Until recently, Sandra Alex (not real name) thought her husband was cheating on her. Perhaps, he gave the room for suspicion.
Sandra was a housewife while her husband worked in one of the new generation banks on Victoria Island, Lagos.
Anytime he returned from work, he would have a shower, eat his dinner, have a few chat with her and then grabbed his smartphone.
“I would see him smiling while chatting with some friends, who I suspected to be ladies,” Sandra told Saturday Royal during an interview.
By the time her husband was done chatting with friends on the social media, either she had slept or he had become too tired for conversation. By morning of the following day, he was off to work again.
Sandra said, “His attitude disturbed me for a long time. He is an extrovert and likes hanging out with people. There were times on weekends that he would be away for five hours. I thought he was cheating on me.
But after a while, I reported him to our pastor, who invited both of us for counselling. Apparently, he didn’t realise what he was doing was bad. He apologised to me and promised to change.”
Since then, Sandra told our correspondent her husband now spent much time with her and not with his smartphone anytime he returned from work and during weekends.
I have got a job now, though. So I don’t feel bored like when I was a housewife,” she added.
Infidelity can be devastating for most couples. Not every marriage survives the fallout. It can rob a couple of their joy, relationship and identity. It can damage many things. Cheating is forbidden in most societies, yet it is universally practised.
Is there such a thing as an affair-proof marriage? Is it possible to love more than one person at once?
In a recent study, a relationship expert and assistant professor at the Texas Tech University, US, Dana Weiser – alongside her colleagues – asked hundreds of couples what constituted cheating to them.
Excerpts of the study, published in the Women’s Health Magazine, revealed what couples saw as infidelity, which turned out to be not just about sleeping with someone who is not one’s spouse.
Fantasising about another person
According to Weiser, having fantasies about someone else, that is, wishing you were with someone other than your spouse, is purely cheating.
She stated, “Fantasies enter the infidelity territory when they could lead to unsafe or dishonest behaviour.”
Also, Joshua advised couples to tell their partners what else they could do to make them become more attractive
Being physically intimate with another person
Physical infidelity is self-explanatory and it is perhaps the commonest
Hiding money habits
Since cheating is heavily rooted in secrecy, Weiser explained that failing to inform a partner about financial matters or decisions affecting both parties could be a form of infidelity.
Speaking to Saturday PUNCH, a Lagos-based marriage counsellor, Pastor Yomi Joshua, said it was important for couples not to allow technology ruin their marriages.
He noted that smartphones and social media had taken the place of one-on-one conversation among many couples.
Joshua said, “Technology is supposed to be a blessing, but it is affecting many things in our society today. People now spend more hours on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.