She doesn’t fulfil me. The age-old adage by which men justify cheating.
In the first instance, when it comes to fulfilment in marriage, there is a lot to be said about gender roles in this regard. In a typical household, a woman rises early in the morning to prepare her husband’s bath. She makes sure his clothes are laid out for him, he is well fed, and everything he needs for the day that she has control over she does. She then needs to ensure the household is clean (even if this just involves managing the maid), the children are cared for and organised, and then she too may even need to head out to work to supplement her husband’s income. The last thing that she has to do at the end of the day? Satisfy him sexually.
Now imagine a man were to get up and prepare the bath for a female. He finds her clothes, sets them out, makes necessary adjustments; prepares some food, sets it before her, and generally makes sure when she heads out the door she hasn’t had to worry about a thing. He then heads out to make money to meet her needs. In this scenario, is this female his wife or his daughter? Will his last thought at the end of this day be, ‘now let me ‘do’ her’?
Most married women I believe struggle with the intimate part of their relationships for this very reason. They spend most of their waking moments mothering their husband; there is just no component in their relationship that substantiates that this man is her lover. You will hear it often said, in fact, that your husband is your first born child.
What un-perverted woman wants to have sex with her child?
The same cannot be said about her co-worker, whom she sees only when he is already fed and dressed. She is eager to get his clothes off because she doesn’t have to worry about washing them, or whether he can wear them again tomorrow. She loves to massage his feet because at that point in time, that is all she has time for. There are no in-laws to visit, no children to supervise or plans to make. When they are together it is just about them. And what evidence is there to support that women do not have sexual needs? Just because they are different does not make them inferior.
When she gets home there is a list of domestic things to deal with. When you see your lover only for love, you can schedule these meets outside of your time together. And here is one conversation a man will not have with his mistress: ‘Money is tight, how can you reduce your spending to ease the strain?’ When all he has to be is a lover, he will make sure you never have to worry about costs or contribute towards income. That’s the job he reserves for his personal administrator, his wife. With his wife, he is so complacent as to show all his neediness and inabilities. All those things you avoid doing that could put off your lover, you forget when you are with your wife. Even simple things like switching off your phone for the quality time, many wives would love to have that.
So it turns out when you are a wife your multiple roles mean you are a mother to everyone in the house including your husband. Now evidently he wants more than a mother that is why he left his mother’s house, but somehow he managed to bring along all these extra habits and ‘needs’ that he still needs you to meet like his mother did. What has happened now is that women have realised they can have the title of wife and mistress together. Subconsciously, by dating a married woman, a man is also affirming this. He is saying, when you are with me you can be just my lover.
The challenge is going to be ending the cycle. Most likely it has to be men’s initiative. After all, it is them who will be first to point out that culturally they are on the right. Is culture the being that you want to go home to? Will there be some prize at the end of the day for all men who went out of their way to uphold their culture? It was only when married women discovered married men would risk it that they embarked on it. After all, even the biblical perspective show that men who have more to answer for. Eve took a bite of the apple and nothing happened. Then Adam took a bite…