It’s a man’s world! This is the truth of how marriages operate in Nigeria. Most women would advise that if you want a peaceful marriage as a woman, you have to act the fool. Even popular relationship blogger, Okoro Blessing, attested to this in one of her videos.
While it may seem ludicrous, it is indeed the way of living in marriages, especially in Nigeria. As long as women continue to see marriage as an achievement, as a way of avoiding family pressure or belonging to the society, they will continue to act the fool, sleep with tears and smile to the public.
Recently, I witnessed a conversation between a married lab attendant and a patient. I had gone to the hospital to run a comprehensive test because I wasn’t feeling well. The doctor directed me to the laboratory where the lab attendant would attend to me.
I strolled down the corridor, where I overheard voices engrossed in a deep conversation. On getting to the lab, I found it to be the source of the voices. I entered, sat down and tried to mind my business. Still, I couldn’t help but overhear their loud conversation.
The lab attendant was pacifying the patient; a newly married 27-year-old who had rushed to the hospital in severe pain only to find out that she was infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The new bride, frantic, wanted to run outside the hospital and lurch at her philandering husband who was packed outside the hospital, waiting. But the lab attendant was trying to calm her down.
The lab attendant, who revealed during the conversation that she had been married for 10 years, advised the young bride to calm down and count herself lucky she wasn’t infected with worse. She even advised her not to tell the husband it was an STD, but rather one of "those female infections."
I tried to hold myself but I heard my voice ask: "Why?" I must have startled them because they both turned in shock, only then registering my presence. The lab attendant revealed that as a wife if you throw the accusation of an STD to your husband, it makes him cheat even more. She advised that the best thing for the young bride was to keep calm, behave normally with the husband, cry to God and expect the conscience of the husband to prick him into being more careful.
According to her, it is almost impossible for a man to stop cheating, but he can be more careful not to put his wife and family at any risk of contracting an infection. She also advised the young bride to treat herself every three months and find a way to convince the husband to also go for check-up regularly. I was livid but it wasn’t my fight.
It is appalling that in such a beautiful year as 2020 where a lot of women are getting their lives intact, setting measurable goals and trying to leave their fine imprints on time that some people feel that marriage is all there is to life, giving up their happiness in a bid to stay married to an unrepentant cheating partner.
Just like the young patient, a lot of women are imprisoned in their marriage, unhappy and looking for ways to cope. Eventually, after 20-30 years of unhappiness in the marriage, grooming children they gradually turn to young lovers, male or female, who rock their boats till they are either caught or just continue. But some never fully get the courage to leave their prisons.
Some women even have it worse when their partners choose to make them (women) breadwinners and still take out of their money to cheat.
It is a long-standing culture in Nigeria and I do not think it would be abolished anytime soon!