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Why more Nigerian couples engage in infidelity 

By Maria Famakinwa


With many risks associated with infidelity like lies, getting caught in the act, venereal diseases, funds depletion, loss of values in marriage, loss of life, and the like, one cannot but marvel at the ever-increasing rate of infidelity. Why is it so thriving and attractive these days? What are husbands doing with side chicks, and wives doing with a male benefactors or sugar daddies?

The topic of infidelity within seemingly happy marriage is intriguing although disheartening. Despite appearing content in their relationships, some couples still engage in cheating, causing confusion and emotional turmoil for their partners. This enigmatic behavior raises questions about the underlying reasons why married people engage in infidelity.

In the words of a commercial driver, Mr. Mudashiru Owolabi, the major reason married people cheat is  lack of sexual satisfaction from either of the partners. The man who likened marriage to buying a sealed product that could only be opened after one is in it added that it is not possible to know everything about your partner during courtship which makes it difficult for some couples to cope after seeing the true colours of whom they claimed to love.

 He said: ” Dissatisfaction with the marriage either emotionally or sexually is common. A sexless marriage is often argued to be a reason for both men and women to be involved in adultery. Dissatisfaction in marriage leads to unhappiness which easily lures the affected partner to seek satisfaction where it is available. For instance, some women are in the habit of giving excuses to deny their husbands sex. Some will do it reluctantly as if you are forcing them. A friend of mine cheated with another lady some times ago because the lady was able to give him sex the way his legally married wife could not. According to him, his wife doesn’t believe in doing different styles to spice up sexual intimacy except for the missionary style which he complained of being monotonous but his wife would not change. When an opportunity came for him to enjoy sex in another form, he grabbed it. Do you want to blame him? No, because his wife pushed him outside. If a woman can overfeed his man sexually, such will have no time for another woman because once you are overfed, you cannot eat more,” he said.

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A civil servant, Mr Toriola Ogundiran, hinted that lack of contentment is the major reason some married people engage in extramarital affairs. He said: “Some married people still compare their spouses with another and blame themselves for choosing the wrong partner. This is common among women who want their husbands to be like that of their friend’s husbands who are richer and provide everything for their women.  If the husband is not financially buoyant to meet all their needs, they will make the marriage hellish for them and go with men who promise to meet their unlimited needs even if they are deceiving them.

“That explains why a woman will have four children for four different men and still be single. Women should understand that men are all the same and support their husbands to work things out. No man will want to give special treatment to a woman who has been married to different men and is still single. If your husband is going through any challenge, give him your total support with prayers, and in no time things will be normalized because tough situations don’t last but tough people do. Women should be contented with whatever their husbands can afford and stop comparing their husbands with others because this attitude hurts any man to no end,” he warned.

A self-employed mother of three, Mrs Oyenike Adeagbo, blames marital infidelity on a lack of peace and poverty in marriage. The woman who noted that the inability of some men to provide for their families had pushed some married women into adultery, maintained that a mother can’t watch her children going hungry without embracing any available offer for a solution and urged men to be alive to their responsibilities.

Her words: “The major reason married people especially women involve  in adultery is poverty. If a woman’s husband is lacking in his responsibility of providing for his family and a helper (man) showed  up to help the woman out, the woman with no option will want to give in because it is not easy for a woman to shoulder all the family responsibilities alone. It is easy to condemn and call such a woman names if one is not in her shoes. Marriage is not for the unprepared. A woman with three children in my area has been abandoned for close to four years struggling to cater to her children’s needs. Though she sells petty things and does labourer’s work, it is not enough. Most times, she begs to feed her children who are between ages 4-8. Yet, things are difficult for her. Tell me if such will not accept a man who offers to help her. Man is the head of the family and he must act as one. Marriage is only sweet when the man is providing and the woman is supporting him. The economic situation currently is making many married women to be at the mercy of strange men for assistance which in most cases have string attachments.”

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A retired federal civil servant, Mr Gafaru OyinIoye, opined that constant quarrels and lack of peace between spouses are red flags of marital infidelity. The octogenarian added that when the marriage is not peaceful, either of the couple could go out in search of the lost peace. He said: “I have come to discover that the greatest fuel for infidelity is the search for peace which usually becomes scarce in many marriages after a while, in most cases. Couples give each other a lot of stress in marriage. It becomes worse when they throw caution to the wind. In most cases, the “I care less” attitude makes infidelity a simple and easy escape route for many.  When a wife wonders about what her husband sees in a lady who is of less beauty and social status, the simple answer is peace. Or when a husband is at a loss about why his wife would stoop so low as to become involved with a guy or a sugar daddy, the one-way answer is peace.”

On whether poverty could be a reason, Mr OyinIoye said: “In as much as one cannot rule out poverty as another reason for marital infidelity it is not in all cases. I mean that some couples are financially okay but still engage in adultery with other men and women. After all, there are some wealthy couples whose marriages have broken due to a lack of peace. When the home is turned into a war front or a battlefield, infidelity provides a peaceful haven for the couples in such homes. Many husbands go clubbing late at night, after office hours seeking the elusive peace in the marriage. The same goes for many wives who will stay out late. It’s a general feeling that infidelity is basically for sex. Many times, it is not so. It’s a lack of peace. The guy or the babe is simply looking for a place to cool down and have peace of mind. The sex thing is simply a by-product of infidelity. The majority of people involved do so for lack of peace in the marriage. Couples must ensure that their homes are peaceful for progress,” he advised.

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A salary earner, Mrs Dada Johnson, cited distance as a factor fuelling infidelity among couples. The woman who shared a personal experience revealed that she was forced to seek her transfer to another state where her husband was working when she observed some changes in her husband.

Her words: “I would have lost my marriage if I had not sought my transfer to the state where my husband works. It is not possible to cheat nature and if couples are not living together, it poses a serious threat to the marriage’s survival because if nature comes calling on either of them, the available will become desirable. That explains why some men sleep with their housemaids and later regret their actions. At times, you can’t blame them because they cannot resist the urge to fill a yawning vacuum when they are seriously pressed. The same goes for women who sleep with their domestic servants. The truth is that not everyone can overcome the temptation when it comes especially when you are not living with your spouse. My advice is that couples should stay together because distance among couples has destroyed many marriages,” she said.

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