Behind every great woman, a man? Part II

The big question we’re trying to answer is: should we judge a man’s worth by the “quality” of his exes? (I hesitate to use the word “quality” because the subtext here is that women are like prize cattle at the agricultural show)
Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou. Photo: Getty
This is the Part 2 of ‘Behind every great woman, a man?’. Click here to view Part 1.

I will try to answer this question with a story someone told me.

This young man, let’s call him Teddy, was always a bit of a ladies’ man from as far back as anyone could remember. He was the boy who had kissed all the pretty girls in his class behind the classroom block. He was the first among all his friends to go “all the way” with a girl. Sadly, the success he had among the fair sex eluded him in his school work. His grades were mediocre at best, and he barely made it to campus, which was where he met Betty.

Now Betty was unlike all the women that constantly threw themselves at Teddy. She barely gave him a passing glance, and this intrigued him. He spent most of the first and second year trying to get her to go out with him, and she finally caved – probably because she simply got tired of being pestered every waking moment.
South African politician Jeff Radebe and his wife Bridgette. Bridgette is the founder and executive chairperson of a multi-million dollar mining concern. Photo: Tumblr
They dated for five tumultuous years, years that saw them both graduate from campus, (her, with first class honours, him, by the skin of his teeth), get jobs, and move in together. If you were to ask Betty to describe those five years in a word, she would say “NIGHTMARE!” without skipping a beat. Sure, the relationship started out fine, with both of them floating along on pink fluffy clouds of love.

But as soon as the novelty wore off, Teddy went back to his old, skirt-chasing self. Betty was the long suffering girlfriend that put up with it all; waiting up for him every night as he staggered home, reeking of cheap booze and even cheaper perfume, finding various frilly undergarments that did not belong to her in his pockets, finding herself bringing home the bacon after he lost his job and didn’t bother finding another one – while all the while finding time to slowly make her way up the corporate ladder.

Meanwhile Teddy, having lost his job, and knowing that he had a loving, patient woman at home, abandoned himself to debauchery. No alcohol was left undrunk, no woman of questionable morals was safe. The only thing that bothered him was watching Betty slowly rise through the ranks at work. At home, she was the picture of submissive womanhood, but in the corporate world, she was a force to be reckoned with. The more successful she became, the more glaring the disparity between them became.
Nigerian globally-renowned economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Photo: Antoine Antoniol/Bloomberg
So Teddy decided to even the playing field a little bit. No, he did not go out and find another job. No sir. Instead, he decided that he would try his level best to get her pregnant. Now, our Teddy was nothing if not tenacious, so of course, she was soon with child. He was over the moon. She thought that his excitement was because he was finally done running around bedding anything with a pulse and a weave. But the real reason was because he was convinced that having a baby would slow her progress towards the proverbial glass ceiling, and he would see himself as her superior once more.

As her pregnancy advanced, Betty began to make plans. She was the sole breadwinner, and a baby was on the way. By the time their son made his entrance into the world (roaring, with his obviously healthy lungs), she had everything figured out. She would take the requisite maternity leave, Teddy would find a job, and they would raise their child with two incomes instead of one.

Unfortunately Teddy had other plans…

This article was first published by Love Matters (Kenya), and is republished here with their permission. Originally written by Angela Muriuki.
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