Written by Bunmi Sofola
~Vanguard, Nigeria. Sunday, July 10, 2016
Only, it is a heartbreaking reality for some wives. What does it feel like to be betrayed by the man you married with a woman living under your own roof? And what kind of man behaves in such a despicable way? Here, in a startling and brave account Roger, a lawyer in his mid-forties shares his reason for not only going after the maid, but getting married to her …
"Muji is not your run-of-the-mill maid," he says. "I know people will assume that I've had some sort of mid-life crisis in my mid-forties. But my feelings for Muji are anything but frivolous – and I didn't do it lightly. My marriage to Rita, my wife of 18 years was breaking down, and falling in love with Muji just speeded things up. We got married in England and had three young children when Muji was sent to us as a possible help. She already had her OND and the plan was that she would make enough money within say three years to help her further her studies.
"I don't feel guilty about what happened because I didn't go out looking for love. And it certainly hasn't been easy. I've constantly worried about everything and the impact it will have – not just on the children, but also Fikayo my wife, and Muji. The person I was least worried about was me. Everyone tells my wife and me that they are amazed at how calmly we are dealing with the situation. She has been extraordinarily generous in her understanding and I know she could have reacted so I could be punished for what I'd done.
"When I met Fikayo, I was the one who pursued her relentlessly. She worked for a reputable IT company and the night we met, I thought she was gorgeous. Looking back, I could see an imbalance in our affections. It wasn't that noticeable in our 20s because you don't think about those things when you're having fun. But these sort of cracks become amplified as you get older and have children. It was very obvious in the past few years since we had our first child that Fikayo's heart wasn't in it when we had sex. It was more frustrating than hurtful. We bumbled along fine as friends but we didn't connect any more as husband and wife.
"As for Muji, I liked her from the moment we met, but I didn't find her attractive. In fact, I thought she was 'bush'. But we often stayed up late whilst she got on with the chores and I listened to some music. In hindsight, I enjoyed having the company and sharing some of my feelings with her, afterall she was educated enough and quite intelligent. As my wife and I started bickering constantly – over our finances and her unwillingness to help with the domestic chores – I felt the need to confide in someone. Like most people in that situation, I turned to the person I saw most often. The fact that I worked from home meant that that person was Muji. It didn't feel disloyal because Muji had been privy to the atmosphere between us. She remained entirely neutral. I just wanted to off-load. Towards the end of 2010, I was seriously doubting my marriage. The arguments were non-stop and I was worrying about the effect on the children.
"Early that year, we started making plans to return to Nigeria. My wife had suspected my feelings for Muji and she was more sad than shocked. She had made plans to visit her sister in London for a few weeks and left without taking the children. Muji was that good with them and they all liked her very much. Apart from helping with their home work, she played games with them and thought them how to dance. My wife believed her absence would give Muji and me space to resolve our differences. I was overcomed by an unexpected feeling of sadness. I know it wasn't normal to feel what I felt about my children's nanny.
"Thoughts of Muji began to consume me: how happy and at ease I felt in her company – how much fun we had together and yes, how wonderful she was with the children. Did I want to be with her or was this just a reaction to feeling unhappy with my wife? I wasn't sure. I felt stuck and didn't want to hurt anyone. When my feelings for Muji intensified, I came up with what I thought was a plan to resolve the situation. I decided to tell her I was falling in love with her convinced she would be alarmed and probably make a scene.
And that would have been the end of it. I would have licked my wounds and moved on. I felt then that that would be the preferable outcome, because any thing else would complicate matters. But it backfired monumentally.
"Alone with her one evening, I went to her room and told her how I felt. I don't remember my exact words, but she started crying and confessed she had feelings for me too. Far from feeling elated, it put me in a panic because I knew this meant we were now in an impossible situation. Up till then, we'd had no physical contact but when I held her in my arms, made love to her and saw how responsive she was, I knew that was the type of response I'd longed for from a woman for a very long time.
I had to tell Fikayo weeks later about how I felt. Delaying the inevitable any longer would have made matters much worse. As to be expected, Fikayo was incredibly upset and for the first time, I could understand why some times people strangle offending partners or gun them down. It would have been easier not to have to deal with this trauma. But the reality is, there was no way to end my marriage and start a relationship with Muji and avoid anyone being hurt.
"Muji found a bedsit which I helped pay for and my wife kicked me out of the house. I had to plead with her to take Muji back for the months it would take us to finalise the sale of the house so we could all go back to Nigeria. The children need not suffer as my wife couldn't really look after them half as much as Muji did. I stayed in her bedsit and she moved back to the house. I worried about explaining the situation to the children until I realised the children sort of guessed what was going on but they seemed unperturbed by it all.
"Instead of selling the house, my wife decided to buy me out and refused to relocate with me. She even agreed that I should come to Nigeria with the children knowing Muji would be their step-mum.
She was quite realistic about the break-up of our marriage – if it wasn't Muji, she believed it would be another woman and she would rather her children were raised by someone she knew than by a woman who would make their lives miserable.
"We've since divorced – I didn't contest anything. I was grateful she was civilised enough to let me have a share of the house. We've since settled nicely here in Nigeria and the children talk to their mother all the time and go on holidays to see her. As for me, I couldn't be happier. Muji loves and worships the earth I tread on and I've since
set her up in a flourishing business. She has her own child and another one is on the way but you would never guess she wasn't the children's mother. Ironically, my ex-wife found a replacement for her and I will for ever be grateful for the civilised way she handled everything. "
Thanks For The Memories! (Humour)
One Saturday, a man and a woman walk into a very posh shop.
"Show the lady your finest mink!" the man demands. So the owner of the shop goes in the back and comes out with a full-length coat. .As the lady tries it on, the owner sidles up to the man and whispers, "Ah, sir, that particular forgoes for N2 million." "No problem!" says the man. "I'll write a cheque!" "Very good sir," says the owner. "You may come on Monday to pick the coat up after the cheque clears."
So the man and the woman leave. On Monday, the man returns on his own. The owner is outraged. "How dare you show your face in here? There wasn't a penny in your account." "Sorry," grins the man, . but I wanted to thank you for the most wonderful weekend of my life!"