One of the most unpleasant experience every African woman had experienced while cooking with naked flames or traditonal cooking method was to step on a burning coal by mistake.
You see, I am an African woman born in an average family. My parents were traditonal Igbos. That means a lot of things but in terms of cooking, it means that even though we could afford gas and stoves, they still prefers to cook on fire wood. The naked flames has its’ own way of adding flavour to the tasty and nourishing African meal. Most of the African dishes requires naked flames because it was quicker too cook, plus it is tastier that way.
As a young child at eleven, my mother had already introduced me to cooking with fire wood. First, she started with asking me to help fetch the wood, then some day, she realised that my skill with the wood is safer. Then she asked me to put them into the fire. One thing I quickly observed in the process is that the wood meeting together burns out quickly and in order to keep it burning, you have to do it again; put them together again and fan them. It was during this process, that I learned that some of the coal from the wood can stray, and ofcourse they are still burning red or covered with white soothe, hence giving the appearance of a dead coal. It was on one of these coals that I stepped on.
You see, I was a young girl, still in my teen, I was excited about thing like running arround on the sand with naked feet. It was living the life then, unlike teenagers of today stucked in phones and technology. That day, my mother called me and I ran to help as usual. It was a large cooking, and unknown to me coals had strayed. Without paying attention to the environment, I stepped on them and yelled. The unexpected surprise of stepping on a subtle strayed coal from the fire wood is shocking, the pain on the nerve from the burns can be felt in the ‘bone marrow’. Good luck to you if the coal stick to you feet in the process. You will be running, trying to take it off at the same time as yelling.
After two decades plus, this image came back to me while I was reflecting on a suspicious wives wrath. You see, the woman is like the fire, raging when she is being cheated upon by her husband. She might not have evidence but her instinct tells her. Her thoughts are like the stray coals, and the firewood is like any woman arround. Just like the firewood is put together to burn, put a suspicious woman with another woman close to her husband, and the raging jealous woman is letting out stray thoughts. If you are naive, you will step on her and you will get burned.
You see, when a woman thinks her husband is cheating, it doesn’t matter whether those thoughts are founded. The clue she is looking for is an evidence that you are cheating with her husband. And we all know that thing in the detective movie, ‘everyone is a suspect’. She sees any woman arround her as a threat. Like a hawk she watches your every move, sometimes misinterpreting kindness as dating signs. Ofcourse, let us not neglect the fact that some suspicion can be true when proven. However, I am not looking at that aspect in this article. I am basing this article on suspicion that is not true and also on the complete display of a wife’s insecurities. Some women are stupid to think that their cheating husband would bring their side chicks home. Most women believes this.
Unfortunately what most suspicious wife do not realise is that women who cheat with their husband are usually very smart. They know not to give any clues. Primarily, their major tactics is not to meet the wife while with their husbands. They understand the awkwardness of competing for his attention and since they are side chicks, they know that men tend to give attention first to their wives especially when in public or when in the company of their side chick. Hence, if you are a suspicious wife, and you see everyone as a suspect, then you would be attacking your circle of friends or potentials allies. This aimless way of solving your marital problems would only exclude you from the social network of your husband and your friends.
It is often obvious when you meet a couple after prior meeting of one of the partners and to observe that the other partner is suspicious of you. If you are clear in your conscience and genuine in your motive, it hurts, especially when the suspicious partner begins to spread rumour of her suspicion, accusing you of trying to take her partner. It hurts as much as stepping on a coal from my mother kitchen. No one wants their reputation to be run down by unfounded rumours. It also makes friendship with one of the partners awkward. It could result to missed opportunities and loss of friendship. There had been stories of women fighting their husbands’ cousins or other relations simply because they suspect that they are cheating with their husband only to realise that they had wrongly attacked a family member.
As a young lady, I had experienced the insecurities of suspicious wives, some of these women later became my close friends after few months or years along the line when they realised that my motive is genuine. However, it took a lot of patience and swallowing of pride to prove oneself worthy of their trust. For a genuine person who wants friendship, it can be quite disheartening.
Women must know that their insecurities could cost them friendship. We must learn to control our body language and stories about our object of jealously. If you feel insecure arround your partner’s opposite sex friend, it is advisable to discuss with your spouse or partner in a calm and respectful manner. Learn to trust him until proven guilty.
For friends who are of opposite sexual orientation to a couple, it is essential that you respect their boundaries especially when their partner is arround. It is not fair to fan a coal into flame. Respect their body space. Do not touch them in an affectionate way; don’t give a raging wife excuse to unleash her wrath on you. It is essential that as an outsider, you let couples in love to feel safe in your presence and not to rock the boat. Majority of relationships are shaking with suspicion, hurts and lies that you know nothing about. It is important that you don’t cross the line of fire and become the subject of their marital issue. Most partners in sinking marriage are looking for a scapegoat to blame for all their marital mishap. You must be careful not to step on the stray coal.
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