I had just returned to my seat from a tea break at a formal event I attended recently. This fellow attendee had taken the seat next to the one beside me. COVID-19 prevention measures had prompted the organisers of the event to urge participants to leave a free seat beside them to ensure adequate spacing. The stranger said hello and I returned the greeting. As I settled in, he announced that he had watched me as I made my into the hall and thought I was pretty. I smiled and muttered a thank you. But the conversation did not end there.
The chatty stranger introduced himself and requested to I did the same. I did, streamlining my response to information regarding my professional capacity. But it was obvious he wanted more and suggested we exchanged contacts. In response, I tilted my left hand to give him a glimpse of my wedding ring. It was his next response that jolted me. “A beautiful woman is not for one person,” chatty stranger said.
The conversation ended at that point. Apparently, he had read and understood the change in my countenance and opted not to pursue the conversation further. Thankfully.
I had heard numerous stories about marriage not being a deterrent to mischievous men, but I was experiencing the veracity of that theory for the first time. It happened barely 2 months into my nuptials.
The recent viral story about a pastor who married an already married woman brought this issue to the fore for me again. What’s worse is that the woman had been attending the church with her husband and kids. They were the pastor’s church members; had been under his spiritual leadership before the evitable happened.
When things like this happen, the valid question that plays on everyone’s lips is, “Why go after something (or in this case someone) that belongs to someone else?” There’s a preponderance of single men and women who are open and in some cases, desperate to get married, what then is the rationale behind pursuing a married individual, someone who is obviously hitched and encumbered for a relationship and sometimes, marriage—the very thing they already have?
When I was single, sometimes “to stupor”, I would often tease about the seeming drought of eligible men whenever I was open to a relationship. But just when I acceded to the proposition of some lucky guy, I would be besieged with an avalanche of relationship requests. It was uncanny and a source of mild frustration and annoyance.
Many times, I have wondered if there was some sort of trigger that informed the decision to be more interested in a girl that was taken as opposed to one that was unencumbered.
In fact, in bizarre cases, men wooed pregnant women.
Married men are said to encounter the same challenge. For some inexplicable reason, the same ladies that would never touch them with the longest pole when they were single become open to a dalliance not minding the prejudice against being the other woman when the man gets married.
So, what is it that activates our ‘attraction antenna’ to people that are off-limits? Why are we more inclined to vie for occupied spaces than we are for vacant ones?
Of all the single and divorced women in and outside the church, the pastor chose to get entangled with a married woman, jeopardising not just his reputation as an individual, but also as a “Man of God” and presumed preacher of the gospel.
Of course, psychology has an explanation for it; something about a longing for the thrill of the emotional journey without the burden of an intimate relationship.
However, one thing is certain: an unfettered attraction for what belongs to another is uncurbed covetousness—the inability to respect boundaries—unbridled long throat. It is greed that ends in ignominy.