• May 28th, 2020

Eavesdropping on Windhoek: What is the ‘Female Code?’

Noted psychologist Henry Cloud defines a relationship as “a real connection in which one can be the real, authentic, whole you; a place where you can bring your heart, mind, soul and passion. Both parties to the relationship are wholly present, understood, and mutually invested.”

   I found myself unable to resist the sweet temptation of eavesdropping this week. If I proceed with Cloud’s parameters, I believe it is fair to suggest that a party to a relationship that does not fully subscribe to his description is cheating. A cheat in British English, or a cheater as the Americans say?  
According to a significant number of people, cheating is still a formidable challenge. The problem is aggravated by the fact that quite often, when an incidence of cheating is reported, it leaves us with a victim, rescuer and persecutor. 

   It seems females bear the brunt of the majority of sour relationships. It starts with someone complaining that, “females don’t really understand girl code. Like, Sis, there’s certain stuff you just don’t do. And say!

When I tell you about your man being up to no good, don’t go and tell him now that I said it. Just say a friend said…”

   There are varied responses to the opening salvo. A male listener gives the following conditions for a relationship: “the code is no new male friends unless of course you are open about them. Old friends are obviously allowed, but help me understand your relationship with them. It is not restriction if there is strict openness and reasonable requirements…”

It does take long to recognize that the subject is a matter of great concern. “Imagine a husband that restricts you from seeing your friends and family, and prohibits them from visiting! All the people he found in your life – what matter is this? Prayer or divorce, I can’t fathom!”

   As the sorties fly in every conceivable direction, someone intimates that women would be better off if they fight in the same corner: “and also stop this thing of thinking I want your man when I tell you he has been up to no good.”

Clearer, unequivocal voices join the conversation. One volunteers that, “I long uncomplicated my life. If my friend is cheating, I confront him or her; if my friend is being cheated on, I inform him or her. If one of my friends is cheating on the other friend, I will confront the cheater and give him / her ample time to inform the partner or else I will.”

   The convener of the debate then explains her question: “I asked because for me, I’m more prone to believe a friend who tells me about my cheating partner and doesn’t mind me using their name than the one who tells me not to reveal names. I don’t reveal names either way; but I question the sincerity of the latter.”

   As the debate develops, I am left in no doubt that this is a treacherous path. One speaker is despairing, when she says, “in my experience, my friend ends up believing her man and his lies. There are times when I had the proof but because the man knew it was me who told, he managed to manipulate the situation and discredit my credibility.”

I have listened to the conversation because it reminds me of what is called commitment-phobia. Partners in relationships apparently have difficulties in acknowledging responsibility, accountability and obligation as a first step towards thriving relationships.

   Daniel Goleman has written that, “people with greater certainty about their feelings are better pilots of their lives, have a surer sense of how they really feel about personal decisions from whom to marry to what job to take. The act of relationships is, in large part, skill in managing emotions in others.”  

Staff Reporter
2019-06-14 10:49:55 | 11 months ago

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