Disclaimer* If you perceive yourself as a male version of an animal on its prey, whose vision of marriage pertains to telling your wife “I have given you money and school fees what else do you want?”
Then I encourage you to read no further.
Seriously, just stop.
Better still, Log off. Save yourself some money, switch the generator off.
Go and play with your Blackberry or something of equal electronic stance.
Now, that we have sieved the boys from the men, let’s get unto the rest of you, who I hope look nothing like animals and walk like gentlemen rather than leaping frogs, hoping from one lady to another.
Here is a quick question, do you class yourself as been amongst the group of men who genuinely have a heart for marriage? You hope that through thunder or storm, physical abuse not included, through rich or poor, recession or financial growth, walking or crippled have a view to stay committed to your wife? Then let us like friends lounging on a Friday evening drinking Super Malt discuss how an intelligent man like yourself can ascertain if this Seniorita you are pursuing, hunting, dating or even engaged to is the person you will consciously choose to be THE ONE.
*Side Note-Remember we are supposed to be friends, so please, no vex if I sound slightly harsh O. I just want to make sure these babes don’t drain you out emotionally and financially.
Now let’s get to it.
I find it increasingly disturbing the magnitude of pressure and self pride that our culture laments on the average Nigerian man. Society and the media portray this demeaning idea that a single man must be financially fat for him to acquire a wife and have a happy home. Our young men are not being encouraged to find character or attain good character in women anymore. The focus has now changed to acquiring all that glitters, saving up for their wedding carnival and the youthful lust of “She fine past your babe”. With your focus withering, somewhere in the midst of this journey many of you may end up walking up to a woman you promised yourself you would never marry. Sadly, you may realise you have not only married this woman but she is now the mother of your children; make that five children. Two years into your marriage you realise that your wealth, job title and bank balance that you used to woo your wife can not be replaced for your happiness. The following scenarios below could potentially play out in your life, if you do not use caution, prayer and wisdom.
What you used as a tool to qualify yourself in marrying your wife, could potentially be used as the wall where you hide your grief. Evenings are filled with late nights in the office and extra training courses abroad. Home is merely a house in which you eat and bath. One glance at your mobile phone to see her name flash up is an instant thought of “What have I done now?”
So fellas, I want us to go back to basics. For the next ten minutes, forget how beautiful her body visually pleases you. Blank out the taste of her delicious cuisines from your mind and if your pride will let you forget the fact that her father has connections with several people in high powered establishments. Ignore how she stimulates you intelligently and let us discuss character and virtue. In a lay man’s terms, “Is this the correct babe for my future?”
- I know you want to impress your lady but spending half of your salary, and adorning her with gifts regularly in the initial stages may benefit her but not you. I encourage you to show her you care through the purchasing of gifts once in a while. But any woman who is constantly requesting you to buy her gifts beyond your means is a woman you may need to drop off at the bus stop. You are not married to her yet, you probably still have other responsibilities pertaining to you, your parents and siblings. A wise young woman would be more concerned with spending time with you or calling you numerously to see how you are doing rather than giving you the cold shoulder because you only bought her perfume for her birthday. She is concerned with matters of the heart not just things that shine. Your time of dating this woman is not for you to flex your financial balance sheet, but for you to x-ray what her characteristics are. That time will arise when you can spoil her with many gifts. In fact you can even imitate uncle Jay-Z and buy her a private Island – when the time is right of course. In the meantime, rather than living beyond your means and buying her flamboyant presents, think creatively. Write her letters (yes with your hand). Buy her favourite treats or magazines and slip it into her bag when she isn’t looking. Whatever ways you choose to show her your love, do not allow a woman to convince you that your love for her is based on how much you spend. Just because you have money now does not mean that will forever be the case. I know of a married man who recently had his whole wealth wiped out, due to the recent financial crisis. My question to you is will this lady in your life be able to support you whether you’re buying her Gucci or Yaba market handbag?
- On the occasions when you dine out, I want you to notice the way she treats others. Is she disrespectful to the waitress? Does she show gratitude to the gentleman who opens the door for her? All of these things reveal to you the state of her heart. When you dine out to events, do you find her whispering to your ear making sly comments about others? When you hear her chatting with her girls on the phone. Are her conversations coated on back biting, bitching and darn right insults? If the answers to these questions are yes. It doesn’t mean you need to leave her. What it does imply is the necessities of addressing this problem with her as fast as you can count to five, in fact make it two. It is important this issue is discussed. It could be she was never trained on the importance of respecting others. Or, she may not be aware that her actions are demonising to others. Although it maybe an obvious character flaw to you. Some women genuinely do not know the severity of their actions. Whatever you do, just deal with it first before you put that ring on her left hand. If she can only show respect to you, then be on guard. One day she may just respond to you in the way she responded to the waitress. Remember you are far from perfect. I can guarantee you will cause offense to your wife. When conflicts rise up in your home it is the attitude of a wise woman that will restore peace.
- Learn to listen. It sounds simple doesn’t it? Well in the midst of you focusing in on what you see, or trying to convince this babe that you are the perfect man for her, you tend to ignore the crucial red lights. If you tell her your dream is to raise your children in Nigeria and her own is to send them abroad, listen! If she explains to you her dreams are to develop a career with a top international bank then listen! Do not for one instance have that assumption at the back of your mind telling you “I know she will change her mind”. You are the one that has asked the questions and it is up to you to listen. Rather than having the perception that she will compromise in the future. You need to be alert in the present and ask yourself. Am I willing to compromise to her dreams? If your response is a concluding no! You know what to do. However if you are willing to compromise make sure you discuss it. This means to open your mouth and talk! Be warned. When your Pastor utters the words “I now pronounce you husband and wife”. An invisible ray of light does not zap into your body and create a change. The complete opposite occurs; you turn around to a crowd of smiling faces clapping and taking pictures of the happy couple. The next morning you wake up to the same woman who told you before you married “I only want two children”. No going back! So my dear brothers, please, listen!
- Speak now or forever hold your peace. For me this is the most important aspect that I want my dear brothers to grab with a deep understanding. Sadly this is the part that within our Nigerian culture the men were never taught. Women have been raised from birth to talk about marriage and weddings. Ironically for the fellas this topic tends to spring to the fore front of your conversation from the ages of 21+. Even latter for many of you. With that in mind I urge you, before you spend all of your 2011 savings on purchasing that big diamond for her left hand finger. I suggest you harness in on the use of “Baby I miss you” or “Baby, I love you” and contemplate, if you have used the time together to ask all the important questions. It is so easy to spend your relationships been busy romanticising over your love for one another. Not demonising the importance of those moments. However you need to make sure those important questions are being asked during your long phone calls or walks by the beach. Speak now or forever hold your peace. Ask about her family relational back ground. I am not talking about what company her papa or grandpa works for. You need to understand and accept this woman for who she is. What sort of relationship did her parents have? Maybe her parents are divorced. This could mean it is important you express your commitments properly. Speak now or forever hold your peace. What does she expect your role to be in the family? Does she want children at a later or earlier date? Is it a prerequisite to her, for all your children to attend private school? Speak now or forever hold your peace. What is her view on how you will look after your parents? Does she struggle to save? Or does she like to spend it like Beckham? How important is her faith? I am not talking about how many church services she attends. Is it important to her that specific commandments are followed? What were her struggles growing up as a teenager? Speak now or forever hold your peace.
There you have it my brothers. The more knowledge you acquire now, the purer your love for one another will be. I hope the above has motivated you to think about your relationship situation. Building a home should begin with a solid foundation not just a wedding.
Real love exists; it is your duty not to settle for less until you find it.
When you gaze into her eyes tonight ask yourself “I know you are good now but will you help me grow in the future?”
Until next time, love,
Side Note: Please re-programme your mind to accept there is no perfect woman despite the amount of years you may date a lady in your rigorous strategy to ascertain whether she is the person you want to grow old with.