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How African men ‘kill’ marriages.

Published August 30, 2009

African men do not have marriages, but arrangements for their own convenience. In this day and age, building a marriage is the hard part; destroying it is becoming much easier and men have perfected the art – and the fact that it requires very little effort works in their favour.

Our men are experts at destroying marriages; it is their second nature. I am convinced that there must be some lessons given to them on how to ‘kill’ a marriage. When that happens, we are left jaded, with no strength nor chance to fight back. Maybe this is what the men want.

As soon as marriage vows are exchanged and the honeymoon is over, I think men are taught (in that school they all seem to attend) to start by slowly changing their behaviour with the intention of detaching themselves from us. While he would previously wake up and lovingly bide you good morning, he starts training his mind to forget that you are lying there, in bed, next to him. So he wakes up, jumps out of bed and barely glances at you. You will obviously wonder, and maybe remind him, that you are there and need a bit of attention. He will apologise, say he is in a rush, not his fault, maybe indulge you absent-mindedly in a meaningless kiss then get on with doing what he was about to do. When you are continuously ignored as if you are non-existent, you start getting used to it, make an excuse for him even – like he is late for work or something, and close the chapter on ever getting a decent ‘good morning’, ‘good evening’ or even ‘how was your day’ from him.

Next, while you previously enjoyed your dinner together, or an evening together after work, watching your favourite soap on TV, or a movie, he will start coming home late. Too much work in the office, this and that had to be done by this and that date – deadlines. You complain a few times, and then accept that it’s his job anyway and he has to do it well in order to keep it. The few times he comes in early, you might have to sit through a painful 90 minutes watching a football game you have no clue about. You resign to watching grown men chasing one ball around the field, while you would have preferred to watch Alejandro pouring his heart out to Esperanza or Camilla trying to break up the oh-so-perfect match of Diego and Esmeralda in your favourite Mexican soap. He used to watch all this with you and even held your hand when you were so touched that you had to shed a tear or two. Now he is asking you to watch the game or else, he will go to the nearby pub to watch it with his buddies. You don’t want that, so once more you accept it, and life goes on.

Slowly but surely, he starts neglecting the little things he used to do for you. Forget the flowers, the dinner dates and the surprise gifts that used to come your way once in a while. He has an excuse for everything, a very plausible excuse and you accept each one of them. Marriage is not a bed of roses, you remind yourself.

A year or two later, the baby comes. Now that marks the beginning of the end for your relationship as a married couple. You have to juggle between being an employee, a housewife and a mother. Your responsibilities increase threefold and you are expected to do everything without as much as a sweat to indicate that you could be tired or need a break. Your man is by now a spoilt brat. (He was taught in their school that once you have a wife, you cannot do anything for yourself). His hands can no longer handle anything domestic and so you have to do every single thing for him. You are his wife damn it. So you run up and down every single day; taking care of the baby, your man, the house… We even have some men who have a thing against being attended to by house helps. They will insist that they will not eat food in that house unless it is cooked by you. Forget how exhausted you are; you are his wife. If he comes in late, wake up and warm that food for him. Even if it means just shoving it into the microwave, just do it. In short, he should be able to depend on you for everything on the domestic front. Now he is your other baby. You are superwoman, to say the least.

You have to wake up a couple of times during the night to change and feed the little one. Then morning comes before you can even catch a wink of sleep. If you are a working mother then obviously you have to get ready for work. Your responsibilities never seem to end. Everyone seems to want a piece of you even if you feel like there is not enough of you to go around. What a life! The cycle continues, leaving you very exhausted and your man, your dear man has his life uninterrupted. He is still living his life like nothing much has changed in it.

Intimacy between you is now a thing of the past. You could be intimate once in a while, perhaps – but it’s not a guarantee anymore. You might be superwoman, but sometimes your body just won’t co-operate. He will of course complain on end how you have no time for him. He feels neglected. He has needs too. Do you start explaining how you had a very busy day at work or at home with the kids? Do you tell him you need just an hour of decent sleep to feel human again? Do you inform him that sometimes it would not make him any less of a man to do something as simple as fetching himself a bottle of water from the fridge? Then you think, “forget it!” that too is exhausting!

So, in years to come, he may go and sleep out because his wife is not giving him the attention he deserves. He will do this with a very clear conscience because to him, it is entirely the wife’s fault. Again, the African in him rears its ugly head, and so he reasons that he married you didn’t he? If he married you, it means he loves you – period.

At the back of your mind, you know an affair is going on, but by that time, he has sapped out all the energy from you. You cannot fight anymore – you cannot confront him. You just need some peace. You appreciate the attention he directs your way once in a while when his conscience eats him up. Even if you are fed up, you cannot think of leaving him. Divorce will need your energy and you don’t have that. You weigh your options and see that staying with him is not so bad after all. He is playing a part in paying the bills and he is coming home to you at night, though late sometimes, or never at other times, but he belongs at your bedside.

What you have now is not a marriage anymore but an arrangement, thanks to him, where the two of you live together and tolerate each other till death do you part. You resign to living like this not because you like it; not because you cannot leave him, but because they are all men. And they just don’t get it!

Reach Renee Murrey at editor@eafricainfocus.com

Author Profile: Story  on August 30, 2009, 24 Comments


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24 Responses to “How African men ‘kill’ marriages.”

  1. Igor Mujahideen says on: 31 August 2009 at 4:48 am

    This is what men call “Nagging”

  2. Okumu says on: 31 August 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Women are generally wired differently. Why they want us to be always part of their petty “big ideas” on how to sustain a sizzling hot marriage, I have no idea. Just let us watch our soccer and please talk little if you must, we would do better if you just shut up all together. It pains when the soprano goes on and on…you that…you this…. thats the problem. Otherwise we are a paragon of joy and happiness for our women.

  3. Rapudo says on: 31 August 2009 at 3:14 pm

    This is nagging in details. A nagging relationship is a relationship ended before it even begun. Women, think that Esperanza, Camilla, Diego and Esmeralda are still living in the Garden of Eden. These actors follow scripts; when they leave the stage, they transform into “men” and “women” again just like you and me. Wake up, women, wake up!! Eden is on fire.

  4. Renee says on: 1 September 2009 at 1:49 am

    We nag coz you do not listen. Why don’t all of you go marry a robot!I know men are experts at operating the remote control….

  5. tina says on: 1 September 2009 at 2:48 am

    That’s it, finally somebody got the guts to say the truth…funny enough this applys to all men in general.Comeon guys we are sending an sos .Believe me, we are made of the same stuff as you,sometimes we get tired and fed up of being mistreated.Its you guys who nag. We are not sub human…we are not robots,remember that always.BY WOMAN

  6. Okumu says on: 2 September 2009 at 3:02 pm

    We get it. The problem is that those soaps set the bar too high and our sisters cannot figure out the fact that it may have taken a month of rehearsal, preceded by years of training, before those robots (read actors) can beem those silly scandalous standards to our living rooms.

  7. Nyagingo says on: 7 September 2009 at 8:51 am

    I dont really get it how a man expects a woman to breast feed a baby, change diapers,have sex with him and catch sleep in a span of 7 hours (approx) usiku and then wake up, give him morning glory sex, take care of the baby, make breakfast and go to your job and actually remain a sane woman!!

    NEVER!!! one of the two men in the woman’s life will have to be neglected, guess who?

  8. Shiku says on: 8 September 2009 at 6:03 am

    That is great truth there, why a man imagines that marrying is next to slavery is beyond me. A woman is meant to be a companion not some slave to warm you dinner and bed and be ignored after that. If you want to marry football go ahead and remain a bachelor, you can not have your cake and eat it.

  9. Renee says on: 8 September 2009 at 6:19 am

    Okumu, rehearsal or no rehearsal, those soaps give a lot of women an escape from very depressing relationships. At least we can dream, can’t we? How does watching a game help a man? With soaps, we learn one or two things about how a relationship should be, this is far from what I can say about those games. @Nyagingo, well to do all that you have mentioned, a woman has to be super human or just a pure angel sent from above.

  10. Mpa says on: 8 September 2009 at 6:25 am

    Comical to say the least. men could lay the same charges by changing a few facts and voila, “women are killing Marriages”. I know a few married men who wake up at night to look after the baby, who cook once in a while and who take their wives out for dinner.
    Quit whining and play your role

  11. Renee says on: 8 September 2009 at 7:39 am

    @Mpa, quit whining and play our role huh? The role of a slave you mean? You are unbelievable. How does cooking dinner “once in a while” give you grounds to complain? You really don’t get it, do you?

  12. Nyagingo says on: 9 September 2009 at 4:24 am

    @Mpa says a few men??? bliv me, they are too few to go around for all da ladies, so most women have to put up with loads of crap from men in the name of marriage!!!

    about time men realized that even machines need proper care, service, oiling, the more u take good care of ur machines, the longer they will last and perform better.

    so, our dear men, how about some TLC, you know, “just a little tenderness, at the end of the day, is all a woman needs to take her fears away” (Diana King).

  13. Bziegnew Mugogo says on: 10 September 2009 at 12:20 am

    Come on ! end this saga this is an age old back and forth game, neithe men nor women will agree to any part of it. get a life.


  14. Renee says on: 11 September 2009 at 2:26 am

    Mugogo, how do we end this ‘game’?

  15. Dennis says on: 12 September 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I read all the contribution what i see is everybody is pointing a finger at everybody!
    Renee i believe when u dropped this story u had recommendations up your sleeve.Why dnt u drop another article suggesting what man should do to avoid “killing” marriages?I believe u have few construct less debatable way forward..Whining and nagging will always be there unless someone stands up and educate the mass..I’m single and looking forward to have a wife in a near future but I dont believe man by default turn out to be useless as the life span of marriage getting longer.
    Please share!

  16. Renee says on: 14 September 2009 at 1:07 am

    @Dennis, you amuse me when you suggest I write another article on how ‘Not’ to kill marriages. Ever heard of reading between the lines? Your solutions are up there, in this article…..stop “whining”!

  17. Essie says on: 21 September 2009 at 8:45 am

    It’s the reason I can never play matchmaker coz all men are capable of morphing into marriage-killer extraordinaire. So, I let my friends pick their own current prince charming and future prince alarming.

  18. Miss taken says on: 22 September 2009 at 5:37 am

    its quite simple.. African men need to pick up a book once in awhile! life has changed we are no longer housewives only we work too so don’t treat us like we need to do both, since you cant bring in enough money – i too have to work which means you too have to help in ‘household’ chores..when will people realize that relationships take work and we don’t know it all so we need to seek guidance every now and again? and everything is about balance and communication. you want it to work? FIGHT for it – yes that goes to the bleary eyed exhausted always complaining woman too..

  19. k360 says on: 24 September 2009 at 9:20 pm

    To my dear african women why the do you wonna get married? We cannot even date for a year b4 questiong:
    1.So what do you think about us?
    2.Are you seriouse or you are just playing around?
    3.are you going to propose4.etc etc etc
    If the african men are this bad can try also to stay unmarried or in the same breath consider letting us african men have choices too.
    Adn please like someone said b4 me Quir the whining pliz!

  20. Jakabuoch says on: 28 September 2009 at 1:31 pm

    As an African man living in Europe, I had to sympathise with the sister concerned in the story above. We men(myself included)can and should do better than this. Whereas I’m not advocating for diluting our so rich and practical viable and sound traditional values, but women too deserve our respect and devotional love (in whatever form we may choose to show this). A mute point that there are more than one ways of showing love; but trully; it must be acceptable that consideration and understanding of their needs and feelings has to be part of these. As long as the women too don’t try and copy all the Western values, which by my experience are actually worse than our African values; it is still my belief that we have better family values than those exhibited in the soaps our sisters have become prone to watching.

  21. Mopero says on: 13 October 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I have realized that it is very very easy to seduce married women because most of them are very unhappy in their marriages. They have been totally neglected or even abused by their husbands and they are dying for attention or just a shoulder to cry on. Guys wake up. Because before you know it, your wife could be crying on someone else’s shoulder and getting more than you ever imagined. And guess what? You can’t really blame her. Because she is simply looking for what she can’t get at home. And people like me are all too happy to provide it to her. I can not tell you how many married women I have taken care of because the husbands are too busy watching sports or drinking. If you want, you can blame me. But if you are smart, you will look in the mirror because that’s where the problem is.

  22. moja says on: 16 October 2009 at 6:32 pm

    recently scientists were able to make a spam out of a cell, i cant wait for it to be official, that way we women will be able to work, have our own kids without men, and take care of our own homes, and live peacefully. ooh did i mention i’ll be able to marry a wonan if i want, for romance.
    i’ll be so eager to see how men live there lives without us women, because we’ve had enough.
    we dont need ya anymore, men are just stress

  23. lucyleu says on: 22 December 2009 at 12:04 pm

    The sheer stupidity of being subservient to a jerk just amazes me. Men will keep looking for naive women who bend to their will while women will keep thinking they are better than the man’s wife or girlfriend and bend to their will. As individuals, we need to set limits to what we can accept and what we cannot. The resentment caused by such behavior should be reason enough for women to stop thinking they have to do all these things for men. If a man wants to watch his soccer at his girlfriend’s house then he can do so but he should not have a problem with the wife getting a boyfriend to help with the duties he’s neglected.

  24. 50okoik says on: 8 January 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I have to disagree men do not “kill” marriages but you women do. From when we were little boys, and in fact, from the very beginning; in Genesis, because a man listening to a woman, God said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life”. If you read further you see we are send out there in the fields to work hard to bring food to the house. There is a lot of lessons to learn from this. One is women, men do listen to you, Adam did and so it is in our nature to listen to you, but we have learned from the past. We hear you and then we remember the last time we listen to you what our punishment we received. We are reminded of that everyday when we wake up early in the morning to go out there in the fields to bring dinner home while you stay at home watching day time soap, actors, and expect us to romance you just like what you saw on TV. Give me a break. Men do love their wives but the wives do not understand what men go through in a day. So when we come home and hear you nagging and complaining, we ask ourselves what if ADAM never listened to Eve. How different out lives would have been? So women, excuse us if we come home and we don’t want to hear what comes from your mouths. We just want to have that dinner, that cold bear, and watch our sports, movies, and then go to sleep, so that we can begin another day of work to bring money home so you can spent it on yourselves. That is lesson one.
    Side note. Those women who think they don’t need men, then why marry us and then not divorce us if we are this bad? Don’t say yes to us and please divorce us. We will be fine without you. In fact, we will be much healthier; our stress level will be much lower, and if it goes up, we will just find a night-stand to relieve the stress, and we are good to go. And if we can’t find one, we will do it ourselves. get the point.


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