Men, Childlessness And Culture




Waoh! Last week’s article was a very controversial one. While so many Igbo men appreciated my work, the ignorant ones felt betrayed by a fellow easterner. I wasn’t out to attack any particular tribe. I did that because I love my people, Nigerians and the truth must be told for our deliverance to come. Thank you all for your contributions.

Okay, it’s another tough one to be handled by a woman. Guys, I decided to start this column as part of my effort to see a better Nigeria. Some of your send messages asking me to write about the ladies too. If you want to know my stand on some of those issues you raise, read women’s grooming every Tuesday.

Every couple gets married hoping to start making babies as soon as the whole party is over. So many go into honeymoon hoping to come out with pregnancy. I remember having to avoid phone calls from both my family and that of my husband just three months after our white wedding.

It was after the white wedding because I didn’t start living with him until then. But I know of couples who go into that stress immediately after the dowry is paid. Everybody wakes up in the morning waiting to hear it has happened. When are we going to drop this whole crazy style of living?

I am going to talk from the Christian perspective. When God created Adam, He looked and saw that he was alone. That was when he decided to give him a partner, Eve. Guys; the first reason for every marriage is companionship. This is where we get it wrong.

How many of our marriages today can boast of the right companionship? Men get married for the wrong reasons and that has led to a lot of pain in our homes. A man, on becoming an adult is pressurized by the mother who starts crying for a grandchild even before the marriage is contracted. This is the reason a woman is put under so much pressure as soon as she steps into that house.

A lot of childless women today are not childless because they are not fruitful. A good number of them are childless because there is no peace in their heart. I remember years back when my aunty called her son to order when he tried putting the wife under undue pressure because of her inability to have a child. She warned him never to put her under stress and threatened to take the girl away if he continues. He changed and I can tell you that they have three boys today.

Why do we have some of our parents trouble their daughters-in-law  so much for childlessness only to live in prayer houses when their own daughter go through the same thing? Why do men console their sisters and their husbands over childlessness only to hate their wives and go for a second one over the same problem?

I can understand how you feel as a man without a child. I know what it means to go for months and years in marriage without a child in Nigeria. But I can tell you this; the woman feels it more. She loves you so much that she wants to be the mother of your baby. I know there are terrible women who go into marriages just to strip the man of all he has and move on with her life. It might interest you to hear that there are young girls who make up their mind not to have a baby for you. They are just agents of darkness out for your destruction. But I believe your wife loves you.

It takes the special grace of God for a woman who is looking for the fruit of the womb and is put under pressure by the society to conceive. Men, please do all you can to protect the woman you met, fell in love with and took in as your better half. When both of you are united indeed, your child will come.

I see women go from one hospital to the other believing everything is wrong with them. I know a woman who was told all sorts of things for twelve years. The mother-in-law hated her, the husband never cared, and she was called all sorts of names for years. The man never agreed to go to any hospital or pastor.

It got to a point that she ran away from their house in Abuja to stay with the mother in the village. This same lady who was accused of destroying her womb in the university is today a mother of a five month old baby. But the same man who tortured her alongside his family is married to another woman without any child. Guys, who is now the source of the problem?

I have heard men tell their wives how they impregnated girls as bachelors. You lived your life sleeping with different kinds of girls. You wasted your substance so early in life, you had untreated Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and now that poor girl is being made the scapegoat.

I have also seen men vomit terrible words to their wives. The woman takes her bath at night, applies very nice fragrance on her body. She did all these hoping to make it this particular ovulation period. But what do you tell her as she comes into your room, “I am tired of wasting my time on a fruitless tree”. How could you be so mean and cruel to a fellow human being?

Some men, out of their selfish desire to meet up with the peers, go the extent of losing their fertility for money. If you know you got involved in such satanic deal, why did you marry that girl? This has led to your nonchalant attitude whenever she starts talking about solutions to the problem.

I feel so much for some childless women. I really give kudos to those real men who have stood by their wives despite the pressure from relations. A good number of men in childless marriages have resorted to living all kinds of deceitful life just to have babies.

I have seen relations, terrible relations and friends lead men into things they spend their entire life regretting. They know you love your wife very much and you can’t afford to hurt her. These same people will call you to the village, find some way to get you drunk, and have you impregnate a girl. By the time you realize what is happening, you find yourself running to the village every weekend because you must have to tend the fruit you have planted.

Some men claim they had to do it that way because they love their wives so much that they don’t want to bring another woman into the house. My uncle, after 28 years of childless marriage, did not come to the village to marry a second wife. Yes; the doctors confirmed the problem is from the wife as her womb is upside down (according to them).

Guys, true love made him stand by her. Thank God for my kind of family, there was no pressure on him. Sometime 2007, they settled for adoption. Today, they are happy parents of two children. The bond they share is stronger than before. Do you think that woman will ever wish for a better husband?

It is time we drop this weird mentality that sees everything negative about adoption. Sometime last week, I told a friend of my plan to adopt a baby girl. I have four children, two boys, two girls. But I want to have a baby at home after my last child leaves home for school.

He said everything to convince me against that idea, but I thank God I succeeded in changing his mentality. The first thing he talked about was what he termed “bad blood”. He asked what I will do if I eventually find out the wrong lineage of the baby. I told him the baby becomes mine the moment I take her in and so must take after me.

He was also worried about the acceptance of the baby by the society, this I also cleared. I believe I will derive so much joy and blessing from giving hope to the hopeless. Sir, please change that mind-set you have when it comes to adoption. You can adopt a baby and be happy ever after.

If you decide to go on waiting, please do all you can to keep her mind at peace? Get her busy with something rewarding? You can get her a good job or business of her own. You may not know this, but most days when you are out there making money, the woman you love is in the house, all alone in tears.

Getting her busy outside the home will also take her away from the terrible and hurting words coming from your relations. I thank God for mothers-in-law who show some kind of understanding during this waiting period. But a lot of relations contribute to the problem of childlessness. By the time they continue stepping on the woman’s toes and calling her a man, her heart remains sore, she is afraid of tomorrow because even when you show no interest in their pressure for a second wife, she feels you can wake up one day and obey them.

Guys, I know it’s not easy. I know what it was like waiting for just five months after my wedding. I can only imagine what the two of you are going through. I understand how you feel whenever you see that colleague you got married before taking his kids to school. I know it is one of the reasons you don’t want to travel for Christmas.

I know some women even brought the problem upon themselves through the rough life they lived as single girls. But you chose to love her for better for worse. Please find a way of solving this problem. I know you can handle it and I believe God will give you the strength to carry on.

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