MEMO 2 FROM THE NATIONAL WELFARE OF MEN DESK: The Truth about Office Boyfriends
The last three years, we have been working on a mini-series on office romance. The scheduling was interrupted by coronavirus but will be out in due course. As the lead researcher for the show, the things I have heard, are some of the most emotionally draining I have ever had to deal with.
Because, every night a good number of men in Nairobi and other major towns in Kenya go to bed completely bewildered by their wives. They are well-behaved, pay their bills, take kids to the park, help with assignments, bring their wives gifts and even support their wife’s side hustle.
Their wives, once loving, once adorable, have become complete strangers. Their discussions have become so transactional, always bills, school fees, her business, and nothing else. Zero intimacy. The wife has erected this impenetrable wall, that the man can’t break. Any time a man asks for sex, or questions why she is moody, she will project very flimsy excuses that confound the man, leaving him totally stupefied.
The trouble with most happily married men is their naivete. Appallingly so. Most married men don’t notice the changes in their wives. They are always surprised and by then it is too late.
Here is the thing. There a number of reasons why wives turn cold. But know this from the word go, any time you will start having pointless arguments with your wife, just know there is an external force. That force can be male or female. Regardless, you are no longer safe, once an external force takes over the life of your woman.
Let us deal with one of the leading causes of dissatisfactions in marriages: Office boyfriend.
What is an office boyfriend? It is a creature who sleeps with women in office, whether married or not. They come in two common varieties. The hit and run who sleep with everyone from interns to the stern lady in HR, who so beautiful but not sexy at all. And there is the keeper. The keeper is the one who falls in love with your wife. And fills this emotional void that nearly all married women have once they discover they married a mistake, usually four years after the wedding.
Once the keeper office boyfriend takes over your woman, you have no chance. WHATSOEVER. He is better than you in most accounts, probably more handsome, commonly a manager who can promote your wife at the stroke his pen(nis)-pardon the lazy pun. Above all, he listens to your wife, something loose women use as a pretext to cheat.
Because someone determined to cheat can find every excuse to cheat. And wives who stray are quite inventive. Get stressed at work as a man, or some small stress, don’t compliment her and the office arsehole touches her hair and tells her it smells nice, and she is gone, man.
But office relationships are fun. If both parties are married, it means nobody has to deal with the baggage that comes with marriage. Both parties are in it for the fun.
Most office relationships work because of a very simple reason, each party is presenting their best behaviour. The cheating wife may not know that the man he is sleeping with is an abuser and probably has neglected his wife and children. Most office boyfriends don’t have to deal with the bullshit the woman puts the husband through every day, the nagging, the bodily insecurities and the whining.
What we know about office relationships is that 90 percent of them will collapse within a month if the two cheating colleagues ended up together. The man is fun because he is not responsible for her and her problems. He gets to deal with her good parts while hubby has to deal with her weaknesses and shortcomings.
Women are only fun when it is someone else doing the emotional labour, managing their neediness, while the office boyfriend buys her smoothies, lay the pipe, and sends her back to the husband who has to deal with her emotional bankruptcy.
But they can’t leave their husband. Not just yet. As women say, it is hard to catch them cheating. Cheating women are so neat. Over the weekend I drunk with a buddy who occasionally beds married women and he told me the lies wives tell when out with him, and the alibis they give, are so foolproof. If caught, the man will even hi-5 the wife for being so creative.
Reminds me of a time we were on a trip around Nairobi and ended in one of the hotels in the outskirts of Nairobi. The hotel is famous for lunchtime romps. Strangely the parking lot was full, but the hotel lobby was empty, until an elderly guy taking us through the tour explained. There is a time a Ugandan newspaper did a viral article about lunch time romps work out. The Saturday Nation Satmag followed with Nairobi’s version of lunchtime romps. The verdict was that, it is mostly wives who engage in illicit love affairs, before going home to be ‘good’ wives.
Whereas most women lately argue they won’t get caught, and some say, they can keep it physical, I still think most women get emotionally carried away.
Whereas, most women feel zero guilt when they cheat, but they grow to despise the man. It seems to me, that a woman has to hate her husband, so much, then have so much contempt for the man in order to cheat. And here even if you were a powerful government minister, she will not be afraid, she will treat you like trash. She has to overcome that psychological ordeal before she proceeds to cheat. But once she overcomes and learns how to get away with it, she will start acting up, because as her husband, you become a distraction, an obstacle between what she has and what she can have.
Because in life, we are always with the wrong people. And the ones we have always stop us from being with the ones we want to be with. The grass is green on the other side. Doesn’t matter if it grows on a sewer.
So, how do you tell? Now, this is not make you as a man paranoid. But the signs are always there. Once she starts madharau, that is a cue there. Be alert. Once she insults you, once she questions your manhood, once she trashtalks you, dismisses you like you are a mound of shit, those are signs. If her dressing changes, dramatically, watch it. Watch what she wears on special days. If she used to dress in a simple way, but now all off sudden her skirt’s hemline is going up, the clothes are getting tighter and she has a heightened sense of her beauty and being, when she rarely used to care when with you, man, watch out. And there is the unexplained lifestyle change. An iPhone you know she can’t afford, but conveniently, it is the chama that bought it… Just watch out, can her salary support her lifestyle and think. And lastly, if the sex dries up. Unless a woman is sick, or stressed by something very evident like death of a parent or job loss, most women’s sexual appetite grows as they age. The peak is from30-40. If she is selfish with it, just know, mko wawili.
All these is not evidence, and here is where you have to trust your gut feeling. Your gut feeling is 90 percent of the time right. You are not insecure. You are not paranoid. You are not controlling. If a woman tells you this, she is gaslighting you to silence. She will twist your imagination, until you are guilty and apologise.
What do you do? Well. If I was your pastor or your good uncle, I will tell you to stay and fight for your marriage. But I am not your pastor or your uncle. Listen, son.
Don’t panic. Don’t act insecure. Chill. Women think they are so smart, they won’t get caught, but I can assure the cheating club of wives who have been divorced, are being divorced and will be divorced is growing.
Just watch. If the madharau persists, that is the surest sign. Sometimes, it is a periodic, hormonal problem. But if it persists, and every time you are made to feel like you are a piece of shit, prepare to leave.
But first, stand in front of the mirror, and ask yourself, are you responsible for everything happening? Be honest. Be realistic. If the habit does not change (a year is enough to establish this), walk out. Don’t look back. Five years from now, you will be happier than you will ever be.
In life, never be afraid to lose. Don’t live in fear. Because when she will decide to leave you, she will. She will not think twice. Once a woman makes up a mind that it is over, IT IS OVER.
So, be ahead of the game. Fix what can be fixed. But you can’t love and fight for someone whose heart is elsewhere. Because prolonged office affairs drain the wife like crazy. Chuck as early as possible and start searching again.
I hope this will help men being treated with contempt every night and don’t know what is up. Start thinking of ways to get out of the situation in the least dramatic way.
Start over. Don’t bank on Karma to even the score. Karma is a bad strategy. Your only revenge is to be happy with yourself and your next choice.
Have a happy week. Men stay alert.
By Silas Nyanchwani