A random conversation with a complete stranger about why she left her second husband prompted this write up. It was her experience that even though the man was Nigerian and had lived in the United Kingdom for over twenty five years, the man was a bully and the Western world had made no impact on him what so ever. The details of the divorce are tragic, but it left me thinking if living in the UK for 25 years had no impact on a man’s world view, that man is hopeless then. Set in his ways, not much can change him..
Many people think that men who live in the United Kingdom are more domestic than their Nigerian counterparts. A domesticated man who lives in Canning town is not more liberated than his colleague in Nigeria who pays a cook and a cleaner to do his house hold chores. Whilst it is every girl’s dream to have her man help in the kitchen, domestication does not equal liberation. Liberation in this sense is mental. It is the freedom to allow a partner exist without abuse, shame or pain. You can guess where I am going with this right?
Some Nigerian men in 2014 (including those who live in the UK) expect their wives to cook their meals, wash and iron their clothes and perform excellently like an Amazon cat in the bedroom. Whilst some women may enjoy these roles, what makes the expectation of these burdensome is that the woman is also expected to loose a bit of herself in the process. She is expected to assume the role of a common servant, door mat, sex slave, kitchen goddess and she does this with cheer and without a voice. Her husband is always right, he is the head of the house after all. It is my observation that when women are denied their voice and are not allowed the freedom to be in their marriages, their marriages eventually fail.
Here are some scenario questions. Why would a lawyer refuse to let his wife work? Why would a pastor refuse to give his wife his share of
household bills because she has a part time job and he believes all her money should go towards bills? There are no answers to these questions as both situations need to be examined individually. Another man in Lagos, locked the generator house preventing its use when he was away on a business trip. My colleague’s husband refuses to let his wife get a mobile phone because he insists she does not need one. The ultimate question is why do women allow their men to treat them like this? Would a liberated man act differently?
There are all sorts of men who behave in unreasonable ways as there are reasonable men who love their women unconditionally. Another man lost his wife to the divorce court as he genuinely believed that every time his wife went out, she went to see another man. When a man believes out of his own sheer ignorance that every conversation his wife has with a male is an appointment to have sex, that man is a bully and perhaps more.
The question is what liberates men? Why are we even talking about this because not all men are bullies? Some men suffer from severe insecurities which lie undetected until they get married and true colors come out. Please don’t say education as one of the men described is a lawyer. And don’t bring religion into it, as the pastor outlined above has a church with a thriving congregation. A liberated man is simply a man who is secure in himself and who allows his woman to be all that she wants to be without putting any barriers or restrictions upon her. This is a hard thing for some Nigerian men who upon securing the hands of their wives in marriage turn into tyrants and illogical beasts.
Another man required his wife to show her panties each time she stepped out of the house and he wasn’t making sure that she was wearing fresh under wear. She could have gone to the market or the store. It did not matter. It is wrong to subject a partner to such degrading treatment. Readers might be thinking that these women have must have acted in suspicious ways to make their husbands these ludicrous. The answer to that is not necessarily. A man who lacks confidence in himself, and a man whose world view is limited is bound to find fault and create reasonable believable situations which only exist in his mind. Women don’t do things like that. Can we help such men? Is there a drug or therapy that can help small minded men?
How do you know a man with a small mind? A man with a small mind talks in limiting ways. He would shower his woman with all his love and affection, but prevent her from having a life of her own. He would dog her with accusations and belittle her as many times till he wears down her self confidence. He might even allow her get a job as long as she does not earn up to him. A man with a small mind is an abuser who is always looking for ways to prove that his woman has faults or that she is sleeping around.
Those who have dated men with small minds would agree that prayers can’t change such men. It is usually best to leave such men with their delusions than to attempt to change them or win them over. It is just too demanding emotionally and psychologically. Life is too short.
On the other hand, the beauty of a liberated man shows in the success of his wife. Men who allow their women the grace to pursue their business and academic inclinations enjoy and profit from their wife’s endeavors as all the money she makes, helps the household. The liberated man is not necessarily the one who washes the dishes, reads bed time stories to the kids or who goes dancing with his wife, he is the one that pays for his wife to train or re-train to whatever she desires to be.
A liberated man is the man that accepts that when his wife says the plane/train was cancelled and she would be late, then, that is the situation. It is a man who would never spend his time looking through his wife’s text messages trying to decode (uncode )stuff that is not his business. It is a man of integrity who loves unconditionally , a man who accepts that he is not always right and that there is a difference between having a conversation and an argument. It is the man who is at peace within himself and his world to make space for his woman. It is the man who respects himself well enough to allow his wife the grace to be happy and fulfilled.
Could we do with just a little bit more liberation in our men or perhaps we need women to liberate themselves?
Tundun Adeyemo written for http://www.tellng.com