While liberalism perceives one-to-one matrimony as the espousal of two persons regardless of their individual gender or sexual orientation, pan-African ethos identifies monogamous marriage as the union of a man with a woman. In Nigeria for instance, it is believed that a man who subscribes to monogamy is willing to live with one woman for as long as she remains alive or restraints herself from certain abominable practices that could lead to connubial separation. Because divorce was never an original element of Nigerian marriage tradition, it was not considered when settling marital disputes. Then, the husband was the major determinant and once he had established a proven contention against his wife, the option of separation (not divorce) could arise. He could choose to return her to her father’s house or simply evict her from his house. So, until the doors of civilisation and liberalism introduced divorce as an option under legal provisions, partners only hoped to survive or endure marriage unto death, if it ever became unpleasant.
But things have evolved more recently. Infidelity is fast becoming a managed feature of marital relationships. Often times, monogamists exceed the boundaries of their conjugal oaths and create intimacy with persons other than their spouses. They cheat on each other and even argue disloyalty issues in the presence of aspiring couples. When this happens, the nubile and unmarried are moved to wonder what marriage is practically about. Many single ladies wonder why many married men crave to have sexual affairs with women other than the one(s) they married. Correspondingly, several wives complain that their monogamist husbands have either cheated or always cheat on them. So, why do such men cheat? Why do they find it difficult to keep their sacred vows? Why can’t they keep their zips up outside matrimony? On the other side, some wives have been found guilty too. A considerable number of married women are not uninvolved in the game of nuptial infidelity. Interestingly, some women been discovered to cheat on their husbands even after birthing a few kids. Those who do not engage in extramarital affairs have also been accused of sustaining emotional intimacy with men other than their husbands. To sum it up, infidelity is a two-sided coin resting on neither side.
Since the use of statistics may paint one side guiltier than the other and establishing guilt guarantees no solution, it will not apply here. Rather, the identification of root causes which in itself creates a measure of progress towards attacking the source of problems will matter. The common complaints of cheating husbands (in no particular order) about their wives have always been:
- she is too greedy and inconsiderate
- she is always nagging at me
- she is seeing someone else too
- she is not sexually creative
- she is no longer the sweet-sixteen I married
- she is too disrespectful and disobedient
- she does not communicate her feelings
- she is does not listen to correction
Truly, one man’s complaints are another man’s blessings and no husband who complains about his wife is ever perfect. All things, whether good, better or best, can make use of more improvement. However, marriage should really be about trying to keep the vows made on your wedding day to the very best of your God-given ability.
Dear singles, those are great lessons for you. Marriage, as many do not consider, is something beyond reading vows, kissing the bride and throwing a bunch of flowers. In marriage, variety is not the spice of life and if you do want to find yourself struggling to unlearn a habit in marriage, don’t even imbibe it while single. If there is a habit that you think your future partner would dislike, stop it now. Or else, it will create many troubles for you many years later.
Guys in pre-marital relationship, there are a few things you should know:
Know your best and be sure of your worst and know the same for her too. Don’t pretend to be a superman nor expect her to be a spiderwoman. If someone somewhere is trying to make you cheat, tell your partner about it. Trust your lady but don’t exceed her limits in your expectations. All the make-up, weave-on, toned skin, pretty face and shaped lashes you see now won’t be there always. When you get married, you‘d be living together and relating more like intimate housemates. So, learn to always compliment her pleasant habits. After child-birth, women tend to change. When that happens in future, try to share in the responsibility of revamping her outlook. Or else, there’ll be days when you’d wake up on the bed and feel like asking yourself, “What is this? Why the heck did I marry this witch?” Again, the figure-eight you see today will not be there forever neither will the towers you see up there today stay put with age and time. Gentlemen, you will have to work with her patiently, communicate your needs clearly and be amazingly committed. Best of luck!
To be continued….
Watch this space for Our Valentine Gift to Singles 2: Fighting Infidelity