So good to have you on the FamilyMatics column once again; it is a pleasure to know you are here. This week, I will be sharing with us still on Managing Marital Interference the topic, How to Prevent Extramarital Affairs, using the experience of Tiara:
Tiara is a busy, brilliant and excellent business executive. In just seven (7) years of joining the banking sector, she rose to become a Regional Manager, a feat which has never been before. This tells you that Tiara is a record-breaker. But it is rather unfortunate that what was supposed to bring the greatest joy to her marriage was also the source of a wide chasm, bringing in a flood that is threatening to capsize her marriage. How do I mean?
Tade, her husband, has become both insecure and irrational about his wife’s new office. He was insecure because the new job meant more frequent travels and more time away from home. And he was irrational because Tiara now earns more than him. He grew up believing that a man must be ahead in everything, but how can he now stomach the fact that his wife is earning more? He feels he will no longer be in control like he used to, and Tiara may now find him somewhat dispensable (he seeks to be the whole world to her, but alas, this is no more a reality.)
The insecurity and irrational behaviour have now impacted so badly on their communication that he could not even use gracious words on her any more. He has become so brash and harsh that they could hardly converse for long without raising voices. This has created much void and emotional depletion in Tiara, and the only person she could find as a place of solace and confidence is her colleague, Tudor.
At an AGM out of town, it became obvious to many that Tiara was no longer in the game – she was not the agile, lively, happy-go-lucky person she used to be. She seemed withdrawn, unconcerned and barely said anything. It was beginning to affect her relationships and performance. After the second evening (out of town), Tudor went to her room like the first night, to comfort her. She sobbed like a baby, using Tudor’s shoulders both as a support and wipes. She could hardly let go of the hug, as it had been such a long time she last had such an affectionate one. As she was about releasing herself from the grip her lips “accidentally” touched his’. She held him closer and planted a deep kiss on his lips. It was not long before they were down on each other.
Initially, she felt the guilt of cheating on Tade; but the experience felt so good and comforting that she looked forward to her time out with Tudor again and again. As far she is concerned, all that mattered now is her personal happiness, and she will do anything to be happy, even if the world calls it cheating.
Many times, people do not go about seeking an extramarital affair, but when the experiences in the home front go sour, they are often compelled to do what is not convenient.
To prevent such occurrences in your marriage, let me leave you with these few tips:
One, be more aware of the things you have believed about man-woman relationship in marriage. If what you believe is not empowering you and your spouse towards being better, then it is high time you discarded such. (Tade’s beliefs about manhood and supremacy are costing him his marriage.)
Two, work on your personal weaknesses before they escalate into something out of control. Seek help if need be, but whatever the case, never allow a weakness to overwhelm you to the point of allowing interferences into your marriage.
Three, be more open in your communications. Seek first to understand before seeking to be understood. This way, you can present your fears and concerns in an open atmosphere and your spouse may be just handy in helping you allay such fears. (If Tade had made his concerns known to Tiara, she probably would have reassured him that her loyalty and commitment to the marriage is paramount, and given him action plans on how to make that work.)
And an extra tip, it is helpful to have a family therapist you both are accountable with. Like a doctor, a family therapist helps you to diagnose gray areas in your marriage and prescribes solutions that will keep you in the game for the long time. You do not have to wait till there is an emergency situation (when your home is hitting the rocks) before you seek professional help.
Prevention, they say, is better than cure.
I value you.
Dele Ayo Bankole
He is an Associate Family Systems Engineering (FSE) Practitioner, a family and behavioral change therapist. He is the Principal Family Strategist at the High-Impact Family Centre. He helps to design unique strategies for wholesome family and organizational experience. He can be reached on Phone/WhatsApp (08064980357) and Email, highimpactfamilycentre@gmail. com. If you have any comments, feedback, questions, or suggestions, he will love to hear from you.
“Together, we can make an emotionally healthy Africa possible!”