What you need to know:
- Rose pulled her husband, Tom, out of another marriage where he had been for seven years and with three children.
- She met Tom for the first time when she got employed at her current place of work and befriended him. She even got to know his wife and children. She decided that this was the man she would marry and set out to doing it through hook and crook.
Rose entered the consultation room and before she even took her seat announced that she had come to learn how to satisfy her husband sexually. It is usual for clients who visit the Sexology Clinic to be uneasy and anxious given the nature of the subject, and make undefined requests. I took it that Rose was just trying to find her bearing in the clinic and would substantiate her requests further once settled.
“I fear that another woman could steal my husband so teach me how to satisfy him!” she said.
I took to interrogating her social and sexual life. She was 35 and the man was 40. She had been married for only three months. Incidentally, she pulled the man, Tom, out of another marriage where he had been for seven years and with three children.
She met Tom for the first time when she got employed at her current place of work and befriended him. She even got to know his wife and children. She decided that this was the man she would marry and set out to do it through hook and crook.
“It was not easy for me!” she explained, “It took a lot of scheming. Over two years to get him.”
And Tom finally got cornered into the relationship. He even went ahead to divorce his wife. Rose realised that the next big step would be to keep him in the marriage. She explained that keeping a man was harder than winning him. She was determined to do it and she knew that sex was an important aspect of this. Her first point of call was the Sexology Clinic.
Instead of discussing how to keep the man sexually satisfied, I felt it was important for Rose to understand her situation. Many men and women pursue mates already in stable and sometimes long-term relationships and scheme to snatch them from their spouses. This act has been called mate poaching. In some countries, it is estimated that 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women are married to spouses they poached from others. Over half of married men and women report that at one point or another, they have been approached by single people who are aware that they are married and asked for affairs.
Most of the time the request is for short-term or what they call hit-and-run sexual adventures. Sometimes, however, the request is for marriage, where one abandons their marriage for a new one.
“So I am not alone. It is just that I love Tom and for me, his marriage was not going to be the obstacle. But his wife could not tolerate me as a second wife and so divorce was the only option,” Rose explained.
Well, mate poachers never feel sorry for their actions. Instead, they feel triumphant. They feel that they have conquered the partner of their dream.
But mate poaching is also a risky business. When the game goes south, the spouse of the person being poached fights back and violence can be meted out to the intruder. Further, society sees the intruder as a social misfit. Many religions also condemn the practice and see the poacher as evil.
The risks are many and as a poacher you should be aware of these and really evaluate if it is a risk worth taking.
For one, science tells us that the mind of the poacher is falsely convinced that there are no single people available who are as good as the ones they are poaching. They fear that unless they poach they would lack a mate and would be rendered socially irrelevant. They believe that the social capital of winning the poaching game far outweighs the risks.
Some people being poached can themselves be elusive and hard to put in the box. Those who yield are sometimes having problems in their marriages in the first place. They are mostly vulnerable to extramarital affairs and once poached, they may not be at peace with themselves and can still walk out of the new relationship.
Whatever the case, studies show that even if they stay on, poached mates are unlikely to be committed to their new-found relationships. It could be a matter of time before another poacher takes them over. This is irrespective of what you do to keep them happy and satisfied.
“What? Are you insinuating that Tom is going to get married to another woman in future? I am very disappointed with you. Is that how you treat your patients? You are very insensitive!” Rose blurted out shaking her head. She stood up, looked me straight in the eye, threw her arms in the air and walked out of the room. I had obviously but unintentionally offended her.