ONE thing is just clear to Gbade – there is no way he would convince Eniola, his wife of eight years that he was not sleeping with Jane, his secretary. “This stupid suspicious spirit of hers is turning her to a nuisance but she would not agree with me,” a frustrated Gbade explains.
The initial five years of their marriage, he says, was peaceful. “Eniola was the best wife any man could desire – loving, caring, never nagged and a good mother,” Gbade says.
“But all that changed three years ago when I employed Jane. Ironically, she recommended the young girl for employment. This young girl came in with a mind to work and has been of tremendous help to both of us – there were times she does the school runs for my busy wife, takes care of the kids while they await their mother’s arrival (my wife picks them in my office on her way from work) and she is very respectful.
“Suddenly, my wife grew a dislike for Jane. She accused her of ‘growing wings’ and ‘now wearing dresses that would lure me’ to the office. Though those complaints were discussed in our bedroom, she started exhibiting her thoughts whenever she came to the office.
“Then, she stopped acknowledging the girl’s salutations. I asked her why she did that and her answer was ‘everything tells me that you are sleeping with her.’ Really, I’m not a saint but I don’t ‘play home games.’ I go for ‘away matches’ and that has earned me great respect from my wife.
“Not once has Eniola caught me with infidelity and she believes she is the only one who keeps my libido alive. But this suspicion of hers must have emanated from her friend, who saw me sometime back in Abuja, while on a business trip. I was talking in the lobby of a hotel with one of my female clients.
“My wife’s friend lives in Abuja, has never been to my office in Port Harcourt and I am sure she must have described the lady to my wife, who quickly concluded that it was Jane. I say this because all the brouhaha about ‘sleeping with Jane’ kicked off two weeks after my return from Abuja.
“Luckily for me, Jane is a patient girl and must have observed my wife’s suspicions. She is still her respectful self, still wants to offer assistance in school runs but my wife had employed a driver and another maid to do that for her – her suspicion has eaten into her purse because I refused paying her new domestic staff.
“Why are women like this? She behaves like a witch and has not realised it. For peace to reign, I have agreed to sack Jane (I have asked one of my friends in a multi-national to help secure her a job and I know he will do that for me.) The girl also understands and has started distributing her resume to our clients with an excuse that she was getting married and needed another job.”
But men’s suspicion and stint of jealousy could be murderous. In fact more than the women, at least Angela, 30, has a story to tell. “I work in the public relations unit of my company and that exposes me to lots of clients – male and female,” starts the mother of three. “I have never slept with any man outside of my marriage and never even given any affair a thought.
“So, you can imagine how I feel anytime Kingsley, my husband, accuses me of going out ‘with those men, you call your clients.’ Naturally, he has always been the jealous type. Before we got married, he discouraged me from wearing fitted trousers or tops that would emphasise my voluptuous curves.
“I adhere to his rules and wear clothes that never show my cleavage. If my husband wants to buy any gift, he makes sure it is either a scarf or a shawl to ‘cover your cleavage so that men would not stare at you.’ Several times, I have tried to observe where I have erred that could make him so suspicious of my movement but I discovered he is just the jealous type.
“You need to see his face whenever a male client or colleague calls me on the phone. This man is so jealous that he would not allow his younger brothers stay with us. His reason? ‘What happens to you whenever I travel out of town? Those boys are dangerous and I don’t trust any of them,’ he would say.
“I’m used to it but how do I explain the incessant checks on my calls and text messages? Recently, someone, whose name was not stored on my new handset, sent one of these call-me-I-love-you text messages and hell was let loose.
“He almost brought the house down but I kept quiet. After his ranting, he decided calling the phone number and guess who it was? Uloma, his niece in the village, who would always trouble me to recharge her credit. Fortunately, his sister (Uloma’s mother) picked the call and he didn’t know what to say. This has mellowed him down a bit but I know he has not changed.”