While some reports have found that having a wife can improve a man’s chances of a long life ÔÇô it appears having more than one can seriously damage his wellbeing, research shows.
Dr Amin Daoulah, a cardiologist at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, said on an article by Daily Mail: “We found an association between an increasing number of wives and the severity and number of coronary blockages.”
The study, which was conducted in an area were polygamy is practiced was presented at the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology Congress 2015 and examined the relationship between the presence and severity of coronary artery disease and number of wives.
As you can imagine, this is contrary to what we believe about polygamy or even infidelity. Men who cheat are often looked on as happier than those with just one partner or a wife. While the thrill and excitement of an affair and extra sex can prove to be momentarily fulfilling, it apparently has its vices beyond the usual risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. It was concluded, “Infidelity retains the ability to predict a higher cardiovascular risk.”
We have heard it all; sentiments of men being inherently promiscuous to them being ‘evolutionarily’ incapable of being monogamous. We live in a society that has naturalised men’s infidelities as something that is innate in each one of them. Neither monogamy or polygamy are genetically inherent in us, they are choices — learned decisions that we practice every day. When it comes to men, the norm implies their infidelity is always justified.
Culturally, a man is encouraged to be promiscuous through phrases such as ‘monna ke selepe o a adingwana’ whereas women get a sharp-tongued moral backlash if they are found doing the same, which depicts that there’s an inequality in how we scale cheating between men and women.
Masculinity is often associated with the trait of dominance; being able to ‘conquer’ women, hence having multiple partners is glorified as an expression of healthy masculinity and pride.
There are many reasons why men can choose to stray: boredom in the marriage, partners with sexual limitations, conflicts within the marriage and so forth. Nature however, is not one of them. Men with a high sex drive, fewer incidences of premature ejaculation and severe erectile dysfunction and are confident are more likely to cheat than others.
Dr Daoulah commented on this association of coronary diseases and multiple wives: “This could be because the need to provide and maintain separate households multiplies the financial burden and emotional expense. Each household must be treated fairly and equally, and it seems likely that the stress of doing that for several spouses and possibly several families of children is considerable.”
This is what some had to say about the issue.
Thabo said that if it were true, many men would be dead by now. “The fact is many men cheat, and I don’t think it affects their health, let alone their hearts,” he added.
Edmund Lubega who is currently a medical practitioner in Botswana said the study has a point. “High stress levels can impact one’s health. Having many partners is bound to be stressful for any man,” he said.
Tlamelo lamented that relationships are generally stressful and having many will indeed cause unwanted stress.
It appears that on the other side of an occasional fling and extra sex on the side that some men indulge in, having many partners can literally break a man’s heart.