Understanding What Infidelity Does

by Nada Andersen
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Yesterday I had a rare opportunity to learn something very important and for once, without having to experience it on my own skin.

One of the workers came to ask for a couple of days off. In fact, I was just about to shoot a barrage of daily instructions at him but the way he told me “Madam, I have a problem, I can’t work today” was so blunt, sincere and sad at the same time that he got me off-guard. I walked with him away from the house so we could have some privacy and he explained.

A friend called him the day before to come back home immediately. He did. They took him to the door in the neighbourhood and told him his wife was inside with another man. And so, she was. The other man tried to run but the villagers caught him and now the case is in police and he has to attend to all that.

They were together for over six years. They have two little kids. She’s been doing the rounds in the village, supplementing household income. The village of fishermen. Everyone with suspect behaviours. Drinking, ganja, randomness.

And so I had in front of me a man, broken to pieces, trying to make sense of what the wife has done, how his world had crashed and what to do next. I had chills up my spine. The understanding of the level of pain and disappointment that a man goes through. The overwhelming amount of sadness that instantly crippled this guy. It was just too much.

A careless, stupid deed has changed a family forever, left a father alone with his kids, sent the wife back to her family. Crashed many ideals, destroyed futures. Ruined it for four of them, who will never be a family again. I have learnt the depth and extent of pain that a man goes through on discovering infidelity. I have also learnt that I don’t want to cause that kind of pain, ever.

That was a life-changing experience in a way. I’m not a moralist, never been overly religious but I thanked God for the life I have, for everything he blessed me with, for my husband, for this silly head on my shoulders that’s finally able to connect the dots on something as important as infidelity.

Of course, I let the guy take all the time he needs till he sorts his issues out. I told him to stay calm and dignified and to consider doing an HIV test soonest. I assured him that the situation is bad; no two ways about it. His kids are losing their mother, the family is broken, there will be painful changes to everyone’s life. But he has to be sure of his status and build from there.

Haven’t seen him today. I hope he’s ok. I’m grateful for what he showed me, what he taught me. It was a very important lesson: cheating brings devastation to people who care for you. So, don’t cheat.

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