Warning: no stereotype was left unturned in the making of this blog post…
I said it. Feel free to sue me. Of course, I’m using broad generalizations. Nevertheless, I’ve observed some distressing trends since moving to Ghana. My title pretty much sums them up.
It shouldn’t really make sense, as I don’t think I’ve come across another group of people more aggressive about combating infidelity than Ghanaian women. Nevertheless, “we are where we are.”
It all boils down to the popularly-held notion that “all men are weak”.
The basic idea is that women have more sexual self-control than men. The latter will pretty much jump on top of any female in a fifty mile radius who so much as accidentally wobbles an ass cheek in their general direction. Since men (supposedly) cannot control themselves, the women in love with them have a responsibility (to all parties concerned) to protect them from such advances.
Team “All Men Are Weak” treat a man’s sexual appetite like an unstoppable force of nature. “Don’t waste your time trying to stop the man from cheating”, the thinking goes. No: instead, “focus your attention on swatting away the pretty young things buzzing around him. Pull out a weave or two if necessary.”
The problem with this approach is that it puts no pressure whatsoever on men not to cheat.
After all, it’s not as though Team AMAW will dump their philandering boyfriends/husbands in favour of better, more faithful philandering husbands. God no… don’t be silly:
1. All men cheat. So whichever man you get, he will cheat.
2. Being alone is far worse than being cheated on.
To be fair, I think that – again, as a group – Ghanaian men are just as insecure. I’ve never come across a group of men so PARANOID over their women (and what they get up to and with whom).
Serves us right, really.
What? You thought you would neglect her needs (emotional and otherwise) in favour of others’ for that long and she would sit there waiting, throw a small hissy fit, forgive you and move on? Dey there.
Personally, I’m too lazy for all the above wahala. I think there’s another approach that makes more sense. It involves short-term strength but reaps more reward in the long-term. It involves two things:
Trust and self-control.
It is possible for men to exert sexual self-control. Of course, if you don’t give them a need to, don’t be surprised if you see a complete absence of it in the men around you.
Whether you want to hear it or not, men don’t inherently link love and sex the way women often do (often. Not always). We do sometimes, but most of the time… no. It’s just the way it is. Some women are the same and this rule applies to them too: love is not enough of an incentive in and of itself to stop you cheating on someone (like I said, don’t try and apply logic to it. It is just how it is). Rather, to not cheat requires the development of self-discipline. If you don’t foster that (and you think he won’t cheat simply because he loves you), then I’d advise you to brace yourself.
Trust is the other thing. It should supposedly be the foundation of every relationship. So show it. Trust your other half. If they betray that trust, forgive them… maybe once. One more time? Dump them.
Yes, it involves being alone sometimes. Or having short relationships. This is perfectly natural though. Relationships are way more complex than just meeting someone, falling in love, hooking up and compromising. Not everyone is supposed to be with everyone else otherwise we could all step out onto the street, find the first person we think is cute and make things work.
No: some are better matched than others. Being alone gives you time to get to know yourself better. Once you know yourself better, you have a better understanding of the type of person who better complements you.
Then take your time and look for that person. It will take time. You will make mistakes. You will also recover from them and move on. Eventually, you will meet someone with proven self-discipline who you can trust not to cheat on you. Moreover, if you admire them as much as they admire you, you will have one more reason to focus exclusively on each other: respect.
Too often in Ghanaian relationships, I see men with women who they don’t look up to in any shape or form, but who they are with because they are good homemakers. No wonder they go on to find their stimulation elsewhere. It’s not right.
Neither is it my portion.
This post is the result of a conversation I had with a colleague. She claimed that my “trial and error” method results in the same thing as the AMAW technique. With one, you suffer being alone or several short relationships (ie. female societal kryptonite) and end up with someone who – in my friend’s opinion – will probably cheat on you anyway. With another, you accept the cheating, get into one long term relationship and live ‘happily’ ever after.
I completely disagree.
Besides, if – for fear of being alone – you are going to settle for mediocrity, then what right do you have to call anybody ‘weak’?