I need a whore.

I will get back to that. But first, let me clear up some things first.

I’m happily married. I have no interest in sleeping with other women. (wink! wink!! wink!!!) I cannot even imagine that possibility. (Liar! Lair!! Pants on fire.)

If you are happily married and fulfilled, I’m happy for you. You can stop reading here. It is the best thing you can do for your marriage. I swear! This article will attack your values and put you in the defensive.

For those who wish to proceed, know upfront that marriage came before religion. It has been changing ever since – just like religion. This is important if you must get the context.

And one more thing: for those who may want to google my wife to alert her of my “cry for help’ let them know that this article has passed through her desk.

Now that we have taken care of these housekeeping matters, let us proceed.

To many men, not just the Nigerian men, one man one wife is just crap. It is unnatural. It is unrealistic. And it is unsustainable.

To a significant number of women, one woman one man, is also rubbish. But you won’t hear any of this in any polite company. Thank God this column is not a polite company.

Majority of men hate fidelity. Majority of women pretend that they love it.

Women are not made for monogamy. They just bought into it. And the only reason why they bought into it is because women are punished severely by society if they are promiscuous.  It has been said that women are made to have men all admire them, care for them, and their kids. Men are supposed to be wondering if they are fathers of these kids.

I support feminism. I think women should be free to have concubines too. I want an end to the abuse of women. No woman should be called a slut until we find a similar word for men who sleep around.

Women should not just learn how to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They should be able to say, ‘this is what I want.’

Right now, what women are saying is; monogamy or nothing. And most men are saying, anything but monogamy.

The good thing is that women don’t have to put up with infidelity anymore. Being unmarried is not a problem in this era. Having a kid as a single woman is virtually acceptable anywhere. The power dynamic has changed.

That is how we got to the disaster we have today.

Now let us start from the very beginning.

Marriage was invented when it became necessary to stop men from killing each other over the ownership of women. It was not just ownership of women for the sake of it. It was ownership of women for the sake of property. Man was once a free animal roaming around in a wild forest. Over the years, we used ropes to tie man up. Now man not only live in a zoo, he is now tied up right inside that zoo.

Society constructed monogamy. It is dominant today but it was not so some 50 years ago. And it is not going to remain dominant some 50 years to come. How religion emerged and adopted marriage is still a mystery. But one thing clear is that God doesn’t keep couples together. What does is hard work. The hard work must be geared towards the willingness to communicate and compromise. Conflicts challenge a marriage but consensus saves it. A marriage can last a lifetime not because it is the cultural expectation but because it is nurtured well.

Relationships used to be simple. You’re either married or single. Later, the single kind was expanded to include divorced or widowed. Now “it’s complicated.” And maybe because of it, you can now be in an “open relationship.”

This is no longer something the western world created out of its own foolishness. It is creeping into the remotest places on earth. A young woman in Abakiliki is boldly claiming on her Facebook page that her relationship status is ‘complicated’. Another one in Ijesha is bragging about being in an “open relationship.”

In our own eyes, life as we know it is changing. You can dismiss it off hand but I’m sure it is on its way to bite you if you stop learning and adapting in a fast changing world. If you feel the world is ending, you may just be as right as those who feel that the world is just beginning.

If 50% of the people who get on the plane crash land, many of us would rather stay in Africa than risk any travel abroad. We will choose to stay put even if we are going to be handed over at age 12 as wife to an old man. Many of us will rather take the chance of being stoned to death because some men raped us than to get on the plane when there is 50% chance that we will die in a plane crash.

But 50% chance is what marriage offers. 50% of all marriages end in divorce. And we are still taking the chance.

One of the things that has changed in marriage over time is the definition of ‘need’ and ‘want’. Need used to be those things we cannot do without. We used to be able to do without a lot of things. But as the world changes, the definition of the necessity of life keeps changing. Twenty years ago, owning a cell phone was not a necessity. Now it is. In relationships, the same transformation is taking place. Years back, a blow job is not a necessity. Now it is.

In today’s world, some ‘wants’ have immigrated to the column of ‘needs.’ To a large extent, ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ have become interchangeable. Society has upgraded certain ‘wants’ to ‘needs’ while we were sleeping. When it happens within the dynamics of a relationship, those who protest are told that we have to fulfill our biological imperatives. It is an exculpating answer for many things.
***

“I need me a whore,” said Malcolm, a lascivious husband, to his estranged wife, Nikki.

“I aint gonna let you turn me into a whore,” Nikki protested, shaking her head.

“The western men want a whore for a wife,” Malcolm argued. “But the African man wants a whore on the side. I’m with the Africans.”

Nikki fumed. She hated how everything about Malcolm had become Africa-centric since he returned from a guided tour of Africa.

“You shouldn’t have married if you didn’t intend to be monogamous,” Nikki barked.

“Like you didn’t pursue me forever. Didn’t you complain that I feared commitment? What did you think that fear of commitment was? What? Oh, I forgot. You hoped to change me after you landed me.”

“You’re a selfish bitch,” Nikki yelled. “You’re self indulgent. You need to grow up. You cannot be a slave to your desires and claim to be civilized at the same time. You might as well return to the Animal Kingdom. If you’re bored in your marriage, it means you are doing something wrong. Your lack of low self esteem is not going to be restored when you get your shit between someone else’s legs. The hole you need to be filling is the one in your life.”
***
Those were the opening dialogues of a chapter in my yet to be published novel, Death on Mount Trashmore.

Life is a series of fights to suppress our urges until the urge to die finally defeats us. Civilization used to mean being able to control our urges. Now, civilization means being able to explore our urges. The moral question is, if we cannot control our urges how different are we from animals?

Do you know yourself well? If you know yourself, then chances are that you know how to love. If you know how to love, you will spend the time to find someone who is your match? Do you know the person you married? Are you into what your partner is into? What are your expectations? Are you getting close to what you give? What did you trade your sexual freedom for? Are your needs being met? Have you ever told your spouse everything you wanted? If you haven’t, then you are a liar. You’re lying to your partner, and more importantly, to yourself. Are you ashamed to say what you want? What urges are you quelling? What are you repressing? Do you view pornography? Do you flirt? Do you engage in emotional relationships? Are you in a celibate marriage?

Give an honest answer to these questions and see what remains of your marriage. If you rise above your basic instincts, you’re damned. If you don’t, you are damned. What to do? What not to do?

It is more complex because our standard of morality is often ambiguous. How can a wife who thinks it is okay for her husband to inflate contracts to maintain their affluent lifestyle expect the husband to self-restrain when Miss Nigeria visits his office desperate for a job? How can a husband who participated in vote rigging to get his wife elected a senator expect her to be self-restrained with male special assistants staying at her visitors’ quarters?  

As usual, men, the least emotionally evolved of the human specie, are blamed for most of the problems encountered in a relationship. One-third of all divorces in the West are caused by infidelity- most of them, male infidelity. Some say that men are predisposed to infidelity because they make more sperm than a woman can use. The drop in sperm count should resolve that, I guess.

Though infidelity is cited, most marriage specialists believe that infidelity is not the cause of the breakdown of marriages but rather is a reaction to the breakdown.

Something had already failed before Malcolm came out to say, “I need me a whore.”

William Doherty wrote that, “The consumer culture tells us that we are all entitled to an exciting marriage and great sex, and if we don’t get both we feel we’re being deprived of human rights. What once we considered ‘weakness of flesh’ we now consider basic human rights.”

Know it now- you’re not everything to your spouse at every time. At some things, and at some times, your spouse finds somebody else better than you.

If you are married and at odd with your spouse, you can suck it up and swallow or fume until you blow up.

Relationships are never balanced. The dominant partner always gets his way. Balancing a relationship requires the willingness of the dominant partner to compromise. Compromise means subduing your impulse.

Dan Savage noted in an interview with New York Times, “I acknowledge the advantages of monogamy when it comes to sexual safety, infections, emotional safety, paternity assurances. But people in monogamous relationships have to be willing to meet me a quarter of the way and acknowledge the drawbacks of monogamy around boredom, despair, lack of variety, sexual death and being taken for granted.”

Nothing is as dangerous as a bored spouse who is disappointed and unappreciated at home. The hawks outside will smell them a mile away and snap them up.

Couples need trust to connect. Without connection there cannot be meaningful intimacy. Couples who are communicating know what each one wants. Most often, they are just not willing to give it.

For men, it is not about how many women out in the wild that you conquered, but how many nights you made the woman at home lose her mind with loving.

For women, it is not about how many restrictions you place on the path of your man to stop him from straying but how many consecrations you invoked to marinate his heart.

Short-term solution does not lead to long-term relationship. Straying doesn’t make any relationship stronger. Diverting attention to someone outside the relationship weakens the relationship. You cannot resist occasional temptations if there are no solid boundaries to be respected. Commitment ceases to be commitments when it allows feelings to wear it down.

Marriage needs nurture. It does not need dalliances. But without nurture, it defaults to dalliance which, if you remember, was where it all started.

“If you are expected to be monogamous and have one person be all things sexually for you, then you have to be whores for each other. You have to be up for anything,” Savage suggested.

Now you know why I’m a whore who needs a whore.
 

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