How Culture Influences Cheating

why do people cheat

Why Do People Cheat 5 ; cultural reasons people cheat

Some cultures allow men to have as many concubines as they can provide for and there are traditions also that allow sex outside marriage with conditions. This system is understandable by any lady from such background but not from an outsider.

Before a man can think of getting married to a second wife he must have first had a relationship with her and he would indulge in the relationship without the knowledge of his wife. During this period, could it be said that the man cheated on his wife?

In some parts of Africa, men are given immunity over infidelity due to the attribute given to them as superior to the women. When a man is found lying with another woman beside his wife, it is pardonable but when a woman does same it would be termed a sacrilege

This cultural fortification is the anchor to which some men strive on infidelity in some parts of Africa. To these men, it is natural for a man not to keep one woman in his life.

But with the dawn of civilization, women are nudging towards power and men are gradually losing their efficacy of dominance and right over infidelity. Notwithstanding, most African men still uphold and live their ancient value.

“My husband gives me everything I had ever wanted including sex. I was comfortable being a house wife. He paid me monthly and I was happy. We have four beautiful kids together and life seemed good until I discovered he was cheating on me.

It happened that a friend of mine had a conference meeting in a hotel and saw my husband going into the same hotel with some girl. My friend called me on the phone and told me what she had seen.  At first I didn’t believe it, until she mentioned the exact clothes my husband wore that morning. Like a mother hen someone stole her chick, I drove to the location she gave me and waited by my husband’s car.

Hours crawled by as I waited enraged. After about five to six hours, there was my husband in sight walking out of the hotel hand in hand with some strange girl I look a hundred times more beautiful than. The bitch was kissing him as they strolled to the car. I couldn’t contain my anger, so I unleashed my venom on her! I ripped her apart and stripped her right there. To my surprise, shameless husband stood and defended the malnourished ugly thing he was with. I tried to challenge him but he slapped me and took the girl away in his car.

I felt cheated, heartbroken and humiliated. I got back home waiting for him to come back and face me, only for him to return twice furious than I was. He threw me out of my matrimonial home that night. I don’t know if what I did was wrong, I was only fighting to save my marriage”. Oge (not real name) narrated.

In 2018, a couple seeking for divorce were arrayed by the court. The man who filed for the divorce complained that his wife attacks his concubines and scares them away from him, and when the court asked him why he felt it was his right to keep extramarital affairs, his response surprised everyone; his exact words were: ” I’m an African man, I have the right to have as much women as I choose”. Surprisingly, majority of the people in the court that day agreed to his statement including the judge.

A typical African man who is bound by cultural values would cheat without remorse. Even the enlightened and educated among them.

Another case of cultural influence is the male child influence. Yes, in Africa male children are valued more than the female children because of the belief that they would carry on the father’s name to the generations unborn. If a woman is unable to bear a male child, the man may decide to try other ladies who may possibly bare him male children. Since it is acceptable to have more than a wife, he can go ahead to marry any of the ladies who gives him a male child.

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The women do not have much say in this issue, she understands the culture and how it can ruin the man’s reputation, especially when he’s blue blooded.

Tolu (not real name) narrated her story. “I was 18 years old when I got married to my husband, then 28 years old. When we were courting, it looked like a perfect happy ever after kind of love, I was sure he was the one. He was everything, everything I had ever wanted.

After we got married in May 2002; I took in and had my first child in March, 2003. It was a female child and I thought my husband would be happy for me but he wasn’t. After a while he accepted it as fate and I had my second child in April, 2005, again a girl. My mother in-law changed towards me. She became a total stranger, and this broke my heart because she used to be my best friend. I took in again and had another child in December 2007, another girl. This time, my husband was the one who changed. I started hearing stories of him seen with different girls, even older women. I didn’t believe it until I went through his phone and discovered it was true. I confronted him concerning the issue, he didn’t deny it; he told me openly that he needed a male child and cannot stand me having only female children.

Last month, I heard from a friend that my husband had a child naming ceremony somewhere in town. I asked him about it when he returned, he told me straight to my face that he’s bringing in a second wife”.

Many women have lost their husbands to this cultural mentality and right. It is either she takes it or leaves. Faith (not real name) is one of the ladies who accommodated her husband’s infidelity.

“I am from a very strict family and my father would rather kill you than allow you bring shame home. I got married to a man my parents wasn’t in support of because he wasn’t from my home town.

I married him because he was a good guy and he loves me. I stood by him when the noise was loud from my parents until they finally gave their blessings.

Few months after marriage I wasn’t even pregnant yet, I heard him talking with someone over the phone in the toilet. I didn’t want to know what it was all about because I trusted him until I heard ” I love you baby “. I then stood by and eavesdropped into what shattered my life in pieces; my loving husband has another girl he loves other than I.

I tried to keep it to myself but ended up asking him, instead of him apologizing and convincing me it will never happen again, he started accusing me of listening to his conversation on phone, I even got a slap for that.

Another time he stayed out late, I was worried and decided to call him; a lady answered the call and told me he was in the bathroom. I asked her who she was she returned the question and told me to stop disturbing her guy then hung up on me. I almost died.

My husband returned and I asked him to explain who that was. He ignored me and walked to his room. In that anger I hit him, he retaliated and beat the life out of me. After which he warned me to stay out of his business that he can keep as much girls as he chooses, and if I am tired of the marriage I can return to my parents.

How was I to go back to my parents? My father had warned me not to come back if anything went wrong. I have been in this crisis for four years now, advice me on what to do”

Lots of women out there are in Faith’s shoes swallowing all sought of things in their marriages just because they can’t pull out.  The men are licensed to cheat and the women dare not think of trying it or face societal shame of returning to their parents labeled unfaithful wives, which will greatly affect their chances of remarrying.

See chapter 6; Why Do People Cheat: HIGH PERSONAL VALUES AND PHILOSOPHIES

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