At that moment, a beautiful gift from God became a thing of sorrow for Funsho. She was crying like a baby and there was nary any emotion on her husband’s face.
He was like, “But you are pregnant nau. You don’t expect me to be topping that one up. The deed is done, what’s there to enjoy again?” Funsho’s husband, Niyi, moved his mouth nonchalantly and formed those words that tore at the heart of his pregnant wife more.
Funsho cried harder, if that was possible. Through her tears, she asked Niyi if it was not his baby she was carrying. His expression said “And so?” derisively.
It was when an elderly woman, who was comforting Funsho, asked if he knew there were men who were only interested in pregnant women in town, did the sarcastic expression leave his face. “She cannot try it. If she does, she should just carry her things back to her father’s house. She cannot stay in my house…at all,” he said and walked away.
That was the first time in my life I had seen a man behave so cruelly towards his pregnant wife. He was just so uncaring. It was also the first time a man boldly confessed, to my hearing, that yes, he had been sleeping around while his wife was pregnant, because he didn’t want to ‘disturb’ her. Biko, who told him she needed the #helpersclub?
With this particular couple, whom I have known for almost 25 years, that man has never ever been faithful, he’s walked out on that woman too many times; through three pregnancies, the death of a baby whom he didn’t even come back to name, not to talk of bury, through the childhood, teenage years of his girls. He just keeps behaving like an Abiku, coming and going through all the seasons of their lives.
The worst part, and it still hurts me till date, and sometimes I deliberately put a great distance between us because of it, is that Funsho takes him back every single time. This man never added any value to her life…children yes, but he might as well have been a sperm donor, for all the fathering he’s done. It’s just a sad situation for everyone involved, absent or should I say parasitic father, Niyi, mother, Funsho, aka Ruth, abo’koku (nothing will separate me from my husband), and their girls, who have grown up with this kind of example.
That happened over two decades ago, but infidelity during pregnancy is still very rife. In fact, the kind of stories I have been hearing in recent times have left me weak in the knees. I honestly believe that most young dads these days have the best interests of their families at heart, but there are some bad eggs who are bent on giving dads a bad rep, but with God’s help, we will show them the light.
Some days back, I got an Inbox message from a lady, I will call her Rita, who was suspecting that her hubby was having an affair, not an emotional one, but a full blown sexual affair. The signs were all there, he was always too tired to do his husbandly duties, something he was always eager to do before.
Not even a trip to the doctor’s office, who emphasized the need for sexual intercourse during pregnancy, did any magic. He was being careful (read secretive) with his stuff around her; clothes, phones and even his body.
While I didn’t want to jump into any conclusions, since we don’t know each other that well, I pointed out that her husband could be reacting to their pregnancy in those ways and even shared some articles with her from the site.
Only for me to wake up the next day after our chat, to a heart-breaking message from Rita. Her suspicion was right, her husband was indeed cheating…with his ex-girlfriend; a standard case of Okafor’s law.
It had started out innocently; he shared with this ex, his dad-to-be status and some of his frustrations with the experience. And thanks to this ex knowing the buttons to push and with no scruples, and let’s not forget with no hesitation from Rita’s husband, they were soon eating the forbidden fruit, while Rita carried her bump around worrying about what was going on with her husband and how she could help him.
You know it is one thing to suspect infidelity, I mean one’s blood pressure can tend to rise but to confirm it is just pure heartbreak. It can make a woman wonder why she bothered getting pregnant, even if it was one she waited so hard for. It can even make a woman block out a man mentally, and just focus so much on the baby, to the detriment of her marriage.
Wanting to keep this as balanced as possible, here’s a dad’s perspective; he cheated during his wife’s third pregnancy and here’s his reason; “There was such a focus on her, with all she was going through and about to go through, that I became less and less relevant,” he recalls.
At the same time, his wife began rejecting his sexual advances. Although he understood she was feeling insecure about her changing body, the rejection was still difficult to manage. “You only need to be turned away so many times before you get the picture,” he says.
This man’s wife never found out about his infidelity and they remain married till today, although he has no regrets.
“I wanted to feel important and valued,” he says. “And it worked.” This doesn’t mean dads-to-be get a free pass for bad behaviour. They should realize that a woman undergoes tremendous physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. A little understanding—on both sides—can go a long way.
Prevention is key
As it is often said, prevention is better than cure, so it is better to prevent infidelity from rearing its head during pregnancy, than dealing with the outcome, hence it is important to take note of the signs, which may include unexplained absences, strange phone calls, spending more time “at work,” less interest in sex and a greater focus on his appearance.
Talk about the sexual changes that will inevitably come as your pregnancy progresses.
Involve your man as much as possible in the pregnancy and baby plans.
Reassure your mate that he’s still a priority too. Nurture his emotional needs and his need to feel important. (See, that dad’s perspective above).
In all, infidelity during pregnancy, or even any time at all, is absolutely avoidable, as long as both partners are on the same page, even though I still think, it’s inexcusable.
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