Monday, September 28, 2020

Should women in ‘small houses’ feel demeaned?

This is to all the women who are involved with married men.
I do not write this to judge you, but to ask why you have purposed to go down this undignified path.

I am also prompted by one singer who once cooed, “Never make any man a priority, when you are only an alternative for that man.”

Nowadays in Botswana, most ladies find it appealing to be a ‘small house’, or mistress, whichever way you are comfortable with.

But in our African society, which was imbued with traditionally polygamous liaisons, there were no mistresses to speak of as such but today, because of religion and other influences, men have “small houses”, which are either mistresses or unmarried spouses.

So, when we see a lady who sees nothing wrong in being involved with a married man, should we take it that she has lost the home value or she left home too early to be taught good moral values?
Or should we just consider it to be the in thing?

As I have mentioned earlier, I’m not writing this to judge fellow women but to enlighten one another and to help remove that black veil.

Are women not bothered how a man assumes that they are content to play second fiddle? What qualities do women display towards men so that a man would just assume that the woman would accept being ‘a small house’?

I thought if a man comes with such a proposal to you, anger would be kindled in you because what it simply means is that he doesn’t see you as a well-brought-up lady deserving of her own man and family.

In actual fact, he has that at home already rather he wants someone to play cheap thrills with when the wife is away.

Do you think if our mothers had behaved like that, we would be proud of them today? Being a small house is not a portrayal of confidence on the side of future mothers of our country; it’s defilement of culture.

When you ask him, but you have a wife? The reason he will always give you is that ‘I have never loved my wife to begin with’ or ‘she doesn’t please me compared to the potential I see in you’ or ‘I only married her because she tricked me with a pregnancy’.

Long back, men felt obliged to marry after impregnating someone , but in this day and age it’s not so; just look around and see how many single mothers we have in Botswana.

Don’t you think he is belittling his wife only because he thinks that is what you want to hear? If he can say such a thing about his wife, whom he has paid bride price for and the mother of his children, what then do you suppose he would say about you, the ‘small house’, once his wife finds out about your existence?

He will say he doesn’t know you; he will simply deny you like Peter did to Jesus.
Today’s men pretend that they are married to one wife yet they have the small houses all over the place.

How does a woman come to terms with the role of a small house, dating a married man? Do I detect low self-esteem being involved here?

When he comes to you he says that one is a “house” wife and you are “just what the doctor ordered” wife.

If he claims you are the perfect one then why is it that he prefers to dine with you in the Flat he is renting for you, not in public places, or to show you off to his friends or family?
We all know married men live with their spouses; therefore they spend more time with their wives. Special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and other special Holidays at home with their better halves, while the small houses are abandoned to find something else to do or he tells you that its family time.

In such a scenario where do you find yourself? How do you feel about it?
He’s the man you currently share your bed with hence when you meet at Game City while he is in the company of his wife and kids, he doesn’t recognize your being there but behaves as if he doesn’t even know you.

How do women come to agree with such an arrangement?
I understand that most small houses claim that they engage in illicit affairs with married men because they do not want to involve themselves in committed relationships. If they do not want exclusive relations as they claim, then could these women not have uncommitted relationships with single men?

On the other hand, to the philandering husbands, what is the point of marriage vows if having a mistress is a status symbol? Having a small house, or being one, is simply cheating, putting a marriage under threat, and, to give it its old-fashioned name, adultery. With the numerous diseases out there, why risk the health of your wives?

It’s a sad thing that society views women in small houses as a menace.
But this kind of thing would be less of a threat were women empowered more than they are now.
I concede that most of such women end up in such relationships because of economic insecurity.
The shackles of culture should be thrown away and women’s economic empowerment be speeded up because women should not belong to men, as is tradition, but should be equal citizens in both the village as well as in town.

Small houses are not the product of love; they are born out of economic considerations, with, admittedly, a sprinkling of love. It remains, however, that social security is the primary reason why some women build small houses.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.