When a woman is caught cheating on her man, in most cases the matter ends in separation or divorce. Flat out! Most men can’t get over the idea of another man ‘with’ their women. Or, even more specific, another man ‘in’ their woman! But, interesting, many men get caught cheating - again and again- but are still forgiven.
This makes one wonder why the double standards by men? Is there a possibility that men are not just wired for monogamy, or cheating is deeply engrained in the male gene, and that some women have eventually come to terms with this sad ‘reality’?
‘State of affairs’
It is a randy male world, or so it seems? Because, for some weird reasons, there are women who know too well that their men cheat, but still keep them.
Could this state of affairs be the reason why some women have given up on stopping their men from cheating, and now ‘allow’ them to practice the so-called ‘controlled infidelity’- allowing their men to sleep with other women, but with restrictions?
Nothing aptly captures this sad state of affairs than a post by one distraught woman that recently caused a stir among members of a secret Facebook group (only visible by members).
Doesn’t mind flings
The woman claimed she doesn’t mind her man having flings with several other women. And that she would only have a big problem if he developed a strong liking for one particular secret lover. She added that she fears such because it raises chances of him turning her into a second wife.
The post elicited varying responses. Despite the backlash she got, there was a relatively big number of other members in the group who bought into her school of thought. The crazy reactions to the post jolted this writer into investigating the woman’s odd school of thought.
True to form, when researching on this strange development, a couple of women shocked this writer when they told her they would not mind their men having a fling with other women once in a while as long as he is not doing it with one woman in particular. Reason?
They fear losing him completely to her! The reasoning behind it, according to these women, is that if a man cheats regularly with one woman, chances are very high he may develop ‘feelings’ for her.
Winnie Mueni*, a business lady, says she would be worried if her husband was keeping a steady girlfriend, adding that would mean it is more than just sex and fun he is having.
Fear of co-wife
“I can stand him having flings with other women, as I have always suspected. But what I can’t ignore is if I happen to know he has a full-blown affair with one woman in particular. Because that increases chances of him marrying such a woman as second wife,” says Mueni*.
“With a steady girlfriend, he is likely to lose interest in me, and even bound to become too close to her and even tell her my secrets and disparaging things about me.
When he sticks to one secret lover he is likely to be committed to her, and even develop emotional attachment. Thus, the possibility of getting a co-wife or completely losing him are very high,” she concludes.
Polygamous by nature?
This leaves one wondering are men polygamous by nature? And could demonising polygamy be the reason why many a men masquerade as monogamists, but secretly keep lovers on the side? Philip Makori, a banker, in no uncertain terms, argues that men are not wired for monogamy.
Hear him: “Look, at 45, a woman can hardly get babies. On the other hand, a man, even at 80, can still sire children— look at the Jomo Kenyattas, Njenga Karumes and Jacob Zumas of this world, they got children in their 70s.
Why, then, would nature equip men with almost twice the number of reproductive years than women if it was intended that a man lives with one woman for his entire life. I feel polygamy would be the remedy to the wanton cheating we witness today?”
He goes on to add, “Much as I would wish to preach monogamy and advice men to control their desires for conquering and spirit of adventure, it may not be practically possible. Many may not hack it because they just can’t help it. Most men are born polygamous.”
Some men have been cheating left right and center, so much that their partners no longer care investigating or even confronting them anymore, and don’t even plan to leave them any time soon.
Of course she knows!
They only pray and hope they don’t catch a disease! It has increasingly become commonplace to see single women unashamedly flaunt other women’s boyfriends and husbands like medals.
“I have caught him severally and I no longer care anymore. I gave up spying on him, cheating just seems to be in his DNA. I have better things to do other than go out looking for a heartache,” says a reluctant Elva Otieno*, a Nairobi-based marketer.
Agnes Kawira*, a public relations officer, however, begs to differ with Mueni*.
“I don’t even want to think of my man cheating on me. It gives me the creeps. But is that be the case, I would rather he keeps a steady girlfriend than sleeping around with every willing Mercy, Grace and Faith,” says Kawira*, adding, “The risk of him bringing a disease home is very high when he is literally hopping around.”
“These multiple lovers most likely have other partners, hence exposing me to sexually transmitted diseases. If he were to have one stable girlfriend, she would probably be sleeping with him alone.” Kawira* explains.
Loyce Akinyi* confesses that her husband has a girlfriend whom she knows.
“Those two are just inseparable. I gave up trying to separate them, and I cannot walk out for the sake of our three young children. Sometimes I do crazy things like stuffing condoms in his wallet, and I just hope she is the only one,” Akinyi* says, resignation written all over her face.
It gets even stranger. Lisa, a primary school teacher says that it would hurt more if she discovered her husband was cheating with a woman who is way older than her.
“Men always cheat. That much I know. Personally, I have never caught my man, but if, and God forbid, he does it, it better be with younger women like myself not those older women I see young men fool around with in Mombasa,” says Lisa.
There is yet another bunch of women who, much as they suspect their men cheat, say they can do so with all the women they want, but they should never risk it with their (women’s) sisters and circle of close friends.
“I don’t condone cheating. But men being who they are, you can never stop them. They always do it, anyway. But so long as he comes back to me, I have no big problem. And again, if my man is to sleep with other women, he rather not dare do it with my sister or close friend because that will be disrespect of highest order,” says Ann Karanja*, an assistant office administrator.
For others, the husband’s hanky-panky is none of their bother if he can keeps it to himself and tames his mistresses.
“I know mine is not a perfect man, just like any other man, he could be cheating. I mean, I cannot tie him to my waist with a rope, so I let him do all he wishes as long as he does not flaunt it on my face. The worst than can happen is him deliberately leaving behind evidence or a mistress trying to disrespect me,” says a married Nairobi-based lawyer.
She says all is well as long as she is not receiving calls and texts from his other women.
“I will not miss court sessions because he came home late previous night or didn’t come at all. But I will lose sleep if one of his other women called or sent me text messages insulting me,” she says, adding that there would be more happiness in many marriages if cheating husbands were a little more careful and also made sure that their girlfriends stick to their lane; that of being just the insignificant other woman.
Spanner in the works
Jacob Akenga throws a spanner in the works by claiming that some women, much as they may not confess, will ‘take it easy’ if their men cheated with women more beautiful than them.
“Trust me, there those who can easily forgive you if you cheated on them with drop dead gorgeous lasses. The reasoning behind it is that to them such an action sort of endorses you and confirms that others, too, find you attractive.
Woe unto you if your woman catches or suspects you to be cheating on her with an ugly woman. They feel degraded big time,” jokingly says Akenga.
He adds: “Ever wondered why women fume and even divorce husbands after sleeping with house girls. Yet they don’t react with same enthusiasm when their men cheat with top executives?”
Can’t condone nonsense
However, when asked to comment on the same, most women refuted the claim with one Tracy Rono insisting that, “cheating is cheating and I condone none.”
Hear her: “If I ever catch my boyfriend cheating that will be the end of the relationship, and he knows it. Much as it is said men always cheat, I swear if I caught him that will be the end of me and him.”
For Christine Murunga*, a nurse, cheating is a no no.
“I can’t condone such nonsense! I will not stick to a cheating spouse! That is like gambling with my life. I will not sit and wait for him to bring a disease home or cause my two children and I endless torment. I shall walk out the moment I sniff the slightest possibility of infidelity in our marriage,” she says assertively.
“Remaining faithful to your partner, wife or husband for your entire life is an ultimate sign of maturity and respect. You can’t sleep around and lie you still love and respect your partner,” says Anthony Gitonga, a social worker in Nairobi.