Why he will never leave his wife for you
THIRTY-something-year-old Saul, married for 10 years with two kids and another on the way, would, up to recently, tell anyone who will listen that he's a good father, husband and Christian.
The preaching stopped when he started an office romance with a woman 10 years his junior, a sprightly, young thing willing to mount the boundaries his wife had placed on their relationship.
They soon became inseparable — she obviously in love, obviously operating under the assumption that a divorce and remarriage with her taking his name would soon materialise.
But this is where she errs, experts say.
A psychologist attached to the Family Life Ministries, who wanted to retain professional anonymity because his client base covers many women in this situation, explained that men rarely leave their wives for their sweethearts, but instead simply string them along.
"Usually he is stringing her out. He is saying for instance that 'I am staying in there (marriage) for the sake of the children'. That is usually the biggest excuse. And then the children grow up and he says, 'Boy, I am staying because she is not well, and this is a bad time to leave her'. So it's one excuse after another," said the psychologist, who said he has seen many such cases.
Indeed, he said, many men put women into two categories — one being 'wife material' and the other 'bed material'.
The wife material, the psychologist said, will enjoy being treated like a trophy — she's taken out, and given the privileged task of taking care of his children and the home, while the sexual experiences are seen as the duties of the mistress, referred to as 'bed material'.
"There are a number of cases where the wife might even die or the promised divorce might happen but when that happens, invariably the man goes and finds somebody else to marry — if he marries," the psychologist said.
He said if the marriage is in truth a bad one, even if the man moves out of the marital home, he will prefer to live on his own than with the sweetheart.
"He will probably move out and live on his own and so she feels that this is a glimmer of hope," the psychologist said. "He is separated and that may seem hopeful. And then he will say, 'Boy the divorce thing has turned out to be much more expensive than I thought, she wants half of the property' and 'boy I am not prepared'," he said.
"If they don't marry he is likely to stay with the mistress, but it is very difficult sometimes for the couple to move from that state of her being mistress to marriage."
Other reasons the psychologist gave why a man will never leave his wife for his sweetheart:
* It's cheaper to stay married than to divorce. "Sometimes when a man realises how hard he has worked and how much he is going to have to give up to get a divorce he sometimes doesn't want to go that route," he said. "So he doesn't mind being separated and still having the (extramarital) relationship, but the divorce is a very expensive thing and especially when times get hard financially it is even more difficult when it comes to the division of property."
* Image is very important to him. "He stays with his wife because of image," the psychologist said. "He wants to give the image that he is a married person and he has been married for a long time."
* He only wants sexual satisfaction. "In terms of his own enjoyment and fun, quite often he does not get that from his wife -- he gets that from the sweetheart. So everything is fine if it's all about sex, romance, fun and all that. But the minute she (sweetheart) begins to talk about marriage and leaving and divorce, then usually the relationship with the sweetheart gets rocky."
* He will never trust her. "He is not likely to trust her because he is going to say to himself, 'she knew that I was married and yet still she was willing', so to him her values are not that of somebody who can be trusted."
* She will never trust him. "At the same time she is going to have difficulty trusting him — she is going to say to herself, 'just like how he cheated on his previous wife, he is likely to cheat on me if we get married'," the psychologist explained. "If and when they do get married — there will be a lot of problems with trust. She doesn't trust him, and a lot of his behaviours will be questioned because she thinks that cheating cannot happen without you being dishonest."
"And so women have to make up their minds what it is they would like — would they like to be a wife or would they like to be a mistress," the psychologist said. "And it is not quite often that the mistress becomes the wife."