It was the usual tiring conversation. One that left you either drunk with fury or sober with exhaustion. But there was no choice, I had to listen – I couldn’t jump out of the moving vehicle even though it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. The lady lamenting kept on reiterating the world’s most asked rhetorical question, “why do men cheat?!” and seemed bent on getting a response.
Her story didn’t really have an ounce of dissemblance from the ‘others’. She caught her husband – who she just recently got married to – and the help doing-the-do when she returned home from work. After narrating her plight, her friend gave the orthodox Nigerian advice, ‘ahn ahn se ofe kpa ara e ore mi? There is no man that doesn’t cheat oo so better don’t kill yourself. Stay with your husband and manage him like that and just be praying”.
And of course the men in the vehicle gave a grin and nod of approval.
I pondered upon it and came to the conclusion that the question shouldn’t be, ‘why do men cheat?’, but rather, ‘why do Nigerian men get away with cheating?’ So I gave some vox pop to see what responses people came up with…
“Because it’s a man’s world!”
“Nigerian men get away with cheating because they are smart. He covers his tracks extremely well and if she happens to suspect something he has either a silver tongue to make her disbelieve it or he charms her with an act of nonchalance in the whole suspicion thingy or treats her in a way that makes her doubt herself and things like that”
“Societal belief. It’s more like a norm in an African society that ‘men can cheat’. So even if they cheat the criticism ends a jiffy. Maybe religion too; Islam supports polygamy, polygamy is cheating coined in a word *lol*. Maybe our legal aspect has to be looked in too; Cheating = paying dearly = divorce. Not many women would divorce their spouses even if they find them cheating”
“Society is structured to favour them. Women’s basic nature allows, and sometimes encourages it too. Religion in general has their back”
“Because they feel women are weak and needy and will stay put even though there is an obvious track of infidelity.”
Infidelity has become an ingrained lifestyle and clearly from these, the forces of society and religion gives Nigerian men the false sense of protection. And until these ideologies are reviewed and/or broken down, we’ll have many more women in unhappy marriages and in danger of STD’s.
So, why do you think Nigerian men get away with cheating?