INFIDELITY; WHAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE?

Thelma Chandafira

The High Court in Harare and Bulawayo has handled over 4500 divorce cases in the last 40 months, while over 1600 marriages have been terminated over the same period. These divorce statistics only include marriages under the Marriage Act section 5:11 and does not take into account cases under the Customary Marriages Act which has many people divorcing but the divorces are not accounted for.

Most divorces cases are due to infidelity in a marriage which is caused by many factors that we will dig deeper into in this article. Infidelity also applies in a relationship in which two people agree on exclusivity be it verbally or on paper.

Speaking of reasons why people cheat when in a marriage or committed relationships I came across an interesting discussion on one of the local radio stations about the causes of infidelity and how some problems can be resolved and others are not up for that kind of discussion.

According to the men that were calling in, I gathered a few points that I think can be helpful to women who do not have open discussions on this issue with their spouses or partners and are most likely in the dark when it comes to the subject of infidelity and how she contributes to the decision as a partner subconsciously.

“I AM TOO TIRED FOR SEX”

Sex is an important practice in any relationship and whether we like it or not it keeps a relationship going and intact. A very close friend of mine once confided in me about an extra marital affair he was having, when I insisted on knowing the reason why he is cheating on his wonderful wife he said, “we have not had sex in 2 months because she is always too tired when she gets home from work”.

Not that I support this particular man’s cheating but how can you be too tired for sex for 2 months? Men are not good at self control and this is no secret no matter how much we try fighting this notion as women it was always like this and we want some miracle to happen by denying him his conjugal rights. He will simply get it elsewhere until you are no longer too tired and trust me he will not bother you about it and you might not even find out.

“YOUR FOOD IS IN THE WARMER”                                                                                                                            After a long tiring day at work what a man needs is to take a shower, relax and have his wife serve him dinner. As women we should understand the difference between abuse, gender balance and respect.

One caller specifically complained about the issue of having to serve himself dinner while his wife is watching television and how he is treated when he goes to his ‘small house’. “I get home tired and my wife who spends the day at home tells me to serve myself while she watches television and she gets angry if I ask her to serve me, that is the reason why I have a girlfriend who wakes up sometimes after midnight to serve me and that makes me feel like a man”, said the caller. He said he will not end the marriage because they have children and she does well in some areas, this statement left the show host in stitches.

“I AM A HOUSEWIFE WHY DRESS UP”                                                                                                                

It is no secret that men are attracted by the way a woman looks before they even know how intellectual she is. Why spend the day with a sock on your head?  Is it because you are a stay at home wife? Come on ladies, being married does not mean you should stop looking good for your man. Another person who called in said his wife spend the whole day with a sock oh her head and a night dress which is a huge turn off for some men.

“I leave for work around 7 am and when I come back at 7 pm she is still wearing the same sock and nightdress and every time I ask her she says she stays at home the whole day she will take the sock off if she is to leave the house”, said the man.

 “THAT IS RATCHET BEHAVIOUR”

I still wonder why people suddenly change when they get married, from the feisty ambitious woman with a vision and an opinion to a boring nagging housewife. Society has its own perception of marriage behavior but we should understand that it is not everything that is said to work will work for you. Communication is the key to a happy relationship, know what your partner likes and be that, if he wants you to dress up what is the harm in being adventurous with your husband?

Was having a conversation with a colleague and asked him why he cheats on his girlfriend of 2 years and he said his girlfriend is not open to try new things especially sex positions which she refers to as positions that prostitutes enjoy. The woman does not go out with her boyfriend she says, “uri kundiita kunge hure kundiendesa ikoko enda hako (you think I am a loose woman I do not go to such places, you can go).

Women also cheat and according to my research there are 2 major reasons why they cheat.

“LACK OF ATTENTION”                                                                                                                           

With men out and about with their concubines the wife is alone and craving for attention which leads her straight into the arms of another man. As morally wrong as it sounds, it is real and it is happening. I am sure we are all familiar with the term ‘Ben 10’ which refers to a younger boy who dates older women and mostly for financial benefits.

Cases of married women having extra marital affairs are on the rise in the country and most women blame it on lack of sexual attention from their husbands hence resorting to finding a ‘Ben 10’ to quench her sexual thirst in exchange for money and luxuries.

“POVERTY”

With the high unemployment rate in Zimbabwe many have ventured into many kinds of money sourcing activities including prostitution and extra marital affairs in which they get paid for their services and go back home to their husbands and children.

Because of poverty many marriages have come to an end as endless fights over finances is the order of the day in some households. One author, Frank Pittman once wrote, ‘Despite their destructiveness, affairs are not going out of style. Not all affairs are alike; some are even accidental’.

  There are many reasons why men cheat, and with men cheating women feel the need to prove they can do the same too and that is where most divorces erupt from. If a relationship or marriage is not working why not end it?

Some say they cannot end their marriages because of the children they have but is it not emotionally bruising for the child to grow up in a family where the show of affection is a myth? Or is it worse for them to grow up in a broken family? We value your comments and feedback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *