Marriage, ancient and modern

This generation has witnessed a radical emancipation of women as equal partners in almost all arrears of relationships/marriages. Women have accepted and executed with precision some of the traditional roles reserved for men in the family. They have become breadwinners and providers and have even become the soul of some families. Where given the opportunity, some of them have succeeded in intelligently and skilfully managing the family affairs to the admiration of even the most difficult husbands.

There has been a lot of arguments for and against the effects of this sudden consciousness among our women and role reversals on marriages. It has been alleged that this is the reason why some men are becoming increasingly hostile to successful wives who they believe have usurped their responsibilities and traditional powers at home. This feeling of deep resentment has had a catastrophic effect on the love and affection which should normally be present in a marriage. Having a primitive mindset of female subjugation has destroyed homes more than anything else.

Decades ago our fathers were providers and traditional heads of the family, they considered their wives and children their properties. They took the responsibility of providing in their stride, they laboured and toiled to fend for the family, and in most cases did it all alone without any financial input from the woman. This turned many of them into demi-gods and tyrants and in the process produced wives who stayed married not because they loved their husbands, but because they could not afford to take care of themselves and their kids alone, being largely financially dependent on the man. The result is that some of these women rebelled and abandoned their husbands once they achieved some level of financial capacity or their children became successful and able to take care of them. It is this situation that has given rise to the neglect most men suffer from their wives and kids in old age.

With the increasing adoption of the western style of marriage and relationships and the immaturity and resistance exhibited by some men, we have experienced the consequential effect of female independence as seen in the west, the level of divorces and separations have therefore soared in recent times. Our women are more educated, enlightened and ambitious. Many of them are rejecting marriages as instituted by our forefathers and are opting for an all inclusive unions where they are given the freedom to aspire to greater heights and make their input both financially and in the decision making process in the family. This has naturally pitched them against husbands who insist on maintaining the old order where the man is everything and the woman has little or no role to play in piloting the affairs of the family.

In my opinion, this new level of female independence is a breath of fresh air for marriages, It has created an atmosphere for realistic relationships based on mutual understanding love and respect to thrive. I believe that whoever wants to stay married to you should do so out of their own free will. Using financial or emotional dependence to keep a spouse creates relationships based on falsehood and deception, these will not stand the test of time, they usually crumble as soon as the victim rises above the subjugation to attain some level of financial independence. It is much safer to have a woman who remains married to you despite the fact that she can cater for herself and the children if need be. The stress associated with providing has also reduced thus reducing husband mortality caused by carrying the burden of providing alone.

My advice to men is to let your wife/girlfriend chase her career, she should be given the freedom and support to excel, ensure that you make a reasonable input into her career advancement, it is the only way to court her continuous loyalty. When she has become financially independent you will know for sure if she is in the marriage for real or just bidding her time in your house. It gives great joy when she is financially independent and still submits to your leadership in the home. To get a subdued wife to submit to your authority is easy and hardly fulfilling, but having an accomplished and successful woman submit to you is the greatest joy you will ever experience because it tells you that she is in it for you and not what you have to offer. If after making a reasonable input into her success she still decides you are not good enough, one of two things may have happened, it’s either you haven’t treated her well, or she is an ungrateful person and never wanted you ab initio. It is better to let excel now so can find out sooner rather than later – Sir Stanley Ekezie

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