Extramarital Affairs – Part II
In my earlier article, I discussed why some married men have concubines.
I promised that I would deal with the subject of infidelity in women later.
I took time to deal with this subject due to the fact that relying on my mere observations would not adequately address the many issues around this subject. I would have been talking from the men’s perspective.
I knew from the onset that the most reliable source of information in this subject would be women themselves.
I engaged in a lengthy discussion with a married co-worker last week to explore the subject of infidelity among married women from the woman perspective. Belinda (not her real name) was very open and helpful in her contribution.
I have elected to reproduce our conversation verbatim, rather than use narrative.
Belinda, I would like to find out from you why there is so much infidelity among married women in Zambia these days. These stories are very common. Just take a look at every Sunday Mail newspaper on page two, you will read of these issues. What are your views?
You see, first of all before I answer that you must understand that women want to trust men easily before they can understand a man fully. Before long, they realize if they are in a wrong relationship.
Don’t you think that materialistic women may think they have made wrong choices of men just because they don’t share their love of material things?
For example, a woman may disappoint a medical student because it would take him more than seven years to settle down and she decides to marry a business man who owns a Hummer Jeep. In the short term, she will have acquired a respectable social status.
Eventually she discovers that they have no real love and she is in a marriage she cannot get out of. In short they assess the worthiness of men in the short term and do not see their long term potential. What do you think?
Ok. On that issue I can say that with some women who are serious, they may be faced with a situation where they have to choose between two men. As a woman you have to look at the age of these men.
You would have to say, This student, how old will he be when he is through with his education? What are his plans for the future? What is he likely to be after his education?
What are his qualities as a man? Then for the other man who is already in a job or in business, you would ask; How old is he now?
Even if he is driving this Benz, why has he not settled by now at his age? Is his wealth stable? Every woman asks these questions when making decisions.
But following my question, is it not that a woman will choose the one who will be able to give her the immediate material needs?
A serious woman, like I said earlier, will look at the potential that a man has got.
I’m not in favour of a woman going for a man who is broke and has got nothing to offer in the short term or in the future. Love is not about suffering.
Some men have complained that most Zambian women are materialistic. A guy would propose to a lady today and then the following day she would be asking for airtime or money for the hair salon even before the relationship kicks into gear. Is it a man’s responsibility really? At what stage in a relationship should a man assume responsibility for the material needs of a woman?
Whether a man likes it or not, he has got to be responsible for the material needs of his woman at whatever stage of a relationship. If a man believes that he should not be financially responsible for a woman in a relationship before marriage, then he should look for one who is ready for such a relationship.
You see, in my case my husband knew from the word go that I love money. He knows that I love money. I did not pretend that I love money. I used to tell him how much I spend on my hair even before we got married, so he knew what to expect when I have to do my hair.
When in courtship, a man should always learn to tell his woman how much money he has for an outing. That way it will help the woman to know the limits of her demands. It used to happen in our relationship before marriage.
My husband would tell me before hand how much money he had. So I knew the limits of what I could ask for each time we went out. He was also open enough to ask me to take him out if he had no money.
Men who present their artificial worth to their women are likely to have problems in their relationships before or within marriage.
Should a man spend money on a woman out of his own will or is it that the woman must coerce him?
The man must just know that he has got to take care of the woman’s financial needs. How can you know that a man loves you if he cannot even buy you lotion? Some men cannot give money unless a woman asks for it.
You have discussed a lot of issues in relationships, but your focus has been mainly on a relationship outside marriage. I would like you to focus on infidelity in women in marriage; what causes that?
There are a lot of issues that cause women to be unfaithful to their husbands. The first issue is the one I will speak about which is TRUST. Women easily trust men before marriage. Later on they discover that they married someone who is not what he seemed to be. Men change once they get what they want from a woman.
The second reason is the emotional aspect. No matter how good his education, no matter how much money he has, as long as he does not satisfy a woman in bed, she will explore elsewhere.
This is a serious issue. Cultural barriers have caused us African women not to speak even if you are not sexually satisfied by your husband. Sometimes a man can even ask you; How did you feel after the act, but you will not say I did not enjoy. You will say It was nice; meanwhile it is eating you up inside, as you did not enjoy it.
There are women who have never reached orgasm in their life time, so those issues will bring problems in the home.
You will find that there are women who would go out with younger men or their garden boys because they fail to communicate to their husbands about their lack of sexual satisfaction.
Women like attention. Your husband must be able to create time for you. He should find just a day for you. He should try to even switch off the phone just to be with you. You can even go out away from home just to have quality time.
Busy men do not see that being away from their wives most of the time, drives emotional attachment away too. Couples could actually be living together, where the woman obeys all the rules of the African wife; cooking for her husband, washing clothes, bearing children etc, while the husband is busy away and detached from her emotional needs. They would have fallen out of love without even realizing it.
What are the other issues besides sexual dissatisfaction?
Some women just love money. No matter what a husband can do to please them, they never get satisfied with money. This is the type of women who could have gone into marriage not for the love of the man they are married to, but just for the status to be called Mrs. Somebody. They could just have gone into the marriage because of the social status of their husband such as sporting fame, political fame, or professional status.
It is just about the image they would get to be associated with a man of a certain status.
This is common with women of unstable character who marry late. They would continue to flirt.
Some have married just because their time to get married was running out.
It does not matter who they marry. Marriage for such women would just be a shield for their status. They would do anything to cheat on their husbands for the money.
There are also some women who love money but cannot be emotionally involved with another man other than their husbands.
They can even be in extra-maritalextramarital relationships but only just to milk the other man. They would never even sleep with any man other than the husband. They do all these things maybe because they cannot resist the charm of the other men.
And if they can see an opportunity to make money, they go for it
Another type of women who seem to have extra-maritalextramarital affairs with other men is of those that do it just to get back at their husbands. Some women treat their husbands according to how the husbands treat them. They will be faithful only for as long as he is faithful too. Immediately they suspect that their husband is in a relationship, they too will go into one, just to even up.
Some women can pretend to be emotionally involved with other men just to draw the attention of their husbands back to them. Some women would make their extra- marital relationship look so real just to attract the attention of their husbands. They may appear to be doing all sorts of things you can imagine and yet it is just a hoax.
All in all it is good to understand the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with.
Belinda thank you so much, I see that we could go on and on to explore this subject. Most of the issues we have explored here can be a subject on their own. We may find sometime to discuss them in depth.
Ya, I’m free to talk more about these issues. I’m a psychosocial counselor.