She can fool around too…pay attention to your woman

Attention is a must in relationships. Lanre and Vanessa had been married for two years when he started drinking and coming home late. The marriage hadn’t produced any child and that left Vanessa alone with her many worries. She worried about why her period arrived promptly every month.

She worried about her husband’s new lifestyle. She worried every night he stayed out late if he had driven his car into an electric pole or under a stationary vehicle. She worried if he’d found solace in the bosom of another woman.

Every night, Lanre staggered home in one piece even if incoherent and reeking of alcohol. Vanessa, like any wife, would chide him, try to talk him out of his bad ways. She tried everything, from blackmail to cajoling.

Then Lanre added wife-battering to his resume. He started training for boxing in his bedroom. He beat Venessa up in the presence of the maid and relatives. Puffy-faced, Venassa was still wondering if her husband was under the influence of ‘jazz’ when Lanre moved to the grand finale he threw her out of their house one night. Right into the cold.

Friends intervened, Venessa regained her territory. But the ‘pack your things and get out of my home,’ refrain became a regular line.

Each time he beat her up, she got thrown out for added measure. The nearest person Venassa ran to was Lekan, Lanre’s friend. He begged on her behalf regularly until the day ‘monkey go market, he no come return.

According to Vanessa, ‘because Lekan was always there, we began to get close. He became a friend who offered me advice on how to avoid crossing my husband’s path and how to keep tight rein on my emotions each time AttentionLanre was angry or drunk. I talked more to him than to my husband.

Then one night Lanre and I had this huge fight and for a whole week I couldn’t show my face in public. Lanre beat me up so badly and threw me out around 10pm. It was raining too. As usual, I went to Lekan’s place. One thing led to another and an affair started. I found love, fulfillment in Lekan’s arms. He treated me like a woman. He was thoughtful and caring.

Everything I wanted in a husband, I found in Lekan. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t help myself. The affair went on for so long. And you know what, it gave me strength to call Lanre’s bluff. I moved in with a sister after a while, but I kept seeing Lekan. I got a job and tried to get a life. Then Lanre came back, begging. Everybody persuaded me to forgive him. Two weeks after I moved back into my matrimonial home, I discovered I was pregnant.

I didn’t need a seer to tell me Lekan had finally made me a woman. But the shame? I did what was sensible and ‘made’ Lanre the father. Till today, I feel guilty and live in fear that he’d one day find out. How I wish he hadn’t pushed me out, into the arms of another man, we would have avoided all this…” Does Vanessa sound like a loose, wayward, unfaithful wife? How could she even do such an abominable thing, with her husband’s friend too?

Imagine even fostering a bastard on her husband, for Christ sake? I can imagine the men’s fury. I can even understand it. The patriarchal society. The upbringing that says infidelity is all right for a man, but sin for a woman.

I know all about the double speak and hypocrisy. But I want us to consider what is reality, for a change. Too often and to their tragedy, men figure that what flows in the vein of women is not blood. They’ve convinced themselves that only men face temptation. Men think that because the society looked the other way when they put infidelity on the stock exchange, they can keep selling their shares. Did they ever hear these lyrics?

A woman needs love Just like you do Don’t kid yourself Into thinking that she don’t She can fool around… Too often, men don’t even know when they are pushing their wives out. They think it’s only women who push their husbands out. Only men have feelings.

Women don’t have any right to be hurt and must swallow whatever bitter pill thrown at them. Infidelity is a sin, but are wife-beaters saints? For the sake of good marriages, peaceful homes, shouldn’t we take second and third looks at this permissive ‘tradition’ that says only men have feelings? Imagine what will happen if or when Lanre finds out that the first fruit of his marriage is actually his friend’s.

Maybe he’d find out on the child’s wedding day. Maybe Lekan will decide to make trouble. Maybe he’ll keep quiet forever. Whatever happens, what all parties involved now are enjoying is peace of the graveyard. Avoidable pain, that’s what all this is about. I watched a movie where the man found out when the ‘bastard’ son was knocked down by a vehicle and needed transfusion. The doctor told ‘daddy’ he couldn’t donate blood for his ‘son’.

That the boy could not possibly be his. By the time he beat the truth out of his wife, it was too late. The boy died. I’m not advocating infidelity, but I’m all for fair play. If a woman decides to live the rest of her life with you, she deserves some care, tender-loving care. You don’t beat her, treat her like trash and expect her to live the rest of her life liking it. In the olden days, yes. Not now. Never again. Today’s men can’t treat their wives anyhow.

There are new rules and, breaking those rules will break too many things, hearts, homes and, on the long run, we’d have a broken society. I bet men are fuming and compiling a long list of names to call me, This is rebellious ehn? You guys just hate the truth.

You’ll prefer me to tell you that no matter what evil you do to your wife, she’d never fool around. But I’m not a fool, so I can see what you can’t see. Besides, I’m a woman, not a man. It’s better to make your wife happy.

It’s better to treat her like a wife, not a commodity. It’s best not to beat her or throw her out. It’s best not to find out that ‘Junior’ is, after all, not your son. Don’t get angry with this piece or me. Chew it. Sleep on it and see if you’ve done anything to push your wife into the arms of another man. Try, I know it’s hard to even think your kids aren’t yours, but you could have found a father for them yourself. I know this is not the end of this matter.

Kate

I am a writer, a journalist and phenomenal woman. I don't conform to societal stereotypes. I am passionate about women and the issues that plague womanhood in this part of the world. Engage and be awakened.

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