Even more on cheating among Nigerians

Finally, I’m responding to your most excellent comments provided on the entry on cheating among Nigerians. I’m using this entry to respond generally to common elements, and some of you may receive an email response.

If you skimmed the earlier entry, please understand that I did not say that Nigerians have the monopoly on cheating, nor did I say that a Nigerian man will definitely cheat. The entry is about cheating among Nigerians because I’m Nigerian, and it was a fellow blogger who stated that in her opinion, Nigerian men will cheat, that’s it’s only a matter of time.

Also, talking about cheating doesn’t mean I’m wishing it upon myself or saying it will happen; it’s a topic that I think couples should discuss, not in a “when you cheat” way as if it’s inevitable, but in a “Let’s make sure we’re clear on what our views on infidelity are, what we consider infidelity and how we will prevent such a thing from touching our marriage.” In a perfect world these things would be intuitively understood, but this world is far from perfect. Talking once or twice about scenarios that you hope never happen isn’t a bad thing in my opinion; bringing it up constantly is another matter.

Themes that came out from your comments:

Society allows Nigerian men to cheat
This is a comment that came up over and over again. Society and what it considers acceptable is a huge part of why cheating is so rampant. Many commenters think Nigerian men cheat because they are taught it’s their right, that they can get away with it, while women were (are?) taught to forgive and remain in the relationship if the man cheats, especially, as taynement mentioned, when the woman is financially dependent on the man.

Sting mentioned polygamy. The polygamous histories of many families (both of my grandfathers had two wives each, for example) doesn’t help: men were (are?) brought up to think that they can be with more than one woman at a time without feeling guilty, and without having to explain themselves.

An anonymous commenter mentioned a double standard: while Nigerian women who are cheated on were (are?) generally told to remain in relationship by family and friends, if the woman is the unfaithful one, the treatment she would receive from her own family, not to mention the larger community, would be quite different: she would be called all sorts of unflattering names and ridiculed, and her husband would not be expected to take her back following her betrayal.

But for every man who thinks cheating is not a big deal, there are men like NBB who make declarations such as “I’m Nigerian Man. I do not cheat and would never cheat. so help me God.”

Generational differences in responses to cheating
As commenters Eniola and Angel007 mentioned, it seems the older generation (our mothers and grandmothers) are more willing to turn the other cheek when it comes to cheating than the younger generation, and while part of me bristles at the thought, I can accept that their approach for a man who cheats only once may make sense. The problem is that I don’t believe a man can cheat “just once”!

I was happy to discover that many of the commenters considered cheating a deal breaker too, though as sting said, who knows if it would remain a deal breaker in reality. We may talk a good game but when push comes to shove, would we really kick a cheater out of our lives for good? My head is screaming YES!!! Whether you know your answer to that question or not, it’s definitely food for thought.

The idea that cheating is a form of abuse and a sign of disrespect
Some commenters mentioned sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and how wives of cheating men can end up contracting them from a man who brings the STD home. As a witty fool mentioned, it would be terrible to get an STD, but imagine having to deal with an incurable STD like genital herpes, or an STD that will reduce your life expectancy, such as HIV? It would add insult to injury! I had not discussed the issue but it doesn’t take much thinking to realize that this is a huge fallout from cheating. There’s the betrayal inherent in the act, but when you add the chance that one could physically suffer for the rest of their life because of the cheater’s acts? Well, let’s not think about it!

There are worse things than cheating
I believe those sharing this opinion are trying to say that infidelity might not be the big deal I have made it because a marriage without infidelity does not automatically mean a good marriage, a loving marriage, a healthy marriage or a solid marriage. I definitely agree, but the entry was about infidelity. Also, I don’t think anyone should feel they must accept infidelity in their marriage because “It could be worse!” How about we take a stand and make sure it’s clear that in addition to infidelity, there are other things that are unacceptable in our marriages?

Not all men cheat
To end on a positive note, not all Nigerian men will cheat, and that’s good news. Many of the married women and some of the unmarried women stated that (with God’s help) their marriage will not be touched by infidelity, and I truly believe that if both of the people in the relationship are committed to the mindset that cheating is not an option, it will not happen. Again, I may be naive.

Chichi made a point that there are usually steps leading to the cheating act(s), and because of that, couples must invest time in their relationship and protect the relationship. Does this mean that a person bent on cheating can be stopped from cheating? No, but we all owe it to our relationships to work with our partner to make it as strong as possible. No one, in my opinion, has the right to cheat.

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15 thoughts on “Even more on cheating among Nigerians

  1. I've been away from blogville for a while and I'm still trying to catch up with all the good stuff I have missed.

    Cheating is definitely a deal breaker for me and i believe couples should be upfront with each other about deep issues such as this especially with regards to their expectations in marriage.

    My father was one man who was so exemplary that i can honestly vouch for him as a man who did not cheat on his wife of 30years.

  2. This post is deep o, GNG.

    My contributions:

    -NBB is the correct naija guy, even though it is true that society allows men to cheat.

    -It is sad that women are treated differently from men when it comes to cheating consequences

    -The older generation, though old school, have their marriages working out better because they have a lot of wisdom on how to settle differences that our generation needs to learn. Of course, there are extreme cases where there is a deal-breaker, but I don't feel our generation should take the first exit sign when there's a problem in a relationship. This being said, this statement is for MARRIED COUPLES. Pls if the couple concerned is not married, take the fastest exit…LOL

    -"To end on a positive note, not all Nigerian men will cheat, and that’s good news." I co-sign on that and I thank God for that :)

  3. Everyone – male, female, straight or gay – will cheat, given the right balance between incentives and disincentives. Having said that, I know a good number of people who have never cheated on their spouses. It boils down to how the individual weighs the 'benefits' of temptation vs the rewards of holding out.

  4. GNG, Its nice to read a review of the comments made on the post thanks for the quote.

    @Jaycee thanks too

    I also like the conclusion: Not all men will cheat!

  5. We know that Polygyny(a man having multiple wives at a time) is permitted in Islam, Islam justifies that it is the best possible solution for a couple when the wife is infertile and the husband seeks an heir of his own, and separation is not an option.. Then why not recognize polyandry (woman having multiple husbands) if man is not capable? http://www.lawisgreek.com/the-practicality-behind

  6. First time commenting though i had been reading through subscription. Really, was it TIGER WOODS PALAVA that suddenly brought the AWARENESS on infidelity? lol

    Seriously people, when one has gotten to half of a journey & the vehicle suddenly developed fault, would one abandon the journey completely or find a solution?

    My people, TALK IS CHEAP! IT IS SOME FELLOW WOMEN LIKE YOU & I THAT ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF INFIDELITY!

    Some gals lure men IGNORING the rings on their fingers!

    A corper chased after a man who just got married few months ago, that it took MATURITY on the guy's part to AVOID her that his friends called him MUGU, that e 4 chop& clean mouth,Likewise, another corper dressed to kill & attended a get-together in order to lure a married man! The co-workers were aware of her scheme & the married women among them were giving her the BITCH LOOK! Can you imagine a lady telling a guy she wants to have SEX with him in the toilet! Another offers a BJ in the car! Another TOASTED a married man in the BRT bus? People, the stories are endless… & these are CORPORATE GALS O! Did any of you by chance see THE ZAIN SCANDAL on net last year?

    So wetin this woman come de yarn jare ? someone might be asking; SIMPLE ! IT IS A TWO -AWAY TRAFFIC! ARE WOMEN READY TO LET GO OF MARRIED MEN BECAUSE OF THE CASH GIFT? that is food for thought! SHALOM

  7. That a man will cheat is constant. Some will cheat once and realize they got it great at home and quit, some will cheat, and realize they married she-devil and continue.

    I love listening to women that swear up and down that their husbands can never cheat on them. Like Oje said, giving the right incentives, they will.

  8. Hmm, good topic. Everyone feels very passionate about their points of view.

    It was a while ago, i think a year, into our relationship that I sat my now husband (hehe) down and said let's talk about fidelity. His response "I can't say for sure but I pray it never comes into our relationship/marriage and it never happens to me!" I was shocked and said what do you mean "i can't say for sure?" He's of the opinion that you don't underestimate the challenges out there but you remain vigilant and focused on what YOU want. I've allowed him his point of view but made mine crystal clear. I'm not sure and I don't think I will leave my husband if he cheated on me on the first instance, but what i DO KNOW FOR SURE is that my trust and respect for that man will be broken completely in a way we will never be able to capture again. Even if we try to build the relationship back it'll never be the way it once was. It would shatter me and shatter our relationship. That i know for sure. That is the REAL risk. I think he gets that and since we both like our relationship and our journey as it is, we're committed to keeping it that way.

    About men cheating, in NIgeria, i think the opportunities are so much and the environment so ripe for it that it is a REAL challenge BOTH parties must bear to heart. For women AND men too, because men hit on married women too! A ring means nothing to a whole lot of people. I feel cheating is a pasttime in Nigeria, very kini big deal? And also a lot of women don't mind it, so it doesn't carry as bad a stigma as it does elsewhere I think. So the result is….most people cheat. I would say anywhere from 60-85% cheat.

    my response is so disjointed lol.

  9. i guess i'm a cheat…. i have plentyful girl friends lol…it's no right to be a cheat man or woman…

  10. Yes youre right! With God’s help, their marriage will not be touched by infidelity, and I truly believe that if both of the people in the relationship are committed and matured enough to work out their differences and decide to love each other” for better or for worse”, there would be lower divorce rates. Margaret

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