The Urban Dictionary defines it this way: “When giving someone the benefit of the doubt, you are believing what they say and taking their word because you, yourself, have some doubt about what happene

Cynthia was on her way to the bathroom which was just outside her bedroom when she had a scream and a loud thud from the master bedroom, it sounded like someone had fallen. Confused she knocked on the door, there was no response and she knew Mike was still at home, so fearing the worst and not minding that she was wearing only a skimpy towel she opened the door and rushed in, she found him on the floor, a towel around his waist and obviously in a state of shock.

He was obviously disoriented from the fall and appeared not to be conscious. She was screaming and calling his name until he opened his eyes, She helped him up and led him to sit on the bed, he assured her that he is feeling much better, he said he tripped and bumped his head on the floor and must have passed out for a moment. She insisted he goes to the hospital to make sure there was no internal trauma, he agreed to go on his way to the office. As she opened the door to leave, she saw the maid standing with Mike,s breakfast and she wondered why she didn’t knock or respond to her scream for help.

The look the maid gave her was weird and the girl was barely able to say good morning to her. She ignored her, it wasn’t surprising because the girl believes she is a bit too strict, even more than the madam of the house so she didn’t really like her or maybe she had a bad night whatever it was is not really her business she thought, and continued walking towards the bathroom. The maid knocked and Mike opened the door in his towel.

As she returned from work her elder sister whose husband had fallen earlier was waiting for her, as she was about to inquire about uncle Mike, her husband, how dare you? she blurted out, after all I have done for you this is how pay me back, Cynthia has it come to this? How can you do this to me, my husband of all people, are there no more men out there? She was confused, she had absolutely no idea what her elder sister was talking about.

As the abuses continued she lost it, she demanded that her sister stop abusing her and tell her what she did, the argument degenerated into a fight. That night her elder sister packed her things, took her two children and moved out of her matrimonial home. Mike was as confused as she was when he returned from work to find his wife and children gone, all attempts to reach her proved abortive.

The next day her mother arrived from home. Her elder sister must have called her to complain about something, mama sat down and called both of them, she turned to Cynthia and started with how disappointing and shameful her action was, she continued telling her that sleeping with her Inlaw is bad and a sin against God and her elder sister. She told them how the maid reported hearing her scream and moan.

She also reported seeing her leaving Mike’s room in a towel and how Mike himself answered the door also in a towel, looking worn out and tired. Her sisters behavior, her mums visit, everything now made sense, they all thought she had slept with her brother Inlaw. She became even more upset that her sister believed she did it and went on to pack out of her matrimonial home, knowing her, she should have given her the benefit of doubt. The only saving grace was that Mike had gone to the family doctor, a scan revealed he had a concussion.

He didn’t want to alarm his wife over the phone and planned to tell her that evening after work. It’s took weeks to appease Mike for the false accusation his wife leveled against him without considering his antecedents in the marriage, after an apology and intervention from close family and friends, Mike allowed his wife move back in. Cynthia and her sister are still not speaking with each other. Cynthia has been so hurt about her sister’s false accusations, she has refused to reconcile with her. She now has her own place.

Can you imagine what would have happened to this marriage if things hadn’t turned out the way it did. It took the doctor’s scans which revealed a dent in Mike’s skull and a concussion to corroborate Cynthia and Mike’s story. You cannot blame the maid either, biased by her dislike for Cynthia, she witnessed what obviously looked like a guilty Cynthia leaving her brother inlaw’s room, the scream for help sounded like a scream of passion, she was convinced beyond all reasonable doubts they were guilty.

Like the maid, there will be a time in your relationship when you will be so sure your spouse has cheated or hurt you in one way or another. It will feel so real that you could as well have witnessed it yourself, the facts will be there and glaring for even the blind to see. The only thing wrong with this conclusion is that things may not actually be what they seem, sometimes it may look glaring and emphatically clear that someone has cheated or committed an offence, there may be no iota of doubt that they are guilty, pause for a moment and take a second look, give them the benefit of doubt, they may be innocent.

The most dangerous thing in a relationship is to listen to the account of a third party in any matter involving your spouse. There are things to be taken into consideration. How much do they like your spouse, are they envious of him/her or the happy marriage you are enjoying, do they like you, are they just out to cause mischief etc. These are some of the things to consider before you act.

The text message you thought meant an affair in progress may actually be innocent, always ensure that you act based on a complete thread over a period of time with very clear indications of cheating. One text read out of context may be misunderstood and can lead to a complete breakdown of peace in a home. Avoid assuming what you think a message means, if it doesn’t clearly point to infidelity, don’t assume it does. Even when it does, pause, give your spouse the benefit of doubt and then take a second look believing they are innocent, you may see an entirely different perspective which may turn out to be the right one. When you approach suspicion without trust for your spouse, your mind already has a guilty verdict, it may be impossible to see it any other way.

A woman not reporting male advances to her husband may also trigger suspicion. We have found a way to blame women for male amorous advances, it’s either she is leading them on, didn’t emphasise enough that she is married, she is dressed too seductively etc, we must understand that some men are worst than he goats and will not take no for an answer. Do not blame her for this, in most cases she is completely able to fend them off without luring you into an unnecessary fight.

Women who fail to report advances by a husband’s close friend or associate do so to avoid being the reason an age long family or especially business relationship is broken, she will not want to ruin it by telling him, women are more rational than we are and will avoid unnecessary conflict especially if her husband is benefitting from the relationship. it doesn’t not always mean she is guilty or encouraging the pursuer. In as much I advise full disclosure in matters like that, you may also want to look at it from a perspective of objectivity and understand the position some women take to remain silent and ward off the advances on their own.

Some of the women instead of saying something may start complaining about every little thing friends like this do, you may want to pay closer attention when your wife suddenly starts disliking a friend with whom she previously had no issues. It is best to make sure you have all your facts before you come to the conclusion of wrong doing by your spouse, even with these facts it may not be exactly as it seems, give them the benefit of doubt, then take another look – Sir Stanley Ekezie