The incidence of love snatching especially among women seems to be on the rise again. Mutual mistrust and suspicion silently characterise friendships among single women. There had been cases of siblings, aunts, cousins losing their boyfriends or fiancés to one another in a show of betrayal and sacrilege. Women are now circumspect of introducing their men to friends or colleagues except the trusted ones. The unwholesome development is the culmination of covetousness, desperation and jealousy as well as vengeful responses to the past hurtful wrongs.
There are cases of siblings taking over each other’s partners in surreptitious but desperate schemes. A few reports at my disposal before the Covid-19 lockdown have swelled as in-fighting, accusations and counter-accusations are tearing siblings and friends apart over losing their boyfriends or fiancés to their loved ones in provocative manners. I believe that a man that jilts you for your friend or relation wouldn’t have married you eventually.
In February, I received a couple of complaints via phone calls during which the callers regretted their trust and confidence in friends. One of them said “she took my man on the pretext of mediating between us. She’s the only friend I held close to myself because we have come a long way together. I trusted her more than my siblings. She’s the last person I could imagine that would ever betray me. I’m really hurt. I’m stripped naked by the person that should cover me up,” she lamented.
The other woman, 27-year-old marketing staff of a beverage manufacturing company could not stand the sight of her elder sister who is now going out with her boyfriend. In her narration amid sobs, she said “I introduced my guy to my sister last December shortly before Christmas. I didn’t read any sinister motive to it when they exchanged contacts. By mid-January, I noticed relaxed, non-enthusiastic responses towards me from him. He started giving me excuses using his job as becoming more challenging and time-consuming.
“Later, he was skipping a day or two without communication. His demand for my input into his plans and our future home suddenly seized. He was no longer forthcoming about pending issues of marriage, our travel plans and other meaningful stuff. Throughout the lockdown he didn’t deem it fit to call, and whenever I did, his responses often betrayed emotional disconnect and distance. In my wildest imagination, I will never suspect that my own elder sister, in whom I confided, would ever be the one to supplant me. I was telling her all my observations and change of attitude I noticed in my guy.
“In the second week of the first phase of the initial 14 days lockdown, my sister said she was bored at home, hence she was going to spend some time with her friend at ‘her’ place. After two days, I also decided to find my way to my guy’s place, after all, we are still in relationship. To my utter amazement, Mr. West, I met my sister in the apartment. She wore a see-through lingerie as at 10am. I became transfixed on a spot for more than three minutes trying to figure out what was happening. ‘Am I dreaming or acting in a Nollywood movie? Could this be real or a mere façade to test my commitment?’
“Noticing some deft silence in the apartment because there was no power supply and more so she was singing at the time I came in, my guy breezed out of the bedroom to meet the two of us looking like fixed statutes. Sir, that’s how it all ended. He, too, was dumbfounded, looking morose and confused. Since I know it is all over, I demanded my sister to please serve me a plate of food which I ate and I left immediately to a family friend’s place in the same axis to nurse my wounds and wept bitterly for what has befallen me.”
With tales like these, it is harrowing for the victims of betrayal to trust anyone again. Like what happened in the Bible in the case of Rachael and Leah where their father shortchanged Jacob by imposing Leah on him in place of his desired woman, Rachael. I learnt of a mother who worked the fiancé of her younger daughter for her eldest daughter. Meanwhile, she pretended to oppose her younger daughter’s relationship with her boyfriend citing weird and scary vision she had about their future together. She trusted her mom and thus began to relax her intimacy with him. The shocker came the day her elder sister visited the house with him. It was reported that the mom feigned ignorance of the development. She consented to the relationship because “since I rejected him once, it will be unfair to reject him the second time. Maybe God is up to something in this family through him.” The innocent little sister got to know later that her mom actually connected the guy with her elder sister who was living in an estate on Lagos Island.
While Nigerians are itching for a return to social life post-Covid-19 lockdown, many more are gearing for fresh and renewed searches for love. The pandemic has effectively reset many things about life. For instance, single parents who think less about the need of companions or spouses suddenly realized that it is more important and crucial than they thought. Hunger and lack have activated creative senses in many people to identify thriving and sustainable businesses to earn better incomes. Some fashionable businesses and nonessential products lost patronage for the most part of the lockdown. Things will be back to shape later as we curb the pandemic from further spread.
For estranged partners prior to Covid-19 outbreak, it is time to reassess the situation and see if the cracked wall could be patched, plastered and beautifully painted to give a solid fortress to the relationship. Let forgiveness and maturity prevail. A man sent an SMS to me early this week stating that “I miss my wife. I separated from her some months ago over a scandalous issue she enmeshed herself in, though she apologized but I found it repulsive to continue in the marriage. Sir, I think I need reconciliation.” I was happy to receive such a mend fencing message and I’m available to midwife the truce.
Covid-19 is very real and it is spreading widely and wildly through community transmission. Inasmuch as we need to meet, socialize and exchange visits, we should be observant of the rules and guidelines to prevent the virus getting to us. Attack any Covid-19 symptoms with home remedy and follow up with test and medical attention. Let those who patronize hotels be very careful. Many hotels are not well taken care of. They don’t fumigate their rooms and rarely change their bed sheets and pillows as expected. Patrons of short rest services are at higher risk. Sanitary inspection and compliance evaluation at the local government level should be embarked on hospitality facilities in their jurisdiction.
Desperate behaviour that leads to snatching lovers or partners from friends, colleagues or relations should be discontinued. It is a shameful act. A man abandoned his fiancée and relocated to France two years ago when he discovered to his consternation that his younger brother was sleeping with the woman he had proposed to marry. He told a friend that “I think she preferred him to me.” Eventually, the relationship scattered and everybody went their separate ways but the scar and shame still linger till date.
“She took my man on the pretext of mediating between us. She’s the only friend I held close to myself because we have come a long way together. I trusted her more than my siblings. She’s the last person I could imagine that would ever betray me. I’m really hurt.”
* Michael West can be reached via email@example.com