Men have extramarital affairs when the wife is sick (and pregnancy falls in this category), has poor cooking skills, untidy home, poor hygiene or is too busy with work, church and the brats
By Camy Akinyi-Gecaga
Your cute God fearing wife can claim to experience ‘marital satisfaction’ but still cheat on you with the boda boda guy who showers once a month.
The more educated she is, the more likely is the cheating according to recent research in Kenya which reveals that ‘marital satisfaction’ is not a seal against infidelity-which is also influenced by gender, age and duration of marriage besides level of education.
The educated have more income, higher status and more chances for out-of- town retreats and frequent foreign travel opportunities.
Kenyan men with wives who have chewed books have bruised their egos, the research indicated, and most “feel threatened by their wives’ successes and the one way to regain their power is, “engaging in extra marital affairs to dominate other women.”
The research also revealed that women in Nairobi cheat for different reasons from those in Luo Nyanza.
Research done in the lake side town in 2014 indicated that a Luo wife in Kisumu was likely to cheat if she was physically beaten like a Mkorino drum, if the hubby denied her preferred position and style, if she was younger (less than 25 years) and if the hubby was endowed with a longer kuni than normal-when erect.
Respondents reported discomfort as they “endured pain and therefore did not enjoy.”
It was also discovered that cheats did not become happier in their marriages, and the longer one was married, the likelier the chances of cheating. The newly married were thus a bit safe.
A husband can still be tempted to ‘bend the petticoat’ of the nubile office tea girl with crooked teeth
Marital satisfaction is when a couple has creature comforts: disposable income, a good house in the right leafy address, an enviable car, a dream job or flouring biashara.
It could also be when they have they have ever asked for which could be a good relationship with God (and the funny pastor in church), congenial relatives, well-connected friends, two children (boy and girl) and a flurry chiwawa at the gate.
Marital satisfaction is completed by experiencing psychological and physical health; basically the fulfillment of sexual, social and psychological needs besides personal development in a marriage.
But in this state of affairs, a husband can still be tempted to ‘bend the petticoat’ of the nubile office tea girl with crooked teeth while the wife could be eyeing the muscular new jobber in procurement.
Why has this been the case especially with married couples living in cities like Nairobi?
Among the several factors which kill marital satisfaction, few come close to infidelity- the knowledge that your spouse screamed in the throes of nocturnal indulgence with another partner.
Marital infidelity also includes engaging in cyber-lungula, blue movies
Marital infidelity is not restricted to removing the Mother’s Union underpants and two cheats tasting the salty necks of each other in pitch darkness.
Marital infidelity also includes engaging in cyber-lungula, blue movies and entertaining emotional attachment outside marriage.
Infidelity is triggered when needs that constitutes marital satisfaction are neglected. This includes lack of intimacy, sexual, emotional, security, intellectual, self-worth and companionship needs.
Wanjiru Ndung’u in her 2017 research at USIU-Nairobi and titled ‘The Relationship between the level of marital satisfaction and marital infidelity in Nairobi County’ notes that “when any of these needs is not met within the marriage, the unfulfilled partner is likely to look for fulfillment from someone else and justify it.”
Her research also reaffirmed an old suspicion that women are likely to cheat when they’re dissatisfied with a marriage, while for men it could be nothing more unzipping for the physical thrill of it.
Infidelity, her research revealed, happens in four out of 10 couples and is most prevalent in cities as opposed to rural hamlets and small townships where everyone knows everyone’s mother’s nicknames.
Culture also played a part for men from patriarchal communities where chasing skirts that don’t belong to their wives marked them out as ‘bulls.’
Other reasons which uproot men from their wives to the arms of say, a barmaid include; the wife being sick
Infidelity is also common for men from polygamous homes where having many women is the norm. In fact, the research indicates for such men, getting a mpango wa kando was the only way of circumventing marrying another breathing wife, in case of those who had a church wedding -and many churches root for monogamy!
Other reasons which uproot men from their wives to the arms of say, a barmaid include; the wife being sick (and pregnancy falls in this category), has poor cooking skills, has untidy home, is poor in personal hygiene and is ever busy with work, church and the brats-neglecting the hubby.
The longer one is married, the more likely they’re to cheat.
The research indicated that couples who been married for more than 20 years are likely to have a mpango wa kando-mostly highs school and campus students-than couples who have not crossed the seven year barrier in which problems start eating a marriage from inside out.
Couples in the early stages of marriage report few incidents of infidelity as most are in the ‘honeymoon phase” when God is in heaven and all is well with the world.
Couples may therefore engage in infidelity to quench their desire for new experiences
Your wife is likely to have a toy boy when she’s between 40 – 45 years while for men it ranges between 55 and 65 years meaning when they’re about to or have recently retired.
Wanjiru writes that the number one enemy of “monogamy is monotony” and that at this stages “couples may therefore engage in infidelity to quench their desire for new experiences and additional sexual encounters because of their long duration in marriage without change. They may also have fallen out of love with their spouses.”
In those age brackets both men and women also have disposable income to excite their jobless and financially needy mpangos with money, gifts, holidays, outings and rentals in upmarket areas of the city where they dash when the craving strikes.
Both men and women cite dissatisfaction in the bed department with emphasis on frequency and quality of lungula.
Your wife can also have an emotional attachment with her boda boda guy who provides intimacy and feathers her self-esteem.
Being busted -as it usually happens-leads to anger, hurt, resentment, depression and a major cause of separation and divorce.
Wanjiru notes that next to abuse, “infidelity is considered the second most difficult problem to treat” as it “damages trust, attachment bond, intimacy and affection” with the disruption it causes leading to marital dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
Besides infidelity, dysfunctional lungula sessions are another cause of stress in marriages. We are here talking about painful intercourse, lack of desire for morning glory, dryness and not achieving orgasm.
Wanjiru notes that “economic challenges following a child’s birth, devoting too much energy on the child, investing too little time in spousal connection and other conflicts result in pressure which in turn causes tension, mental and psychological stress which are not conducive for a healthy sexual relationship.”
Men were happiest working on projects together, and if they never regretted ever marrying the mother of their children
So, now what to do?
Well, Wanjiru’s research revealed that men and women viewed marital satisfaction differently.
Women feel they have attained marital satisfaction when they spend quality time with family and friends, when indulging in religious matters and when exchanging ideas besides being involved in making major decisions in the family.
Men were happiest working on projects together, under fewer quarrels and if they never regretted ever marrying the mother of their children. They were also happiest when not getting into each other’s nerves, when not discussing separation or divorce and relations regarding lungula.
In short, men were satisfied with stability and less conflict while women were satisfied with activities and discussion. Both, however, agreed on doing things via a consensus than one spouse being the domineering spirit.
While men reported a higher percentage of engaging in sexual infidelity, women engaged more in emotional infidelity.
Wanjiru concludes that even though those who reported a high marital satisfaction engaged in infidelity, still, “when couples experience satisfaction there are less chances of engaging in infidelity” and that “the lower the satisfaction in marriage the higher the chances are for infidelity.”