Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja The Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council has thrown its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to consult widely before Nigeria signs the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. President Buhari had, in March, cancelled a trip to Kigali, Rwanda, where an extra-ordinary summit of African Union was scheduled to sign the agreement….
This week I want to deal with a very important issue by posing this question: why is it difficult for men to forgive a cheating wife while women forgive easily?
Nancy knew what she did was wrong; she knew she had betrayed her husband and wished she could turn back the hands of time.
Nancy wished she could reverse the chain of events that drove her into the arms of another man. She had always been faithful to her husband of 15 years but everything happened in quick succession, when she met Bob online. She hated herself and wished she could take what happened back. But it wasn’t entirely her fault; she was bored. Her life was the same old cycle for 15 years. She had three children and a husband who was more like a roommate; there was no spark in the relationship and the romance died right after the children started coming.
Nancy met Bob online, and he made her feel like a teenager again. They started meeting for lunch and then the intensity of the feeling between them took them by surprise. Before Nancy knew it the relationship had become sexual.
Nancy finally confessed to her husband amid tears and regrets. But she was shocked at the explosion of his anger. He screamed, threw things around the house and wept like a child. He pushed Nancy out and told her he didn’t want to see her again for the rest of his life. Nancy’s husband couldn’t forgive her despite the fact that she had forgiven him twice when she caught him cheating.
The majority of Nigerian men will never forgive their wives if they caught them cheating because cheating over the years has been seen as a masculine trait. It doesn’t even matter if she made the confession herself or if she was remorseful. In as much as she cheated then she should be banished and thrown into hell. Our people hold the opinion that a woman, who cheated on her husband should be humiliated by everyone. It is an unwritten code and that’s why everyone is quick to judge a cheating woman.
Honestly, I don’t care how a man reacts to his cheating wife; a man who has to deal with a cheating wife has his emotions surging at that instance. So whatever, decisions he makes at that point I will respect it, in as much as he is not inflicting bodily harm or murdering anyone.
Whether you are a man or woman, in as much as you made a vow to be faithful to your spouse, you have no excuses whatsoever to cheat on your spouse.
If you are having problems in your marriage why don’t you seek counseling? And if counselling isn’t working you can walk out honourably.
However, what if the table turns and it was the man who was caught cheating? What should Nancy do? Should she push him out? Of course, she won’t. She would cry for days and probably not speak to him for weeks. Then he would plead with her, send her friends to plead on his behalf and if she still refused he would call in family members to come and beg on his behalf. And if all that failed, he would go bring her pastor who would tell Nancy how she was expected to forgive 70 x 7 times as a Christian. To cut the long story short, Nancy would take her husband back, even if the mistress was pregnant with a set of twins, she would have no choice but to take him back because there are very few husbands in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, that’s the sorry tale of Nigerian wives. We have been raised to allow ourselves be disrespected. We have been raised to tolerate nonsense. We have been raised to be parasitic and dependent on our men. We are like strangers in our own lives. The society and traditions dictate everything for us. That’s why many women are left with little or no self-esteem. Sad.
However, as for me, when a man and a woman cheat there should be no difference. They both betrayed their matrimonial vows. No one is better than the other. They are both cheap thieves. No one is superior to the other. Both of them acted in a selfish way, so they should be treated accordingly. If a cheating wife is shamed then a cheating husband should be shamed too.
Moreover, if a woman can forgive her straying husband countless times, a man should also be able to do the same. I don’t understand why that is so difficult for men. When you cheat on your wife she feels crushed and betrayed too. She is human, flesh and blood. A wife is not equipped with superpower.
Many times I have heard people say that for a woman an affair is an offence against her dignity but for men it is an offence against his manhood. But let me make this clear: all that is arrant nonsense. They both feel the same way. Unfaithfulness impacts negatively on a woman’s feelings of femininity and self-worth. A cheating spouse offends her womanhood. Having an affair isn’t just that you had sex! Stop telling your wives that it was only sex that you feel nothing for your mistress. It is much deeper than that for many women. These women only mask forgiveness. When you pull off that mask, you will realize that their egos have been bruised. They feel inadequate as a wife and as a woman. Their sense of trust has been broken. Their spouses feel like a total stranger who had lied to them for many years. They are afraid because they don’t even know what to believe again. Mr. Philanderer, I bet you don’t want to know what lies in the heart of your forgiving wife. Gosh! It stinks.
Moreover, stop telling your wife you made a mistake by sleeping with another woman. Please did you trip on a stone and your penis fell inside your mistress’s vagina? That’s an unintelligent thing to say. After all, cheating is a premeditated act and can’t be qualified as a mistake. Oh! Please spare me the tale of how she seduced you! Even if she did, you had an option of walking away. You had the option of yelling at her and picking up your dignity but you chose five minutes pleasure over that. Don’t tell me I won’t understand because I am a woman. Go and feed that to teenagers, I have male friends who walked out of near rape experiences from women who fancied them.
Of course, I know you are going to bring the juju angle to it. Oh! Please don’t even go there! Did she force the juju into your mouth? What signals did you give her before she felt you would be a good catch? Like my people would say, “What you won’t eat shouldn’t be taken to your nostrils” So that excuse is lame, if she gave you love portion you made her do it.
Affairs are common because our society promotes them, because if a man strays and is caught he can run back to the arms of his wife and she would gladly receive him back like the prodigal son.
But does that mean that women are better at letting things go? Well no, because women hold unto negative and positive emotional experiences longer than men. However, because they are afraid of what the society will say they let their men go off without allowing them to face the consequences. However, times are changing, and the modern woman has her own way of scolding her cheating husband. I won’t share that here and this isn’t about cheating back on him or walking away from the marriage. It’s much deeper than that.
But let me say this before I round up: if as a woman you found out your husband was cheating on you, the first step to take is to go for a medical test and don’t waste your strength hunting down his side chic. That’s not your business; your health should be your ultimate business. After you are done with that, sex with your spouse should be on your terms. It is either he uses a condom or he runs a test every time (at the hospital of your choice) before you both have sex. If he can’t keep the vows; sex with you has to be on your terms!