When I listen to some men talk about women and relationships, I shudder. I start imagining how they treat the women they are dating.
Some of these guys only see women as sex objects. They don’t know what it means to love and respect a woman. They don’t know what it means to treat a woman right.
Even though some men have made progress in terms of respecting and treating their women right, others still behave like babies who need to be bottle fed because they are still holding on to the archaic belief that men are babies.
It is sad that some men have refused to grow up. They believe that a woman must babysit them. Dealing with these kinds of men brings nothing but drama and heartaches. No sane women should have anything to do with them.
If you are wondering what a man child means, take a look around you. Be observant about the kind of men who surround you and your friends. Take note of their behaviour and reactions to issues.
If they believe that a woman must always pamper a man even if the man treats her badly or misbehaves, you just encountered a man child. Such men don’t believe that they must take responsibility for their actions.
Women should be careful not to fall for the tantrums these men throw. They are the ones who believe that abuse is not bad. They subtly encourage emotional and psychological abuse. They use religion and culture to cover up abuse.
A man child begs and whines for sex. When you are not in the mood to have sex, the man child throws a tantrum. He complains about not getting what he wants like a child he didn’t get his favourite candy. He remains in a bad mood and becomes distant for not getting what he wants.
He punishes you for not having sex with him by being moody. He also gives you the silent treatment. He doesn’t care about you or your reasons for not having sex with him. He’s selfish. It’s all about him. You really don’t matter.
What he doesn’t know is that an adult man doesn’t whine about not getting sex. He either knows how to seduce you, or he knows when to take the hint and wait for another time. But he doesn’t throw a tantrum like a little child whose candy has been taken away.
A man child avoids conflict. Don’t let a man make you feel like you are high maintenance just because you need to discuss an issue. That is a telltale sign of a man child. He will tell you that you are being too much. He will tell you he doesn’t want to fight. And he won’t engage in the argument.
He will claim that you love fight too much instead of listening to your concerns and working with you to make sure your relationship continues to go smoothly. Sometimes, arguing is part of a good and healthy relationship.
An adult man will take it seriously if you have an issue to trash out with him. He will hear you out. He won’t walk away and tell you to just get over it on your own. He knows that your problems are his problems and he should engage in the discussion and seek realistic solutions to them.
Any man who avoids responsibilities is a man child. He will try to get away with doing as little as possible. If you need a ride to the airport, he will come up with uncountable excuses as to why he can’t do it. If you need help with your apartment or car, he has reasons why he just can’t be there.
But on the flip side, a grown man is helpful without even being asked. He looks for ways to make your life easier. He bends over backwards to be of assistance, as opposed to the man child, who bends over backwards to get out of helping.
Any man who aims to make you jealous is a man child. If a man child does something that could be perceived as unfaithful, like write a flirtatious comment on a woman’s photo, he pushes the limits. When you say it makes you uncomfortable, he leans on the excuse that that is not technically cheating.
A mature man doesn’t even try to walk the line of infidelity. He loves you and respects you. He doesn’t even go close to disrespecting you before others or justifying his irresponsible actions with being a man with surging hormones.
A man who is quick to stop his woman from advancing in her career is a man child. All a man child wants to do is play with you. So if you can’t join him for fun because you are caught up in an exciting work project, he isn’t excited for you. He is not proud of you. He only complains that you don’t spend time with him.
A mature man knows how important your career is. He is aware of how hard you have worked to get to where you are and he encourages you to aim higher. A real man is proud of his woman and her achievements unlike the baby man who loves to see his woman beneath him. Dealing with a man child is stressful. It’s like everything you do or say is a problem.
A man child supports feminism only when it suits him and when his woman has to settle his bills. That is when he will shout gender equality until his voice goes hoarse. A man child will let you foot the bill every time, because you have a lot more money than he does or because you offer to do so.
He won’t remember then that it is an abomination for a woman to pay for a man’s food or take care of his money needs. Real men want to be able to provide for their partners, even if it means living on a budget. A real man will cook you dinner if he can’t afford to take you out.
A man child subscribes to toxic masculinity. He thinks to be masculine means to never discuss emotions. He sees men who show emotions as weak men. If you try to ask him about his feelings, he becomes irritated with you, as if you are crossing a line and shouts you down. A man child leaves you feeling like you did something wrong.
But a grown man is comfortable showing his emotions. He will cry if it is warranted. He will tell you when he feels down. He lets you into his world by being vulnerable in your presence. He will tell you when he’s feeling insecure. He gives you a chance to help him, rather than shut you out.
It is funny how a man child splashes his feelings everywhere. He can be a little bit too comfortable with his emotions. He may have been a spoiled child whose tantrums were never dealt with. He will go to your friend’s birthday party in a bad mood about what happened to him that day. He will not control his emotions, even if that means ruining everyone else’s mood.
An adult man admits what he’s feeling, but he also knows there is a time and place for emotions. He won’t ruin your day or that of your loved ones by being moody.
Re: are you trapped in a toxic relationship?
Dear Kate, whenever I read from you, I am happy that the generation of women coming after us won’t be as naïve as we were during our time. I read you every Saturday and love the different topics you explore. What some people don’t know is that constant toxicity damages their health and messes with their self esteem. Many of us didn’t know better in our time when we tolerated abuse of all kinds just to keep our marriages. Thank you for being a consistent apostle of relationship truths. –Mrs. Oni, Ibadan
Kate, what feminists like you who love destroying other people’s relationships call toxic relationship is just the normal squabbles between men and women. But because you ladies who claim to be independent are unhappy with your lives, you want to make other women leave their marriages too. But it will not work, women who know what they want still tolerate what their men do to them and stoop to conquer. -Obinna, Aba
I just finished reading your column and it was very interesting. I don’t know where you have been all my life but reading you opened my eyes to some things that some people think is normal in relationships. Keep it up, God bless you. -Okonkwo Ugoo, Anambra
Kate, my gem of all times, it is said that a broken engagement is better and preferred to a broken marriage. Many life experiences have proved the saying to be the bitter truth but many people continue to live in denial until reality dawns on them. Those who have ear to hear will hear.– Pastor Stephen, Abuja
Your article on toxic relationships was beautifully written. Your concluding part says ‘move on with your life’ but as Christians, many of us are shy with the truth. We don’t know whether to remarry, divorce or run away? -Osamwonyi Ojo