It is normal for men and women to learn some lessons as they go through life. Any human being who refuses to learn from their mistakes has refused to grow in life.
I have discovered that a lot of Nigerian men lack what it takes to be good partners and spouses. These men just get older and they are told that getting married is the next step they have to take in life.
But who teaches men how to make good husbands like women are taught how to make good wives from childhood? Who teaches men how to talk to women and get their attention? Who teaches men how to treat their women with care and respect?
What examples do older men set for young men when it comes to relationships? What lessons do older married men teach younger men? Do they teach young men that possessing a male organ make them superior to women and that men can do wrong?
Who teaches men how to keep their marriages and make sure they do everything possible to keep their wives by their sides? Who teaches men how to value the opinions and contributions of their wives above external interferences? Who teaches men how to fight for their marriages like women are told in this world?
Everybody has life lessons to learn before they can be good partners. Men and women tend to need to learn very different lessons in order to finally become who they should be to enjoy happy and peaceful relationships.
It is clear that the way boys and girls are raised in this part of the world is different. Boys are given freedom to live free. They are fed morning, afternoon and night without being taught some manners. They are raised to feel powerful and superior to the females around them.
Their bad behaviour is excused with the saying ‘boys will be boys’ while girls are raised with strictness so that they can become good girls who will be rewarded with marriage by boys who were not raised right. This imbalance is causing a lot of problems in marriages today.
In many homes, girls are raised to be thoughtful, polite, considerate, calm and respectful while boys are raised to be tough both physically and emotionally, competitive, hard and ambitious. Many girls were raised to be wives while many boys were raised to make money.
People’s upbringings also give them certain strengths. This is why many women are generally more comfortable being emotionally open and affectionate because they were encouraged to be so from a young age, and those are great traits.
On the other hand, Men are encouraged to be tough in the face of adversity, because that’s what they were told to do from a young age. They are scolded for crying and commanded to suck in their pains because men must be tough and not show weakness.
I have listened to many women complain to me about their men not listening to them, not taking their advice regarding some friends or business venture, not communicating their feelings and being so hard that they show little or no emotion and generally hurting their women.
The more I reflect on some of the things these women tell me about their marriages, the more I feel that some of our parents did the boy child a great disservice by raising them like robots.
The more I hear stories about marriages falling apart because some men feel it is women’s duty to build marriages, the more I feel bad for women trapped in marriages with men who have refused to learn.
I have come to the conclusion that there are some vital lessons Nigerian men need to learn before they can be good partners and spouses to their women. Having money, a big ‘drilling instrument’ and knowing how to use it are not enough qualities to make men good husbands.
Men need to know that listening to their women is not a waste of time. Many men think that listening to their girlfriends or wives talk about their day or their problems or their dreams is a hard task.
They think it is a waste of time to listen to their women pour out their hearts to them and tell them how their day went and what happened to them, so they just nod and smile while pretending to listen but they hear nothing.
It is not until they get older, life gets tough and complicated that they realize that they too wouldn’t mind having someone to listen to them. If you don’t listen to your woman when she needs you, she won’t be available when you need her in future. You reap what you sow!
Sharing feelings doesn’t make you weak.
Men need to learn that expressing their feelings doesn’t make them weak. I know how many women are suffering today in their marriages because they are finding it hard to decode what is going on in their lives of their husbands.
These men don’t express their feelings, they bottle up the different emotions they are feeling and shut their wives out. How can these women help them if they don’t even know what is wrong with their men in the first place?
The issue that some of these men grew up with the understanding that showing emotions make them weak. They get teased if they cry. They aren’t allowed to say when their feelings are hurt. They grow up and withhold emotions from their romantic partner, so certain that sharing feelings makes them vulnerable. This is not right.
Men should know that expressing what they feel to their girlfriends and wives make them emotionally strong. They are humans who are subject to different feelings and emotions and they shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed for that.
Nigerian Men need to learn that expressing difficult feelings gives them the power over those feelings, rather than the other way around and it’s not healthy to hold on to negative feelings because they think expressing them makes them weak.
Nigerian men, being selfish is not worth it. You will lose a good woman if you insist on pleasing yourself all the time. For example, if your partner is sick in bed on the very night of a party you really wanted to attend, you likely choose the party over staying home and caring for your partner, you are a selfish being. Many men feel that their women need to understand that they need to have fun even if it comes at the detriment of their partners’ happiness.
What these men don’t know is that when they give, they will get much more back. When men grow up a bit more, they learn that making small sacrifices for their partners pays off in dividends. Women have a way of multiplying whatever men give to them and they don’t forget how men treat them when they need them the most.
Men need to learn that their friends are their own reflection. You can’t be friends with liars, cheats, criminals and insist that you are a good man. You are the company that you keep.
You can’t be friends with men who cheat on their wives and live like bachelors and insist you are a faithful husband. If you are truly a good man, you don’t keep bad friends. You don’t stay around friends who are misogynistic or lazy or disrespectful.
Men should know that their actions affect their partners. Some younger men often feel that when they are in serious relationships, that they have their individual lives, their partners have their lives, and the two do not affect each other. They feel that what they do, on their own time, when their partner isn’t around, doesn’t affect said partner. They feel that what their partners don’t know won’t hurt them until they get into serious trouble and the whole thing comes crashing down on their partners. If you are married, the bad decisions you take have a way of affecting your spouse.
Men must learn that relationships are worth it and making their women happy should be their priority. They should know that making sacrifices, being faithful, making compromises, listening, and being emotionally and physically present for their spouses is the right thing to do.
It takes the two people in a relationship to make it work. Men need to learn how to work on their relationships and learn how to make their spouses happy. It doesn’t cost much; they should just ask their spouses what they are not doing right and sit up appropriately.
Re: Secrets you shouldn’t keep from your partner
Kate, I appreciate the fact that you are gradually learning how to write like a sensible woman. I agree with the things you said even though you still found a way to blame men for the things that go wrong in their relationships.
The issue is not that men love to keep secrets from their wives, the problem is that many women lack what it takes to understand some of these things and they have a way of escalating simple issues.
You sound like a domineering woman and I guess that’s why you are still single. Please be humble so that a good man can marry you this year. We want to attend your wedding. I wish you all the best.
-Nnaemeka Obiora, Lagos
Kate, I thought that by now, you would have been tired of insulting Nigerian men. You don’t have anything good to teach couples about relationships. You always sound hurt bitter and angry woman. You keep unleashing your anger on men because they have refused to marry you. I saw your picture in the paper and you look ugly like your ugly column.
Any man or woman who hides a serious health challenge from their spouse is not someone to be trusted. These dishonest people have left others in pain, tears and sadness and this behavior should be discouraged. I appreciate you for talking about this. Congratulations on your long service award.
-Peace Ogbu, Asaba
History is replete with bitter experiences, pains and even ultimate repercussion resulting from undisclosed reality codenamed secrets of some partners. Partners who thought they were keeping secrets have at the end realized they were all along sitting on gun powder which when it explodes often leaves them fatally wounded. Trust issue is very important in relationships and marriages.
-Pst. Stephen, Abuja
Kate, ten years of impactful juggling wild words and ideas is an extraordinary feat. The ‘long service’ award earned is indeed meritorious and well deserved. May you live long and healthy to render more service to our society! This week’s piece is commendable and worth heeding in any relationship. Congrats.