By Michael West
I was rather jolted by responses trailing my article titled, “Solitude: A Ravaging Silent Killer,” in view of the depth of chasms existing between couples in many homes which is “killing” some of them silently. I became aghast by the torrents of stories of frustration, rejection, ostracism, and complete neglect in homes that should be dripping with honey, fun, warmth, and love.
Many of these families have enviable appearances outside that other families desire. Their children are cute, healthy, and well taken care of. Except for a few men, most of the complaints came from women. These are beauty queens, mothers, and role models to young women in their environments. Hey, it is not all that glitters that is pure gold as the “rich also cry.”
Last weekend, I featured in a Zoom conference where marital issues were broached. A grandma in the US lamented her frustration as she has to keep her daughter’s home through discreet financial support to her son-in-law. She is doing this because the guy appears socially deranged and was ready to walk away for just no cause but due to distractions of wrong influence and misdirected social life.
Many homes are in shambles today because men are no longer willing to be responsible. They want to maximise their moments in reckless lifestyle and spur-of-the-moment audacity. They are aware that men are in short supply in society, hence they want to “peck and go” and “hit and run” as many available women as possible. In the process, some of them saunter into wrong targets and thereby get sunk into dungeons much deeper than they can easily crawl or wriggle out.
Once upon a time, it was a big shame, not just on the man that failed to care for his family, especially his children; in fact, the man’s family will not even allow it to happen because it was going to be a dent on the family’s image. That was when values, morals, and cultural ethos were the guiding principles of family life. But today’s fathers find it convenient to abandon their duties for their wives.
That time, nobody behaved as they liked. There were moral constraints that would curtail the excesses no matter who is involved. At that time, parents were deeply involved in the process of choosing life partners for their children. They will investigate the intending in-laws to the hilt. It used to be a deal between families unlike what obtains in this Yahoo generation.
Women appear to be worse hit in the unpleasant deals in several marriages. Perhaps it is because they value home the most, especially when children are involved. Men, too, are not spared. Some men are in tears over the choices they made in marriage. How do you explain a situation whereby the wife told her husband that “if you dare to talk about what’s going between us to anybody you’re a goner!” And she showed her husband evidence that his death will just be a waste to his family.
A woman couldn’t hold back tears when she called at the weekend. “I’m dying silently. I regret my marriage to the man I married. I’m an orphan and he knows I have nobody to defend me. Twice he had threatened to kill me if I raise alarm against what he’s doing to me. He cut off everyone around me and I agreed to his dictates at the time not knowing that he wanted to isolate me for the worst treatment he intended.
I’m worse than lonely. I’m in prison here. Sir, do you know that he would open the car’s door for me whenever we go to social events? He would hold my hand, beaming with smiles and treating me like a queen in public. If I fail to act along, I’m in soup when we are back home. This is just a tip of the iceberg, Michael West.”
Tales of anguish, regret, and threats to life are everywhere. It’s like there’s no value for matrimony again. Some women are on the verge of quitting their marriages now. It took expertise to persuade a couple of them to suspend such moves and allow us to work on the situation both methodically and prayerfully. When problems get to a level, consideration for children would no longer count as a reason to remain in the marriage.
The lonely life of widows is equally a concern. Some widows signified their interest to exit the lonely lifestyle and embrace life afresh. Getting to know people and their situation is no mean efforts. Sometimes meeting people with similar challenges and experiences could facilitate quick understanding and emotional connection. It is never too late to live a fulfilled life despite men and their ‘headaches.’
Rightly so, when two or more women talk, the greater part of their gist is about “men and their wahala.” But can they do without men? Even when some of them wanted to experiment with it, they found out that it is easier said than done. Men are an integral part of life. “Life without men is no life. I can’t even imagine it but their troubles appear to be way too much than their benefits,” said a caller who rescinded her plans to quit her marriage.
Those who fear to date widows for imaginary fears are simply not serious. Unfortunately, there’re no widowers to hook up with these beautiful widows. When their (widowers’) wives were alive, side-chics were always available to ‘complement’ madams at regular intervals.
However, some widows are also wary of men. They are not sure if they are safe in a relationship with some men showing interest in them. In that case, take your time to study and investigate him before letting down your guards. While it is not every ‘caring’ man that is genuine and sincere, likewise, it is not every suitor that is deceptive. Time will tell who he is. Stereotyping every man as a liar, exploiter, or who wants to take advantage of your condition is not always correct. Give people the chance to prove themselves.
What I discovered over the years is that most troubled marriages got it wrong from the choices of the partners that came together. The Bible says if the foundation is wrong what else can the righteous do? In my submission at the Zoom conference, I highlighted two cardinal areas that will help in preventing or at least, reducing the incidence of troubled or jinxed marriages. They are:
What are the character traits, features, or what you want in the partner you desire to marry?
And, what kind of a home or family do you want to raise?
If you are able to answer these basic questions honestly, they will become your guide and compass to make a good if not a better choice. Even if you don’t achieve your exact dream family life, your challenges will be less and solvable.
God created only male and female. It is therefore understandable why each is both the problem and happiness of the other. If a man makes you weep, another man will make you happy. Likewise, a man betrayed and hurt by a woman will get healed on the bosom of another woman.
That God ordained the man as the head of his wife does not mean he should maltreat her or be unfaithful. I have been advocating that male children and young men must be groomed to become loving husbands and responsible fathers eventually.
However, our society emphasizes so much on grooming the daughters while leaving the boys alone; whereas a bad man will mess up a well-groomed woman. This is the root of irresponsible and insolent character traits men display in their family life.
“Life without men is no life. I can’t even imagine it but their troubles appear to be way too much than their benefits.”
West wrote via email@example.com 08059964446