I decided to share this story because many people believe only women are at the receiving end of unfaithfulness in marriage. Though unusual, I believe with the increasing desire for independence among women, feminism, and women liberation, men need to know that they are also at risk. Some men grew up watching their fathers treat their mothers like rubbish. Perhaps she was illiterate, or had no career, or just soft-spoken. They are not as mean as their fathers were, but unconsciously, they believe they are doing their partners a favor by providing or being good fathers. This of course is not in anyway to say that there are no good men out there, there are several. However, every man must know his own wife. As the bible says, “Dwell with your wife according to knowledge”. I interpret that as, take time to study her and so prevent surprises.
Years ago, a lady was diagnosed with HIV- AIDS in a hospital where I worked. We assumed she had been infected by her husband who was out of town. More so, when she told us he worked on an oil rig and was home for only 2 weeks every month. She pleaded with us not to inform him, but the hospital made the decision to do so. We could not risk him infecting others in the guise of not knowing. If he knew and went ahead to do so, at least, he could be charged(where are my lawyer muses?).
I was the one on duty the day he showed up. His wife was admitted for complications of her condition. I remember he was a tall, slim, and handsome man. He had no clue what was going on. We first gave him a vague diagnosis, while appealing to his wife to let the cat out of the bag. She would not. One day, he came into my office and asked me point blank what was wrong with his wife.
“I hoped I would not be the one on call the day you would ask this question”, I evaded.
“What is it? Cancer? What could be so serious? She’s losing weight, and there’s this air of mystery in the ward whenever I go there. Even the nurses look at me funny”
“Your wife has a very serious disease. It’s sexually transmitted, and we are concerned you maybe affected”
“What could it be? HIV?”
“Whaaaaaaaat!” he screamed. “No! It’s not possible! How can she be HIV positive? ”
“That is the reason for all her symptoms. I heard she’s been sick for a while, and you’ve tried other ‘healers'”
“Yeah, she keeps going for herbal treatment. I had to call from work to insist she comes to hospital this time or I would not pay” “But doc, are you sure? Was the test repeated?”
I assured him we had done a confirmatory and that he could repeat it externally to be sure. After a while, he calmed down and asked if his 2 year old daughter had been tested. I informed him we wanted to test him first, then his daughter.
“Take my blood right now! I am sure of my status. I have never cheated on her and I have provided her with everything she needs. There is no way I will be affected. It’s my child I’m worried about” he insisted.
I was surprised. Never have I met anyone so confident. “Well, I am required to still counsel you. Even if you did not infect her, she could have infected you and ….”
“I know the God I serve. My hands are clean. I am absolutely sure I do not have the virus.”
As I write this, the chills I felt that day, have seized me. I have never seen such confidence. Honestly, I was nervous to take the sample. What if he was positive? Would he try to kill the woman? Were we going to need security? So many thoughts ran through my head.
Hours later, the man tested negative. So did his daughter. We went ahead to do a confirmatory test and it was negative. I tell you, a roar went up in the hospital. He was nice enough to pay her bills and even promised to stand by her, through her life. Though the marriage was definitely over, according to him.
I sympathize with all those whose partners have caused them heart ache of some sort. This is in no way to make light of it. I just wanted to draw attention to the fact that men don’t have to believe they have the right to cheat while their wives stay faithful. Most times, women are counselled to be prayerful, to be patient, loving, and so on. Men also need to play their role. You have no guarantee. This man was saved by his strong faith, I daresay your drinking, smoking, and hanging out will not save you in the day of reckoning. That lady you met in a bar, or who you pried away from 3 men, you expect her to stay home and play trophy wife? It may not work. Please, stay faithful, and stay in faith. God bless