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By  Oluphemmie Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… when you read you begin with A, B, C, when you sing, you begin with do, re, mi… when you cheat, it all begins with desire, the desire for adventure, to be better than you are, to achieve more, to have an advantage, to explore… How did we discover cheating in the first instance? (And please you all should admit it, we have all cheated at one thing or the other, at one time or the other, or to one end or another. We have all had our moments). It all started from way back in our formative years, you were always told, by your raving and ranting dad or mum, of how the other kid down the road was better than you, neater, more respectful, had better grades, had a cuter smile e.t.c. You then moved on to learning how to mind your own business by playing with your toy car, your ears, pee-pee, and dolls or whatever else you had to play with as a kid. Even then, you were faced with having to always compare notes and strive to have your own things better than the other kids. Fortunately or unfortunately, I grew up with girls, so I never got drawn into the size competition that always was a topic of conversation in the little-boy’s-room! Or, I would have, from an early age, gotten drawn into the argument on the variation in finger sizes by age, race and weight. The need to always have it better or be the better one as a means of achieving self fulfillment, or the feeling of perhaps being fulfilled, to a large extent is responsible for why we all cheat in the first place. All descriptors need to be used in context and have a central rallying point that can be given credit or blamed. In the military, you rally to the commander, in school, you rally to the principal, in a restaurant, you rally to the chef and in romance we naturally rally to the female gender. Unfortunately, although everyone cheats, when it comes to cheating, we naturally rally to the MEN. How many of you have unconsciously thought of men each time you heard the word cheat? Even in conversation, if you are told that a woman cheated on her man, a good number of you would seek clarification – are you sure she cheated on him? And when that position is confirmed, a good number of you would still blame him for making her cheat on him. So, unfortunately, it all always has to be blamed on the men. That said research has shown that men are more prone to cheating in relationships than our saintly women folk. They cheat because they are happy, they cheat because they are sad, they cheat to have more adventure, or even to have less. They cheat for bragging rights or to become the topic of the brag. They cheat because their women are too good, too bad, too thin, too fat or just right. They cheat because of a need to always walk across the lawn and find out if the grass is truly greener on the other side, or if perhaps it is purple. Men also cheat when they feel insecure, unloved, or unwanted (yes! Believe it or not, under all the six-pack or in my case, rounded one-pack, we still like attention and loads of it. We also want to feel like your world revolves around us, same as you)! Also, when they feel like they are not getting enough of a good thing or that they are not even getting the good thing as good as it ought to be. One little known secret is that men cheat, sometimes out of low self esteem. While your woman sees you as her friend, guy and sometimes support mechanism (emotional and financial), the daughters of Eve see you as The Man… (And make you feel like your words alone can melt butter) Then again, is it cheating if he just drifts emotionally and begins to spend more time with another woman? Or is it when he gets physically involved and starts to explore other nether regions of her wiles? Really and truly, all cheating na cheating! It only takes a moment to really cross that line from friendship to affair, from peace to drama, from knowing to doing. All cheating na cheating o jere, irrespective of the nice and funky words we use to cloud the obvious truth. All Men Cheat! Either by looking, thinking, touching, hoping, comparing, prying, wishing, doing, and salivating (mentally) yes ke! Since you ladies slap us for salivating when we see “tins”, we have learnt how to do so mentally, and savor the experience while maintaining a completely blank expression on our faces. Like all organisms, men are an evolving species or more like sub-set of a species and a product of the society in which we live in. If the society was made up of all upright girls who would insist on not being with men who are engaged or married, then men would naturally evolve to a point where drinking garri with water (and perhaps no sugar) everyday of their lives, would not only give them satisfaction, they would actually look forward to drinking it daily. Besides, there wouldn’t be alternatives anyway! Can we then safely assume that if there were no evil-causing women/girls/females, there probably wouldn’t be cheating men…? At the dawn of time, as the good book tells us, that was the case, and oh yes, there was peace and harmony, and Adam chopped his garri happily and did not complain; until a new horrible menace threatened the existing balance in the universe… SIN. Thousands and thousands of years ago, Adam and Eve lived in harmony and all was good and right. There was no evil and Eve, who by the way was forged out of one of Adam’s ribs, was the only woman on earth, which automatically made her the most beautiful creature he had ever seen (I wonder where the cute/fluffy rabbits were, or even pandas or koalas).  Suddenly the bad-guy-snake came into the picture and by the end of the day, an apple had been eaten, Adam and Eve suddenly noticed each other’s hairy and wobbly bits and ran for cover, and as we are made to believe, they both emerged from the experience with a new outlook to life and living. In offering him the apple to chop, Eve inadvertently paved the way for Adam (and indeed all men) to open-eye and seek for a better alternative to the bone of our bones that brought us to sin, anger and disrepute in the eyes of the Big Man. Man has been a wondering adventurer ever since. Now that we have dispensed with the historic and have traced the roots of male cheating to its earliest origins (the origin of sin itself) and have come to agree that cheating is not the exclusive preserve of men, but as gullible apple-eaters, we are sentenced to carry the guilt and shame of the act, whether-or-not we are guilty, the soul searching should start. At this point we may want to do some self-assessment… what cheating tendencies are unique to you? Or better yet, how many of your men have actively cheated on you and why? Did they cheat out of a mere longing to cheat, or was it due to you actions or inactions, activity or inactivity perhaps? If you asked nicely, and not with a pot of boiling oil, a knife, a machete or a gun in your hands, he probably will tell you why he did it, and you can both move on or learn from it. I cannot help but think that we have so romanticized cheating itself, and how it should be dealt with and dismissed as a random act of stupidity and greed (thanks to Hollywood, Mills and Boons e.t.c.). We have also been led into believing that once you are cheated on, the next course of action is to throw a tantrum and walk away from the relationship because of bruised egos and a sense of being betrayed… (And this goes for men and women alike). Guess what? Believe it or not, generations before us cheated hell! Even our parents may have cheated on their spouses, but they were more tactful and discreet about it than we are now, so, we never knew. I’m not advocating that it is okay to cheat, but if and when it happens, do you look at the bigger picture? Do you identify the root-cause and address it? Or do you play the discarded apple and just roll-on-by? As I drop my pen (or more like my keypad) to go and eat of my colleague’s birthday cake and prepare to put on my dancing shoes to celebrate a great man and icon, I cannot but wonder if trying to find an answer to why men cheat isn’t as elusive as finding an appropriate/universally accepted answer to the question “what do women want”? Most men cheat because they CAN… women cheat because they WANT to, politicians cheat because they MUST, kids cheat because they SHOULDN’T. So, my friend, why do YOU cheat?  
About the Author Oluphemmie is passionate about life, love, living and passion. He loves to listen, learn and then express his learning. He feels life is taken way too seriously, so we all tend to miss the moments that matter the most; so he writes to express himself and freeze some of those moments in time. Currently works as part of the brand marketing value chain.

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This article was first published on 7th June 2012 and updated on June 12th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

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