The simple answer is that if you are the only one who is giving in the relationship you are bound to run very dry. Many times, women are the ones who suffer but then there are also some men that are the ones who give in the relationship.
So, in this particular relationship, Femi and Bukky have been married for 25 years. Femi told me that he has been the one who always gives of his time, energy, love and affection. He feels like he is about to give his last breadth yet Bukky does not seem to be satisfied. The couple have four grown children: a 21-year-old boy and three girls aged 19, 15 and 10.
According to Femi, Bukky has never worked and refuses to work. She insists on driving flashy cars, living luxuriously and vacationing. Femi who is a medical doctor puts in 60-hour workweek to support Bukky and the children. Femi told me that other than the children, he would have walked away 10 years ago after the last child was born.
It all began when they met in medical school many years ago in England. They used to study together and he would help her study to pass her exams. Bukky never really wanted to be a doctor but she had to please her parents. Bukky was very lazy but had a passion for the arts. She would spend her entire day drawing and just being happy instead of studying. Her parents were very wealthy and if she quit school they would cut off her inheritance. Bukky therefore had to pretend all the time that she enjoyed medical school. Bukky was brilliant so she could study and would grasp everything. In short, she had an electronic brain. Femi on the other hand spent long hours studying. So, they teamed up and became studying partners. Femi enjoyed being with Bukky, he admired her a lot and hoped for something more but Bukky did not have any type of romantic affection for Femi other than just being friends.
By the time med school was over, Femi secretly wished that he would be posted in the same hospital with Bukky and when his wish was granted, he was elated. He planned to propose to her then. Bukky on the other hand was just happy to finish medical school. Her plan was to work in medicine for just two years, quit, and move to Paris and just paint. She hoped she would meet a fellow painter, fall in love and have no babies at all.
Well, it didn’t happen like that. By the time she had worked for about six months, whom did she run into? It was Femi. She was happy to see him and they became friends again. Soon, they became more than just friends and as the universe would have it Bukky was pregnant. Femi wanted marriage and reluctantly Bukky agreed. Of course, Bukky felt doomed and condemned but as usual, she was used to pleasing others, first her parents and now Femi.
So, 25 years later, Femi had to bargain for everything with Bukky. He gave more and more and more and always had to twist Bukky’s arm to get her to do something.
He was lucky to have such great kids and so he continued to work so hard. Bukky finally quit medicine and just painted. She was a lousy mother, housewife and lover in fact a very selfish one but a great painter. Femi would work so hard and come home to a filthy home and filthy kids. He would roll up his shirt and begin to clean up. This continued for several years and now, 25 years later, he told me that he was ready to walk away otherwise he would die. Simply put, Femi was tired of giving and giving and giving.
So, how do you fare if one partner is the sole emotional and financial giver? This is the crux of this segment. I wish also that you all could contribute to keep this conversation going. Next week, we would begin to look at different ways to handle this situation.
■ Dr. NJ