I received a call last weekend from a reader of this column. She requested that I should write her story for the world to read and for women in her kind of situation to learn from. I asked her to write it while I promised to publish it, but she pleaded that she would tell me and I could present it as I deem fit.
Some ladies with privileged background do take their spouses for granted. This is not about whether the guy is rich or not. It is just an innate trait that makes them become unconsciously “rude”, “stubborn” or “not submissive.” They believe they’re simply being themselves, unpretentious.
Sometimes in 1987, I made an overture to a single mother of two, a banker and a daughter of an oil magnate, on behalf of my friend who was single and searching at the time. I was close to this beautiful woman who had an aura of a disciplined, respectful, hardworking and responsible mother. Her humility despite her corporate height and accomplishments attracted me to approach her for a friend I trust so much.
In the course of our discussion, she dropped a hint which tallied with the story of the reader of this column that wanted me to write her true-life story for the reading public. They both have some things in common: they’re from rich homes, gainfully engaged in lucrative businesses, they’re lucky to marry at the right time and age but alas, they lack the character or wisdom to stay in marriage.
The single mom told me how she lost her home to sheer ignorance under the veil of being a “no nonsense” and “highly principled” woman. She didn’t tell me the details of what actually transpired in her marriage before it crashed, but she admitted that “though my husband was such a difficult and egoistic personality who enjoyed grandstanding over nothing. Despite all his rantings, I would have been able to manage the situation better and still be in marriage by now had it been that I had known about the word of God then as I now do.
“The teachings of the Bible on marriage really opened my understanding to many things about how to live, cope and manage whatever situation one finds herself in her marriage. Per se, it is not about regret but it’s more about the cost of acting in complete ignorance. It’s really costly. My husband is not the kind of a man any woman would find easy to live with. He has a sense of insecurity, he’s complex in nature, easily provoked and talked in irritating manner. I wish I had known Christ earlier. Maybe I would have handled the situation better,” she said.
The caller also had a similar experience in her first marriage. She has now come to the knowledge of truth about life in marriage. Yoruba adage says “Until a woman has experienced marriages with two different men, she won’t appreciate the better one.” The caller is now “missing her first man.” She wishes the lost time could be reversed so she could reclaim the home she lost to intolerance, pride and ignorance.
If given the opportunity now, she would do things differently. Her current marriage has taught her some hard lessons. “I never believe that men are different. We were made to believe that all men are the same. They are cheats, they tell lies a lot, they’re not trustworthy, they are full of exploitative tendencies, and they grandstand over nothing.” With this jaundiced mindset, she entered into marriage with a gentleman she never appreciated until she lost him to another woman.
She met her first husband in a church program. She really liked him. According to her, he looked so suave and responsible. Without thinking about his background, she accepted his proposal for a relationship which subsequently led to the marriage. But her jaded mindset about men, ignorantly though, made her to be intolerant of his controlling disposition. “I lacked the required wisdom to manage his nature. We started behaving like competitors in the marriage. I have always seen men as exploiters and gold diggers who hunt for the daughters of the rich for selfish and ulterior motives.”
‘I wish I could regain my first marriage as my present one is a far cry from what a normal home should be. I’m in a marital captivity now and not in marriage. Family members should watch what they say in the presence of their youngsters as such chauvinistic talks and opinions do influence their thinking and decision later in life’
At some point, her husband couldn’t endure her taunting utterances and naughty behaviours any longer as she assumed the ‘oga madam’ role in running the affairs of the home. “I must confess, I acted too independently in my home in such a way that I later realized that no man worth his salt could tolerate or endure my excesses. Honestly, I thought I was being smart and self-protective against the backdrop of what I was made to believe about men and their bossy, selfish lifestyle at the expense of their women.”
She however admitted that her former husband has his own shortcomings like any other men but her current hubby is a no-match for her ex virtually in all areas. “I now believe that men are not always the same. Some are better than the others. I have learnt my lessons but in regret and when it’s too late. I wish I could regain my first marriage as my present one is a far cry from what a normal home should be. I’m in a marital captivity now and not in marriage. Family members should watch what they say in the presence of their youngsters as such chauvinistic talks and opinions do influence their thinking and decision later in life.”
Has this privileged class of women learnt anything by the experiences of their ilk? I don’t think so. Usually, they don’t learn their lessons until it is too late, and in most cases after failed marital attempts. Experience has shown that neither age (late marriage) nor status (social or corporate attainments) could change them but their individual encounters. While some could become sensible having become single moms many others won’t.
Unfortunately, these women are usually at the receiving end of family issues such as retributive nemesis of parental misdeeds. They desire happy homes but are not ready to pay the price. Conversely, some of them are also not lucky with good men. Their choices are habitually the bad ones among men. Some people believe the situation with such women is a fulfillment of a dictum which says “you can only attract your kind.”