You’ll always know if he’s cheating on you, won’t you?
I did when he started stepping out on our marriage. I knew it even without having to hire a detective to unearth his infidelity. I did not have to go through his phone, his Facebook messages, Twitter DMs or WhatsApp – not social media please, no. I did not learn of his affair by bumping into both of them while they were out on a date. The discovery wasn’t made through a message I received from her telling me to stay away from ‘her man’ either – believe it or not, some women have affairs with married men and start thinking that the wife should vanish into thin air to make room for them (Yes, you may roll your eyes because that is the expected reaction). No incriminating receipts for two were found in his suit pocket. I did not get to experience the drama of walking in on them in the throes of passion one Wednesday afternoon when everyone else, apart from the help, was presumably at work – by the way, is this just a preserve for the movies, walking in on your spouse?
My discovery was not through any of the above orthodox (so to speak) methods. And before you start saying, “Poor wife. It must be painful finding out that your man is cheating, regardless of how you find out.” I urge you to hold your horses. Who knows, maybe after reading the whole story you might jump ship and go, “Poor husband,” instead. Who knows. Let’s test your loyalty, shall we?
I knew he was cheating on me from the first day he met her. But I played ignorant. And I think I played it so well that he thought he was cheating on me splendidly. That I had not the slightest idea about what he was doing with Betty behind my back – yes, she was called Betty Bahati. I know her by both names, have met her too.
The night I met Betty. That was an interesting night. It was one of those Fridays when you feel like letting loose. You feel that your life has become too routine and you need to shake things up a little bit. My girlfriends and I decided to have one of our usual nights out, something we do every so often. I let Tony know of my plans to go out with the girls. He’d met all five of them, was totally cool with them (not that I needed his approval or anything). He had no problem as long as I arranged for my transportation back home. He could not pick me later since he had an early morning, had to go to work, prepare for an audit, blah blah blah. I told him not to worry about a thing. The househelp would feed the kids and put them to bed. My household would therefore not fall apart because I decided to go out, drink myself silly, and dance the night away. Nobody would die – that was established.
I met the girls in town, we went clubbing, hopping from one club to the next. In the wee hours of morning, we ended up in a club that served drinks accompanied by naked women to boot. To this particular club we went, we saw, we hang onto our jaws as they threatened to drop to the floor, drank some more, then we all agreed we had seen enough and went home.
But not before I had met Betty.
I ran into Betty in the lady’s room. We started chatting because two women were kissing next to the cubicle at the corner and we had one of two choices; make small talk, or wash our hands as we listened to moaning and smooching sounds. Betty gave me a big smile and a hello. I reciprocated with both. She had that kind of striking beauty that is hard to miss even in an ill-lit bathroom. One could tell that she had a number of years on her. One could also not miss the fact that she took good care of herself.
“How long?” she asked as our eyes made contact in the mirror.
“Oh, I noticed your ring. How long have you been married?”
That is how I met Betty. One week later, Betty met my husband.
I can’t blame my husband for thinking that it was a coincidence that he ran into Betty at his local pub. I won’t blame him for returning her smile when Betty smiled at him as he drank with the boys. He was still clueless when Betty went to their table and asked if she could join them because she hated to drink alone and her girlfriend had let her down. My husband was flattered when Betty, all radiant and beautiful, hang onto his arm and flirted with him the whole night. So flattered, in fact, that he asked for her number. Now, who do I blame for that? He asked for her number. I might have taken the cow to the drinking well, but it is the cow that lowered its neck, opened its mouth and drank the water. The back and forth texting begun, the calls followed, the rendezvous were initiated and held regularly after that.
My husband took me for a clueless fool of course. He would talk to her and then come and lie next to me in bed. If his conscience held him hostage, he put his arms around me and planted a kiss on my cheek, then he was free. All he had to do was pull off a kind gesture to cover up for the bad things he was doing behind my back. Just like when he said he was going upcountry for the weekend, to oversee the construction of his mother’s house, then he ended up spending the weekend with Betty instead. He came back bearing goodies for me, the clueless wife, and the kids. Flowers, chocolate, new outfits, shoes … prices for a silent conscience.
I play along. I receive the gifts with a broad grateful smile, I embrace him warmly and plant a wet kiss on his lips, reminding him how lucky I am to have him as a husband.
See, I don’t have to go through his phone or his pockets for receipts to prove his infidelity. If I did, I’d get what I’m looking for. The love messages between the two are in there for me to find whenever I want. The hotel bookings are there for me to uncover whenever I’m ready. The lipstick smudges on his shirt collar are there for me to fetch from the laundry basket, before the help gets to them, and flash it in front of his eyes – if I ever crave for a confrontation. What’s more, Betty is only a phone call away. I could simply call her and tell her to stop messing around with my husband. If I wanted to.
But I don’t want to.
Why am I not putting an end to this affair and saving my marriage you ask? You are one of those, aren’t you? One of those who think that by ending one affair, a marriage is safe in the ever after?
I’ll have you know that ever since she started screwing my husband, Betty has been sending money to my account every month. I found what many of you would call, a sponsor for my husband. Only difference is that he doesn’t know about it, and the money comes to me and not him.
You’re now thinking, “Poor husband,” aren’t you traitor?