I recently came across a radio show where a woman was narrating how her husband had been snatched by another woman. She was narrating her story on a talk show with mostly women panellists – I was intrigued how they all came to the conclusion that she should not leave her husband for the other woman to take her place. This scorned wife was talking about how her husband had been carrying on his affair for eight years with this other woman and how he had brought this other woman to their marital bed when his wife had gone out of town. When the show on which this woman had gone for advise contacted her husband for his comments – he stated that he wanted a divorce. When asked why he wanted a divorce, he stated that his wife does not meet him at the door to take his briefcase when he returns from work – yes, he said that! But somehow, all these women on the panel could not call out the issue staring them right in the face but advised this wife to not leave her husband for the other woman who was ‘snatching’ this ‘poor’ husband. To be honest, as I listened to these women, I was amused at how contradictory their narratives were on their show – one minute they are advising women that men are the stronger sex and women should therefore accord them the respect due them – and in the same breath advise that men are so weak that they can be snatched from their committed relationship. So I was curious to find out what was going on with men and why they were being snatched – I must admit that I chuckled to myself when I wrote this statement about men being snatched. I started by asking my male readers and friends for their take on the issue.
Last week, a male reader contacted me via twitter – he shared his own work as he was focused on helping people build stronger relationships. Naturally, I wanted to hear his take on the topic of men being snatched as this had been swirling in my head all week. My dear reader started his answer by stating that he wanted to keep things straight and hit the nail right on the head – and I was definitely up for some straight hitting the nail on the head type of talk. According to him, some women were not loyal and protective of their men – he would elaborate that if a man had been with a woman for years and this man had taken good care of his woman, why would his woman allow another woman to take him, this ‘precious prize’ away from her? He then shared his thoughts further that a woman needs to protect her man and assure the man that even if he cheats, she will be there for him – through the thick and thin. He justified that not all men are committed to their relationships so if a woman finds one that is, then she must protect him but if she does not protect this man from other women, then she never loved the man in the first place! So I asked the question that can a man be snatched or does he willingly go out to look for other women? My new twitter buddy answered that a man can be snatched from his relationship and later added that if a man goes out looking for other women, then said man does not know what he wants and vice versa. I thanked this dear reader and went away to ponder his words – I found everything expressed problematic because it presented more questions than answers and so many topics to explore
I found this narrative problematic because it did not make men look good – as a matter of fact, it made men look like inanimate objects – like handbags, that could easily be stolen. Certainly, people with these narratives were thinking about this aspect of their narratives, right? For years, we have been conditioned that men are leaders, providers, protectors and if you are a Christian, then the man is the priest. With all these gender responsibilities of males – how do we talk about them in such a weak light? How does one submit to a leader who is so easily swayed from his responsibility by the ‘weaker’ sex? For me, these were all excuses to allow men do what they wanted without any accountability for their choices. What stops a man from telling a woman pursuing him that he is already in a committed relationship? Would the same grace and ‘protection’ be shown to women were a woman to be snatched by another man? Why is it that when a woman leaves for another man then she was not snatched but rather committed adultery? I did not understand why men were made to look so weak – and it worried me because I have brothers, cousins, nephew and male friends and I would be devastated if I found out that this was how they thought when it came to taking responsibility for their actions and choices.
I left my chat with this reader on twitter with many questions – it seemed when it came to relationships, the mentality of others out there was quite scary. A few weeks ago, a page I followed on Instagram posted “never lie to the girl of your life for the hoe of the night” – this page was supposed to be for the worth of women. So to justify the behaviour of an unfaithful partner, the page decided to put down another woman. I commented how I felt about the post and another female replied that she would never respect a female that sleeps with her man. I flipped the question back to her – why would a man in a committed relationship with you go about and sleep with someone else – he obviously does not respect you. She relented! I needed another perspective on the matter so I spoke to my friend Kwadwo – he was offended that he could be snatched. For him, if he stepped out on his woman then he entertained the attentions of another person without a thought for the emotions of the person he was in a committed relationship with. He expressed that relationships are not easy and requires work, sacrifice and the decision to stay no matter how challenging things get. He continued that yes, some days are hard but you push through. I understood where he was coming from – he is a family man and does not only have to factor in the emotions of his wife but that of his children also.
I approached another male reader – and he was amused by the fact that he could be snatched. This other reader went on to say that the word ‘snatched’ was used by women to describe men that stepped out on them because these women were afraid to accept that these men did not respect them or their relationships – so it was easier to blame another woman and even fight other women. To be honest, I had not thought of things from that perspective and I was wowed – I wanted to understand why he thought this way. He would share the story of a neighbour he had when he was a younger man – this neighbour had multiple affairs with women in their neighbourhood. He was quite well off and would give money to younger women for sexual favours – anytime he got caught, he would tell his wife that the young women had been chasing him and his wife would go out and fight these young women. From where he was sitting, he could see that this woman was solely dependent on her husband and if she confronted her husband, he may end the marriage and she stood to miss out should the marriage end. So she stayed and blamed everyone but the real culprit, her husband.
At the end of these conversations, I had so much to think about – and I admit that this subject needs exploring further. I remembered the woman from the radio show who’s husband had been having an eight year affair right before her eyes and yet she chose to blame the other woman – I was sad for this woman. She sounded like all she had going was this marriage and if she allowed a divorce she would lose her purpose. So she chose to stay and be disrespected – however, she had someone to blame, because her husband did not want to leave her, he was being snatched by the other woman. How crazy does that sound? To my male readers, what stops you from telling women who pursue you that you are in a committed relationship? Does a man deserve respect as a leader in a traditional relationships if he can be snatched? And can a woman be snatched and if she does get snatched, did she leave or was she snatched? Relationships are hard to work at and commitment must come from both parties – if at any point, one of you thinks things are not working, then please end things. Show respect by ending things before actively pursuing the new ‘wonderful’ person you have your eyes on.
To my ladies out there, I know it is not easy when your partner steps out on you – and yes, he stepped out, he was not snatched. He is a human being with the ability to think for himself and no one can make him do things he did not want to do – we all have choices. If he steps out, it is him who has disrespected you, not the other woman. By all means do your best in your relationships but make sure your efforts are reciprocated. If you find that your partner is easily snatched, remember that he is not a handbag – besides, if you find that your handbag is easily snatched, you get a backpack or cross body bag as they are more secure – so respect yourself and address the issue instead of finding someone to apportion blame. Thank you so much to all of you who have been getting in touch – I still would love to hear from you. Let’s effect the change we need by sharing our experiences.