Are you married? That is the question.
I was on twitter a few days ago and saw a tweet from a lady who said when she asked her ex why he didn’t tell her he was married; replied with, ‘it didn’t come up.’ Another lady said in her case it was, ‘you didn’t ask me.’
People think it’s forward of me when I ask a guy I’m on a date with for the first time if he’s married. In fact, I have a whole list of questions around that one including are you separated/divorced? Do you have a girlfriend/is your girlfriend living abroad?
A friend once asked me, ‘What if he lies? He can easily lie and say he’s not married. What will you do then?’
You see for me, the end game of romantic relationships is marriage (discussion for another day). I am not in the school of let’s see how it goes. So, if you’re married, eventually, the truth will come out and my ancestors who love ogogoro – and who love me because I pour libations occasionally – will bear witness that I asked you and make sure you don’t sleep well for two years at least (this is not joking sturvs).
Let me tell a story. When I still lived in Nnewi, I had to travel to Port Harcourt for a book festival. Sitting beside me in the bus was a man, maybe in his forties and we got talking. He complimented my hair and how ‘natural’ I was (I wasn’t wearing any make up). He worked in Shell (oyel money) and lived in PH but travelled to Nnewi from time to time. That’s how I gave him my number and we got talking. Throughout the time I was in PH, he found reasons why we couldn’t see. In the course of our discussions he told me he had a son who was in a secondary school in Isuofia (not too far from Nnewi).
I returned to Nnewi about a week later. Every time I asked about the mother of his son or his marital status he stylishly skirted the questions. I’m not the suspicious type so at the time it didn’t occur to me that something was up.
Now, I had business at the school where he said his son was and used to go there frequently so on my next visit I asked one of the admin staff if they knew any boy that had that surname. She was confused because according to her, there were three kids in the school with that surname. By the time I was done, I had discovered that the oga had three children and was very married.
I abhor extra-marital affairs. And given that I live in a world where ‘men will be men now, and play around’ (nonsense), I am ultra careful when dealing with men I’m just meeting for the first time and who have indicated a romantic interest in me.
Someone called me CIA, no wahala. This is 2015. I will google your name, look for you on Facebook and Twitter, dig into your Linkedin profile, I’m not even playing. Does this show a measure of distrust? Maybe. But my self-preservation instincts trump all.
It is one thing for me to open my korokoro eyes and go into a relationship with a married man. It is another thing for me to go into a relationship with someone who is married unaware of their status.
Is my method foolproof? No, but it has worked for me so far. And the questioning serves a dual purpose. Any man who is turned off because ‘I am being too forward’ or ‘I should let the relationship progress to a certain extent before asking such questions’ is automatically cancelled. So that I will now become emotionally entangled and when I find out things about you, walking away will now become torture, abi? May my ogogoro drinking ancestors locate you long before you locate me.
Note: This piece is ‘one-sided’ because I am a woman and this is the angle I know. If you have a story or want to talk about married women who cheat, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.