”Men are polygamous in nature.” Ever heard that phrase before? Or ”If my wife catches me cheating she goes, if I catch her, she still goes.”
Recently, I had an interesting conversion with a friend. It started with him telling how much he loved his wife. She’s an epitome of beauty, brain and character all in one. She treats him like a baby and a king. As a matter of fact, his wife had prepared dinner— as at 2pm when we were having this conversion his wife had served dinner in a warmer — before she went to the hospital where she worked as a medical doctor.
To be honest, I began to envy this woman. I wished I could be all that to my husband. While I was in the throes of wishing, my friend’s phone rang. It was a lady who happened to be his girlfriend. I was dazed! I couldn’t wait for him to finish the phone call, I’m sure you understand why. Once the call ended, I shot a question at him. How could you cheat on the woman you claim to love, in spite of all the sacrifices she has made for you? Nothing prepared me for his reply.
“That’s men for you,” he said. “At least, I value my wife enough to exercise self-control; I don’t go after every woman. I just have a few side chicks while my friends are renting apartment for their mistresses.” He paused and then said, “Vanessa, don’t make the mistake of going through your husband’s phone because you’ll get hurt in the end.”
Oh, and he didn’t forget to tell me that his own jealousy had horns. If his wife EVER cheated on him, he would divorce her and torture her for ruining his plans of having a happy home. “It’s a woman’s responsibility to keep her home,” he added. “A man is there to provide the basic needs of life and security.”
Infidelity is a big deal. Every civilized society frowns at it. And sorry to disappoint you, infidelity is not a man’s prerogative, even the Westerners—whom we are often quick to copy—are guided by this principle. And so how did educated African men come up with this fallacy and successfully pass it on from generation to generation? A popular saying goes: ‘when evil lingers, it becomes a tradition.’
It is possible that the aforementioned friend got his ideology from his father. It’s also exceedingly likely that he’ll pass it on to his own son. At best he would teach him how not to get caught.
Lee Kuan Yew, a great leader, who revived the economy of Singapore, blamed polygamy for the incompetence of most African leaders. He said, “A man who can cheat on his wife will betray his country.”
When I heard Fela Durotoye swear to never ever cheat on his wife, I was beyond impressed. One can safely conclude that faithfulness is not a function of dysfunctional hormones or science; it is a decision to stay true to commitments. In other words, men can be held responsible for their actions and decisions.
Like most women I’ve known, I used to think men were dogs, and lacked self-control. Now, I know better. But Fela is one out of many good men out there. Yes! I said good men. These men have proudly made a decision to be disciplined and are now reaping the benefits of being control of other areas of their lives. They are proud not to be subject to what Nigerians call the ‘bottom power’.
The main difference between us humans and animals is in our ability to think and exercise self-restraint. All unfaithful men have simply decided to hide behind the ‘men are polygamous in nature’ slogan.
What a pity! And if like me, you’ve ever heard a man complaining of waist pain because he hasn’t had sex in a while, please note that he’s fooling you. There isn’t ANY scientific proof or research that shows that abstinence puts a man’s health at risk.
And when next you hear that fallacy, ask if the rules apply to the women. Because seriously, who are the men supposed to be sleeping with?