g44I’ve never dated a man whose faithfulness I couldn’t vouch for. But, more importantly, it has never bothered me what my boyfriends might get up to behind my back. I asked my first boyfriend, M, to cheat if he wanted to, if sex with me wasn’t great. Actually, it wasn’t at first – poor him! We were age mates but he was about eight years ahead in sexual experience. It was hard enough being a learner; it was worse feeling like I had to play catch-up to his level in the quickest possible time. (Tick-tock!) So, he had my permission to do as he pleased behind me. As long as we kept the relationship going; emotionally, I still needed him, and I know he loved me.

He turned down the bonanza, the idiot. Said he wouldn’t do it unless it was a threesome. I shrugged: his choice, his loss.

Now, years of watching people hurt and feel betrayed over being “cheated on” has left me with more questions than conclusions. These questions are based on an understanding of Love and Sex, and although the two are best together, this is not always the case. In English: two people can love without sex or “too much” of it (as in the case of my parents who I doubt still rip each other’s clothes off every chance they get); and two people can have regular sex without caring about each other (as in No Strings Attached fun).

My dictionary says cheating is when you secretly have sex with someone who’s not your partner.

So, imagine I find out the boyfriend has been getting some outside. I’m not quite sure how I’m supposed to react to this besides doing a quick mental check to ascertain that all the times we had sex we were safe. What next now? Should I kill myself? Cry? Did someone die? Exactly what am I supposed to be mad about – that he had amazing fun with (perhaps) a total stranger, without me? That sounds like envy: You went out and got laid while I sat here, eating doughnuts and getting fat! I could go out there and have my own pick of guys, you know, without him. Then we’re even. Would that make me feel better? I suspect the answer to that question is yes; many have, after all, cheated out of revenge.

Does “cheating” hurt because it does hurt, or because we’ve been conditioned to think so? Are human beings supposed to be fiercely territorial in romantic situations? Or is sexual monogamy a mere lifestyle choice, like celibacy and blood pacts between lovers – in other words, it’s cool but not default mode?

Should Love give us ownership and control over another person’s body?

Is “cheating” really a thing, or is it one of those pretty human inventions like the smart phone, marriage, and homophobia? Why does the thought that someone we love may be having sex with another person keep us up at night?

The Ovahimba and Ovazemba peoples of Namibia do this wife-swapping thing where friends can sleep with each other’s wives, NSA: nobody abandons her home and elopes with another woman’s husband. Just have sex and come back. Ok, maybe these poorly civilised tribes are not the best examples in this conversation, considering that there is ongoing debate about the rights of women in this cultural practice, but doesn’t this somehow show that sex can be just that – sex, meaningless? Isn’t it the case that where a person’s body is, isn’t always where their heart is? (Riding Tolu’s dick but you’re screaming “Jeffrey, oh, Jeffrey!” and Tolu stops to ask, “Who’s Jeffrey?”)

When we are attracted to someone, don’t we try to determine if we truly dig them for who they are, or if we are just looking to get laid?

One common reason people give for feeling hurt when their partner “cheats” is that it makes them feel inadequate, like they are not enough. But what does “enough” really mean? Who defines “enough”? And who is, ever, enough? I may be handsome, witty, great in bed, a loyal companion and my boyfriend may count himself lucky to have me (He’d better!). But, then, I don’t have cakes and the boyfriend sees a guy with cakes and indulges (maybe twice, thrice, nine times), and weeks later, I learn of it. Should it automatically call to question everything we share? If yes, doesn’t it mean I’ve watered down the essence of our relationship, made it a mere tryst or some form of long-term escort service?

What about porn stars who have boyfriends, and yet are on-set every other week with their body parts stuffed in or wrapped around other actors? Yeah, it’s a job, but it’s still sex with someone that’s not their partner.

Sex can – and should – bond a couple, agreed. But beyond sex, there should be some-Thing that keeps two people together; and it seems to me that if it takes sex to question that Thing, then maybe you don’t have a relationship. Perhaps you’re just fuck buddies? I don’t know sha.

I’m categorical on one thing, though: “Cheating”, assuming it’s even a thing, is not the worst that can happen to a relationship.

When we automatically link sex with a grave feeling like betrayal, doesn’t that devalue that beautiful wholesome thing called Love and elevate that horny superficial thing called Sex? Aren’t there people married to spouses they do not love? Yes, the fidelity may be there, but the most important ingredient – care for each other – is missing. Which means they are long overdue for a break-up. Aren’t there couples who, for reasons of age or illness etc, don’t have that much sex going on in their relationship, but are still in love?

Sometimes I see drastic reactions to “cheating” and think: What I’d be more worried about are the implications of the sex, not the sex per se. Implications such as: Does he still find me attractive? (If yes, great. If no, then it means I’m being pity-fucked, and who likes that?) Is he in love with somebody else? (If no, great; if yes, I guess our work in each other’s life just got done.) Was he in love with me in the first place? How much of my health is at risk? (Basic medical concern here) Etcetera, etcetera. These, to me, seem to be the weightier issues than just, He slept with Tunde, therefore I’m packing my bags, cry-cry-cry, slam the door in his face…

Sigh! ■

Written by Absalom


  1. Cheating is betrayal… That’s why most people get hurt when it happens. Its not just envy. People cheat for petty reasons.. Your bf may have all except the cakes you mentioned.. And then you go and find a chimp with cakes and screw him, isn’t that stupid? Most times people that bae’s cheat with arent on par with their bf’s.
    Monogamy is against the law of nature, I know that. And also is wearing clothes and brushing your teeth. But we don’t walk around naked just because we r predesigned to be nude. There’s a reason we r on top of the food chain in the Eco system, its because we’re smart and organized species.

    So do yourselves a Favour and keep your stinking phallus in your trouser. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Define a relationship at the very beginning and if one person defects, give them the boot. No one is ever in a trans while going to a “cheating” location. Its a conscious action.
    And also, I don’t hate cheating because of what society say about it, I hate it because its one of the highest forms of betrayal.

    • You don’t trip and fall on top of a dick, it is a well orchestrated plan. Some people are not just deserving of the love you give them. Get rid of them!

      • That’s the truth DM. You plan your way into this and if it were so inconsequential, why not tell your partner about your cheating plans? Afterall, it’s meaningless sex right?

  2. I knew this was written by Absalom before I got to the end.

    Cheating is betrayal! Here is why; before I start a relationship we lay our cards on the table. I always allow you set the rules: What do you want? You want exclusivity, fidelity etc and I give you that. Then you go ahead and do that same thing you asked Me not to do. You cheat and follow up with lies.

    Now its the lies that kill; when I find out you lied about it, it then begs the question – what else are you lying about? What else are you hiding? It redefines us.

    For me also cheating is a deal breaker because it breaks trust which is an important ingredient in any relationship. Picture this; I am driving home from work and I see your car parked outside a hotel, I will drive past “maybe he has a business meeting, I’m sure he will call me later to give me the gist”. Now I adopt this stance because I trust you, so I go home and have coffee waiting for your call. If however you have cheated in the past and I “forgave” you, but I drive past and see your car in a hotel parking lot I will definitely pull over and find out what you are doing there.

    The bottom line is set your relationship rules and know what your deal breakers are

    • Exactly Dennis! U give ppl the option to opt out of exclusivity at the beginning,but they insist that they wanna be exclusive, just because the thought of u fucking someone else drives them mad…but then they go ahead and creep with everything creepable,while insisting that u shouldn’t sleep with anyone else (not necessarily like u’re inclined to,anyway, but the double standards is mind-boggling!)

      • @ Pete: cheating shouldn’t be an INSTANT deal-breaker if u really love someone, I mean,c’mon, we’re mature,rational thinking adults,not children that respond impulsively without stepping back to analyse the situation first. If someone cheats ONCE,and as far as u can tell,is truly remorseful and repentant and making efforts not to fall into temptation again, u can’t dump him for that ONE act of indiscretion(except if u don’t really love him or u’re not into him anymore).but if he is unrepentant,as evidenced by continuous and endless episodes of straying,that’s d deal-breaker.
        (And besides,maybe recent events in DM’s life have given rise to a change of his opinion on the subject?… *skips away into the enchanted forest*)

      • Nuttie, why add the instant? My personal opinion is that Naija gays are not in a relationship, they merely think they are.

      • @Pete: my dear, if U don’t add “instant”, e mean say u go teeeey for market b4 u enter/stay in a relationship. Sadly, cheating is a real issue in most relationships (whether gay or straight; if every married woman were to divorce her husband when he cheats only once ehn, the world would be like a Jackie Collins novel…lol), and d ppl that can avoid the temptation are far outnumbered by those who will give in and cheat. No one is perfect; anyone can make a mistake; it’s willingness (or lack thereof) to correct the mistake that should determine what happens afterwards. Even relatively “good” guys,can fall into the temptation of cheating. So if u decide to break up with every bf that cheats ONCE…well, many boyfriends cheat at least once, it means u’ll either remain single,or switch relationships more often than u want to, except if u’re lucky to find an EXTREMELY rare member of the endangered species of non-cheaters.

      • Pete i said back then that cheating should not be a deal breaker when there are no cards on the table.

        Which Is why I clarified here that you state what you want and expect from a relationship before you start. Based on that premise, it can be a deal breaker.

        I tried, but I couldn’t get past it. It’s the lies that hurt.

  3. *Face Palm*

    Someppl feel that sticking to one partner is like sticking to eating just one kind of soup everyday when there r varieties of soup out there! Its not the d soup they have @ home isn’t delicious(its everything!) but they feel they can’t help it which I think is stupidity.
    But while dey go about tasting, they forget that swallows like fufu, pounded yam, amala, semo, wheat abounds too but the partner they r cheating on chose to stay bcos of the commitments they r obligated to.

    Cheating hurts not bcos u feel inadequate, or less, or incomplete but due to d BREAK OF TRUST ONE FEELS! The feeling of betrayal hurts more than a stab through ur pulmonary artery nd out through ur jugular!

  4. Absalom, you’ve got a couple of points here. However, I still believe that sex should be an exclusive act between 2 people. No one else should be involved. Love and sex aren’t the same thing but I think that when Love isn’t involved, sex should never come up. I mean, doesn’t territorial behaviour come with an interest in someone? I’ve never fancied cheating when I’m in a relationship and my last relationship ended after less than 2 months. That was in 2012.

    The point is I don’t believe in sex outside love and anyone involved in it is simply cheating and cheating is the most stupid thing ever. Like, who throws away a pizza for guguru ati epa? That’s what cheating is like to me – throwing away pearls for common stones.

    So when you’re in a relationship, be sure you love your partner whole heartedly so as to ensure that you don’t begin to ‘chook ya eye’ outside. That thing sucks!

    • I’ve never had sex with someone I’m not in love with.. It just doesn’t work for me. There must be some sort of emotional connection. I still find it puzzling how people jump around and find it enjoyable.

  5. I really like the analogy you put behind cheating but at the same time you’re off because you oversimplified the complexity involved in a relationship. One thing I have learnt about cheating is it puts your significant other in a permanent state of hurt, grief, loss of trust and an inability to feel safe. Your relationship would be dealt a potentially devastating blow. Cheating/sex itself isn’t exactly what deals a blow to a relationship but the fact someone betrayed or broke a number of unspoken rules we put to our relationships. So it isn’t envy.

    I agree with you that cheating really shouldn’t be fatal to relationships. It all depends on how you deal with it, if one has a talent for forgiveness and the cheater is truly sorry, some of us are able to use the affair as a wake-up call and end up so much happier with a relationship that gives us what we need.

    As you said cheating may not exact be exemplary conduct, bcos there are certainly worse things one can do, morally speaking.

    • True,cheating should NOT “always” be fatal to a relationship (and it usually isn’t, at least in my relationships); there’s room for forgiveness in the house of love. So when d one I love cheats once,I can forgive; twice,well my love is stronger than two episodes of cheating,right?maybe even three times(I like to give ppl enuff room to act right,and I don’t act impulsively without giving myself time to take a deep breathe). But if I continue to forgive,and u continue to cheat (because u have no respect for me and u know I always forgive),I will drop u with the quickness, u won’t even know what hit you!

  6. Absie,I too knew it was u,b4 I got to then end…but I didn’t get to the end because the general trend of the article was tending towards something that I would totally disagree with,and I didn’t wanna be mad at u…(Maybe I should go back and finish it b4 making an informed comment,but I was already getting irritated…sorry)
    The fact that the Quavhangenes and Olimbadubas of Namibias do wife-swapping with their neighbours(for reasons and insanities best known to them), those not mean they should become role-models for relationships and how they should be handled.
    If u really don’t feel hurt when someone u love and to whom u’re very loyal,is cheating on u,then I’m sorry,u’ve never really been in love; u’ve prolly never been DEEPLY in “like”,even. That,or u’re a really strong and distant and emotionally-detached person,in a weird sort of way.
    When someone cheats on me,I don’t get mad because society expects me to; I get mad because I’ve put in my best; my loyalty,my faithfulness; I’ve given my time,energy (and sometimes, hard-earned money); I’ve sacrificed and deprived myself just to please him- the least courtesy he owes me is his loyality. So,I’m sorry Absie,but u can miss me with the whole “it’s okay to cheat on ur faithful boyfriend cos the sky will not fall” vibe. (Still luv u tho,lol)

  7. A real relationshp IMO involves attachments on soooo many levels. Psychological, Emotional, Physical, Material(d shii is hard work) and all these start falling in place as the whole thing progresses. Attraction on a psychological level is most important because it has the feel of ‘he knows all my faults, yet still likes me’ to it and when two people who feel this attraction finally get down to sex, its the clincher. It becomes waaay big an issue when one does cheat with the whole sex thing.
    The other forms of attachment with sex may not get the whole ‘I got cheated on’ reaction

    As for dem porn stars,.I really do think something is missing in whatever relationships they think they av. Maybe a detachment on some level…iThink

  8. *sighs*

    *looks at pinky* you know why am looking at you abi… Odiegwu..

    *walks away sipping OJ*
    OAN: Am I the only one noticing that we’ve been reading alot about heartbreaks and infidelity weeks after Valentine’s day? Seems like this year’s Valentine’s day hasn’t generated its desired effect. Maybe it’s because it’s election season and most people have become a lying & cheating SOBs- just like politicians.

  9. No hate on this article. It makes a looooooot of sense but then I’m like “You almost sound smart except no, that’s just the idea the really long writing(which I had to skip for a while) throws at whoever is reading. But the idea that you feel absolutely nothing, no sense of hurt when a person deliberately cheats on you while you have no idea this is going on and you’re all chipper and ‘Oh, Okay he cheated. I guess our work in each other’s life just got done’ and then you’re all smiles like it never happened???. Bruhh, you’re leaving in a very effed up bubble where love is not love or maybe you’re designed to take a lot of emotional stress like its ‘water stain’. Either way, you cannot question a person’s right to hurt. Its a very valid human emotion.

  10. Oh god Absolom, I need u oooo.. I really need to imbibe this ur theory. Trust me I could, I ll be the most happy man in earth.. am so jealous, and it bothers me. I can kill somebody, I stalk my bfs Facebook and etc and sure, I do find things and most things we quarrel and break up but after hrs, I aplogise cus I love him and he ain’t bad a person. But if I can simply overlook this things, I ll be happy.. am naturally a curious person with overt imagination and trust issues.. Absolom, I need u ooo to help me ejoor

  11. It’s surprising that you only linked cheating here to just having sex with a third party but personally I think cheating can also take place even without the sex…yes. Cheating is wrong no matter how u look at it…if you’re not ready for an exclusive relationship then it should be made known from the onset. Cause once you’re in a relationship, it’s no longer about what u want, but what the parties involved want. Going out to have sex with a third party just because your partner isn’t giving it to u the way u want is very very wrong no matter how u look at it…there are so many ways to go abt it without cheating and if it’s not working then u guys should redefine the relationship or call it quits.

    I don’t know why I have this feeling that this article is endorsing cheating (maybe I’m wrong) but personally I think there’s no justifiable reason for cheating but that doesn’t mean it can’t be forgiveable. Cheating is betrayal of trust and it makes the victim feel like trash… nobody likes to be cheated on (it hurts ur ego pretty bad).

    OAN are u saying it’s ok to have random sex??? cause this article subtly suggests that…*just asking*

  12. A sense of obligation comes with dating..

    I can’t explain why “cheating” is bad, but that doesn’t make it OK

  13. Maaan.. How can you be in love with someone and and know that person screwed someone else and be okay. Please come and teach me.. My life would be so much easier.

    I think it is perfectly okay nd natural to feel jealous and betrayed when you get cheated on. The reasoning I use is cause I believe God created humans in his own image and if God can be a jealous God who would want his people to not bow down down to any other God then how much less humans. Lol.

    In my opinion I feel it’s what happens next that is important. Is your love strong enough to allow you stay with the person.. Stuff like that. And funny enough for those you truly love you find out it is and though it hurts like crazy if your partner is remorseful and wants to make things right being cheated on is something you’ll get over.

    And revenge sex doesn’t always work. It just means you seff your eyes have have started wandering and you’re looking for an excuse. If you can have revenge sex and and still feel good about yourself then you need to review the terms and conditions of the relationship.

    Cheating is a big deal.. But some hearts are just better at withstanding the hurt than others.

    • Revenge sex is the ish,you need to try it Jamie….Done it only once wyl trying to move out from an overtly possessive and sexless relationship,by heavens was i glad i did *lol*(zings out star-blade dagger).

      But on a more serious note,Cheating in whatever form does not give justification to that which you(the cheater) is searching for…

      Except maybe in my case *Jumps on purple unicorn and gallops away*

  14. Its strong reading and thinking about this from the other side, I have been cheating on and off for a year now and i do believe my husband would care more about the fact that someone has seen his treasured body naked and penetrated HIS pussy than anything deep or emotional.
    Personally id be ok with him sleeping with others if i knew about it and was even better involved. It is definitely the betrayal and hurt that would eat at me the most.

    Great Piece

    Hon x

  15. I’m quite pragmatic n realistic.
    I’d hate to b cheated on
    Bt my definition of cheating maybe diffrent
    I hv never realy bin in a relationship but I tell propective partners this
    Man has an inate nature of polygamy
    There’d b a time he’d desire some sexual fantasy outside,or some hoes won’t let him be. So long I’m in d know,n we talk abt it n it happens on rare occasions den we r fine.
    I’d only feel cheated wen he gets emotionaly attached to someone else and shares a part of his heart n nt jst his D with someone else or does a lot of tins dt are kept secret n I later find out.
    This way,I’d need no antihypertensives,I’d nt snoop on him ,d trust wuld b there n we’d b good.
    I’m nt stupid wen I do this,I’m jst living in a real world.

  16. You guyz are missing Absalom’s point. He is not endorsing cheating. He is only trying to make us see an alternative perspective to this cheating business. Someone recently reminded me that truth is not absolute. Therefore your ideal can be undesirable for another. That’s just how it is. Open your minds. Don’t you see how straight guyz react and wonder how it is even possible to love or have sex with a men? But here you are KNOWING that its not only possible but also desirable!!! Truth depends on perspective. Even in Nigeria, what’s taboo in one culture is totally acceptable in another. There is a lesson in that we are missing. Don’t think the world is defined by your personal perspective. It is this error that is responsible for not only homophobia, but every other similar phenomenon. Its due to an inability to see beyond the bounds of personal vision. It is narrowness of MIND. If you have given your bf permission to sleep with others, it is NOT cheating because he has your permission. Neither is it cheating if its an open relationship. It is cheating when you are in an exclusive relationship and have vowed to be faithful. That is another human propensity he have to overcome. DISHONESTY.
    Finally, make yourself happy. Find someone that won’t cheat (good luck with that) but just know that the universe is too vast to be limited to your personal truth or ideologies. It was born free and will break you in pieces to set itself free. Limit yourself if it makes you happy but live and let live.

      • Pinky is there a penalty,fine of sorts for using another persons’ line on KD without prior permission?


    • Sensei strong point you made and we are essentially saying the same thing. It falls back to the cards on the table! Was exclusive placed on the table? While you go out and get some without my knowledge of course and endorsement? That is cheating and it makes me wanna toss you across Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge

  17. You never disappoint.
    Do you? @s.sensei

    Where do i kiss you for such orgasmic comment(at least Le boo knows of this one).

  18. Heterosexual wife here but please please know that cheating is real.

    If you and your partner agree to an open or non-monogamous relationship then and only then is it not cheating.

    If your partner fucks, shares affections and discreet time with someone without you knowing, it’s cheating.

  19. #my problem is not that he cheated on me bt why rub it on my face? why denying it even when its obvious? its clear am no longer good enough for! lamented a Tivi lady siting beside me on board ,trapd on her laps is little miss chioma . #fuck relationships she wept.
    CHEATING One of the reasons why i’m scared of dating, I cant stand d guilt . some ppl see it as an inevitable act #man has dtendency to cheat ; i cnt coroborate the credibity of that assertion.
    CHEATING! one of d reasons a reasonable % of dudes in the gaybourhood ,has irevocably earmarked dating “no go area”. When cheated on, one feels dejected,UGLY, used, devasted, and it all ends in depression. I WILL ALWAYS RESPECT A FLIRT BT A CHEAT.
    STANDING OVATION : PP (an icon,inspiration, …) the ON’s family- max, peak, mitch, pete, chestnut (U GUYS ARE WONDERFUL #itroway kiss, no lola intended) . kryx. mercury. deniss. kizy’s team. etc #family hug. hmmmmmmm Ceecee i have a hunch that i may know u. Finally to the sis that brought dis forum to my knowledge. YOUR writeups and comments leaves me lunging to see your faces. no episode or article has ever been boring, d suspence 0! I’v skipd meals countless times going tru dem. AND BIG THANKS FOR D SMILE U GUYS LEAVES ON MY FACE EACH OF THOSE TIMES..

  20. Great discuss Absalom but I would have loved all commenters to start with the premise *I have never cheated before* or *I have cheated before*.
    By the way cheating is not the act of sex but us the infiltration and feeling comfortable of/by the mind of harboring someone else. Once you start those flirtacious chats then u are on the highway.
    Which brings me to a segment of kd called man crush, lets say ceteris paribus we met our men crushes and were in a healthy relationship and had d opportunity to go down with em, shall you or shall you not?
    That said… Let him without sin cast the first pebble. *peace

  21. Nicely nasty post.
    Your timid tribe may have not had an std victim before. I guess they will reason if they slept with a bitch out there and not a housewife. Nobody should make you feel debased or useless, not even a lover. Prevent your emotions from abuse.
    For me, you gotta set the records straight at first and we follow them. Tell me you love slutting and smooching around and I will give you a chance to. If you want to jump around, why date again? It is selfishness to create a formal and sacred relationship and yet expect the person to feel normal.
    Why can’t we ever be rational and responsible?

  22. Well, @IamCoy, I cheated once…in my first relationship… Very genuine reasons though, it wasn’t meant to work.
    I have gotten rid of relationships because of cheating and cockiness. And each time the selfish pleas they render are: ”if you love me, you can correct me, not being temperamental. For crying out loud, how many chances should you get? Actually, I dunno how your attitude can be a mistake when you are wont to always carry on. I’d rather be alone than render myself to such a ”relationship”. And most times, they are the most jealous. While they are cheating, they are busy disbelieving that you can ever be different from them.

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