Cheating Husbands: Mistresses and Secret Kids

Last night a friend contacted me with the shocking revelation of a “secret child”. Not hers, that is, but that of a close relative. A couple of years ago this revelation would have shocked me and caused my heart to beat just a little faster. Not last night, however. I sighed, reflected, and went about my business thinking, “Hmmm.. another one.”

Last night I thought about my classmates who had gotten married and (have gotten or were getting) divorced. I reflected upon how happy I had been for them then, and how sad I felt for them now. I thought of the joys we shared at the news of their engagements; and the tears we jointly shed at the revelation of their loving husbands’ continuous acts of unfaithfulness, betrayal, disloyalty. And again I though, “Hmmm.. another marriage falling apart.”

Last night, perhaps more strongly than ever before, I felt thankful and indeed blessed for my singleness. I felt the Lord had been merciful to me: withholding a certain level of pain and grief. Perhaps not forever, but at least for now. I felt blessed and fortunate for not having taken that plunge just yet; for not having made that mistake yet; for not having put all my eggs (read: my one heart) in one basket (read: the hands of one man). But beyond that, I realized I felt scared.

It was this fear I chose to analyze carefully.

Very few of us have great examples of what good marriages look like. If we did not grow up in a polygamous home, we grew up with a parent whose extra-marital affair was swept under the carpet, hushed. As long as the bills were paid and the face seen somewhat regularly, there was no cause for alarm, no need for a stirr. If we were not raised by a single parent, we grew up in a broken home; a home in which mother and father could not bear each other or speak kind words to another. If we never did find out about “secret siblings”, chances are we were those secret kids. If we did not find out about “another woman”, chances are our mothers were those “other women”.

And for those few of us who can say our (nuclear) families are loving, strong and united: I think it fair to assume things were not really always like that. This path too has significantly been marred with tears, hurt and grief: dealing with unfaithfulness, overcoming pain or abuse, discovering and accepting another child.

I knew both offender and offended – both adulters and adultresses. I knew it took two to tango, and I knew it was more often a matter of weakness than of wickedness.  I knew how much evil good people could do and how much pain they could cause. I want to be neither victom nor offender, but I also know that there can and will be no guarantees.. How trustworthy, how faithful would he/I/we be?

Probably not very, if it solemnly depended on me.

Last night I was once again reminded of risks, rewards and the limits of mitigation. Wherever and whatever one chose to invest in – there was no realistic way of measuring, projecting or predicting one’s eventual return. To a certain extent it really was a gamble: marriage was a gamble. With the only eventual success factors being sacrifice, patience and forgiveness – on both sides.

His enabling and empowering grace. The God-factor in (hu)man(s).

Love was important, but I realized it just wouldn’t be enough. It wouldn’t do. What I needed was a man who feared the Lord and chose to keep His commandements: not because he loved me, but because he loved Him. Like Joseph, a man choosing to crucify the flesh and “not sin against his Lord” or Jesus, a man ready to willingly sacrifice it all. A man who, although he could do wrong and perhaps never be found out, lived and led with integrity: wholeness. A man ready to pay the price – especially when it hurt. A man so whole that should he one day fall, is humble enough to repent: to quickly acknoweldge his wrong and turn from it.

Love was important, but I realized that he too would need much more from me. I’m still in the process of figuring out what exactly that could be.. and whether I will truly be able and willing to give it.

 

 

 

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Darius says:

    I can totally understand where you are coming from and I’ve had this discussion with many of my female friends. Chating has become so main-stream, especially amongst Nigerians and it does not matter what you believe in, Christian, Muslim, whatever, people simply cheat. I don’t know if it’s the society or what.

    1. DeMorrieaux says:

      Yes, morals have changed. People are less committed. And there is just so much temptation everywhere. Decent men too are constantly tempted. It’s difficult..

      1. Oluwatobi says:

        Hello my dear friend,

        To begin with, your posts are on point. The situation I am in right now is just exactly what you have taken your precious time to carefully etch right here. My relationship / marriage of 5 years deteriorated finally on discovery of wife’s infidelity. I have given it all, blood and sweat to keep it all together. Being made aware of wife’s pasts early on ( abused by father for over 10 years since age of 5, uncountable sexual escapades with men of all ages, masturbation, use of porn, lesbian tendencies and sex with brother) was enough to handle by his grace but the woes of infidelity, sheer unfaithfulness and adultery with another man just two days after 5 years anniversary could seem rather unbearable but then I remembered Hosea. A perfect man with an imperfect wife, a prostitute so to speak. Francine Rivers captured this too well in her novel. To cut to the chase, I thought to myself, I’m not all holy, but I know my right from my left and I certainly wouldn’t have done that to hurt my family. Perhaps I could hit back now but no I wouldn’t. Nigerians so to say, our fathers, parents so to speak, keeping it to my nationale alone, the issues of infidelity is ravaging their homes and destroying the lives of their little ones. I strongly appealed to her, guess what? She’s unrelenting and can’t promise to never cheat again. Well, after 5 years of no issue, 4-5 miscarriages and still childless ( due to weakened cervix may be premature sex early on), I figure out may be it wasn’t worth it after all. I might as well just leave and begin my life all over. I believe there are still chaste ladies out there. I know that no one is perfect but at least they can keep their burning passion for their hubbies alone. Those who are not afraid of the truth, those who will stick by you no matter what. I have paid my dues, I have suffered enough. In silence I have learnt to be patient and loving. Now is the right time to move on. The funny thing is, just before I end my epistle, I would like to add, we are both Christians. She happens to be a believer and a professed born again. Been on the street witnessing to the power of God. But alas the end time has had its mark on our union. Remember, it’s all part of the plan. The End is here fellas, BEWARE!!!

  2. Kemi says:

    And women cheat just like men. People marry for all the wrong reasons and care about appearances, so even after you realized you shouldn’t be in the marriage you stay. It’s the shame or the reputation. You know what I mean?

    1. DeMorrieaux says:

      Yes, people get married for all the wrong reasons.. And most often expectations are not clearly or honestly communicated either.

  3. Tree says:

    Thank you for this. I think it’s important to appreciate your single life and become the best version of yourself. It’s not all about marriage. There is more to life. Just enjoy it and whenever he comes make sure you marry for the right reasons. Understanding is important. You have to understand and respect each other. I think that’s the secret.

    1. DeMorrieaux says:

      It’s exactly what I have been doing: enjoying my singleness. But what I find is that this can be somewhat tricky too. I often feel I am so used to being single, everything else is strange, trying, taxing. I find that I am so used to having my space and doing things my way, that letting someone in now (or even worse: later) will be so much hard work; too hard. I guess one makes sacrifices (more) willingly for someone one might love. I don’t know.. there’s always that question at the back of my mind.. “Is he really worth it?” or “Will it be worth it?” I’m quite comfortable on my own…. It just does get a bit lonely at times 😦

  4. Kay says:

    Lovely writeup!

  5. Pedro says:

    banging piece

  6. Sumbie A. says:

    Well written darling. I’ve missed your blogs.

  7. Kemi says:

    A man I used to date called me with the intention of sex within 5days of his introduction stating he “missed” me and wants to get back together. I didn’t know he was bethrothed then because I asked and he said he wasn’t seeing anyone. When I found out about his wedding 2months later, I blocked him on fb. A few days after his wedding, he requested i add him on my IG page(probably wanting to still monitor me). I blocked him. Meanwhile after all the Italian lovey-dovie expensive wedding and fronting as dotting groom with the wife who was obviously over the moon he has put his profile on single on fb with no reference of his wife’s picture(probably told her he is conservative and private so don’t put relationships to public like he told me then) and i started wondering…, how many more women is he still lying to on social media? How palatable is it to cheat on his new bride within so short a period? Suddenly I felt sorry for the wife. My friends said I should have told her before the wedding so she knows what she’s getting into but I reckoned she doesn’t know me so i could be misconstrued as wanting to break her “home”.

    1. DeMorrieaux says:

      Hey Kemi,
      thank you for sharing this.

      I completely and totally understand.. also your current conundrum.
      Something “similar” happened to me recently: a friend shared of her knowledge of another friend’s betrothal to a Nigerian guy she knew (!!) was gay. Here, although it would be clear my (female) friend’s revelation of this knowledge to the bride-to-be was not very likely to be met with accusations of “being a jealous babe”, my friend still chose to keep quiet about it. Her argument being “The babe is probably aware of this. After-all, they’ve been dating for years!” My friend believed the girl was probably choosing to ignore the issue and get married to a gay guy anyway – for whatever reason.

      I did not agree.. and wondered about this for a long time.

      Although I strongly believe in doing the right thing no matter what, the question of “WHAT was the right thing to do?” still remained.

      I find that we make way too many assumptions – most especially about others and their lives. What if.. what if? What if what? And, what if not? I’d rather just speak up/out and have my conscience clear than make assumptions. Given all available information and facts, let the person now (and only now) decide.

      In your case, of course, some might argue that it was a bit too late – the deed (marriage) had already been done. Others (and that includes me) however, would say that things were only getting started. If he did it with/to you, chances are he did it, was doing it, or was going to do it with/to plenty others too.
      As a wife, I would wish you would tell me. As a Christian, I would seek help in putting an end to this.
      As “the other woman” (even though unbeknown to you), however, it’s really tricky. To be honest, I couldn’t say that I knew what to do if I were you.

  8. lily says:

    Hi, I’m mostly an observer here but I pay close attention to your musings.
    I think most people (if not all) are afraid of marriage. But you mentioned those key things: sacrifice, patience, forgiveness and lots of God. When we say God not just for one person but for you and your S/O. And one can never over emphasize these things.
    I’m not married but I hope to be one day. I’ve been living with my sister and her husband for about 18months. I’ve learnt a lot. Marriage is beautiful but it takes work. The question is are both parties ready to commit? Forget other people and what society expects from you. The question is what do you both want? What do you need. Do you agree on the same things or some? Among other things. And sometimes we don’t ask each other the hard questions…

    1. DeMorrieaux says:

      Hi Lily,
      thank you for your comment.
      Yes, I think that really is the fundamental issue: discussing the real/hard issues; being honest about expectations and needs. It is exactly why I believe in pre-marital counselling so strongly. Marriage is tough as it is; so why not get as prepared as possible?
      I recently spoke to a friend who was facing challenges in his marriage. When I suggested they (him and his wife) went to see a counsellor, he gave me a very strange and weird look, “No way. I don’t believe in any of that!” I was puzzled.. belief? What did this have to do with belief? What was there to believe in or not? You need help, go get it!
      He eventually did (thank goodness), but I was really surprised to hear that there were individuals so opposed to seeking help.
      These things materialize quite early on, I think.. I now doubt I could even give myself to someone unwilling to discuss difficult issues – especially with the help of a “professional”.

      1. lily says:

        I totally I agree with you! I feel that we should even attend marriage seminars even after marriage. We tend to get so comfortable in marriage that it could become boring. So if there’s an opportunity to learn more or share with others and on the flip side it brings up more things to talk about or it makes us appreciate our partners more. Then by all means you’ll find me there.
        And it’s best when the couples attend together or worst case either of them attends and they are both happy to hear the outcome of the seminars.

        1. DeMorrieaux says:

          Absolutely. In my church in London we MUST attend pre-marital classes. It’s actually a pre-requisite. The pastor will simply not join the couple otherwise.
          Likewise, married couples are encouraged to join “forever friends” which is basically the same thing for married couples + seminars and romantic retreats. I think it’s totally essential.

          1. lily says:

            Same as mine to. Married couples should create time for “forever friends” and all events that will make their marriage blossom. Anyway, it still comes back to what is important.
            There was something you said in your last reply. Sometimes they see the signs but do n othing and just allow the marriage to deteriorate. Wise words and so true.

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