By Ngenzi

May this message find you well.

As you are about to read, this message isn’t to all the girls out there, and the reason for my writing is this is I want to stop this crying over married men who leave for younger women. And this isn’t a message to the abandonned wives; this goes to the girls that steal other womens’ men.

Now, I am not the most religious person out there. You will not find me in the front pews praising and singing out loud, so I will not pretend to have high moral ground and tell people not to commit adultery. Because let’s face it, adultery has always been there. I will not be a hypocrite and start judging people for their choices, because we all sin and all sins are equal (well according to the scriptures, not the judicial law). What I am here to do is simply to advise my friends when it comes to such situations so that there are less tears in the world for things that could have been avoided through proper guidance.

In my lifetime, I have heard, read and seen enough stories of a woman choosing to involve herself with a married man and in most cases, it always ended badly for her. Even right now, there is a friend (let us call her Zuena) who is being pursued by a rich (according to Burundian standards) married man who works in Burundi but has a family somewhere in West Africa. Now before I proceed any further, here is my advice when being pursued by a married man: one, you can either stop it by telling him you are not interested and want to be friends (watch him disappear); two, you can decide to be in a relationship with him, or three, you can be a mistress. Again, as I said I am not here to judge anyone. Whatever your decision, just make sure you are doing the best that you can and that you have a plan.

The first option is very self-explanatory. The fastest way to end that is just by telling the dude that he would be such a great friend and that at the moment you are not interested in a relationship. As we all know, no guy likes being put in the friend zone, so you will see him disappear from your life.

The second option is a bit trickier to navigate, but I guess that since you decided this one you know what you want. Here is the deal though, have a plan. Do not believe him when he says these three things:

  1. “I will leave my wife” *rolling my eyes* – He will not. OK. Let me try to be a bit more specific, it is very unlikely that he will leave her. Now your job, since you clearly want this man, is to make sure that he has left his wife before you proceed to hook up. Do not accept lines such as “oh, you know, my wife is stressed at the moment I do not want to stress her more. But once she is no longer stressed, I will tell her and give her the divorce papers”. At this point if you believe that line, you do not want a relationship, you should check out option three. If you want a relationship, give the dude deadlines and he better work within them. Otherwise it’s not going anywhere – again refer to option 3.
  2. “I love you so much that it hurts me and has put in bed for a whole week. That’s why I didn’t want to write back to you”. Or anything to that effect. So apparently West Africa dude who wants Zuena gave her this line of how he was hurting after she refused his advances and his ‘I love you’ speech. Now Zuena is in confusion because she is starting to believe West Africa dude is actually in love with her. My take is that he can only truly mean what he says after he has divorced his wife. Otherwise one of you is being lied to, and it’s not the wife.
  3. “I will buy you anything…the moon, stars, sun”…yeah yeah.. you get my drift. He will not buy anything after the deed has been done or the cookie has been given over. Or maybe he might a small gift as a token of appreciation or guilt.. but sweetie, you will not be seeing stars, moon or sun anywhere near you.

This is just to convey the message that has been there since time immemorial: talk is cheap. If he truly loved and actually listened to you, he would have left his wife and bought you things that you needed, not those that he thinks you need; i.e. he would pay hospital bills for a sick relative, not buy a phone (not matter how “smart” it is, it’s not going to solve your issues after dude has left you, to cheat on his wife with another woman). Let us wake up, you know. As my mother keeps telling me “Isi yarameze amenyo” … so sweetie, wisen up and make the smart choice!

As for those who want to partake in option three (mistress, side dish or mpango wa kando– whatever the title you wish to take), here is my advice:

  1. Like option 2, have a plan. Know how long you plan on being with dude before you say your adieus. Do not kid yourself into believing that he will not leave you, because then you will be one of those who will be crying (the same situation I want to avoid from happening to you). And when you end things, I would prefer to see that you have improved your life in some way; finished school (maybe enrolled in a PhD program); or bought a house, car and started a small business that can sustain you and most probably the child(ren) that you might have birthed with him.
  2. Don’t ever think that you can go back to choosing option 2, because it’s too late. Exchanges have already been made, you probably do not have much to bargain with. If you do make the mistake of thinking that you can go back to option 2, I will see you back in the bar, at a café or at your parent/friend’s house (coz I am sure you decided to believe the lines told in option 2..and decided not to go with a plan smh) crying and wondering how this could have happened. You realise that you have spent the last 4 years of your life being told a lie and you do not even have anything to show for it. Sad sad sad.. I tell you. Again, this is the same scenario I am trying to get you to avoid.

My simple advice in all this is: It is your life, do want you want to do with it. Have ownership of your mistakes. Everyone makes them. What I do not want to see or hear are people playing the victim saying how they were played. If you believe in God, then you know that he definitely tries to protect you and in most cases, he will give you signs. What you decide to do with those signs is your decision; you can decide to jump ship, change direction or even stop. But whatever you do, do not say you did not see it coming, because we all know that when you decide to hook up with a married man, you knew what was coming. Most of us just choose to ignore it. So be prepared, be vigilant and pray – for what? Only you and God can come to an understanding.

Photo source: quebec.huffingtonpost.ca

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