5th June, 2015
By Aidy Thomas
“I know you don’t love me and it shows in everything you do”. “If you loved me, you won’t treat me like this”. “I deserve some respect as the man of this house”. “My orders should be final but just now, no one listens to me at all”. The list goes on and on till eternity.
The desire for love and respect/submission between man and wife is not a new thing and we have all either felt unloved or disrespected at one point or the other. This makes me giggle sometimes – the fact that it can also be used as blackmail- a woman feels telling the man he doesn’t love her would make him feel guilty and put in more effort than before while the man believes the mere mention of the word submission would drag a woman to her supposed place of not being heard at all.
Before I drift too deep, I want to quickly mention here that it is very difficult to love a woman who does not submit and extremely hard to submit to a man who does not love. Taking a look from this angle has placed a responsibility on both man and woman.
It’s not an absolute tilt to one side where one overwhelmed person is left to shoulder the whole weight of the relationship while the other just sits and receives accolade for being vain. When next you’re ready to make that pronouncement of ‘no love/no submission’ take a moment and ask how much of your part you have been able to deliver.
Sara and Jim have been having problems year in year out in their union. When asked why he would not want to continue with her, Jim burst into serious rage as if someone put them under the same roof- it was solely their decision. He describes Sara as an obstinate fellow who cares less about how the rest of the world think of her let alone just one person; her husband. He painted her to be such a stink life could not condone.
When Sara was opportune to say her own bit, it was clear Jim has been quite unfair to her as well. People naturally seem to treat you the way they feel you treat them- but if you can, do your best not to return evil for evil.
A man who feels opposed or challenged by his wife all the time would exude some kind of difficult character that she might not be able to cope with. Men are natural leaders and want to remain this way for personal satisfaction/actualization. This does not mean that the reasonable ones do not take suggestions from wife or friends but they feel really threatened when you attempt to ridicule their strength.
A frustrated wife once had the surprise of her life when she came to tell me her husband was sleeping with her steward. She was so full of herself and pompous- even a child could sense it from a million miles. It took experience and patience for me to listen to her roaring. Each sentence was packed with narcissist fume, strong enough to suffocate nature. I listened to her rain praises on her looks and compare with the steward’s whom she felt had no worth. Immediately she asked “what do you think my husband has seen in this woman to fall so flat?
I cleared my throat as if I was unsure of what I wanted to say yet looked straight into her eyes to unleash the biting point- “Your husband has definitely found something in this woman; she might not be appealing to you but the way she treats him makes him feel wanted and respected- that’s what men love”. She wasn’t expecting that from me but still managed to agree it was true. How else would you explain a man leaving all the girls in the city to his country home in search of a ‘Mrs’?
Although this has a way of backfiring when they can’t measure up in education, exposure, composure and confidence with his other friends and colleagues but if his inner yearning-a submissive partner is met, he is likely to blend the others.
For a woman to feel loved, she desires a man who will be able to ‘deliver’ just what would touch her heart. Her expectation of love though sometimes is clouded by fantasies and outflow of what she sees around but gets mature and deeper with time, taking shape with redefined focus in line with her life’s goal.
Once she does not have enough trust in her husband’s offer, submitting totally to him becomes challenging. If a woman’s idea of love is most expressed through gift, it would be impossible for a stingy husband who does not buy her gifts nor provide enough money to convince her of his love. This does not automatically qualify her to be classified ‘materialistic’ but only buttresses the point that “love is giving”. Another woman who finds expression of love in another way would display yet a different kind of aspiration.
The meeting point therefore is, there cannot be absolute love when one person is feeling affronted neither would there be anything near submission when your partner feels unloved and ignored. The reasonable step to take therefore should be towards discovering and practicing whatever things that can spice up your lives.
It should be appreciated that marriage is a journey and there is no known journey that you get to every junction and milestone at the same time; you take each step at a time and each step in the right direction leads you closer to your destination. Let’s not be too quick to judge or give up on each other; it gets better by the day and if you hang in there, you’ll be proud to be part of the success story.