Posted by By Rotimi Oyekanmi on
WHAT you are about to read is not a research finding. It was just a discussion among five mutual friends, who have no idea that what they were discussing could get into the newspaper.
WHAT you are about to read is not a research finding. It was just a discussion among five mutual friends, who have no idea that what they were discussing could get into the newspaper. But I find it compelling to share the gist for the benefit of married women and thousands of young girls out there, who are thinking of getting married. I also want to state, that I am neither for, nor against the positions of the discussants.
The five friends sat at a table, in one of the Lagos high-class restaurants, to celebrate the birthday of the youngest of them, who just turned 40. The oldest among them is 50. All of them have been married for between 10 and 25 years. They had been discussing business and politics before the discussion about marriage slipped in. The topic immediately dwarfed all others. Mr A, who started the discussion, asked Mr B about his girlfriend of four years, who happened to have just graduated from one of first generation universities. "I intend to marry that girl," was his response. "So, where will you put your wife," Mr A queried. "When we get to the bridge, we will cross it," was Mr B's answer.
Over the next 10 minutes, Mr B began to state why he wants a new wife. He complained very bitterly, that his wife of 20 years, who is a top executive in one of the new generation banks, had not been giving him enough attention. He said after their second child, barely seven years into their marriage, his wife became less romantic and uncaring. He claimed to have tolerated her for some two years during which he complained and asked questions. "What pained me the most is that, any time I complained, she turned it into an argument. She's tired every night, she doesn't care when I'm sick, when I had problems with my employers, she didn't care, so I decided to look elsewhere. I got this wonderful girl, and my life changed."
Mr C's reason for cheating on his wife is simply because of food. "My wife feels lazy to cook. When I get home late at night, she'll be sleeping. When I ask for food, she'll say she's tired, and that I should get something in the deep freezer. So, I found myself a nice young respectful girl who cooks for me in her home." Mr D, in his own case, cannot understand why a woman would not give her husband the needed attention. Like Mr B, he complained too that his wife had largely ignored his emotional needs. "There is nothing like a kiss in the morning, or at night when we are going to bed. We live in the bedroom like business partners. When I touch her, it's like touching a log of wood. It's simply crazy. So, one day, I went to a friend's party and was introduced to this nice girl. We hit it off immediately, and I've been having a swell time ever since"
Mr E's case is a little different. His grudge against his wife is that she does not show interest in whatever he is doing. He is into advertising, and his job is to find a creative way of selling a product. Very often, according to him, he would tell his wife about a new contract with some worry on how best to execute it. "We have competitors. When I tell my wife, she just nods her head. Agreed that she did not study the graphics, but she could always contribute something, however little, to the format, afterall, she has a Masters in English." Mr E said he complained several times about his wife's lack of interest in his job, because he was always helping out in her own activities. After sometime, he got tired and found himself a girl who "pays attention to everything that concerns me."
Mr A, the celebrant, also had a story. His reason for picking a girlfriend is purely sexual. He said his wife dictates when they are to make love, besides denying him sex whenever they have a misunderstanding. "Marriage can be boring sometimes. Look, we went out on Valentine's day, I had bought her a gift, and in the car, on our way home, we had this little misunderstanding. Can you believe that my wife refused to let me touch her that night? On a Valentine's day! I told her that the occasion was too important for a silly misunderstanding to spoil the fun for husband and wife, and her response was that a hungry dog does not play with another whose stomach is full. After that night, I made up my mind to break the jinx." He then met a young girl who has been "very nice" to him.
However, all of them are not thinking of divorcing their wives. But they are all prepared for battle in case their wives find them out. In fact, Mr B is determined to formally call a family meeting to make an announcement anytime his girlfriend gets pregnant. "I am not going to dump that girl. I will marry her," he told his audience. Mr E is planning to pointedly tell his wife to make up her mind on whether she wants to stay or leave, if she ever finds out about his extra marital affair. "I will tell her to decide. If she wants a divorce, she will get it. If she wants to stay, fine. I don't care."
Funny enough, they all admitted that an extra marital affair was not "so good," but that women "force men to engage in it." None of them talked about having an adventure. None of them, also, talked about having a second, third or fourth girlfriend. What this means is that, some married women take their husbands for granted in many respects. From this revelation, it is clear that when you take your husband for granted, and pay less attention to his needs, you'll turn him into a rebel of sorts.
Marriage, it is now clear, is not an end to those little things partners shared when they were courting. Women who forget those little sweet things after getting married would face this kind of situation at some point. There is no doubt that men will always find a way around marital problems. Whether this is right or wrong then becomes a personal opinion.
Oyekanmi is on the staff of The Guardian
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