Having a man who is either codedly or blatantly cheating on you is such a traumatic, stressful, disturbing, unsettling ordeal that no woman deserves, most certainly not you.
However, many women live daily with this reality, enduring the experience instead of having the peace and enjoyment that they thought their marriage would come with.
For everyone who finds herself dealing with a man who is a cheat, chronic and unrepentant or not, here are ways to deal with the situation as wisely as possible.
1. Try to understand why he does it
Sure there are men who have all relational needs met but still choose to cheat, so in that case, his reason for cheating is certainly not you. If you meet his sexual, emotional and all other reasonable, possible needs and he still chooses to cheat on you, you can rest assured of the fact that it’s not about what you have done or omitted to do.
This, however, does not take away the need to try to know. If you can, get to the root of it. It could be some childhood scar, or some other thing inflicted by past experiences. Just try to know.
A professor of psychology at the University of Lagos, Oni Fagboungbe, tells Punch in April, 2017 that the reason spouses cheat is because they have an unmet need.
Fagbounge says, “Cheating in marriage revolves around need for satisfaction. Whether it is a man or woman that cheats, that person cheats to satisfy a need – sexual or material.
“When a spouse is aware of that fact that the other spouse cheats, the first thing he or she should do is to find out why the spouse cheats.”
2. Seek help
Knowing what we know about Nigeria as a society, getting professional counselling may sound alien to you reading this and that’s fine. But whether or not you are open to the idea of getting marriage counselling from trained experts, you should; particularly if you intend to salvage your relationship with your philandering husband.
It may mean opening up to your religious leader or some elderly couple you trust, and have become comfortable with.
Even though there is no 100% assurance that this will stop him from cheating, there is still a chance that it is the solution you have been looking for.
3. The other woman is not your problem
Just as we have previously explained here in detail, Dr. Chika Ndubuisi, a psychologist at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and marriage counsellor, also advises that fighting the outsider interfering in your relationship/marriage is not the answer.
He tells Punch in the aforementioned interview that; “engaging in a fight with your spouse’s affair partner is not the best solution. I would prefer the woman… to engage in a dialogue with the ‘cheating’ spouse.
"Make him… realise the consequences of his… actions. Effective communication is key to solving the issue of cheating in marriages.”
It’s a sad ending you may not have envisaged but if, at some point, you discover that there’s nothing you can do to the situation and you can’t bear it, it may be time to move on.
Better alone and happy than married and miserable. And don’t let you feel ashamed for doing so regardless of the presence of kids. As we have already stated here, staying in a relationship solely for the sake of your kids is not a very good idea.