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Married men, single girls and courtship

By Kemi Dayo-Aiyetan

IF a soothsayer had told her this, she would have fought tooth and nail to prove him wrong. ”I never thought I could date a married man or even think of being a second wife. I had vowed that I would never date another woman‘s husband, but when I met George, I reversed my stance,” Laide, 32, a civil servant in Abuja says.

Though she will tell you she is still searching for a mate, she is almost assuming the role of a second wife in George‘s life. ”We are both in Abuja and he really loved me,” she says. ”I met him when he came for a contract in my office and we hit it off instantly. He is just 35, handsome and I didn‘t know he was married. When I realised, I could not retrace my step because he was all I wanted in a man. George always expressed regrets that he was too impatient by marrying his wife when he could have walked me down the aisle.

”The marriage is blessed with a child and he has been catering for my needs; and even for my family members and he showers me with love and gifts. I really loved him and he had proposed marriage to me. His family is in Lagos and he travelled once in a month to see them. When I realised that he was really serious about marrying me, I became afraid and resisted. Later, I realised that no bachelor was coming and I was getting older and had a terrible record of broken courtships. Already, he had taken me to see his mother in the village and he planned to see my parents very soon. But my parents and siblings urged me to marry him because he had been taking care of them too. My fear is his wife and what if I become a laughing stock amongst my friends who are happily married to single men?”

Though younger, Sarah is also in the same dilemma. ”I am 22, and have been dating a married man for two years now,” she confesses. ”We love ourselves and have sex together. He caters for all my needs and is ready to foot my bill up to master‘s degree level. He believes young men are not good enough for me. They are just after sex and will not help me achieve much in life. He believes that at 22, I am not yet prepared for any serious relationship that may amount to marriage. He wants me to finish my masters, secure a job and then I can get married. I appreciate his plans for me but I feel I should get serious with a single guy and wherever it will lead us. I will be done with school in less than a month and there is this young guy coming up. He really likes me but I don‘t really like him and I feel it is because of my relationship. Really, no bachelor can be like him in my life.”

Cynthia, 28 is also very confused about Collins. ”He wanted me to have a baby for him out of wedlock,” she says. According to the businesswoman, she could end up being a kept mistress. ”He wedded in the Catholic Church and he would not want a second marriage when he was not divorced from his wife. I know he loved her dearly and spoke glowingly about her whenever I asked him what would happen to us. He had been married for 12 years and the marriage had not produced a child. When I advised him on adoption, he disagreed and said he wanted his own children. Now, he had opened a wine shop for me in a choice area, he catered for my needs, my family members and I drive an exotic car about town. His gift for me whenever I have his first child would be mansion in a choice area in Abuja. Already, he had stopped the use of condoms but I am afraid. What if that woman killed me through voodoo? Though he said he would tell her about me, I know he dare not because he not only loved her, he also lived in fear of her because she made him who he is today. I am really confused,” she says.

Maybe the scariest of these stories is that of Barbara, 25 and a youth corps member. ”I am in love with a man who is 12 years older than me,” she starts. ”He loves me too and encourages me in my career. He has proposed to me but I am yet to give him an answer because he is married with two kids. His wife is also pleading with me to marry him but this confuses me the more. When I asked her why she wanted a second wife for her husband, she said she needed a mate to share the vast wealth with in her husband‘s life.

”I thought both of them were joking until the man revealed that he needed a male child from me. I had humorously revealed to him that my mother had seven sons and me. Then all of my sisters have sons and no daughters. For a male child, he had promised me a car, a house and would set me up in a viable business. I am really afraid because I am dating Paschal, a young man working in the civil service. Already, Paschal had proposed to me and we had arranged to get married after my service. But this older man is richer, more caring and hardly quarrels with me. I am so confused because Paschal could commit suicide if I dare jilt him. What do I do?”

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