THE BREADWINNER PROBLEM

 

You remember when we Nigerians used to think that we were the only sane ones and oyinbo people were just plain crazy when it comes to marriages. Oh yea i forgot, we still think that. Sadly, it seems we Nigerians are not any better, our African mentality of marriage is quickly disintegrating. The “African mentality” (just in case you don’t know) is the belief that once you have entered” a marriage, you have “entered” it!!! It is strictly till death do you part. And the worst part is that you hear the most flimsy excuses- remember the one about the wife who could not stand her husband pressing the toothpaste tube from the middle (I hate that too btw). Although I am not sure that story was legit. But i must admit that there are some legitimate reasons for divorce.

The one major cause that still gets at me is the money problem. It’s funny the way things are going really rosy till the man’s “oil well” dries up and you start wondering what happened to the declarations of love and the submissive wife.

I’ve come across some appalling instances in my line of work. There was this woman whose child was sent home and his mother refused to pay even though she could afford to. Well, according to her, the rule is that the husband pays the children’s school fees (who comes up with these rules anyway). She went as far as stating this to her son’s hearing and even calling him useless!!! (who says that in front of a child…*sigh*)

There was also the woman who blatantly refused to pay rent her husband could not afford. It did not matter that she could afford it and save them the embarrassment. And oh yea, the one that packed all the interior decorations and the furniture in the house because… I think I’m digressing.

I could go on and on. But I’m pretty sure you get my point. And in all these cases, the men are tagged “unfortunate”  and are suddenly not good enough to be called husbands anymore. And what’s next? The woman moves straight out and may decide to go with some choice items in the house as well.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be so bad if the woman takes over financially. But I’ve learnt time after time, it takes only a superwoman to step up and be the breadwinner (without any necessary hassle) even for a short period of time. And a super super man to allow it and wholly recover from his setbacks. Unfortunately, not all men can deal with this. Most will feel emasculated and suddenly become emotionally abusive or it may lead to something even worse and of course the marriage breaks down irretrievably.  Then, there is the woman who will wonder why she has to bring home the bacon; many thoughts are coursing through her head. If she has to provide, doesn’t that her make her the boss of the home? Or worse still, she begins to think the man is taking her for granted- i mean she feels she’s doing so much and all he does is he keeps taking everything from her.

I wish we would see marriage for what it really is or rather what it should be.
A contract-A partnership!! It’s why you are both in it together, it’s not  a one party thing. It’s so you can cover each other’s rear ends, depending on who is wearing the torn dress. It is about striving to be perfect together. It is holding onto each other and ensuring that one is there to be a support when the other trips, when one partner falls the other lifts up. At the end of it all, you both shine together. So if today, he is going through a hard time, it doesn’t mean that you (woman) can’t step up and do a few things. And it doesn’t also mean that you (man) have been emasculated, it just means it’s time to step up your game- you don’t want to be that infidel Paul referred to, do you?

Don’t sit in the mess and grovel.

 

 

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