By Femi Akintunde-Johnson
The life of a woman is pretty tough. She wants a man who can take care of her and her children; she wants a man who will trust her judgments and affection, and whom she can trust almost completely. She craves to build a good solid home where the husband is happy and caring; where the children are honest, independent-minded and yet obedient. She wants to be able to help her husband or support him in any way she is able to; and will not want to be a burden on the man. She does not want to be miserable and discomfited by hearing tales and wild stories about her husband’s public lifestyle.
But the man is a different contraption altogether. As far as I can see, the man wants a woman who will love him unconditionally; whether he is a fiendish serial-adulterer or closet psychopath. He is not bothered that he would strangle the woman if he ever catches her in a compromising position with another man; while he wonders what the world is turning to when the woman screams all over his family home simply because she sees a lipstick stain on his shirt collar.
When young and dating, men have a wondrous mentality that can explain away the ability to date several girls, in different locations, at the same time; taking each one through vigorous sampling to identify the right fix. The longer the list of girls, the more robust his faithlessness; the more insatiable his conquering spirit to dig deeper into the swathe of humanity, to “seek” for the “correct” lady. He soon develops a cold-blooded discipline that enables him not to feel any deep feeling of remorse, sympathy or depression at any junction when relationships suffer stress fissure and break down, irretrievably. He assures himself that he has never given anyone any serious idea that the relationship is anything stronger than mere dating. He cannot understand all the hues and cries… why the lady feels cheated is beyond his comprehension. If he is a repeated abuser of trust, he builds his most creative protective shield, to the amazing chagrin of the next fall-gal.
He finds so much peace and fun with the boys. They go out to drink, chat foolishly and wantonly; ogle at girls and poke fun at other men already trapped in the adoring fangs of dotting wives. Sometimes, they gather at joints and clubs not because they are jobless drunkards, inveterate idlers and irresponsible no-hopers. Some are far from that. But these men (married or single) have scary stories of their women who parade themselves as hot pots of virulent pestilence – always eager to boil over at the slightest application of heat. Some men cannot completely divulge the true story of their relationships… as their unbelieving friends will laugh them out of the club. Some are driven by the infantile gush to play the strong man, and turn their hearts into a cold store: piling all desires and affection in the ice of pigheadedness. They just get used to not caring anymore.
Some women are also the creators of their own problem. When a man prefers the company of other men to his wife, we can easily break down the shortcomings of the tragic woman. She is often incapable of providing interesting companionship; she is afraid to unlearn things her man is not comfortable with; or she’s set on a messianic crusade to “improve” the man, against all odds. She flinches at crude jokes of the boys, and she’s quick to nag her man into line from such blasphemous assembly. Soon, she wants out; or else you’ll have to choose “between me and your friends”. Silly woman!
Why put your man through such stress when you are not in control of the consequences of either choice. If he’s a “strong” man, he’ll want to have and eat his cake. And if “weak”, he’ll want to please his woman in spite of his resentments. In either case, failure is a more certain result of such a “run-off election”. You either drive your man deeper “into” his friends or you’ll hug a man whose better heart is with his friends. Then, you notice his edginess to read his newspapers alone; drink on the veranda alone; grumble about the timing of the next football match; busy at the office towards the weekends; unwilling to attend church services with the family; unwilling to promote peace in the home. He is simply “unliveable”.
I have a confession. In the light of what we have written in (some chapters in my book, Lifelines), I declare that it is much easier and more pleasurable to hang out with the boys, than be stuck at home with an adorable and dotting wife. This is irrespective of how good or accommodating the woman is. And this is so rampant with young couples. Crazy? Strange? Infantile? What exactly are we talking about?
Say what you like, the fact of the matter is that this is the “in-thing” among young men who happen to be married; or more precisely, who are unfortunate to be tied to a life “of responsibility” at a point in time when the entire world appears to be under their feet.
The scenario may seem repugnant to any other person; it may even be hard to explain for those who practise this sort of relationship…the brutal fact is that boys love to hang out with boys for as long as it is possible, irrespective of the palaver waiting for them at home. To bring the issue nearer to you, let me use myself and my circle of friends as a good example of what I have been trying to paint; and then show you how it is virtually impossible for a man to outgrow it except by a special grace or divine intervention (or worst case scenario, an interventionist “jazz” effected by the distraught but desperate wife).
(To be continued)