Vanguard Nigeria. Saturday, November 2, 2019
Written by Bunmi Sofola
It's not unheard of that some women, after sampling the delight and wealth of a toy boy, schemed
such lover into the arms of one of their offsprings.
Some of these daughters know that the men they're now marching down the altar with used to be their mothers' lovers. Some don't. When Mosun got married to her heartthrob almost ten years ago, it was like a dream come true for her.
"Fred, my husband, was then a budding businessman but doing very well. He'd just retired from paid employment and lived in his own house with the three children that his dead wife bore him," explained Mosun. "I met him in a small restaurant that my mum ran and she was the one who actually introduced us. At first, I wasn't really interested in Fred.
I was in my early 20s and had a boyfriend I was in love with. I was doing my Youth Service and had all the time in the world to settle down to marriage. My mother was dead against my boyfriend right from the day I introduced him. He didn't belong to our tribe, she reasoned, and if I got married to him and his relatives started speaking in their dialect, I wouldn't even know if I were being sold down the river. Now my mother preferred me to hitch up with a man 15 years my senior.
"I'd ignored her criticism of my boyfriend up till then, but with Fred on the scene, she mounted a tougher pressure. Fred was very generous and genuinely cared about me. He used his influence to get me a good job after my Youth Service and even got me a second hand car.
When I got pregnant, which was really accidental since I was on the pill, he quickly told my mother before I even decided whether or not to keep it. Mum was over the moon, planning a society wedding that Fred happily paid for. I had to let my boyfriend go though, he was really heartbroken and felt betrayed.
"I had three children within six years of our marriage and decided six kids were enough for both of us. Mum was a wonderful mother-in-law, always stocking my freezers and helping with the children. Even though she didn't live with us, it was as if she did. Some times, she even slept in the guest room. She's long been parted from our father and my two other siblings lived with him. You couldn't call her lonely because the restaurant she ran gave her a sort of social life. Being with my family sort of balanced out her life's existence and we all carried on as one big family.
"My mum loves her drink. So does Fred. Apart from the odd glass of wine, I don't drink that much and they both kept each-other company when they drank. The bubble bust the day I came home from work and my seven-year- old daughter came to my room, looking confused. I asked her what the matter was and she was really agitated. When I prodded her further, she whispered, 'I promised dad not to tell.'
"I'd always told her I was her number once best friend-that she should always tell me things first before she told anyone else as I would always protect her. I reminded her again of this and she said, 'I went to look for grandma for my lunch and I found her on the bed, and dad was on top of her. They were both naked and shouted at me to go down-stairs. Later, dad came to explain that they weren't doing anything wrong and that I shouldn't tell you because you wouldn't understand.
"I was boiling with rage. Later, when I calmed down, I realized what happened wasn't really unexpected. My mother's constant visit to our house, her unusual closeness to my husband, so close that I'd found both of them alone in the house some of the time. But to be actually having sex in our bed? My own mother? I felt really revolted and wanted to puke. I calmly told my daughter not to look frightened before going to see my mother. If I confronted Fred first, I knew he would lie through his teeth and begged me not to confront my mother, so as not to embarrass her.
"When I told mum that I knew what she was up to, she sat quietly for a while, her hands on her laps. Then with a resigned look, she told me how she'd been Fred's lover long before she match-made both of us. She knew he could never even think of marrying her and he was such a decent man she wanted him for me.
In her warped mind, she actually believed she was doing the best for me', that I could have done a lot worse. What could I do about a dilemma such as this? Rave and rant at my mother? 'Honour thy father and mother,' says the Bible. But what do you do with a mother who didn't even honour her daughter's wedding vows? Before I could say anything, she said she was sorry I found out the way I did, but she wasn't sorry she got both of us together. That I should be grateful for the stable home and healthy children I had. I simply walked out of the room.
"She must have phoned Fred because he looked like a guilty puppy when he came in. Before I said anything, he told me he already knew I'd found out, and that we should wait a day or two to calm down before we said anything we would regret. But I tore into him, taking all my frustrated anger out on him. He'd had the nerve to bring his mistress, my mother into our matrimonial bed. And wanted me to be calm about it? Impossible! I sank my teeth into his chest and felt blood in my mouth-I was like a wild cat as I hurled the bed-side radio at him. He yelled as it bounced off him and he ran out of the door.
"He didn't come back until much later. When he did, it was with my best friend and she took me to the room. She said things could be lots worse than they currently were. What if my husband had gotten the maid pregnant? That some men, not only sleep with their wife's mother, they threw in the wife's odd sister or two! And if I must know, most of these women were aware of what went on in their families but looked the other way-as long as the price was right!
"As things are now, I'm still trying to grapple with this nightmare in my life. I couldn't send my mother away because the children genuinely love her and she is a good grandmother who is proud of them. They've both promised to put an end to their relationship. Easier said than done. I'm proud of the home that I've made for my family over the years-and there are six children to consider. You don't throw all that away. because your mother's libido is uncontrollable."