I remember twelve years ago in 2002, I had just been married for four years. As a bachelor, my husband’s closing time from work was 8pm, including Saturdays and Sundays. I was hoping that as a married man with two children he would at least close by 6pm, being that he owned the business. This became a constant topic for argument because his closing time meant that our two young children at the time would always be in bed by the time he arrived home, and they’ll never get to see him throughout the day. This went on for a while, until one day, I couldn’t take it anymore.
Furious, I got on an Okada to find out what sort of important work took place at his photo studio so late in the evenings that he couldn’t let his staff handle it so he could be home with his family. I got there at about 7:45pm and found Hubby’s car parked outside, but he was nowhere to be seen. His staff told me a friend of his, Mr. B had come over and so they had gone out together using Mr. B’s car.
I never liked Mr. B. He was a serial cheat. His wife had once given him a hot slap in front of my husband’s office on Valentine’s Day. She had caught him red-handed with two chicks he was planning to spend the day with, while she, the wife was abandoned at home. So in anger, she beat up the two girls and seized their handbags. Mrs. B had warned me that her husband was a rotten egg and would be a bad influence on mine if I don’t keep my husband away from hers. So I decided to wait to find out what kind of outing they went for.
By 8:30pm, Hubby had still not returned with Mr. B. His workers were already giving me polite signs that they wanted to close for the day. It wouldn’t have been fair to keep the poor boys there any longer so I left and crossed over to the opposite side of the road where my electrician lived. I asked him to give me a chair to sit in front of his verandah. Sitting there gave me a perfect view of the front of my husband’s office so I could see when Mr. B had decided to release my husband for me and if they had company. What I didn’t notice in the midst of my chest boiling was that the whole neighbourhood was preparing for an entertaining showdown. The women brought out seats and sat in their different verandas. The guys perched by the walls.At last, Mr. B’s car pulled up slowly beside Hubby’s studio to drop him off at way past 10pm. The back door opened and as sure as rain, Hubby came out…with a young lady. Haaaa!!! I could hear Mr. B from across the road laughing raucously as he bade his friend goodnight. My husband didn’t act like it was late in the night or that he had a family to return to. Instead he sat down on the low flower fence with the girl and gisted with her for another twenty minutes. I just sat there very calmly and watched them. Strangely, all that rage had disappeared. Maybe because I had sat there waiting for so many hours. I was wondering what would make a man who had a good wife at home with two lovely children do this. It just didn’t make any sense to me at all.
Then he stood up from the fence and turned around to pee in the flower bed. The girl also turned around with him and continued gisting away. I had seen enough. I stood up from my seat. All the area women stood up as well; like this was the moment they had been waiting for. That was when I noticed them. The guys were chuckling quietly among themselves, while the women were shaking their heads as if to say “yes, God don catch am today!” Through their almost inaudible side talks, I realized that the neighbourhood was used to seeing what I was seeing for the first time and they couldn’t wait for this showdown to happen already. They were even wondering why I was slacking the action.
I crossed over the road from where I sat in the cover of darkness and greeted him casually. A shocked Hubby started explaining nervously how he just got there and met the studio closed. “Where you expecting those poor boys who resume work at 8am daily to wait for you until past 10pm?” I asked him. “And why are you here, this late in the night with this girl, when you should be at home with your family?” I asked again.
“Aunty, I don’t have anything with your husband,” the girl quickly interjected “we are just friends.”
I looked at this girl with mortuary cold eyes. I sized her up and down, as fresh rage began to well up inside me. I was just 28 years old. So because I married early, I had now become an ‘Aunty’ to this blithering idiot abi? Or was the ‘Aunty’ a form of pacification so that I wouldn’t crush her like I would hair lice? I knew I just had to restrain myself somehow otherwise; I would have pounded that girl like fufu, for daring to interrupt my conversation with my husband. Instead, I found my voice come out like blades of steel when I asked her:
“You’re just friends with my husband, yet you have no qualms looking at his dick while he takes a pee? We all know that a lady looks away whenever we see guys do that in public…well except of course we’ve seen that dick before.”
She put her head down. Then I told her:
“When I walked down the aisle in my white wedding gown to marry this man, I don’t remember you walking with me. So don’t interfere unless you want me to deal with you.”
Her lips were sealed instantly. Then I told my husband:
“Turn around. Look around you. The whole neighbourhood is watching us. They are expecting a showdown from us because they think you deserve it. When I stood up from that chair across the road, they expected me to maybe beat up this tiny girl to a pulp and then maybe bite off your ears.
I’m so sure they are wondering right now, why this is taking so long…why I’m even talking too much. Is this what you want…your life and ours in front of public scrutiny and ridicule? What happens tomorrow morning when you come here to turn the keys and open your office for business? Will you be able to hold your head up high?”
No, I didn’t give the street the showdown they wanted that night. Just like he chose to ridicule us that night, I chose to swallow my pain and not humiliate the father of my children. I could have slapped him, tore his shirt, and rained all sorts of insults on him. It would have been a lot of energy vented on a worthless cause. Besides I knew Hubby was tipsy or he wouldn’t dare pee on those precious flowers he loved and tended to so much. Ladies, it’s really no use scolding a tipsy man.
I’m not saying a cheating man doesn’t deserve it. If you ask me frankly, I’d even tell you they do and more. But here’s the deal. Society blames the woman when a man cheats. They are always looking for ‘that thing’ the wife did that “pushed the husband out of his home.” Hahahaha!!! And that you’ll never give to them if you have WISDOM. A bad man is a bad man. Nobody pushes him to do anything he doesn’t enjoy doing already; not rotten-egg friends like Mr. B or even his wife. He is an adult and knows exactly what he wants.
What the cheating husband wants is to make you look CRAZY. That way he can validate his actions to the world…his friends, both your families, the church and the entire society. “Oh, she just nags and nags me for working extra hard to put food on the table,” he’d tell them. “How will she ever understand the stress I go through out there, when she sits all day at home doing nothing but to warm up for a fight?” Oga, abeg which ‘stress’ are you talking about?
Ladies, do you now understand why you mustn’t let your guard down and act crazy, especially in public? One or two people who witnessed your ‘were moment’ will ‘testify’ against you and will you blame them? They don’t know the half of it! Very soon, when everyone begins to look at you like you’re the cause of your own problem, you will personally begin to feel that you’ve gone crazy for daring to believe otherwise.
So you calm down and strategize like the wise woman you are. Why make the public buy popcorn and Coke to watch free cinema without offering any solution to your predicament?
So I told the young lady that night, ‘go home, you’ve had enough.’ Then I looked at the man and told him, ‘take me home.’
Marriage is for the long haul. Wisdom is the most reliable vehicle to get you there.
[Ingredient 2 is ‘A Job.’ Read That in PART FOUR].
Don’t end up crazy and dead.
Photo Credit: mediahoarders.com | madamenoire