\u2018Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.\u2019 I can\u2019t help but to relate this proverb to a few women, who baffle me when they stay in their problematic marriages. I've known them for a while. One\u2019s a housewife and the other is a high-ranking police officer. I've always admired their independence and strong will, but I can\u2019t figure out one thing - why do they stay in their problematic marriages, even when their husbands cheat on them and marry other women? Kak Lina (not her real name) is the epitome of a supermom. With five kids in tow, she takes great care of everyone and everything under her household. \u201cI didn't go to university, and I\u2019m not that smart,\u201d she says. Because of it, she makes sure her girls got the best of what the education system had to offer. This includes sending her daughters to top international schools, with money she got from selling homemade cookies. Imagine that, money from homemade cookies! Kak Lina has been married for almost 25 years. \u201cAnd of course, I\u2019ve had my fair share of ups and downs,\u201d she says. Her husband holds a top director post and often goes out entertaining clients and playing golf overseas. She claims he rarely gives her any money for household expenses, and the children seldom go out for meals or treats. \u201cHe wants to teach them to be careful with money, and that they won\u2019t get it easily from him \u2013 they have to earn it,\u201d said Kak Lina. But apparently, he\u2019s generous with other people, like his friends and colleagues. And he spends a whole lot of money on women too. His mistresses and girlfriends that is. The husband has cheated on Kak Lina numerous times, and he was even caught by her doing the naughty with other women. But he doesn\u2019t care. He never stops. What makes it worse is that Kak Lina always forgives him. Oddly, she always blames those \u201cbitches\u201d who make their move on her husband. She often tells me that her husband is a good-hearted person and only wants to help others, and that he\u2019s always taken advantage of by them. She\u2019s in denial. Big time. Let\u2019s take a look at Hezi (not her real name). All her subordinates look up to her, not only because she's a no-nonsense police officer, but she seems to have everything under control. Most people think that she\u2019s got it all - a loving husband at the peak of his career, and great, well-behaved girls. However, not many know that he had taken on a second wife much younger than her. Not only that, he also has a son with the second wife, their shining prince. The son that Hezi and her husband have always been trying to get, but never did. \u201cWell, he claimed that I was too engrossed with work and had no time for him,\u201d said Hezi. \u201cIt\u2019s nonsense - I even took two years of sabbatical leave just to support him building his company!\u201d As it turned out, he took his secretary to be his second wife, who pretended as though nothing was going on between them. \u201cBut perhaps they were trying to spare me the heartbreak,\u201d she says. See? There\u2019s that denial bit again. \u201cHe's a great father though, and that's all that matters to me,\u201d said Hezi. I\u2019m dumbfounded to say the least. Given the fact that it was the husbands who went astray, why are more and more women okay with their husbands\u2019 philandering ways? Some claim that they stay in their marriages because of the children. But wouldn\u2019t the kids want their mom to be happy? Wouldn't they think she was stupid not to leave their dad? Others choose to stay due to financial reasons, that they have no income of their own. But some of these women are really well-off and highly successful. Could it be that they're ashamed of what others might think? A few of them stay because they feel it's the husband's right to polygamy. Their husbands are suddenly pious, quoting the Prophets\u2019 ways, although they themselves have been far from religious! But then again, wouldn't these women feel unjustly and unfairly treated, even if they are sharing their husband? All is not really fair in love and war, it seems. Personally, I'd never tolerate being in a one-sided marriage or stay in an unhappy one. What's the point of trying to smooth things out or give a second or third chance? If they did it once, they'd do it again. And again.\u00a0And again. Even if one is willing to 'share' their husbands with others, wouldn't they be wondering if their husbands have been cheating on them? I get headaches just thinking about it. God-willing, I\u2019d never be in these women\u2019s shoes. For similar articles, read 6 Behaviours of a Jealous Partner and Why It Happened, and Here\u2019s What Happened When One Malaysian Couple Experimented with Polyamory.