What you need to know:
- On this fateful day, I left the house at 6 am but returned for my grocery shop door keys
- When I got back, the children were still asleep; I stormed into my bedroom and alas! There was my husband with the housemaid
It's no secret that infidelity dents a relationship. But what if the person he is cheating with is known to you, is someone you pay and who you welcomed to your house to take care of your precious offspring? Your nanny.
What does it feel like to be betrayed by the man you married with a woman living under your roof and in your marital bed? That's what Pamela has been grappling with.
"It is not the fact that my husband slept with a housemaid that eats me up," she explained, "my mind cannot reconcile with the fact that the two had sex on my marital bed!"
Both Pamela and her husband Richard were 40. They had been married for 12 years and had three children. As the coronavirus forced workplaces to be closed, Richard a teacher was home, while Pamela who runs a grocery store went to work.
"On this fateful day I left the house at 6 am and I had forgotten to carry the shop door keys," Pamela said, "I rushed back home to pick the keys, the children were still asleep; I stormed into my bedroom and alas! There was Richard on top of the housemaid!"
Pamela did not go back to the shop that day. She lacked the energy to do anything. She told the housemaid to pack and leave. She did not know how to handle her husband. She went for days without eating or showering.
At the sexology clinic, I realised that Pamela had all the symptoms of depression and my attempt at therapy was not of much help. I involved a psychiatrist to be part of her care. Just when I thought she was starting to improve she got admitted to hospital with symptoms of poisoning. She had attempted suicide. The depression had reached its peak making her lose interest in living.
Pamela's story left me reflecting on the whole issue of the marital bed. Two adults who have been in many cases sleeping solo on their beds or sharing a bed with a sibling get married and from there on share a bed for the rest of their lives.
"The marital bed is where you are supposed to feel safe, comfortable, and secure from all the troubles of this world," Pamela said in one of the sessions. I agreed with her. Whether it be economic, social, or any other problem that a married person faces in the world, it is on the marital bed that an intimate couple comforts each other, reflects on solutions, makes plans, has sex, and makes babies.
It is here that you spend the most hours alone with your spouse. It is on that bed where you resolve your disagreements, laugh again, hold each other and be intimate. There is no marriage where a marital bed does not exist. Marriage is synonymous with a marital bed.
Come to think about it; you fall asleep beside your spouse, you sleep deeply without fear of harm. Many times you are there naked and you care not. This is the most vulnerable situation you can put yourself in. It is the greatest gesture of trust in your spouse. Your spouse is with you all this time and watches as you go through that wilderness of a sub-conscious mind. The marital bed, therefore, has experiences beyond the comprehension of ordinary mortals.
So when you catch your spouse red-handed on your marital bed with another sex partner, your world comes down crushing. You get into utter confusion. That bed is no longer a safe place to be, no longer comfortable; it becomes devoid of trust. You cannot go into deep sleep again on that bed because that is exposing yourself to too much risk with someone not to be trusted. The sanctity of the bed is lost. It is not the place of mystery anymore.
"When I fall asleep I get nightmares," Pamela said, "one night I dreamt that my husband was strangulating me, it was so real; I screamed so loudly everyone in the house woke up and rushed to our bedroom."
If you have to cheat, consider doing it elsewhere, not on the marital bed. Do not make the marital bed lose its sanctity.