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An illicit affair gone awry!

By Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe

Ekene met Kenneth when she was still a student in one of the universities in the South West.

His niece who was her friend and school mate took her to his office one day and when she was leaving they exchanged phone numbers.

Obviously the so-called niece was not much in love with Kenneth's wife because as Ekene' recalled, she encouraged her friend to date her uncle. She said, "She kept telling me that her uncle was a very generous man who would take care of me and that his wife would not dare do anything. That was how I started dating Kenneth who then was a production manager in a manufacturing company. And true to my friend's words, he really took care of me. I wondered if he ever spent any time or affection on his wife because he was all over me.

"Many weekends he would leave Lagos and come and spend weekend with me while I was still a student. I would leave my hostel to spend nights with him in a hotel whenever he was in town. Anytime I needed money, I would tell him and he would send it to my account without any hassles.

"The relationship continued even after I left school. I was like his wife as he was even spending more time with me than he spent on his wife and children. After about two years of dating him, I got pregnant and though he wanted me to abort the baby I insisted I wanted to have it. I didn't want to be a second wife, and he didn't even propose but because I had tasted the good life I felt having a child for me would ensure that he perpetually catered for my needs. And to be fair to him, he was very caring throughout the time the pregnancy lasted and I was better taken care of than many of my friends who were legally married. I guess at a point his wife realised he was having extramarital affairs but couldn't do anything about it. After 18 months, I had another child for him, making it two boys and with that, I assumed that my relationship with him was sealed.

"Therefore I was surprised when after my second son's first birthday he started behaving funny. He would hardly visit me and the children. And each time I offered to visit him, he would come up with one excuse or the other. It is almost two years now and even though we speak on phone once in a while and he sends money for his children's upkeep, I haven't set my eyes on him. Anytime I complained, he would remind me that he was a married man (as if he didn't know that when he was carrying on with me). Now I don't really know what to do because it is obvious he is not interested in me again. But how do I cope because I don't really have a good job, have never made enough efforts to get one because he had always been taking care of my bills."

As she later said, right now, her friends are advising her to meet the wife and let her know what has been going on for the past five years.

Ekene's story can be said to be very typical. But then it is very unfortunate that many women continue to allow themselves to be used by randy men who have proved incapable of controlling the contents of the trousers.

Many of these married men who date other women don't do it because they no longer love their wives (even though sometimes they tell lies to their mistresses about how they could no longer get it up with their wives and those women believe). You see the majority of these men simply believe they are just having fun and displaying their big boy status by engaging in extra-marital affairs. And no thanks to our culture which over the years have continued to condone excesses from men, they do get away with such destructive habits

But having said that, I also think it is high time women and girls began to reap whatever they have sown without much whining. Many of the women in Ekene's shoes didn't go into adulterous relationships because they love the men (there can be exceptions though but it is still not right). More often than not, it has been a case of a woman seeing the man as a meal or social ticket. They get involved with married men knowing full well the possible consequences of their actions, that they could eventually break the married man's homes. But do they usually care? No way, they are only interested in what they can get and too bad if the man's marriage is destroyed in the process.

Now Ekene is crying foul because her lover boy has probably come to his senses and realised that his wife didn't deserve his infidelity. The question I usually ask women like Ekene is how they would react if they were in their lover's wife's shoes. Of course they won't take it, yet, they inflict such pains on other women and expect things to continue to be rosy. What an irony.

But it suffices to say here that since her illicit affair with her lover have produced two children already (without his wife's knowledge) the man is bound by moral and legal obligation to take care of those children. But to expect him to abandon his wife yet again in order to make her happy, would definitely be asking for too much. And for what is worth, telling his wife won't really achieve much. Even if the woman gets angry and leaves her marriage, be sure that it won't bring her former lover running to her.

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