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Marital Infidelity Why do married women cheat?

Written by By Chioma Gabriel

This week we serve you the concluding part of our last week cover on marital infidelity

More questions than answers

When the Durex report was published, the question on the lips of many was why on earth would Nigerian women be the most promiscuous? The authenticity of the report has been queried and the question is, why should a sample of 29,000 people be used to make hasty generalisation for whopping populations of 36 countries when Nigeria alone has population of 160 million with half of them being women? Why would Nigerian women emerge the most sexually promiscuous?

If Nigerian women are as promiscuous as claimed , what did the report say about countries where artificial penis, synthetic vaginal, clitoral stimulator and all other paraphernalia and tools of sexual perversion are produced?

Nigerian women are not familiar with the practice of Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism (BDMS) that has taken firm root in Europe? The kind of lifestyle where men and women enter into self-imposed slavery by surreptitiously maintaining relationships in which they voluntarily yield up their bodies and freewill for the domination and mastery by other men and women or conversely where men and women exercise sexual domination on other men and women who voluntarily yield up their “bodies, souls and spirits” to them, as it were is not in the character of the Nigerian woman.

Nigeria women emerging as most promiscuous in the world is not real and should a condom manufacturer tell us about virtues of Nigerian women?

Everything a man does is right

Johnson Okafor, a traditional chief in Igbo land said that a man’s sexual escapades cannot be queried. “Extramarital sex by men is socially tolerated and, in many respects, even socially rewarded. In Nigeria, marriage is as much an economic, social, reproductive, and reputational project as it is a sexual and emotional endeavour.”

Many women observed a dramatic change in their relationships with their spouses after marriage. Before marriage, husbands were more attentive and more willing to do the sorts o f things that they associated with romantic love, for example, saying affectionate things, buying gifts like jewelry or perfume rather than just commodities for the household, or helping out with domestic work that is socially defined as female.

These changes are attributed to the relative shift in power that occurs at marriage. During courtship, a woman has two authoritative vetoes: she can deny sexual access and she can refuse to marry. But once a woman is married, the ability to opt out of either marriage or marital sex is dramatically reduced. Divorce is highly stigmatized, and women are expected to be sexually available for their husbands.

Vivian, a mother of four, lamented that marriage and parenthood encroached on the quality of her emotional relationship with her husband. “When I married my husband, I used to worry all the time about him. Was he happy? Did he still love me? Was he following another woman?

Sometimes I would get very jealous, even when there was no reason. But now I am married to my children.”

Vivian could not say categorically that her husband cheated on her but he said he did and suspects his wife knew. But like a lot of men in extra marital relationships, Vivian’s husband viewed his family as his highest priority and so, he was discreet about his infidelity. “Nothing can interfere with taking care of my wife and children.”

Cynthia, mother of five and married for 12 years recalled her rage when she discovered that her husband, Eddie had a girlfriend. “ When it dawned on me that my husband had another lady he was interested in. I confronted him and told him I would not tolerate that sort of business. I stopped everything. We had no sexual relations at all for sometime and I did not even serve him food.

He became sober. He sent friends to beg me. He even recruited my sister to plead for him. Eventually I forgave him, but I put him on notice that I would not stand such nonsense.” Cynthia was hurt when her husband cheated on her. She saw his infidelity as contradicting his avowed love. But reconciliation strengthened their love relationship.

Promiscuity is a taboo for women

Marital promiscuity is a taboo in Nigeria. In many cultures, a newly married woman is made to sit on a traditional stool in a shrine to guarantee total fidelity. If such a woman cheats on her husband, it’s either she dies or runs mad. Among the Edo kingdom in the Mid-Western region of Nigeria, a Bini (Edo) man has liberty on issues of polygamy but such liberty does not allow him to have sex with another man’s wife.

In the Benin society, the matrimonial bed belongs to the wife and not necessarily the husband. Consequently, extra marital affairs were not counted against the male as it still is in most contemporary African societies.

In Yoruba tradition, magun which means , don’t climb” is an anti-promiscuity or anti-infidelity charm, usually laced stealthily on a woman by the husband, with the belief that should she have an extra-marital intercourse, the man she has it with will immediately after the act, suffer convulsions or epileptic-like seizures leading to instant death. In current times, there have been reports of of deaths by magun in the Yoruba community of South-West Nigeria. The existence of magun reveals indeed that there have been sexual promiscuity amongst married women.

Why do married women cheat?

This is one big question with several answers from our respondents. “Some women have insatiable appetite for sex ,” said Chidi, a businessman. “ If you recall, sometime last year, a lady posted her profile on facebook asking for both male and female sex mates. The lady said she loves sex so much that she loves to do it with both men and women. She went an extra mile of putting up a message on Facebook to announce her status.

If a woman is bold enough to come out to the open with her weird sexual life, you can imagine several others who operate in secret because of social stigma? But left to me, there are many decent ladies. I have four sisters and two are married. I know also that their husbands came back to thank my mother because they found their wives to be virgins at marriage. So, if Nigerian women are said to be the most promiscuous in the entire world, I will doubt it.”

Pedro Johnson, an accountant believes Nigerian women are promiscuous

“Yes, Nigerian women are as promiscuous as the men. They can keep several boyfriends on the go without their men knowing about it and from what I am hearing these days, many are doing it whilst in marriage. In my community in my village, we have treated many cases of marital infidelity and each time, the women either blamed it on the devil or financial problems. But to say they are the most promiscuous in the whole is a different thing. I don’t believe that either because we value decency here.”

Florence Chinonye said married women cheat and she saw one with her eyes,“I don’t understand it, I was shocked the day I caught my neighbour’s wife cheating with a stranger inside his car around the neighbourhood where I live. I was coming back late from work but stopped by the dry-cleaner to pick my clothes. There was a car parked close-by and two people were inside. Initially, I didn’t pay attention because it was not my business who was inside the car parked by the roadside.

But my driver’s attitude drew my attention and I realised it was my neighbour’s wife smooching with another man. I saw her and she saw me but we said nothing to ourselves. “ What I don’t understand is why she was doing it. She is a mother of three and her husband owns two cars and has a good job. The lady has just finished from the University and is waiting for national youths service. In her case, I suspect high libido because she has a young and virile-looking husband who is comfortable and has a good job.

For Christ sake, her husband even bought her a car. As I’m telling you this, we have never discussed this. But what I discovered is that the woman started greeting me since that time. Before then, we hardly talked.” “Ebenezer Matthew, a boutique owner shared the view that married women are promiscuous. “What I cannot say is whether they are the most promiscuous as reported by Durex. But married women in Nigeria cheat. I have a boutique and sell female clothes. I know what I see.

Some married women bring their boyfriends to the boutique to buy them clothes their husbands could not afford. There is this lady that patronises me. She always comes to my shop every week dressed in Iro and buba. But she would either buy new clothes from me and change into them before going to her destination and on her way back, she comes back to change back into her Iro and buba.

She is one of my biggest customers and usually before embarking on her kurukere movement, she would come here and change into jeans trouser and body-hug top before embarking on her mission. She would remove her Iro and buba and keep them somewhere and put on tight jeans trouser and body-hug top. I always marvel at the transformation of a local woman that enters my shop and a city babe that leaves after she transforms herself.

I know she is cheating on her husband but I think she is from a polygamous marriage. Sometimes, she dresses like a muslim woman when she comes and after she changes, I can attest that even her husband cannot recognise her on the road if she walks across him in her new attire. She does this all the time. She must have children because the last time she came, she was pregnant and I doubt that child belongs to her husband. That woman too waka!”

For Tiola, the problem tore her marriage apart. She was married and has three kids but according to her, none of her kids belongs to her husband. “The doctor told me my husband is incapable of impregnating a woman and after five years, I decided to look elsewhere without telling him.

I already had the first two children and was pregnant with the third before my husband found out. I guess they told him but the wicked part of it is that my husband kept the knowledge to himself.

After I put to bed the last child, he sent me out of the home and kept all the children. As I’m telling you this, I have not been able to tell my parents and siblings that my husband was not the father of my three kids and that was why he sent me packing.”

Women protest husbands’ sexual weakness

Recently, the media was agog with a story of a group of women from the Rido community in Kaduna State who took to the streets on Wednesday, February 19, 2015 to publicly complain about their husband’s sexual weakness, asking that they start performing their matrimonial duties or face mass divorce. The women, who were assembled in the state capital, blamed the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) for their husbands’ inability to perform as a result of the chemical waste and fumes from the company into their environment.

Some of the married women revealed that their husbands suffer weak erection and infertility, while the women suffer miscarriage and other health complications. A married woman, Jummai Isaac, 27, said she has not taken in since she got married in the year 2000. “I haven’t conceived since I got married in the last fourteen years, and doctors have, on several occasions, confirmed to me absence of any known cause of inability to get pregnant.

“Initially, doctors thought I had fibroid in my womb, but after several scans and some medical tests, they dispelled that notion.” A community leader, Mohammed Bashar, explained that, “Most of the complaints could be associated with secondary infertility, because victims have, in the past, given birth to children before they suddenly stopped.

"There was widespread belief that smoke and poisonous gases emitted from the refinery have reproductive health effect on people living in the area, but no medical report has confirmed the allegation due to inability of villagers to seek comprehensive medical tests, perhaps owing to lack of awareness and poverty.”

Indeed, male impotence is one reason why married women cheat on their spouses. A divorce case in a court in Enugu several years ago had a twist when the issue of custody of the children came up. The wife who did not contest the divorce stood against her husband having custody or visiting rights because, according to her, “he is not the father of my five children.”

A name of a prominent politician from the South-East was mentioned as the father of the five children and when he was summoned, he proudly acknowledged he fathered the children and made the woman, a proud mother. The case degenerated to a DNA being performed which proved the woman’s claims to be correct.

There is a common place saying among Africans that only a woman knows the father of her children. Few years ago, a Nigerian man currently serving life jail in America killed his wife when he realised he is not the father of his twenty-one year old son. His wife was impregnated by her boyfriend and the husband one day stumbled on the exchanges between her and her lover boy living in Nigeria where they discussed the next time he would come over to see his son.

The worried husband had confronted his wife with his findings and she admitted that her husband was not the father of their twenty-one year old son. The man killed his his wife and got a life sentence.

Other reasons for marital promiscuity

Nigerian men are known to be polygamous. They marry younger women as they grow older and because they could not sexually satisfy these younger women or give them the sexual prowess they crave for, these younger wives go outside in search of younger men who are stronger to give them what they yearn for.

In polygamous households where there are many wives, a husband sometimes could not meet up or match up with the sexual needs of his wives and this inability on his part creates room for sexual infidelity on the part of the various women he acquired but could not satisfy sexually. Even among men who are not polygamous, the quest to go after younger women as mistresses and the neglect suffered by their legally married partners creates room for these wives to go after younger men popularly called toyboys.

Ameh, a housing agent said he helped a middle-aged woman to rent an apartment and that was how he entered into trouble. “ She told me that she hardly sees her husband who junkets all over the world and therefore suggested that I pally with her whenever her husband is away. She has two grown up daughters who are my mate and a son a bit younger than me. The last time she invited to her house, she almost raped me but I managed to escape. I have not crossed her path since that time but I learnt she has a reputation for sleeping with both old and young men.

There was even a rumour that she sexually harasses her son’s friends and seeks the attention of her two daughters ‘boyfriends even when her husband is around.” In a society where women are increasing taking posh jobs and competing with the male folk, there are also women who tend to sleep their way to the top, according Josephine, a lawyer and career counselor.

" It happens a lot in our society. Women sleep with their superiors in offices to get promoted or keep their jobs. They sleep around for business contacts and contracts and to remain relevant in the job. When a woman sleeps with her boss or influential superior, she can become relevant in that establishment or become untouchable because of who she is sleeping with as against her female contemporaries who are not doing so. These measures sometimes don’t help them but a lot of women do that.

“For instance, some new generation banks in Nigeria tend to employ loose ladies who dress half-naked to work in their marketing departments. These ladies use their female prowess to generate high capital base for the banks. On employment, these women, some of whom are married target top society billionaires whom some of them sleep with as the banks’ customers.

“In our universities, some of our young girls who don’t read believe that they have to sleep with their lecturers to pass exams. It is the same group of ladies that keep sugar daddies who give them money, sleep with lecturers who help them pass their examinations and still, they keep their regular boyfriends. That is almost prostitution but it happens”.

There are endless reasons why women, even the married ones are promiscuous but the last group are those who do so for the fun of it. Such women according to a psychologist Felicia Osagie are hot-blooded. “ They are nymphomaniacs and have insatiable appetite for sex. Even in marriage, there is nothing you can do about them and sometimes, their husbands know their problems and when they realise they cannot measure up, they look the other way and leave them to do whatever they want.

“ As bad as the situation may appear, there is a social and physical well-being associated with regular sex and a lot of women who are termed promiscuous just crave for that”.

Benefits of sex

A 10-year Welsh study found that those who enjoyed an active sex life were 50 per cent less likely to die young than those who did not. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sexual health benefits, says relationships therapist Dr Gabrielle Morrissey. “It makes sense that sex is good for you because we need lots of inducements to do it so that we stay on the planet,” she says.

Sex involves our circulatory, nervous and muscular systems and brains, so it’s a tune-up and workout of everything that’s important.”Sadly, it’s often the first thing to go when our health is on the blink. We have the attitude that sex is a luxury item instead of a necessity for wellness. We also think of it as something only for the young and strong, but its effects are a bonus as we age.”

"Sex releases feel-good hormones such as dehydroepiandrosterone and oxytocin,” says Dr Darren Russell, president of the Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine. “You get more blood moving through the blood vessels.” Those who have regular sexual intercourse respond better to stress than those who engaged in other sexual activities or abstained. A partner’s hug can do wonders, too.

A US study found it can lower blood pressure and heart rates in pre-menopausal women. Touch releases quantities of oxytocin, so you don’t have to orgasm,” Dr Morrissey says. Feel-good hormones also help keep depression at bay. Semen contains the hormone prostaglandin, which may be absorbed through the vagina and act like an antidepressant. But this doesn’t mean you should not be sexually responsible.

Men and women who have regular sex have higher testosterone levels, which are linked to a lower risk of osteoporosis and bone problems,” says Dr Russell. Research shows that sex can alleviate an aching noggin, especially in women. The endorphins and corticosteroids released have an analgaesic effect, alleviating the pain of headaches, arthritis, cramps and body aches. “Endorphins are a natural painkiller,” Dr Russell says. The production of oestrogen in women may also ward off period pain.

Dr Russell also prescribes sex for people with sleep problems. “Sex helps people sleep better and is less addictive than things like Valium.” Some experts say that 30 minutes of vigorous sex is comparable to 15 minutes on a treadmill or walking up two flights of stairs, and burns between 360 and 835 kilojoules. Sex works the pelvis, thighs, buttocks, arms, neck and thorax. Your pulse rate doubles from about 70 beats per minute to 150, the same as an athlete mid-stride.

The muscles that stem the flow of urine, reducing leakage and incontinence, are given a workout during sex, says Dr Morrissey. “Orgasm is best because the entire pelvic floor contracts.” Flexing your pelvic muscles during sex maximizes the benefits and makes sex more pleasurable.

Last line

Every single day, women have sexual propositions directly or indirectly thrown at them. As a result of this, women have the final decision to act on or ignore such propositions, and the men looking for long-term mates fear this. Men appreciate and place great value on women who can control themselves and demonstrate a certain degree of sexual discipline because most men certainly can’t.

If a woman can show men that she is honest, loyal, trustworthy, and sexually responsible, then she will have the most powerful weapon to attract men. If, on the other hand, a woman abuses her sexual power with many men, it will backfire on her. Unfortunately, women only realize this when it’s too late and the only choice they have is to lie.

Most women have lost a sense of value for their sexuality over the years. They’ve realized that sex is fun and pleasurable, but in the process, they’ve forgotten that it’s the one gift that they can offer their lover, and that so many men value.

What men want

Most men will agree that they’re always on the lookout for a serious soul mate. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun in the process. So if there are women giving themselves away without commitment, men will definitely pounce on the opportunity.

When men meet women, they usually categorize them into two categories: the potentially serious relationship kind, or the “have fun in the process” girl. The outcome of the man’s decision will ultimately be based on how a woman behaves around him.

If she sleeps with him on the first few nights, he’ll definitely throw her in the fun category. But if she can show him that her body is worth a lot more and that he’s going to have to commit to a serious relationship before he can taste her, he’ll definitely consider her as serious potential.

Women need to realize that their bodies are temples or at least men like to think so and that they shouldn’t be shared with any Tom, Dick or Harry.

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