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caught in the act

Rising Infidelity and High Marriage Mortality in Nigeria

when love gets sour

Economic pressure, moral decadence and social liberalization may be defining marital relationship in the Nigerian society. Unlike in the days of yore when pliable and submissive women stoically endure the pain of injustice when their spouse marry another wife and keep quiet when they suffer protracted sexual dissatisfaction, more women now open up about their feelings.

The men get the chock of their lives when challenged by their wives, when they openly accuse then of lack of sexual skills and when they rubbish their mediocre overtures.

Welcome to a new social landscape in Nigeria, where the conservative are learning how to grapple with the new dynamics in a social media world. It has been confirmed that there is higher rate of cheating by married women nowadays than in the past. Men’s cheating may not have abated but on the increase.

There are two factors that have been identified to have contributed to this new development. Women long to have more sexual satisfaction and many of them have become economically empowered and independent to seek for what they want.


Economic well-being


In the past 20 years women have moved from the home to the corporate world, playing, sometimes, dominant roles in their offices. Women have also got themselves more engaged in economic activities, opening and owning their own business and have become more self confident, assertive and can boldly seek for satisfaction without seeking for the consent of their partners.

Economic empowerment, education and social media have contributed immensely in giving the woman power and the freedom to choose what they want.

In the past it is believed that it is men that cheat mostly but it is becoming clearer that even women also cheat. In fact, in the past few years it has become evident that there is growing number of women that cheat.

A business woman who simply identified herself as Augusta told quelinsblog.com that women have become independent minded because of economic well-being. She stated that the present economic situation has enabled women to be empowered.

“This has its good and bad effect, but the good effect far outweighs its bad effect. The economy has become so bad that it has eroded many families. Many men cannot cope anymore providing for the home alone. So women have started helping out. In the process of helping out, some women go the extra mile to engage in unscrupulous activities to earn money. Some engage in illicit relationships with men who are well off to earn money and feed their families. But work has helped many women to get out of their shell and to contribute to the development of the society,” she said.

Augusta also remarked that education has gone a long way in improving the life of women, putting them in a better social trajectory and opening gates of opportunity for them. She attributed greater decay of the society to social media, which have also degenerated the lives of some women, as pornography and misedcuation can easily be accessed through social media.

“We have to also note that most women have taken up the roles which men hitherto played. They are now the breadwinners and also taking up the role of protecting the children and even their husbands. Many women pay the bills in the society I come from. Men have automatically lost their glory. When women take up these roles they lose the respect they hitherto have for their partners. So some of them look for the “real man” and this leads to infidelity and sometimes divorce,” she said.

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Pulse.ng reported on cheating wives in Lagos published on June 22, 2022 stating that cheating is bad and something that can’t possibly be said enough.

“But it appears that Lagos couples either don’t hear any of these or they just don’t subscribe to the idea of marital exclusivity.”

This is not to free cheats in other Nigerian towns and cities from blame and scorn, because they are also terrible, but the probability that they are anywhere close to the special specie of cheats in Lagos seems unlikely.

The report said that cheating in Lagos might be the highest in Nigeria.

“Such is the blatant flouting of marital vows in Lagos that older married men and women unabashedly hit you up, soliciting sex. Some newly-weds do not even wait to leave their wedding venue before planning their next booty call, sometimes with the one of the bridesmaids or even a wedding guest! The shamelessness just cuts through age boundaries, to be sincere.

Their modus operandi sometimes includes offering money to smoothen the process, especially by the older ones. Some, mostly the younger ones don’t offer money. They actually suck up to unsuspecting victims, and charm them into relationships. Like, they get into a whole boyfriend and girlfriend relationship with another woman, as if they do not have a wife and a couple of kids at home.

Graphic of rate of divorce

Vanguard newspapers in 2015 wrote extensively in reaction to the Durex report that Nigerian women are the highest cheaters in the world. Vanguard’s March 14, 2015 reported, ”When the Durex report was published, the question on the lips of many was why on earth would Nigerian women be the most promiscuous? The authenticity of the report has been queried and the question is, why should a sample of 29,000 people be used to make hasty generalisation for whopping populations of 36 countries when Nigeria alone has population of 160 million with half of them being women? Why would Nigerian women emerge the most sexually promiscuous?

Promiscuity is a taboo for women

Vanguard wrote: marital promiscuity is a taboo in Nigeria. In many cultures, a newly married woman is made to sit on a traditional stool in a shrine to guarantee total fidelity. If such a woman cheats on her husband, it’s either she dies or runs mad. Among the Edo kingdom in the Mid-Western region of Nigeria, a Bini (Edo) man has liberty on issues of polygamy but such liberty does not allow him to have sex with another man’s wife.

In the Benin society, the matrimonial bed belongs to the wife and not necessarily the husband. Consequently, extra marital affairs were not counted against the male as it still is in most contemporary African societies.

In Yoruba tradition, magun which means, don’t climb” is an anti-promiscuity or anti-infidelity charm, usually laced stealthily on a woman by the husband, with the belief that should she have an extra-marital intercourse, the man she has it with will immediately after the act, suffer convulsions or epileptic-like seizures leading to instant death. In current times, there have been reports of of deaths by magun in the Yoruba community of South-West Nigeria. The existence of magun reveals indeed that there have been sexual promiscuity amongst married women.

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Why do married women cheat?

This is one big question with several answers from our respondents. “Some women have insatiable appetite for sex,” said Chidi, a businessman. “ If you recall, sometime last year, a lady posted her profile on facebook asking for both male and female sex mates. The lady said she loves sex so much that she loves to do it with both men and women. She went an extra mile of putting up a message on Facebook to announce her status.

“If a woman is bold enough to come out to the open with her weird sexual life, you can imagine several others who operate in secret because of social stigma? But left to me, there are many decent ladies. I have four sisters and two are married. I know also that their husbands came back to thank my mother because they found their wives to be virgins at marriage. So, if Nigerian women are said to be the most promiscuous in the entire world, I will doubt it.”

Vanguard quoted Pedro Johnson as saying, “Yes, Nigerian women are as promiscuous as the men. They can keep several boyfriends on the go without their men knowing about it and from what I am hearing these days, many are doing it whilst in marriage. In my community in my village, we have treated many cases of marital infidelity and each time, the women either blamed it on the devil or financial problems. But to say they are the most promiscuous in the whole is a different thing. I don’t believe that either because we value decency here.”

Florence Chinonye said married women cheat and she saw one with her eyes,“I don’t understand it, I was shocked the day I caught my neighbour’s wife cheating with a stranger inside his car around the neighbourhood where I live. I was coming back late from work but stopped by the dry-cleaner to pick my clothes. There was a car parked close-by and two people were inside. Initially, I didn’t pay attention because it was not my business who was inside the car parked by the roadside.

But my driver’s attitude drew my attention and I realised it was my neighbour’s wife smooching with another man. I saw her and she saw me but we said nothing to ourselves. “ What I don’t understand is why she was doing it. She is a mother of three and her husband owns two cars and has a good job. The lady has just finished from the University and is waiting for national youths service. In her case, I suspect high libido because she has a young and virile-looking husband who is comfortable and has a good job.

For Christ sake, her husband even bought her a car. As I’m telling you this, we have never discussed this. But what I discovered is that the woman started greeting me since that time. Before then, we hardly talked.”

Ebenezer Matthew, a boutique owner shared the view that married women are promiscuous. “What I cannot say is whether they are the most promiscuous as reported by Durex. But married women in Nigeria cheat. I have a boutique and sell female clothes. I know what I see.

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Some married women bring their boyfriends to the boutique to buy them clothes their husbands could not afford. There is this lady that patronises me. She always comes to my shop every week dressed in Iro and buba. But she would either buy new clothes from me and change into them before going to her destination and on her way back, she comes back to change back into her Iro and buba.

She is one of my biggest customers and usually before embarking on her kurukere movement, she would come here and change into jeans trousers and body-hug top before embarking on her mission. She would remove her Iro and buba and keep them somewhere and put on tight jeans trouser and body-hug top. I always marvel at the transformation of a local woman that enters my shop and a city babe that leaves after she transforms herself.

I know she is cheating on her husband but I think she is from a polygamous marriage. Sometimes, she dresses like a muslim woman when she comes and after she changes, I can attest that even her husband cannot recognise her on the road if she walks across him in her new attire. She does this all the time. She must have children because the last time she came, she was pregnant and I doubt that child belongs to her husband. That woman too waka!”


Men’s diminishing performance


These days high sedentary lifestyle, too much work in the office, lack of exercise, stress and unnatural food has affected men’s sexual performance. Many Nigerian men in their mid 40s and 50s are hypertensive, the treatment lowers libido and takes away the desire for sexual performance. This means that some women cannot be satisfied by their husbands and women who are brazen and can afford it seek for sex pleasures elsewhere.

According to Majo Clinic, high blood pressure often has no signs or symptoms. But the impact a man’s sex life may be obvious. Although sexual activity is unlikely to pose an immediate threat to your health — such as a heart attack — high blood pressure can affect a man’s overall satisfaction with sex.

caught in the act

“A link between high blood pressure and sexual problems has been proved in men. For women who have decreased sexual satisfaction, it’s not yet been proved that high blood pressure is to blame. Over time, high blood pressure damages the lining of the blood vessels and causes arteries to harden and narrow (atherosclerosis), limiting blood flow. This means that less blood flows to the penis for some men, the decreased blood flow makes it difficult to achieve and maintain erections. This problem is called erectile dysfunction. It’s fairly common.

Even a single episode of erectile dysfunction can cause anxiety. Fears that it will happen again might lead men to avoid sex, which can affect the relationship with their sexual partners. High blood pressure can also interfere with ejaculation and reduce sexual desire. Some blood pressure medications may cause similar effects.”

So with low sexual performance in men and raging promiscuity in some women, couples are becoming sexually incompatible.

About Chinedu Eze

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