By Cynthia Mukanzi
Adultery has existed since time out of mind. Everyday around us, there are cases of infidelity; be it celebrities or the common man. Statistics show that the number of married men cheating has risen over time. However, approximately 90percent of the unfaithful men will not leave their wives for the other woman.
Men’s marital indiscretions have been attributed to many factors. For some, their unquenchable sexual lust sends them out of marriage. Others stray due to their wives unavailability therefore lack of attention. This is evident where women spend more time with their kids or work. Besides these, a man may cheat in case of a childless marriage or in search of a child of a certain gender.
In other occasions, boredom in marriage provokes the man to pursue fun elsewhere. This could be due to the couple’s failure to challenge each other with exciting moves. He could be revenging for being cheated on by the wife as an alternative to divorce.
Gary Neuman, a marriage therapist for over 20 years from USA, researched extensively for two years on 200 married men. A half of them cheated on their wives while the rest were faithful. According to his study, 93 percent of the cheating men will deny it.
Likewise, women who cling on married men have diverse reasons. Some are busy with their careers so they opt to have fun rather than commitments. It’s also possible for a woman with low self-esteem to desperately hang on to a married man. Others may be in search of new sexual encounters or a financial savior. There are those who wouldn’t mind to be married as second wives. Some married women may have affairs with other people’s husbands. It could be they feel unfulfilled in their own matrimonial homes. They can also be hitting back for being abused or cheated on by their husbands.
Peter Mugambi, 33, has a wife of 12 years and three children. This has not deterred him from side dishing. Social pressure, he says, is to blame for his 7 month affair. For him, keeping both women is really taxing. “My mistress expects me to treat her like my wife, but it’s impossible,” he says.
He says he cannot totally snub his wife for her sake. This affair has greatly affected his family’s welfare, especially financially. There are times his kids lack school fees because of spending on her. Despite all these, he is not willing to leave her because of the intimacy they share. “One sure thing is I will never leave my wife for her. I love my wife so much and that’s why I use protection during sex with my girlfriend,” he says.
Harmon Amadi, 40, says he did not plan to cheat on his wife. He found himself getting cozy with another woman but he is not guilty about it. “I don’t beat myself over it since I love my wife and I’ve no intentions of leaving her. Neither will I marry my other girl as a second wife,” he says.
He is with her for a lively sexual encounter. In return, the woman expects to be taken care of in all ways. In his terms, this does not compromise his family relations. He is not certain when the affair will end. Besides that, he can’t verify whether or not he will ever fully commit himself to his wife.
Liz Aluoch, 24, describes her married boyfriend as responsible, caring and less baggage. She is not with him for financial upkeep but for the whole thrill of doing a married guy. Being with him gnaws her conscience ever since she met his wife and son. “I feel guilty at times but am not ready to leave him,” she says. She has no deep emotional attachments to him.
At times she can’t help but get jealous when his wife calls while they are together. “I know my place in his life so I don’t plan to stick with him for long,” she says. She wants a man of her own. As of nemesis, she is prepared to face whatever consequences that may arise from her actions now or in the future.
Julie Nyakio, 26, attests to the fact that women can mess with a married man for cash. She dates a married guy who supports her financially. Another reason was to get rid of her curiosity. Sadly, she confirms that with all its sweet trappings, beneath lies immense dissatisfaction.
In such a relationship, there exist restrictions. She has to tread carefully since he is a family man. “That is why I have less expectations of him, “she says. Due to the complicated status of their relationship, she is motivated to get her own man. She does not fancy the thought of being a second wife. “I would not even marry him if he left his wife for me. Who says he won’t serve me the same pill?” she closes rhetorically.
Dr. James Kariuki, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi and an expert on sociology states that women naturally love good and responsible men. To him, it’s a no wonder women get attracted to married men. They perceive them to be of impressive qualities, a reason to why they are taken.
He says a married man may cheat if he is unhappy and unappreciated. The sociologist says each individual has varied motives for what they do. In most cases, he says that a man may not leave his wife for the mistress.
Such misdeeds can be prevented by appropriate marital communication. He says a couple should keep the romance alive. In addition, he says couples should keep on dating and going out even when married. Having fun together should not stop. If this is adhered to, the marital fabric will remain firmly knit.
Counselling psychologist Anastasia Mwendwa acknowledges that several issues cause unfaithfulness. The fact that society does not frown upon the man’s follies but scorns the woman’s encourages man’s deceptive ways.
She asserts that the traditional society has failed to give the necessary guidance and support to the married. She believes people should be well equipped with premarital counselling before entering the union. That premarital counseling should be introduced to the college curriculum and made compulsory. She says this will help people intending to marry learn how to live with a spouse. The therapist says that even married women may cheat if they feel unfulfilled. Likewise a man will cheat for the same reason or more.
“Marital problems and temptations will always be there but only strong values will hold the institution together,” she says. She agrees that good communication and patience among other aspects are key ingredients to a joyful marriage.