Something about polygamy!
Every time I hit my local, I see middle-aged men with younger or even older women, and they are so happy. They have no care in the world. What we always know, is that those are not their wives.
In recent two times, in totally different settings, two different friends made similar observations, with astonishing accuracy.
In both cases, the men seemed defensive and the women seemed pissed off.
“It looks like he didn’t pay rent, or settle some bill and she is mad as hell. From here the man has to settle the bill, if it is to be business as usual.”
In the second instance, it was a woman in her late 30s, equally unhappy, with the man, who seemed either a cop, or a career civil servant, or wheel dealer, because he had this cocky confidence.
“Hapa lazima, kuna kitu hii ndume haijafanya…”
Observed a friend.
But regardless of the attitude the women had, the men seemed happier. I have been in bars with married men and I have seen what the call from their wives does to them. It chemically changes their mood and I don’t know why.
I have been lucky in life not to have a nagging or possessive, or clingy woman, or a woman I really don’t like but forced to stay together because of the kids. Or something. But I know, most wives give men serious headaches, and the only solution some men have, is to seek comfort in the arms of another woman.
Which is ironic. An heretical friend recently told me, mpango wa kandos, always bring some peace and balance to a marriage. When you flip the coin, married women are equally happy out there with their office boyfriends or exes, or someone she picked from a conference. Only that for women, she can’t have split loyalty, once she starts to cheat, she is leaving, unless the husband is too rich for her not to risk. But if she earns as much as the man, she just leaves. Which is bolder and maturer. Men are cowards, because they stay. But that is a different argument.
Back to polygamy. The generation of grandfathers and fathers who were polygamous, were so for a reason I have just unearthed. In polygamous relationships, the first marriage is irreparably broken, and the woman only stays because traditionally once you paid the bride price, she is your to keep. And since there are always children in the mix, men choose to sort the kids’ needs and ignore the wife like she is a pole in the compound.
The second wife tends to be the source of emotional stability of the men.
I have been thinking the pain and pressure men go through their lives, like one Chomba Njoka highlighted earlier on, and I think on that ground, at purely a philosophical level, men have to think polygamously. Some may say, that you are just multiplying the problems. But most polygamous men I know, tend to be safer and a little happy, than those who put all their eggs in one basket.
So, one can keep a mistress. But some mistresses may be careless, or too sweet, they essentially become second wives and can be ride or die. Or have a consistent clande where one lets it off. Or just marry.
The beauty of adulthood, people are understanding. There are women we explain our problems to, they listen and give us all the emotional support. In similar vein, there are men who listen to wives who cry of being abandoned and offer the much needed physical, emotional and financial support.
The K in all these arguments is money. Because only money can buy love, for either gender.
By Silas Nyanchwani via Facebook