My mother’s marriage ended the day she visited a Doctor and came back home to tell my father that the Doctor made untoward sexual advances to her. According to her, my father never recovered from her sincere disclosure. Her need to tell my father about her encounter with Dr. Osuala was borne out of a genuine desire to follow a tradition which advocates sincere revelation of all inappropriate encounters with men while inside a marriage. No such rule applies to men.

A while ago, I made a post on Facebook advising partners not to go probing about the past sexual experiences of their partners. I believe something significant leaves you the day you know about the sexual history of your partner. Where do we draw the line between genuine disclosure of cases of groping and inappropriate acts against us and the need to keep them secret for fear of being misunderstood and causing permanent damage in our relationships?

My mother recounts of an experience which embarrassed her when she visited a Doctor who diagnosed her of malaria fever and recommended that she takes some injection. When she took off her underwear in anticipation of the needle, the next thing she felt on her body was the Doctor’s penis. She didn’t bother about taking the injection as she was completely fazed by the Doctor’s attitude towards her. She left the Doctor’s presence with a huge moral obligation to report the incident at home. She did and she was not convinced my father believed she was innocent.

Storried The Day my Mother's Marriage Crashed

The challenge wasn’t much of the embarrassing situation she found herself, but the fact that she was bound to report the incident to her husband as tradition demands. There is this tradition observed by the Edos which demands that whenever a woman is touched whether appropriately or inappropriately by the opposite sex, she is bound to report the incident to her husband. I don’t know how many people still observe this tradition as the incident I now write about happened in the 70s and my mother was someone who was stuck with traditional beliefs and customs.

My mother was to recount that her sincerity in keeping with her tradition caused her marriage to fail. The marriage didn’t crash the day she reported the incident according to her, but she identifies that day as the day she lost my father’s love and interest. He simply moved on after that day. He probably felt betrayed by my mother’s sincerity.

My parents separated years later and she continued to lament that she lost out in the marriage because of her sincerity. It seemed to her my father never accepted her explanations that the encounter with the Doctor was an innocent one and that she never acted inappropriately towards the Doctor.

Today, many women have become victims of inappropriate liaison from Doctors and even random men on the streets and even though tradition doesn’t make it mandatory for many to disclose to their husbands or boyfriends, what should a woman do when she is groped or touched inappropriately by another man?

Do you tell your husband or boyfriend of strange encounters of sexual nature and what do you do when your man never recovers after your telling? My mother believed that everything that happened to her subsequently in the marriage after the disclosure, led to my father moving gradually away from her and the ultimate crash of the marriage.

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Andy Akhigbe

My mother’s marriage ended the day she visited a Doctor and came back home to tell my father that the Doctor


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