Infidelity or Polygamy: It’s Your Choice

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

Technically, there is a difference between polygamy and polygny. Polygny is the condition or practice of having more than one wife at one time; while polygamy (plural marriage) is a situation whereby a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time. Somehow, we tend to associate polygamy with just “multiple wives.” Definitions aside, most African men likes and enjoy the idea of multiple wives. However, in the last 25 or so years, fewer men engage in such practices even when they engage in licentious sex with multiple partners. Such men simply don’t want to be bothered with multiple social, cultural and financial responsibilities. It is less stressful having a mistress or a concubine instead of a second or third wife.

Increasingly too, women are now open to the idea of polygandry or polyamory — the condition or practice of having more than one husband or lover at any given time — even if such conditions are not officialized. The world does not belong to men alone, and so women are also now getting into the practice of “what’s good for you is also good for me.” Although a few of my friends have argued that African women, especially Nigerian women, have been in the know and have been having multiple lovers for a very long time. These friends of mine called my attention to market women in Lagos and other Nigerian metropolis and asserted that some of these women freely have sexual partners, with or without the knowledge or consent of their husbands.

However, my friends argued that sexual promiscuity, informal polyandry and polyamory are more prevalent and acceptable among some groups than others. No group, I am told, totally frowns upon and completely rejects and forbid such practices. In other words: how loud sexual orgies and parties are depends on the sense of self of the ethnic groups, their mythology and worldview. Besides, a man or woman would engage in infidelity if there is an assurance of secrecy, safety and or long-term benefit irrespective of religion, ethics or morality.

But how different are things on this side of the continent? Is it any different dating and or marrying a White woman or the African-Americans? In popular parlance, the assumption is that White women are easy to talk to, easy to date, easy to have any sort of relationship with. And that in all matter sex, they don’t have as many hang-ups as African women; and so there is no high premium attached to sex. If it is going to happen it is going to happen. Sexual pretensions are therefore easily allayed.

It is also assumed that African-American women have a ritual about sex. Like African women, they don’t easily give in to sex. There has to be a reason. There are dramas attached to sex. A Rubicon to cross. A wall to climb. An ocean to swim. A mountain to climb. But once all the ceremonies are taken care of, sex becomes them; and they become sex. Whether these assumptions are correct or not is not for me to say. I don’t know. I simply don’t know. I have been here and there and everywhere in between. I have done this and done that and prowled every V-square in between — I simply have not taken the time to engage in a systemic study of their sexual habits.

Recently, when a close friend of mine tried to settle down with someone he truly loved and cared for — someone in whom he had complete trust and faith — she asked him: “as we move forward with this relationship, what are your expectations: infidelity or polygamy on both sides?”

He was staggered by her question. He was speechless for a minute or more until she came to his rescue by seductively muttering “Honey, I am only 25…you didn’t expect me to not experiment, did you?”

What a choice! What a choice!! I now think and look at her differently. And I hate it every time she looks at me with those decadent and catching eyes…ha, women!

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Blessing August 4, 2009 - 8:31 am

i am glad you wrote these things for our men to see.

tina November 19, 2007 - 4:30 pm

I am currently married and living with my husband and my lover. It is working out great for all of us. My husband is less burdened with money troubles and now can work less. All three of us are happier than ever before. My men work together. They have someone to talk to. They do chores together. There is always someone around to help each other out. I cook and clean house, which I would be doing for one man, so now I do it for two and it isn't much different. There are no kids involved. We find it the perfect solution to all of our problems. My husband and I had a sexless marriage, so this is perfect, and we're not going through courts fighting over divorce. It's only been a month, so ask me how it's going in a year!!!

Melody August 29, 2006 - 3:59 pm

Amanda, many white women are proud of their "wanton" sexual rap. I hear them talk all the time about their sexual exploits and how they are willing to share every orifice available. Many black men celebrate you for that reputation alone but abhor other women who mimic your behavior.

m.a.e. August 27, 2006 - 7:42 pm

What are you talking about? White women are more likely to "give it up" than black women? You need to do your homework!!

wehimi August 22, 2006 - 1:59 pm

well, Amanda's right-let the whites speak 4 themselves. it depends on d individual, not on d generality. i personally know more than 5 different cases of Nigerian men who were married 2 white ladies and xtremely unfaithful to them, while their wives were God-fearing, hardworking, very submissive and faithful wives. one of these men even went to the extent of bringing his girlfriends or sexmates home and lying to his unsuspecting wife that they were his "relatives". he usually spoke to them in his native language, which his foreign wife could not understand. the neighbours, especially those from his tribe knew, because some of the housewives had eavesdropped on them. most people who knew felt sorry for his wife, who would spend her time and energy preparing his native meals which were strenous to cook for his supposed "relatives," and after eating, the man would take them out and come back very late, sometimes til the next day. moreover, he shouted at her most of the times and hardly showed care for the children. She was usually lonely. well, luck ran out on him when his company sent him on a transfer to SAUDI ARABIA. he could not stop this habit, and a few months after settling in saudi, he was caught with a prosti— and repatriated immediately, while his wife divorced him and went back to England to continue with her nursing profession, which she had given up earlier because of her marriage to him.

the other Nigerian men's cases were similar to this.

this is not to say that all Nigerian or African men are like that. it all depends on the person. just as i know those who were unfaithful, I know many ones who were very good to their wives, and their marriages lasted to the good old age. one of such is my family doctor and his wife from england.

personally, i think one should just treat a partner or spouse the way one wants to be treated as well.

hope to achieve a positive impact with this.


corrio August 22, 2006 - 1:08 pm

i think you have 2 b specific. on which side are u-polygamy, infidelity or what? people have to make their individual choices.

well as 4 me, I think sex is a cheap thing- the most common thing among sll living things, so human beings should strive to make the difference wherever they are- do the uncommon thing! try to invent something positive, don't spend all ur time rigmarolling about sex. it's too cheap. afterall, it does not differentiate u from lower animals, but thinking and inventing does. besides,(esp. 2 d xtians), when u die, u cease 2 become male or female, but have a body like God's, so why get obsessed by something that would not last?

think about this. as a man, would u like ur wife 2 have other sexual partners apart from u? if u would, then go ahead & have xtramarital affairs as well. but if u don't like it(which I'm sure all men would) then don't do it urself. life's all about this-do 2 others what u want others 2 do unto u.

honestly, i wish condoms could not prevent aids.

prince kennedy Iyoha August 21, 2006 - 10:43 am

Mr Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

What a rejonder from Amanda. Your story seems to put light On some of the story we have been hearing about women, and the differance between the behaviour of black and white women. This stories are not new, because as we hear fevourable stories about our black women, the white comunities also have their prejudies as regard the black women.

Before i got married to my wife, Many brothers that were here before me, tried to show me the black brother that had their lifes mesed up because of the interacial marrige. But they never pointed their fingers to the succesfull brothers.

i have had relationship of five years, with another women, before i finally married She is practically the type of women you can expect from Africa. Respect to my friends and family, do the cooking at home, i do cook to. But she do most of the cooking, washing e.t.c.

Like amanda rightly said, there are good people and bad people in every culture. I beleive it to be true.

I also beleive that the future will depend on us not discriminating because of the colour of skin, or raze, rather, we should see what we like in someone, and that is it.

Amanda August 18, 2006 - 10:37 pm

I do not know why American (white women) have this type of image with the rest of the world. I personally believe it comes from the ideal that because we have so many more rights (supposedly) that we become wanton creatures, willing to succumb to any humiliation in the bedroom. Having been raised in America, my mother, my sisters, my aunts, my nieces, and my daughter, I believe I am expert enough in the subject to tell you that this belief is utter nonsense.

As is the viewpoint that we white American women don't value our men, stand beside our men, support our men, love our men and yes, at many times, completely submit to our husbands as head of the household.

My own mother who raised 10 children, was a virgin when she married my father who just passed last year, and completely catered to the men in my household. She prepared the food and served it to them, and we, girls were taught submission to men. I'm not saying that it is one of the more liberated viewpoints or that it is the best way. I'm simply saying that is the way we were raised. To be faithful, to be a one man's woman. We cook, clean, work, have labor pains bearing the man's children, tend him when he's ill, bury him when he dies, as mine did recently, and love—love, with all of our hearts. I frankly, at tired of hearing that the white women castrates her Black man, wanting a servant, wanting a man to cook for her, serve her breakfast in bed, calls the police on him, throws him out of the house for no reason and insists on being head of the household. I personally do not know who is doing this, or why would a 25 year old woman plan to marry, only to have relations with other men? There are whores in every society (forgive the bluntness) however, hearts are not meant to be broken. I am adamant about this. If you are a man, please do not sleep around with women who are looking for love, only to satisfy animal natures, unless you are honest about it and they agree, if that is the type of woman they are, then ask yourself, why am I going after these type of women and then insulting all other races (other than black)of women. I may be easy to talk to, easy to spend time with, all that other stuff you talk about and I'm not certain exactly what you mean when you talk about things in bed that African women, African-American women won't do, that we will do. Be specific and give us a chance to answer for ouselves. Noone can speak for us but ouselves. Remember, always that sex is God given, not to be taken lightly nor despised. If God didn't create sex for a man and woman who are married, then who is it created for?

Also, from my womb I have created a Black woman, Black grandchildren and my family continues with another grandson on the way. I have raised my Black son ( who's mother did not want him) to be an exemplary young honor student, never did he bring home less than an A. He was polite, extraordinary citizen and I have faith that he will continue in his walk. I was constantly referred to as :"that white woman" she won't be able to cook soul food and feed that man and that boy right. Well, this is just racism, reverse racism, how is that any different than any other type of racism.

All of my comments are not directed towards you, Sabella, please forgive me if I offend you with my directness, I have recently lost my husband, it has been difficult taking care of all of these responsibilities and I have read comments about white women being low-class, etc…I actually think we have been reared to care for men, perhaps to our disadvantage, regardless of the rumors, or perhaps bad experiences of persons.

I had a friend from Iran who had been taught that all American women were whores, his words, not mine, because in Iran if you showed your ankle it was a sin. Women in Hollywood did it all on the big screen. Most of us are not in Hollywood.

Orgies, sex parties? What and where and when is all of this going on? I have never met anyone of the female persuasion, white, black, purple or green who is this sick or demented? Maybe they are on drugs or something. This is not typical American behavior, neither is being a Playboy model, yet it does exists in some demented parts of society, and probably all over the world. Why else if trafficking of women and children going on in other parts of the world? What has happened to men's morals if they do these things, it is all so sick and corrupt. Why don't we talk about human rights, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, there is much bad in this world, it is corrupted, there is much good in this world, God created it. And we were all created in His image.

So there are my 2 cents worth—-One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch.

Love and Peace be unto you, my brother, Sabella.


All that evil needs to succeed, is for good men and women to look the other way.


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