DATING outside marriage…

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In the generation before ours, and in the generation before the generation before ours, there were people – men and women – who questioned if marital fidelity truly existed. And now, in this generation, here I am, among many others, questioning the same issue, wondering if it is just an ideology instead of an actual day of life.

There have been many cases of married men who have come to speak the words to me that in their heads, no woman can say no to: I want to marry you. There have been men who have tried to pretend to be unmarried, men who have said they are unmarried but quickly explained why their wives have made it an unbearable marriage, and why I, have been sent by God to save them, and there have been men who have sat on the fence, not saying what they are or aren’t, but playing with the idea of being whatever they thought I wanted them to be. But every single time, I am left wondering what kind of women they are married to and what said women are going through.

I remember specifically the case of that guy at Oriential, i went for a “fund raising event”. He had just moved to the Island from another State, and it was his first time at a fund raising event. He approached me and tried to sell his business to me, saying he could help my own business. At the end, business cards were exchanged. Apparently, he was a friend of a colleague. That evening he called and sang a different song. He wanted to know if he could take me to dinner, and if I could be his mistress. Brownie points for not being pretentious.

I learned a lot from him in that one conversation. I learned that he was married with kids, that his wife was pompous and thereby, the inherent cause of his displeasure and dissatisfaction, that monogamy was unnatural, that biblical men were never monogamous (like David), that infidelity actually makes a marriage stronger because when a man sleeps with another woman, it makes his wife more desirable, that he was going to give me money out of his school stipend whenever I needed it, that all I needed to do for him was keep him company by cooking for him, going on dates with him, and of course, letting him invade my privacy with the only appendage that makes him think he’s a man, and finally, that he will let me get married when it’s time. It was just the offer of my dreams. I cannot imagine why I turned it down.

But it was only a couple weeks later that he stood on the altar and sold his product to the crowd, praising the Most High God, and saying how imperative it was to live a holy life and obey His word. And the congregation, they clapped for him and shouted wowza, amen, and glory. And when he was done, they invested their hard earned money into his cock shit which was meant to inspire and raise more funds for the widowed and orphans. They called it a sowed seed. I knew better. I sat and watched in horror as he led God’s people astray. And then, I prayed for God to help me, for it was not my place to determine if the ground should open up and swallow him or if lightening should strike through the ceiling and transport his soul to his forefathers.

There are many arguments from the other side, arguments that pass off as excuses, not justifications. Just because we can do something does not mean we should do it. But the other side, they have different reasons why a married man cheats. It is because his wife has gotten fat, because she cares more about her career than she does about her home, because she did not give him children, because she did not give him male children, because she is disrespectful and not submissive, because she does not cook, and because there are women who are willing to be cheated with.

As long as there are women who are willing to be cheated with, married men will always cheat. Should we then all point guns to our heads because there are guns willing to be shot, because we have the hands to shoot them, and because we have enough problems to want to end it all? When a man who is unable to handle the trials of life decides to take his own life, he is called a punk for taking the easy way out. But if this same man were to take the easy way out by cheating on his wife instead of just walking away, he is called *DRUM ROLL, PLEASE* … a man! Oh, but of course.

It was only few months after pastor perfect marriage, that I made the acquaintance of Adebayo Omoju Akanni at a mutual friend’s house. He calls himself Omoju. He was there with his wife and daughter. The conversation between me and Omoju did not go past gadgets. Specifically, Blackberry and samsung tabs. I saw him again a couple of weeks later at a naming ceremony where again, he inquired of my tab. When he added me on Facebook, I accepted because he was now officially someone I technically knew.

But Omoju sent me a Facebook message that changed the dynamic of things. He said he had dreamt about me twice the night before, that he thought there was something about me, that he did not know how to tell his partner, that he wanted me to keep his feelings between us –“no third party please” – and what did I think. I did not reply.

When followers on twitter added me on bbm during the chat with me on a saturday morning, I accepted everyone as usual, only to realize that Omoju was one of the people who added me. The hawk had sneaked in with the chickens. He wanted to know my number, if I had received his messages on Facebook, why I had not replied his messages, and if I was worried about his marital status. I promised to reply his message on Facebook.

Days later, I had still not replied Omoju, and he took it upon himself to send several more messages, inquiring of my whereabouts and stating that he was sure I could not possibly be that busy. Of course not. What else could I have on my to-do list, but to reply Omoju’s messages?

Women have more reasons than I know of for dating married men: money, sex, love, infatuation, good looks, prestige, fun, lack of commitment, ignorance, etc. It is said that if one must eat a frog, then one should eat a very fat one. Neither wealth nor fame nor extreme good looks nor intellectual acquisition did Omoju have. Even at rock bottom, I would have no excuse. But what is it that compels his confidence?

When I replied his message and included a four-letter word that rhymes with his insatiable meatless appendage – the possible cause of all his problems – I also predicted his next move. And just like the fly that entered the grave with the dead body, he did as I said he would. He said it was not him, that he did not know what I was talking about, that his Facebook and Skype accounts were both simultaneously hacked, and that I should please explain to him what was going on. In spite of his alleged innocence, he went ahead to call several mutual friends, telling them to plead his guilty case. The smart ones knew better.

Whether or not women have – by their words and by their actions – enabled their husbands to start illicit affairs is not a subject for debate. The honest ones among us know what we have done and what we are capable of doing. That said, the decision to stay faithful and stick it out or seek pleasure elsewhere is still the man’s decision. It is still a choice, and just like every other choice, the one making it has to own full responsibility for it. And not every man has an enabling wife. Some men just want to eat out of both hands.

Omoju’s wife contacted me to commit the ultimate blunder, an epic fail in its entirety. Her husband, according to her, would never stoop so low. I agree with her. It is impossible to stoop to any kind of low when you are already at the bottom. There is only one time that a married woman should contact the alleged other woman, and that is when her husband has done everything in his power to get rid of her. In any other case, contacting the other woman is like changing her light bulb when there is no electricity. Whether she uses sixty watts, hundred watts, or halogen lights, they will remain off. She can contact the other woman from now till kingdom come, but he who contacts her last, contacts her best. And that would be the cheating husband. Even after this unexplanable act, Omoju still calls me princess and tells ma how unappealing and disrespectful is beautiful glowing wife is.

If this entire piece reads as if I mostly hold the married man accountable for his affairs, it is because I do. Morally, it is clear that no woman should be romantically or sexually involved with a married man who is not her husband. But between the lawless woman and the married man, only one of them has made a vow and commitment to another woman saying that he will forsake all others and cling only to his wife, saying that he will stick by her, come what may, till life evades him. Records will reflect that that person is not the lawless woman.

People may be quick to blame the other woman, calling her a whore and a home breaker, but it is from the crack in the wall that the lizard crawls in. If the married man did not open the door of his home, the other woman would not be able to step in and do whatever she is accused of doing.

And if you are the whore, hoe, magstress he is cheating with, he will dump you and if he doesnt, remember, the stroke used for the first son is in keep for the last. But what do I know? I am just an unmarried girl giving marital advice. I may soon be directed to go hug a transformer. If it is Optimus Prime, then I would not mind.

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Friend with Benefits

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I find the notion of “friends with benefits” (FWB) or people who aren’t dating or otherwise committed to each other but hook-up regularly quite fascinating. In university, I had many friends who were involved in such arrangements, but rarely were they actually friends with their FWB. In almost every instance that I recall a FWB relationship was never the goal, but always the last resort for the girl. If a girl really liked a guy who wasn’t interested in a relationship, the girl would often continue to hook-up with him while implementing a subtle and devious plan designed to change his mind. This plan was generally as follows:

Stage 1: Girl engages in “no strings-attached” sex with the boy in order to prove how cool, chill, and awesome in bed she is.

Stage 2: Girl increases amount of daily texts and online communication with the boy.

Stage 3: Girl begins sneakily trying to spend the night at boy’s place. Excuses may include “I’m so exhausted, you totally wore me out…do you mind if I just spend the night here?” or “My roommate is having her crazy loud friends over again- last time they didn’t leave until 4 am and I really need a good night’s sleep…can I just crash here?” Cue the incessant spooning.

Stage 4: Now that girl has established a somewhat regular nightly presence at the boy’s place it’s time to make that presence known. If the boy has room mates the girl will be mingling with them while they awkwardly try to make their morning coffee. At this stage the girl will also become territorial over the boy’s bedroom. She will try to leave subtle reminders of her presence to ward off any other potential women that the boy may be involved with.
I have had so many guys ask me why girls are so forgetful: “Don’t they realize that they’re missing like five pairs of underwear, a t-shirt, their toothbrush, a comb, and a bunch of lotion-type-girly stuff I have no idea about?” Oh yes, they realize. They know exactly what they’re doing. They want any other girl that you bring home to know that you’re already more seriously involved with someone else. A guy could go weeks without noticing the earrings that were strategically forgotten on the night stand or the issue of Cosmopolitan that has miraculously appeared in the bathroom along with a pile of potpourri, but trust me, these things will not go unnoticed by other women.

Stage 5: Since the domicile has been effectively canvassed, it’s time to take this show on the road and start being “accidentally spotted” together with the boy in public. Cue the emergency ride to class, the “I’m starving, want to grab breakfast…at the most jam-packed place in town where ALL of our friends hang out?” And my personal favorite…the fake-a-date emergency. This is a classic and is not novice move. In this scenario there is some semi-formal event like a dance, a company function, a wedding- something that you would typically require a date. The novice will ask her boy to accompany her “just for fun- not as a couple or anything.” The boy will see right through this and will immediately decline by giving her the first excuse that pops into his head. The expert will create an entire back-story, and will often start laying the groundwork weeks before hand. For instance, a couple of weeks before said event she may mention that she has invited someone to attend with her. If no signs of jealousy from the boy ensue, a few days later she may mention how her invitee is starting to get clingy- she may even be starting to get concerned that he’ll want a relationship. If her boy toy still makes no attempt to intervene there will inevitably be a dramatic event that leads to her breaking the date. Maybe the invitee did something completely inappropriate (points for acting like you have self-respect) or perhaps he was just way too into her (points for being irresistible AND for being too cool to commit). Now she’s without a date to the event, all because she is just a cool, chill, fun girl who likes to have casual sex! No fair…”Maybe we should just go together,” she’ll say to her FWB. “That way we won’t be expecting anything from one another and we’ll just get drunk and party…I mean we’re both going anyway, why not just carpool and save money on gas and parking?” Seems reasonable, thinks the boy. He might be sweating a bit but reluctantly agrees because you can’t argue with logic (#1 boy rule- just FYI ladies). Here’s where it gets messy. The girl spends an unreasonable amount of money and time getting all dolled up to blow his mind and stealthily instructs ALL of her friends to take tons of photos (both candid and posed) of her and her FWB to later post, tag, like, and comment on later on Facebook. They get to the event and it’s like they’ve been hunted down by the paparazzi. But it only gets better, because that’s when alcohol gets involved. The boy drinks because he is started to realize what a terrible mistake he’s made and the girl drinks so that she’ll have an excuse for all of the shenanigans she is about to pull. First comes that “hahaha omg I’m so drunk, I’m going to hold on to you so I don’t fall” then comes the “let’s dance! It will be so fun! Oh how embarrassing…I didn’t know it was going to be a slow song…” and the inevitable “Let’s take a picture…OH WHOOPS I kissed your cheek…total accident, my bad” (as she uploads it as her new Facebook profile picture).

Stage 6: Boy realizes he has made a terrible mistake and decides that it’s time to reevaluate the relationship with his FWB. Maybe the boy will just stop talking to her completely, or maybe he will continue to see her but will flaunt his escapades with other women in front of her to make sure that she knows that they are in no way monogamous. Either way, the girl usually ends up crying on the phone to me about it. “I don’t know why he is acting this way! It was more than just sex…I know he cared about me…I think it just got too real for him.”

The message here ladies is that a FWB arrangement is not an effective solution for getting a boy to commit to you. However, it does raise an intriguing question: If a girl was to enter into a FWB arrangement purely for the purpose of getting some action, with no hopes at all of having a traditional relationship evolve, could it work? I have read articles that claim that women experience a biological reaction post-sex that causes them to have feelings of attachment that mimic those of love for their partner. If this is true, and women really are simply victims to the girly chemicals in their brains, then it seems that a FWB arrangement could never be a solution for sexual satisfaction without those pesky emotional attachments. I am hesitant however, to accept this seemingly sexist and weakly supported science. Being attracted to someone is not the same as having feelings for them, and having sex is not the same as being in love. What do you think? Can friends with benefits arrangements actually be beneficial for girls?

Credits: K