Romance is one of the oils that lubricate the wheel of marriage, sadly these days many marriages are falling short in this regard. Regrettably many couples instead of trying to rekindle romance in their marriage have opted for the option of learning how to cope with the absence of it. Most of us, husbands and wives are guilty of this.
Lack of romance on its own does not necessarily suggest that the couple are no longer compatible or have fallen out of love with each other. Romance is the physical expression of what and how you feel and it reassures your spouse of your feelings towards them. There are many factors that affect romance in African marriages, some of them are outlined below.
Upbringing and the culture in which you were raised plays a major role. Most African men were raised to believe that showing certain emotions in public is an act of weakness. Having been indoctrinated into the wrong notion that a man must be seen to be emotionally strong always, many have become too ashamed and self conscious to either through acts of romance or verbally put their feelings out there. This does not mean that they do not love their spouse, in fact internalising their feelings sometimes makes them a little more intense in love.
This is evident in an Africans man’s willingness to work himself to death to provide for his family. Most of us didn’t see our parents holding hands, kissing and going on dates, the closest thing to dates then was going for weddings, funerals, house openings etc. We never saw flowers and chocolates, but we saw our fathers giving gifts like hollandis, lace wrappers, gold etc. This was their way of showing love and devotion to their wives.
As men we were raised to believe that the most important role of a husband and father is providence. We are raised to make money and the woman was trained to spend or look after it, this is why names like Ori aku and Odozi aku are given to wives in igbo land. This makes men focus so much on providing rather than romance. The sometimes excruciating circumstances in which the man provides leaves him thoroughly beaten and unable to focus on the things that truly matter in a marriage.
In recent times, women who are supposed to play a very important role in romance are mostly emotionally absent. This is because like husbands, many of them have also taken up the role of being providers. The woman of today no longer wants to sit and wait for the man to bring home the bread, they have taken up very strenuous careers and businesses previously exclusively reserved for men, your guess is as good as mine as to what happens when the two bread winning warriors finally retire home beaten and totally exhausted from their hustle.
Finally gifting flowers and chocolates to the modern woman without the additional perks of jewellery, perfumes, Human hair, shoes, bags, cars and even houses will earn you the tag of “stingy husband” Most women will prefer a hefty credit alert in addition to chocolates, flowers or romantic dinners, if it comes down to choice, a good number of them will prefer the money over romance. This attitude has made the men romantically lazy, they simply believe that all it takes is to throw money and expensive gifts around and the woman’s attention and heart is theirs.
Bringing back romance in a marriage is easy, it just requires the right environment free from rancour, bitterness and judgement. Be receptive and appreciative of your partners effort to be romantic, no matter how small or insignificant you think they are. Whenever possible initiate small acts of romance, go out for dinner, go for a walk and talk as often as you can. If it doesn’t happen, do not despair, romance is a not a yardstick to measure whether or not your spouse loves you. Depend instead on how they treat you over time, that will tell you all you need to know – Sir Stanley Ekezie
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