It was a last ditch attempt to save our marriage. Mr. Aisi and I had been growing apart for years and though we were still good friends, the marriage part wasn’t holding up well. There were several issues – financial, infidelity, incompatibility with each other’s lifestyles and it seemed that we were running around in circles, one minute it seemed we were beginning to heal and the next minute all hope had dimmed. I was tired, weary and ready to cut my losses and start afresh.
Our family summer holiday to Dubai offered us an opportunity to talk without interference about the state of our marriage and to fashion out steps going forward. There was this inexplicable urgency to go away as a family as it seemed to me that we may not be able to gather together on a holiday for a while (it turned out to be our last family holiday). After talking honestly and candidly, Mr Aisi was for the very first time agreeable to us separating for a while as both of us were obviously no longer happy or fulfilled in the marriage. We agreed to wait until our last was in University, some two years down the line and then separate.
It was on that note that we came back to Nigeria. On getting home from the airport, Mr Aisi complained of a sharp pain at his back whilst he was taking our bags out of the car. We concluded it must be a muscle pull and he was given analgesics at the hospital. Two days later, he went back complaining of the same pain and finally on the seventh day after our return the pain was so bad he had to be carried to the hospital. A CTScan revealed a collapse of two vertebrae on his spine and long story short, seven days later he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma (Cancer of the Bone Marrow), started chemotherapy and was confined to a wheelchair. He was in that wheelchair for one month whilst we made arrangements to travel out for treatment. During that period, I bathed and dressed him every morning, administered his drugs, started homeopathic treatments, accompanied him to the hospital and took care of him. Severally, he would look at me at intervals and say “thank you” and most times followed it with a “why are you doing this?” considering the resolution we had reached in Dubai and on all occasions my answer was “It’s the right thing to do”.
Mr Aisi and I may have had our issues but I never have forgotten that at sometime in our relationship, he had loved me dearly especially when I felt so unloved and unloveable. He was a good friend, someone I could laugh with and it will have been totally wrong of me to abandon him when he needed me the most. He was a very private person and being in the wheelchair was a very humiliating experience for him and so I alone was the only person allowed to see him in his most vulnerable state. I remember an incident when he was constipated due to the large dosage of tramadol he was taking to dull his pain and his tears when his mother offered to help him in the toilet and another occasion where I was woken up from sleep by his brothers, mother and doctor because he refused to use a bedpan and insisted on getting up from his bed to the toilet. The doctor was also adamant that he would not allow him to get up and walk to the adjoining restroom as he could fall down and worsen his situation, eventually, to the consternation of his elderly doctor we opted for a wheelchair that had a bedpan attached to it.
I have divulged the above personal information because of a desire to address the issues raised in an audio recording making its rounds in social media especially WhatsApp. In that recording, a woman recounted to her audience how she dealt with her husband’s four side chicks. She said her husband who she admitted was financially responsible and generous had a stroke and because she had access to his phone, she discovered he had 4 side chicks who he spent money on and had sex with. She very ingeniously printed out all their conversation, the credit alerts and curated information about the women on Facebook. Thereafter, pretending to be her husband she invited them one by one to her home on the pretext that his wife had travelled. Once there, she confronted them in her husband’s presence ensuring that they saw him in a state of helplessness without having bathed or dressed and with soiled diapers. She said she locked them up and made them take care of him for the day while she recorded them on CCTV.
She ended by saying that she believed that the stroke was an act of God to bring her husband to his senses, her husband is now recovered and has seen that his side chicks were only interested in his money and not him and that he had become a changed man. There have been varied responses to the actions of the woman. Some have commended for her ingenuity, whilst some decried her method pointing out that she need not have humiliated her husband in such a manner.
I agree with my friend Bisi Adebayo that the woman’s motives were either one or a mixture of some or all of the following –
- The desire to prove that the man was an adulterer. She may have suspected but was unable to secure hard evidence to establish the fact.
- The desire to prove that side chicks only stick around in good times
- The desire to prove she was a loyal and dutiful wife.
- The desire to humiliate her husband and pay him back for hurting her with his affairs.
In the age of social media where the danger of one story is rife and where people tend to follow the crowd it is my belief that some things ought to be said about the actions of the woman and from my story you will agree with me that I have been in her shoes and can comment from a personal understanding of the issues.
Infidelity is bad, inexcusable and it does a lot of damage to the person and psyche of a woman.I am not convinced that there is a cogent reason for it and it should not be condoned by any person. However, if you condone it, be clear about your motives for doing so.
Humiliating people in order to teach them a lesson never works. Not with our children nor our spouses. It only makes them embarrassed and resentful and it breeds rebellion.
Taking care of a sick spouse is not an assurance that when he gets well he will be appreciative and would be faithful. I know men who have been nursed to health by their dutiful wives only for them to still go out to other women when they get well. My only way of understanding why a man would do this is to conclude that for some men adultery is like breathing and they do not see anything wrong with it.
Sickness or illness is not God’s way of punishing people for infidelity. Most times a person’s lifestyle is what is responsible for their ill health so we should avoid gloating over their situation.
Doing the right thing irrespective of how one has been treated is being true to yourself and nobody else. It doesn’t mean you are being taken advantage of because it is a choice you have made as to how you will respond to a situation.
Finally, it is my opinion that what that woman did to her husband was spiteful to say the least, it robbed him of his dignity and ego and showed what she was capable of doing if wronged. Please don’t misunderstand me, I do not subscribe to women going back to take care of a man that left them when he was healthy for other women. I always told Mr Aisi that if we had separated before he got sick, I wouldn’t have come back to take care of him when he became sick but if you have made the choice to stay with someone, then play your part and when they are in their most vulnerable state do not gloat or hold it over them whilst taking care of them, it makes rubbish of the care you rendered and don’t be surprised if when they get well they revolt and pay you back in your own coin.