From creation, there has never been anytime men gave up on what makes them men; no matter how poor, uneducated, unaccomplished or unworthy they seem to be. Take it as an argument to the moon and back, to the roots of nature, and to every nook and cranny of society, both civilized and uncivilized, one thread runs through the minds of the men when it comes to what they want from their various women. To them, that which God has given them as their due inheritance, being heads of families, none is ready to relinquish such power or joke with it. Even if the woman becomes the president of the country, his due submissive delightful respect should be exclusively reserved and accorded to him at all times, as the Scripture enjoins. When they get it, they feel that their day is made. This is not to say that all men have the same temperament with respect to the issue while living with successful women. Some want a woman that would be held down at all costs. Kudos to men like Dr. Ikenna Iweala, husband of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was recently appointed as Director-General of World Trade Centre, Switzerland.
Put simply, a man wants to be respected by his woman. But what “respect” represents has different meanings for different men. Hence, it is seen from various perspectives. As has been noted earlier, men enjoy the Bible-declared role of being head-of-household (HOH). That is why all through the history of mankind, especially in the African setting, never has a woman been referred to as HOH or the larger family even though a good number of them perform leadership and headship roles in certain situations. Though women have become breadwinners, yet they live with men. It is clearly stated in the Bible and in common practice that men should provide for their families and thereby earn their due respect. For those women who would ask why men should be respected, I also challenge you with this question: who did God create first and why? Who did God call helper? No one can take the position of the All-knowing God, or reverse God’s order of creation because of worldly encounters and challenges of life.
Interestingly, respect for a man is deep and a bedrock for most relationships. It has saved most matrimonies and still ready to salvage more. Respect in every context for the man is not about kneeling down or prostrating before him. It is also not about pretense; rather a sincere character one forms to achieve all her marital goals. Respect is a weapon that overcome challenges. For those who see sexual denial as a weapon to fight your spouse, you might be getting it all wrong because there are too many sex workers out there who are not just ready, but happily and willingly woo your husband, give him all the acrobatic styles you would not give him at home. Yes, your husband can get that outside his home. Do you prefer that as a woman? But when he is assured of loyal commitment, when you respect him and his views, you create a bond between you two, which binds you two, strengthens, deepens and sustains your relationship. In most marital relationships, women think that having sex everyday would just be fun since they have gotten the license or NAFDAC number to be weird, not imagining that a day would come, someone would be tired of the so-called sexual intercourse. The icing on the cake that warms the man’s heart remains that humble word, respect, because it does not expire, neither would he be tired of being respected by his wife. Respect of your husband makes life a lot easier. Most people do not consider the pressure that comes with home keeping, financial pressure on the family, stress from in-laws, friends, coping with the demands of the jobs while securing the homefront. Less attention is paid to times when little discussions result to very big quarrels, keeping malice and using words like ‘to hell with him or her’. It is only when respectful behavior shows up that things turnaround better and faster.
Stories abound of instances where men refused to join their wives whose senior status came with perks like official quarters due to lack of respect ordinary times and during misunderstandings. Take the case of Jolomi Ikeria, an architect, for instance. He said his wife threw him out of her official quarters where they moved in as a family. “We started out as fresh graduates who met at the same establishment and studied ourselves as young people who could grow together and make it in life. As we started out all well, my wife later joined a new generation bank and rose within years. When she became an executive director, a posh apartment was added to her new position. We all rejoiced and moved in as a family. Though some friends advised that I should not move in with her, but I felt we were a couple. All that changed when I complained about her suspicious frequent travels and we began to have issues. She reminded me about the owner of the house. She threatened to throw me out because the documents were written in her name as a staff of the bank. With time, Ikeria was asked to look for another accommodation; which he did regrettably.
Another opportunity most women love to explore, hold unto firmly, and think that it works wonders in the heart of men is their delicious meals. Most of them think that after giving a husband an attitude, food will endear you to him. Sister sorry, you are terribly wrong in this belief. Well, be mindful that you are not the only good cook. There are several good cooks out there, both indoors and outdoors, especially side chicks who would want to outdo Madam in all areas. While Madam tries to be economical in her shopping, spending, cooking and dishing and consider that tomorrow is another day, a side chick would be lavish in her food judgement. Marital life is not about food alone. During courtship, some think that once the nuptial knots are tied, life goes on with enjoyment, partying, shopping and being on top of the world. The new couple will think that everything would fall in pleasant places as planned and they would live happily ever after. They would never envisage the frustration, heartbreak, regret, hurtful words, and other actions that come from the same heartthrobs, intentionally or otherwise.
Dear Nigerians, in as much I hold the view that men should be respected, that same respect should also be given to the women. Now, note that a husband cannot heap insolence on his parents-in-law and expect miraculous respect from his wife. You cannot be an excellent marital cheat, always available in the arms of side chicks’ home and abroad and expect miracle of respect to happen overnight. You cannot turn your wives’ younger sister into a sexual object and expect her to respect you. You cannot be a violent husband, drag her to the gutters and expect that fulfilling respect from her. You cannot be a lying husband, not a single truth and want the best from the woman. You cannot be a stingy man and expect her to act wonders, neither would you be an office and business fraud, in and out of police net, and expect her to be a super home maker. You cannot be a child abuser, jealous of her success and expect her to break the ceiling for the marriage to work, neither would you be a lazy bone, who needs all the satisfaction and still expect to be respected. No, it will not work that way. Do your responsible part and watch respect fall at your feet at no cost, like manna that fell round the camp of the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. After 70 years of marriage Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, who just passed on continued to get the respect of Queen Elizabeth II even though she is the Monarch, Head of State and the Commonwealth. Abraham earned the respect of Sarah and she lovingly, submissively called him lord, which means master. It is not for nothing the well brought up Yoruba woman refers to her responsible husband as “Oni Ori mi” which means the owner of my head. Dear Men, be best, be responsible and be respected.