Throwing up her arms with a ‘help me out of this mess’ look on her face, Debbie narrated how her colleague in the office had started to show some nasty attitudes and cleared her table of her husband’s picture, since the last time, she had met the husband at the wedding ceremony of another colleague in the office.
They had all attended the wedding ceremony and while going home, her husband had come to pick her up, so Debbie asked if they could give her a ride to the nearest bus stop, which they obliged. That turned out to be a mistake, as barely five minutes into the ride; the husband kept asking questions and directing his conversations towards Debbie.
It was one of the most uncomfortable rides; Debbie had taken in her life. But it did not end there. On Monday at the office, Debbie was treated to the most humiliating situation she had ever experienced. The married ladies in her office had been told a different version of what happened over the weekend. She had been painted the aggressor, the one who had come on to her colleague’s husband, the one who had been asking questions and had almost collected her colleague’s husband’s number. What a lie but all the women believed it.
Apart from clearing their desks of pictures of their families, they ganged up on her and practically excommunicated. All the gists, they used to have, with her perched on their desks dried up. This was not the first time this sort of thing was happening to Debbie. She wondered why the married women she knew were so insecure about their marriages and believed that once she smiled at their husbands, she had him in her pocket and was already dating him.
The reality was, this particular colleague’s husband had just been trying to make small talk and wasn’t coming on to her at all. He was trying to make her feel more comfortable in their car and had even offered to drop her somewhere closer to her house, as it was just along their route. That was obviously what his wife had misconstrued to mean he wanted to spend more time with her and hence, he was interested in her. She felt like pulling her hair as she explained this.
The only other time, she had experienced this type of situation was with her elder sister. She and her sister’s husband were cool like that, they could talk for hours and when her sister had her first child while their mom was ill and could not go for Omugwo, she was the one asked to go and help her sister with the baby. So she relocated to their house, helping with the baby through the night, making breakfast and cleaning the house; generally, she was helping out as much as she could, so her sister could rest or have more time to bond with her baby.
By the end of the second week though, her sister had started to snap at her and when her mother called her to come back home, that she was spending more time with her sister’s husband than helping her sister with the baby, it dawned on her exactly what was happening; which even her own sister could not tell her to her face.
However, it was not true that she did not help with the baby. In fact, as soon as she was home from work, the baby became her business. She looked after him late into the night, until her sister took over and even woke up more times than its mother, as the baby slept in her room. But she guessed that the times she spent in the evenings tending to baby and chatting with her sister’s husband, while her sister was in the kitchen caused the rancour.
All of these she explained to her mother but their mom was just interested in peace between her children, and more importantly, that her younger daughter was not involved in any illicit relationship with her sister’s husband. That was the cross that Debbie had to carry. She was made to apologise to her older sister for her ‘misdemeanor’ but it was the end of a cordial relationship between them. She never went to their house again.
Personally, I feel like that is the worst kind of distrust a sister could show; with no track record, you accuse your blood sister of eyeing your DH. No, it is not just done. In the end, what their mother feared was exactly what happened. Both sisters were no longer on talking terms after the forced apology.
Debbie’s sister ought to have talked with her own husband, about how she felt about the evening chats he always had with her sister, rather than taking the matter to their mom and spoiling the relationship with her sister. Most likely, her husband would have shushed her up and told her off for even thinking such rubbish, if she had told him.
As for her colleagues in the office, there were all a bunch of women who would rather pick on a fellow woman rather than put a leash on their own husbands. For the record, Debbie would never have dated her colleague’s husband. Other women’s husbands were out of bound and she was not desperate anyway.
However, she understood where they were coming from; after all, there were single ladies who had no qualms about dating other women’s husbands. Unfortunately, that meant, all single ladies were tarred with the same brush.
But know it; a man who wants to stray will do so, regardless of what was done or not done to deter him.
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