The hot debates, violent discussions, and burning issues in the Ladies’ circles are always about the « Other woman » , »the marriage wrecker » , »the husband’s thief », « the horrible mistress » etc. but recently, in Africa many formerly happily married wives experience a reverse phenomenon resulting from their husbands’ commitment with another woman. I have been the witness of such a situation as a friend of mine , a legitimate & legally married wife lost her moral privileges towards “the other woman” . Unlike many situations where the man handles multiple wives, with equal responsibilities towards each of them, in this case, he deserted his wife emotionally and disconnected totally from her without officially leaving her. She stays the Mrs but hardly enjoys the bliss and happiness of marriage.
What happened to them? What made the situation possible? How come two adults who once loved each other to such an extent that they chose to share their life for better or worse could be living in a house like neighbors. My friend told me her story. After few years of love, their relationship grew to a close friendship, with less and less sex. Due to Political turmoil in their home country, she moved to Europe with her kids ,ignoring that the few months would turn into years of separation that would sign the death penalty of their couples’ life. With the help of distance , they started drifting apart slowly and surely. They shifted from less sex to Sexless leaving my friend bitter & depressed. Alerted by some of her friends, what she suspected turned into a reality: her 15 years old husband had another woman in his life! Not just a girlfriend but a woman he was treating like he used to treat her. Whatever she lacked and missed from her husband, was given to that woman. The so called “Other Woman”. Hurt, scorned, depressed, she was consulting pastors and friends who were giving them some “wise” advices: « Don’t give up » « pray hard » » be patient » etc. Who are they to patronize her constantly? I wished they could walk in my shoes. Distressed, lonely, depressed, longing for the lost intimacy & connection with her husband, she made a vow: I will never divorce. But whilst she is hanging on their vows « for the better and the worst », Mr Hubby the provider was living the better and Mrs Wife super depressed was experiencing the worst. And one day she woke up with a new perspective as if she was waking up from a bad dream : The awakening. Mrs Wife realized that whatever is happening in her life now , the pain, the sorrow, the loneliness, it is all about herself , not about her children, her friends, her husband, her parents or the society. “I am the one carrying the burden of a messed up marriage, my life is sad” ,she confessed to me one day just after that moment arrived, “I have become the other woman. She is the one he laughs with , The one he confides his secrets to, the one he travels with, the one he is living a life with. So Where do I fit? a bitter housewife waiting for a man who sees her as the mother of his kids. De-womanized, don’t I deserve to live a life of my own with a man who shows me love and affection? She turned around with a discreet smile : my sister, I decided to move from my bitter shift to my better self! It is about time for me to live. »