File photo used only for illustrative purpose
Last month, social media was abuzz with a video of a young lady named Nkiru who was allegedly having an affair with her best friend’s husband in Owerri, Imo State. The video which got men and women on different social media platforms, talking and taking sides, caused, on Facebook, some kind of bad blood between single ladies and married women.
While some people were of the opinion that it was wrong to attack someone in their home, strip her naked, like the aggrieved woman did, video them and post the video online no matter what they may have done, others, especially married women, argued that the lady got what she deserved. They didn’t see anything wrong with splashing her naked photos on the Internet.
But the story took a strange twist when a lady, Dorothy Njemanze, said to run a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) stood up for the victim and encouraged her to press charges of assault against her friend, one Ngozi Akakem. When Ngozi saw that the police had been invited into the case, she went into hiding. But she was later arrested.
Subsequent development saw the woman being remanded in prison after she was arraigned before a magistrate court sitting in Owerri. Details from the video showed the woman stripping her friend naked and physically assaulting her while making a video of the incident.
It was gathered that she went to her friend’s house with thugs and humiliated her at gunpoint. The defendant was arrested after the video of the embarrassing incident went viral. Arraigned in court on 10 count charges, she, however, pleaded not guilty.
After being granted bail with the sum of N1 million, the case was adjourned till March 28, 2019. But she has been remanded in prison pending when her bail conditions will be met.
Dealing with cheating spouses
Outside the emotional outpourings and firefights on social media, Saturday Sun’s investigation shows that the issue of cheating for both spouses is real even though there seems to be differences in the way each victim has handled or is handling it. No matter on which side it rubbed them, at least, none has gone to the extent of making a video of it and showing it to the whole world. For many, there has been a ring of hush-hush about the affair and its discovery.
Many of the victims agreed to speak with Saturday Sun on the promise that their true identities will be kept secret. In this report, while their first names are correctly used, their surnames have been substituted with pseudonyms.
In July, 2018, Mrs. Beatrice Obi (not real surname), a mother of four stormed out of her matrimonial home in shorts and a tight T-shirt ready to confront the young lady who she suspects of trying to ‘steal’ her husband from her.
“I was prepared to engage in a fight with the lady,” she confessed. “I was fed up with the way she kept calling and sending my husband lewd messages even at odd hours.”
Obi revealed that sometimes, at midnight, her husband’s phone would ring and he would walk away to go talk to the person at the end of the other line. Whenever she confronted him about it, he would say, it is a useless woman disturbing his phone. She believed him because she trusted him.
But when she later discovered that the lady was gradually taking over her husband’s heart, she became angry. She felt like a fool because her husband had been lying to her all along. It was obvious that he was having an affair with this lady. “Things got worse when I found out that this lady who was dating my husband lived three streets away from us,” Obi said. “I became furious. I wanted to beat her up and warn her to stay away from my husband. That day, I was ready to fight, to put an end to everything. But my neighbours stopped me from storming the lady’s house.”
Obi who has been married for eight years added that she was heartbroken when she discovered that apart from the lady, her husband had lovers on whom he was spending some real money. She revealed that she almost lost her mind when she discovered who her husband truly was and how he had been lying to her for years.
“My husband does not have only one girlfriend, I learnt he has several girlfriends. I almost lost my mind the period I discovered about his cheating lifestyle. I would cry for days; I felt worthless. He couldn’t hold his emotions one night; he blatantly told me that he loves the woman that had been calling his phone. He confessed and said that they met some months ago and that he had been hiding it from me because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings,” she said.
On how she handled the heartbreak she felt during that period, she told Saturday Sun that she didn’t leave her husband or call her marriage quits because she doesn’t want to raise her children in a broken home. She, however, stated that she no longer trusts her husband.
Like Obi, Mrs. Jumoke Alade (surname withheld) is used to her husband’s womanizing nature since they started dating 14 years ago but she thought he would change because of the way he loved her.
“I have been married to him for 12 years; we separated for two years,” she said with a tinge of sadness in her voice. “It breaks my heart to say that I’ve not been happy in my marriage since I got married. People may say I was stupid for marrying him, knowing quite well that he can’t stay with one woman. But I thought he would change; I thought his love for me would change him.’’
On several occasions, Alade said her friends had called her on the phone to report seeing her husband with a woman, either in front of a hotel or entering a hotel. He is seen with different women all the time. “Although I am tired of my husband’s philandering ways, I can’t divorce him because I am a Christian and my religion forbids it. I decided to always pray for him with the hope that he would change one day.”
She revealed that her only hope is to pray for him because it is a battle she has to fight on her knees. She doesn’t believe in leaving her home for another woman to come and reap the fruits of her labour and she also doesn’t want her children to suffer. Alade is optimistic that one day, things will get better and her cheating husband would find Christ and stick to her for life just as he vowed on their wedding day.
According to her, “marriage is for better, for worse. I am seeing the worse now but I believe my prayers will be answered one day and my husband will leave side chicks alone and come back to me.”
But unlike Alade who is willing to pray her cheating husband back home, Mr. Martins Onyinyechi sent his cheating wife packing two years ago for hooking up with her boss. Onyinyechi said that his wife started misbehaving when she was having sex with her boss. She would leave the house any time she liked, come back home at night and won’t bother about what he would eat or how his day went.
“I started suspecting her crooked movement months before but kept quiet because I wanted to have proof. I wanted to be sure that the woman I married five years earlier would lie to me like that.”
One day, Onyinyechi had access to his wife’s phone, which was pass worded and discovered messages from her lover which happens to be her boss. That day, he almost died. It was as if the world had ended.
“When I saw those messages, my heart started beating faster than normal and it was as if my head was going to explode,” he said. “I couldn’t stand my wife anymore. I sent her back to her people after telling them the abominable thing she did. My two children are with me today.”
In the case of Mr. Gbenga Alooma, he never caught his wife red-handed cheating on him until his neighbours started telling him of his wife’s philandering ways. He trusted her completely until he got a text message telling him to go to a hotel close to his wife’s shop. The sender insisted that his wife has been cheating on him with a man who drops her off in her shop sometimes.
Alooma said that even though he didn’t believe what the person said about his wife of three years, he decided to shame whoever it was that sent him that message by proving them wrong.
“I got to the hotel and saw my wife coming down the stairs holding a strange man’s hand,” he said. “They were talking and giggling like teenagers in love. I stood there transfixed until they left. I ran after them after I recovered from the shock and caught up with them in her lover’s car. She was shocked to see me. She started crying and begging me to let her explain what happened. We went home and she confessed everything to me,” Alooma said.
Although he was hurt and betrayed by his wife’s actions, he decided to give her a second chance. Alooma believes that without forgiveness, no marriage will work. He didn’t tell his family or hers what happened but they worked through that period together. Thirty six-year-old Nkechi Asare who said she has been married to the love of her life, a Ghanaian for nine years said she doesn’t like ladies who date married men. She revealed that once when her husband cheated on her with one of his salesgirls, she beat her up and threatened to kill her if she ever came close to her man again.
She vowed that she would be the last person to befriend her husband’s mistresses like some Nigerian women do. “My husband’s mistress is my enemy. Even if I leave my husband and my marriage, if I meet his lover anywhere and I have access to poison, I will not bat an eyelid before poisoning her,” she told Saturday Sun. According to Asare, any woman who has the guts to date any woman’s husband can kill his wife if she gets the chance. Such ladies are capable of anything so they shouldn’t be spared, she advised.
Why some people cheat on their partners
A clinical psychologist, Patricia Chiegboka said in some cases, lack of sexual satisfaction may cause one’s partner to cheat. Both women and men who enter into affairs hoped to improve their sex lives, he noted. They may enjoy many other mutual activities but, for whatever reason, the desire to enjoy additional sexual encounters may make spouses to cheat on their partners, she insists.
Another thing she said could lead to extramarital affairs is lack of emotional satisfaction in marital relationships. Seeking emotional intimacy can be nearly as compelling a reason to have an affair as can seeking physical intimacy, she warned.
Falling out of love with one’s spouse may also be another reason people cheat on the ones they promised to remain faithful till death do them part. “Some cheating men may no longer like the way their wives look, after having children. Because of that, they may decide to go after much younger and beautiful women outside their marriage.”
Some married people had fallen head over heels for the person with whom they had the affair, she noted. This is because emotional intimacy plus sexual closeness seems to be more important factors that lead some spouses astray.
Chiegboka also said that in a relationship that is already suffering, the desire to hurt a partner who is cheating might raise the stakes significantly from mere lack of intimacy. Women who cheat on their partners sometimes do it out of revenge, she said.
People who are curious and want new experiences have the tendency to cheat on their partners too, she added. “Such people want something new and this motivation moves them beyond curiosity into some type of contest to measure their sexual prowess,” she said.
Extramarital affairs, she warned, clearly represent a complex mix of desire, anguish, and need for connection. “Rarely are they apparently entered into without conflict or even distress. They may mark the end of a marital relationship except the people involved are willing to work through it together.”
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