When we think of cheating, sometimes we automatically assume that the man is at fault and we channel every Mary J. Blige, Adele and Alanis Morissette song we know to roast them alive.
But women are not always the innocent party as we too can stray from our primary relationship.
Norman* got married in his late 20s because he said all of his friends were settling down and he thought it was the responsible thing to do. “I had a good job, had bought my starter home in Portmore and had been there and done that in terms of messing around. It got old pretty quick because most of the woman I had dated had the personality of paint. Yes, their bodies looked good but not much was happening between their ears.”
Norman went to a friend’s wedding and met Tanisha* and hit it off. Numbers were exchanged and two years later they jumped the broom. Things were good the first few years, he said, until his company asked him to help set up another branch in Montego Bay and that took him away four days out of the week.
He began noticing that even when he was home she would always be hanging out with her friends and staying out late. The intimacy waned from going at it like rabbits to probably once every two weeks and even so, he had to beg to get ‘some’. He finally realised that someone was dipping into his marital honeypot when a text came in 2 a.m. when she was fast asleep. Curiosity got the better of him so he read the message which sent him reeling as his wife was the ‘goody two shoes’ type that was raised in the church.
He confronted her and, after initially denying it, she copped to having an eight- month long affair with a co-worker.
To make matters worse, she also admitted that she had strong feelings for him and was being pressured to leave her marriage and start over with him. Stunned by the betrayal, Norman he stopped taking her calls and just threw himself into his work, taking as much overtime as possible so that he would not be idle with his thoughts.
Every time he remembered the explicit nature of the text he got angry. He even contemplated driving to her office to waylay the man and harm him.
After nearly losing his job because of his anger and poor work performance, a co-worker recommended counselling and he reluctantly went. In the end, he said it was the best thing that ever happened to him because he was able to vent without feeling judged and express his feelings without being told that he was too emotional. Though he has since returned to his matrimonial home, the image in his head of her lying with another man has made sex extremely challenging for months. She too has to receive therapy to deal with her own issues.
*Names changed to protect identity