After dropping the children off at school at the early morning she was all alone at home until the children she goes to pick the children up at school at 4.00pm. Then she met one of her daughter’s teachers.
“He was a perfect gentleman, who knows how to complement and treat a woman. He was always at the car park with my two younger children, opening the car door for me and telling me how beautiful I look every time. Before I could realize it, I started looking forward to these encounters and being careful with my appearance.
“One day, I ask him to come with us for lunch at a restaurant. The discussion during lunch, made me fell in love with him. Then we started an intimate affair. He was a happy distraction for me. We are still dating and I am a differently happy woman because of it,” Chioma said.
Maria, a doctor, is in the same boat with Chioma and Kemi as she has also cheated on her lawyer husband, Bayo with a junior colleague. The affair led to the end of her 8-year-old marriage.
“Yes, I got caught in my affair with Dave, a younger doctor because we got careless. But looking back now, I am not totally to blame for cheating on Bayo, my ex. Both of us got so much in pursuing our careers. While I was relatively less ambitious, Bayo was obsessed with super achievement. He is from a family of lawyers, his father, is a lawyer who retired from the Civil as a Director, his elder brother became a High Court judge five years ago, he works in a law firm with some Senior Advocate in chambers. He is hell bent on getting the Silk in the next few years. And he is brilliant. He got absorbed in his practice travelling all over the country. I was practically abandoned.
“I have my own feelings as a woman. Bayo unfortunately forced me into an affair with Dave. Dave and I being drawn into the same shifts, we were together most times four days of the week. We both started seeing the sexual attractions in each other. This led to intimacy. But unfortunately, stories got to Bayo. One of his friends is a patient, who is also a friend of the hospital I worked in. So in between these friends they set a trap for Dave and I, we played into their hands and got caught during the lockdown. Sadly, Dave was fired, I resigned and Bayo sued for divorce. But in the long run I have no regret. I am gradually picking the broken pieces and moving on with my life,” Maria said.
Rukvwe, a Fashion Designer, said she was so happy cheating on her husband, Obaro because she was on a revenge. She described her husband, a Pharmacist, as an ‘emotional killer’, who is not responsible as a husband.
“To me even though I have been married to Obaro for 13 years, my marriage ended in the third year. We have just been living to keep up the appearances and make an effort to live together because of the children. In the first year, I suspected Obaro of still seeing one of his ex-girlfriends when my suspicion grew I searched for evidence and got it on his phone, SMS and bank transfers. He apologised and made a promise to stop the affair. He never did. Then he got an intern in his agency pregnant. This was hidden from me by him, his relatives and friends for a year. It was the child’s first-year birthday celebration that exposed the affair. I felt betrayed by everyone involved in the cover-up. The pain was aggravated when I learnt of his other sexual escapades outside the home. I am an attractive woman, I received advances from men every time. One day I just decided to date a ‘toaster.’ This decision was based on the desire to get my own revenge. Now, I periodically date any man that catches my fancy and finds me attractive. The game continues and I have no qualm,” Rukvwe said.
More women who cheat in their relationships and marriages said they do so for economic reasons with the intention of improving their lives and those of their partners.
Bola, a middle-level civil servant in a state civil service said she has cheated on her husband with some of her senior colleagues to get juicy postings and monetary gifts because she needed to maintain her ‘living standard and compliment her husband income’ for the family to be comfortable.
“It started first when the Director of Admin of my former ministry refused to approve a posting I craved for to a juicy department. He followed up with messages to me using a close colleague to express his desire to date me. After some pressure, I gave in and to my surprise, I got the posting on the second date we got intimate. Throughout his tenure as the Director, I was protected and got more juicy postings, even those higher than my level. This got tongues wagging and resentments from some other colleagues set in. immediately my boyfriend retired from service the hounds went after me. I was from my then post and then transferred out of the state capital to a far outpost. I quickly wizened up. I made the right moves and hook the Senior Assistant to the Governor with the oversight function over my agency. Now, I am back at the headquarters working in a plum post,” Bola said with a glint in the eye.
Bola’s case was similar to Rashidat’s. A petty trader, she said her husband, who is a carpenter is not a ‘responsible husband.’
“Even though his income is enough for us and our four children to live comfortably with, a large chunk of this goes to frivolities and his betting addiction. I have to work hard to complement if I don’t want my children to go hungry or drop out of school. In the end, I have to find a ‘good’ man as a boyfriend to help out with some of these responsibilities,” she said as she explained why she is cheating on her husband of 18 years.
But for Cecelia, her husband’s low libido and sexual drive is the only reason why she sometimes find succour in other men’s beds.
“I love my husband. He is a responsible and loving husband and father to our children. But he just can get it on enough to satisfy a woman. The problem started from the time we were dating. I thought it wasn’t a big problem. But now, he hardly make the move for sex and when he does I am left with more frustrations than a pleasure after the acts. At first, I used to masturbate after such disheartening performances from him. But now, I get real satisfaction from my boyfriend. So if my husband continues with his sexual calendar appointment or not I am no longer a bother,” she said.
However, some women engage in cheating to find succour or transit out of a bad marriage.
Esther, a teacher, said she started an extra-marital affair when she was looking for a way out of a marriage that has turned abusive.
“I had to get out of my marriage in which I had been turned into a punching bag by my ex-husband. I felt into the comforting hands of Chuks for the manly support and advice and the occasional sexual passion. He provided the necessary support including standing in as my husband when I was getting a new apartment,” she said.
For some women between the ages of 35 and 60, this midlife period might trigger a crisis or two that might push them into the hands of other men apart from their partners. These circumstances, including the death of a parent or career, might give some pressure that might make them vulnerable or even in self-doubt.
Jane, a Banker, said she had a one-week torrid affairs with her boss when she was in her fifties because of this reason.
“I was going through some hormonal changes. I became so easily agitated and was gradually losing concentration at work. I became distanced from my husband, who was baffled by my action. One day after the week has started badly, my MD called me into his office and was gently scolding me on a major mistake I made. I knew he was being gentle with me because of my excellent track record at the bank and my seniority. I just lost it. I burst out in tears, sobbing.
“He was an understanding man. He sat me down on the sofa and ask what was really wrong. But I just couldn’t just pick my hands on anything. To my surprise, he asked me to take the week off. I was afraid. But to my surprise he called me around 10 am the next day asking how I was feeling. Sensing, I was still down he asked me to get out of the house and meet him for lunch.
“He was shocked at my appearance at lunch. I just didn’t bother with my make-up and clothes and accessories. Sensing that I might break down at the table, he arranged for our lunch to be served at a private booth. The lunch turned out to be a heart out-pouring session for me but he talked like n elder brother to me lifting my soul a bit.
“Next week he asked that I joined him for a week holiday in the UK. We went to a coastal town in Wales, it was a blissful time for me. But it also helped me to sort out my emotional crisis. We got back to Nigeria and both of us forgot the affair ever happened but we became close like brother and sister, even advising each other on personal and family matters. No one suspected ‘it’ ever happened between us. But I am grateful it happened because it probably saved me from ending up as a mental case,” she said.
Some women also fell into the infidelity trap because of the ‘opportunities’ that exist in the digital realm. Social media have shortened the contact space between women and men. They have also made the tendency to have affairs, including illicit ones, easier.
Many times, contacts and interactions started innocently are push towards intimacy by the other parties or even started spontaneously without being planned by either party.
Shade, who has been married for six years narrated her experience along this line.
“About eight months ago, a guy asked for friendship on my Facebook page. I accepted. We got talking on Messenger. He really got me excited. He was suave and smooth with good humour and know how to hold a conversation with a woman. We transferred to WhatsApp. Naturally, as we got into each other we wanted to have a physical date. The first one was a wow. This led to another and we got intimate. After this intimate date, the scale fell off my eyes. I vowed never to have a physical, meeting with him again but he didn’t get the message, after his persistence, I just blocked him. And I moved o,” Shade said.