Tolu wrote this about 3 years ago on his facebook page but I only read it for the first time today. I asked him if I could post it here because this is one thing that has been on mind for a very long time especially coming from a family where I know my parents were not happy as a couple. I look at couples, I watch them; the way the talk to each other, how they laugh, how they relate, what they say about the other and how happy they seem to be. It also makes for very enlightening and interesting discussions with my sisters and my friend, Edidiong. We need to not practice marriage as men would do but as God intended. I pray that whatever voids have been created and whatever hurt and pain have been inflicted in marriages will be healed and that Love will come through again and anew. Amen.
Recently, I drove back home from church; I had gone for a drama rehearsal, but before I got home, a couple that recently moved into my neighbourhood drove by me. The husband was behind the wheels. He honked at me, but I decided to do a little bow, I often consider greeting people with a honk somewhat rude, but that was not the only thing going through my mind. They looked happy, the man must have said something funny to his wife because she was laughing so heartily, she must be a very generous woman to have been able to spare some seconds of her happy moments to wave back at me.
They looked happy, I’ve seen only a few couples look happier, but I’m often lost in a sea of thoughts wondering if every happy-looking couple on the outside, are really happy on the inside, when all alone. I get so confused when I think of the married men I know that look happy with their wives and still keep mistresses on standby.
So many times I wonder why it seems like men just cannot keep to a woman; their woman. A lot of men believe having an extramarital affair does not suggest that they do not love their wives. They believe, they are acting naturally (you must have heard that rubbish that men are naturally polygamous). It is the reason for phrases like” Although I sleep with other women, I truly love my wife” how absurd!
If marriage is a pizza, love is not a slice of the pizza, love is the dough the pizza is made of, my point is, you don’t claim to love someone and yet do things that would hurt them, love is not only defined by the things you do or say; you might buy gifts for your woman, tell her how much you care, defend her when she is weak and so on, you might do all this and more, but love is not only defined by the things you do or say, but also by the things you don’t do or say; you don’t lie to her, sleep with other women and still say you love her. It is an insult.
I have heard people talk about ‘true love’ (which does not exist). Love is love. there are just two extremes on this emotional line, you either love someone or you don’t, there are no varying states of love, no rungs on its ladder, love is simply love, so when you fall short, you didn’t slip a notch lower on the love scale, you plunged right down to the extreme end.
I am not saying people can’t make mistakes, I am only asking why it seems impossible for people (men especially) NOT to make mistakes. That is why to the women folk, every man is a dog, which means they are guilty until proven guilty. They believe that men are made to be unfaithful, that is what they are in their core, and that they can’t live otherwise.
Few as they might be, I know there are men who can boldly stand up in a crowd, head held up high, voice loud and clear declaring that since they got married, they have never kissed a strange woman, and a lot of them would hold that record till they die.
I am usually quick to castigate men that are unfaithful to their spouses, but I often pause and ponder, wondering if I am like the guy on a tall building, thinking everyone else is small and he is big, I often wonder if when I get down from the building, I’ll realise that I am like everyone else; small.
Someone once told me you don’t say what you can’t do until you are in those shoes and you are faced with the monster called choice, but I love to believe, I will never do anything to hurt the woman I’ll love and I know it is possible because I know a few men who have done it, and who says I cannot be a part of that little army of faithful men of honour?
It is important to say that women too have a great role to play in the crime of men’s infidelity, it’s not like unfaithful men cheat with other men, they cheat with women. It takes two to tango they say.
Let’s visualise a world, where no woman agrees to be a second wife to any man, a world where no woman exchanges intimacy for material gains, a world where every woman finds it offensively insulting for a married man to ask her out, imagine…
My little theory sounds a little farfetched, like the plot of a fantasy movie but I might have been able to illustrate that we might not easily find the ends in these knots until women begin to treat themselves with more dignity and self-respect. Until every woman begins to respect the marriage institution, deciding not to indulge in any act that would jeopardize the marriage of the other woman out of greed, selfishness and materialism, we might as well continue to go around in vicious circles.
The simple truth is this; if these horny men do not find ready accomplices in other women they will sure be forced to go back home and tackle whatever problem made them ‘look out’ in the first instance.
I found this truth in the scriptures, and it is something every man should read:
“The same goes for you husbands: Be good husbands to your wives. Honour them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God’s grace, you’re equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don’t run aground.”
(1 Peter 3:7- Message Translation)
You don’t honour your woman when you sleep around, you are not a good husband when you cheat on her and cause her pain. No wonder a lot of men live frustrated lives. If you didn’t know, now you know; treating your woman right is a biblical requirement for God to answer your prayers, that’s what that portion of the scriptures say in a nutshell.