There's more to being a husband than just paying the bride price and buying a designer wedding gown. It even goes beyond performing your conjugal duties. Too many men these days are too busy doing so many things that they do not notice how dissatisfied and unhappy their wives are. They just move from day to day believing their marriages are perfect just because they are good in bed and are picking the right bills. Great. Every woman loves a man who leaves her 'finished' in bed. Every wife loves a cheerful giver, in and out of bed. It is easier to call a man who provides 'daddy' or 'my lord' than the one his wife has to give subsidy. It's the truth, like it or not.
A good husband is the one who notices what goes on around him. He's the man who can sense when his wife is upset with him and by that I do not mean when she fakes a headache or tells him 'don't touch me' when he wants to get value for the bride price he paid. Women are strong beings. They can multi-task. They can be in extreme pain and still go about their duties like nothing is happening. Whether the pain is physical or psychological, a wife most likely will make time to shop, cook, go to work, attend family events, play her role in church, Asalatu…. the things women hide under layers and layers of concealer, foundation and powder? Only God can decode us.
So, I really don't blame some husbands who can't understand why their wives blow their tops over something trivia. They simply are the men not in tune with their environment. Women have uncommon talent to bottle things up which is why they have enough space on their inside to carry as many as six babies at a time. Every woman is created with the ability to hide things on her inside. She's got plenty of space in her. Unfortunately, because a pregnant woman can log her pregnancy around for 40 weeks, in addition to all the other things she can do, the world just assumes that she's cool on the inside too. Not true. If that were true, there would be no screaming or gnashing of teeth when a woman goes into labour.
So, when a wife flips her lid, it's because she's been logging her pain around for so long. When a woman walks out of a 15 year old marriage, don't box her into a stereotype corner. You do not know how long she had been in pain and tried and tried for this not to happen.
Take a good look at your wife: is she happy or pretending to be happy?
Beneath the designer make-up, is she still the woman who promised to
love you forever or is your bride gone? Are you sure she is still yours and yours alone? Be honest with yourself, if you can't answer these questions with a spontaneous yes, you've got work to do. And don't panic, you are not alone. Many husbands are in the same boat with you. They simply have stopped listening to and noticing their wives. They have taken their wives for granted for so long they do not know those women are no longer on the ride with them.
Consider what these women had to say about their husbands, their marriages or what is left of them.
Maria's (you didn't think I'd tell you her real names, did you?) problem is she does not really know what her husband does for a living. 'He was a banker when we got married. He was doing well too until two years ago when he lost his job. Suddenly he is richer than all our friends, doing only God-knows-what. He bought me a Toyota Camry and a Honda Pilot. He gets all kinds of phone calls at odd hours and takes them away from earshot. I have been to his new office but what I saw them doing definitely cannot account for our new-found wealth. He told me he is an importer and representative of a foreign consortium. He now has bodyguards and for the first time in my life, I know what a bullet-proof vest looks like.
He's not telling me much and I live in fear. I have nightmares in which I see him in a pool of blood or somebody wearing a hood dragging my two children away from me. Maybe it is from watching too many movies but I have a feeling I would be endangering my life if I ask too many questions. I am smart enough to know he is involved in some sort of crime. And I will not wait until gunmen storm this house to kill him in front of my children and me, or watch my family become a spectacle on YouTube before I do something. Once we go on summer holiday in the next couple of weeks, I am staying put in America with my children.'
See Tony's life? He thinks all is well with his family, that is wife is happy but what does he know? Nothing. His wife is about to leave him. And I figure he would tell people three or four months from now that Maria left him for a rich American. Meanwhile, we all know the poor woman is running for her life.
And there is Molola who owns a chain of supermarket but is married to the kind of man we used to call No Future Ambition (NFA). 'My husband just loves the good life and does not mind me funding his reprobate ways. He's never been able to hold down a job for longer than two years. When he's not walking off a job because it is too tedious and affecting his health, he is being sacked for lack of productivity. He manages to pay the rent but I pick all the other bills. Even the children now know it is a waste of time to go to him for anything.
They all come to me. Even his siblings. I feel so totally unmarried, completely unfulfilled. He drinks with my money, gives his girlfriends treats with the sweat of my brows. I am unhappy. I have even considered leaving him but where will I go with three young children?
What will the world, my parents and children say? I put a happy face on everyday but I am dying on the inside. Maybe I'll leave him. It may not be now but I know one day I'd reach the end of my tether. It's a tragedy waiting to happen.
So, guys, is your wife still with you or are you holding on to a shadow or something that once was.