Home / Sights, Scenes And Writs / Opinion: Husband…Not Child

Opinion: Husband…Not Child

Originally published on naijahusband.com

Quotation-Samantha-Towle-men-children-man-Meetville-Quotes-143455Repeat after me ladies.

“Men are NOT children.”

“My spouse is a fully grown man. NOT an infant.”

“Husband NOT child!”

Everywhere I look it’s the same theme. Whether it’s the television commercial that shows the inept father that somehow manages to wrap his baby in a diaper made of moin moin leaves, or the 50th article entitled “How to train your man” in the numerous magazines my wife likes to buy on the weekend, the message that your spouse is nothing but an overgrown toddler in need of your guidance never changes.

I know they’ve taught you these things from a very young age. Those laughter filled conversations between your aunties as they sat around a meal to discuss the latest wrongs their husbands had committed. No matter the problem that “Baba Risikat” had caused that day, it was always met with this advice, “Just leave him jo. Don’t you know men are like children?” or “You have to treat him like a baby! Pet him! Cook his favorite dish and make sure it is properly digested before you approach any topic with him! Don’t you know all men are looking for is a wife who will mother them?”

Haba.

I’ve overheard these conversations before and I usually just shake my head at the idea that men need to be pampered, cosseted, bribed with sweets and manipulated in order to accomplish anything. But I didn’t realize that my wife must have been regularly hiding underneath the table as a child and listening in on those well meaning aunties and taking notes until the following conversation ensued.

NW: “NH, have you brushed your teeth?”

Me: “Yes.”

NW: “Okay. Good boy.”

Me: “What did you just call me?!?”

A “good boy”??!! I think if she’d been closer to me at the time she might even have patted me on the head as a reward…and if I hadn’t brushed my teeth I might have gotten a spanking.

It didn’t stop there. Whenever we traveled together, NaijaWife would make it a point to have the following conversation with me, within hearing of every other passenger on the plane.

NW: “Have you gone to pee?”

Me:  “No.”

NW: “Why not?”

Me: “I don’t need to.”

NW: “But you should do it now. Don’t disturb me later that you need to go to the bathroom.”

Me: “Why would that disturb you?! Are you the one following me to the toilet?!”

NW: “There’s no need to snap oh. I’m just looking out for you!”

I was amused really. Who did she think was managing my urination and teeth brushing schedule before she came along? But then it started bordering on the bizarre…especially when she began insisting that she had to be the one to apply lotion to my body in the mornings because I couldn’t be trusted to do it myself.

Now, every morning, as I come out of the bathroom, she gazes at me expectantly. Her eyes are pinned to me, not because she’s excited to see what’s underneath the towel, but because she’s excited to see if I’ll dutifully apply lotion to my (admittedly) ashy limbs. If I fail to impress her she will, inevitably, speak her mind.

NW: “NH Come back here.”

Me: “What?”

NW:  “You didn’t put any cream on your back. Do you want to start scratching yourself in the office?”

Me: “I’m in a rush dear, just leave it…”

But before I can protest, she will have grabbed the bottle from my hands and started rubbing.

I’ll confess that sometimes I do it deliberately. Who wouldn’t want a rub down from his beautiful wife in the mornings? But soon I began to wonder…what did she see when she looked at me?

This?hnc1

Or this?hnc2

But what really amuses me about this treatment is that my wife will not find it funny if I try something similar with her.  One Sunday, while headed to church…

NW: “Wait for me please, I have to run to the bathroom.”

Me: “Ok.”  I said…and then I realized my chance had come (I just couldn’t miss this opportunity) “Darling wait…”

NW: “Yes?”

Me: “Make sure you wipe yourself carefully.”

NW: “WHAT?!”

Me: “Yes. Front to back. Don’t come and complain to me later if the thing starts scratching you.”

Luckily she saw the humour in it and since then has promised to do better in replacing her maternal instincts with more spousal instincts.

I know that there are indeed some men who behave like children, just as there are women who behave like children. But your ex-boyfriend who struggled to understand why exactly you couldn’t provide extravagant meals 3 times a day “just like his mother did”, and your 40 year old cousin who still sucks his thumb are not representatives of the entire male gender.

While I’m on the topic of “Husband Not Child” let me throw another one in there. Husband Not Father.

This is very important. Please understand that, along with those stereotypes about your husband being a child, are the ones about your husband being “a father” to you.

Be very honest with yourself.  Do you want to have relations with your father?hnc3

Well if you say you do, then at least you are honest. Incestuous…but honest.

However, the way I see it, that desire to find a man who treats you like a daughter might stem from the same group of lies these meddling “aunties” liked to tell you, such as: “Older men are more mature. That’s why you should marry an older man” (They forgot to tell you that “maturity” is often just a code word for “more money”), “Older men can protect you better”  (Protect you with what exactly? Their walking stick?),  “Older men are more confident.”  (They’re not more confident. They’re just nonchalant because they have bigger things to worry about e.g. their declining bladder, their retirement plan, the 10 different pills they have to take every morning, afternoon and night etc.)

But even I must concede that the most valid reason I’ve heard is “Older men are more financially secure.” Yes…I certainly have to agree with that. Pensions are very regular. Hence the feeling of security.

I could go on and on about the stereotypes and misconceptions that our society encourages us to believe about men (and very soon I’ll address another popular myth such as “All men cheat“) but I’ll stop here for now. Especially because my wife wants me to spend some time writing a “Wife Not Mother” post (though I can’t imagine why she thinks that’s necessary).

Gentlemen, it’s time we took a stand for our own dignity. Husband not child. Husband not father.

Husband is Husband.


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

Check Also

“I Will Fight For You But…” The Shame Of The LGBT Activist

“I will fight for you. But in return, you must never be free enough to ...

19 comments

  1. Llllooollll, i think we the women folk just have this motherly instincts in us which makes us feel we are responsible for everything around us.

    Dear beloved husband, we know your not our child but we just can’t help it sometimes.. Ok we promise to change but its just a matter of time before we go back to our old ways.. Llloooolllzzz

  2. Mumsy told me that oh! “He is like your first son” Ifaa hear!! No time, mbok! Me sef dey find who wan pamper me (˘˘̯)

  3. I couldn’t help but laugh when I read this on NaijaHusband! So funny. But truth is, we women have this motherly instinct even towards our men. You will see a woman packing lunch, putting everything in order like the food is meant for her son, but in truth, it’s for the hubby.
    And she will still go ahead and ask if he remember to take his cutlery and water bottle! Lols. We are that caring, you men are just too lucky! Hehehe!!!!

  4. Serious matter. Sometimes a woman may treat the husband as a child or as a father but all have to return to the point that husband is husband. Ose Walter. Word.

  5. If u have a man who is alive to his responsibilities and behaves like an adult i dont think that there is any woman who will treat him like a child but most men just wont behave and act like big babies so it is not the woman’s fault if she treats him like that sef. My husband will even tell me ” Dont u know I am ur first baby” lol. Abeg Men folk no vex o no be our fault na una cause am

  6. i really enjoyed reading this! 😀 fun and funny.

    i was an american wife, but the lessons are the same: men are like children. and i’ve bought into it, blaming mothers for coddling their sons. and even though i still scratch my head–and suck my teeth–occasionally, i’ve learned to appreciate men’s carefree nature. it often brings balance, calm to situations women might mistake for armageddon.

    p.s. i think a woman’s nurturing is her instinctual way of showing him that she loves him. not sure i can say the same for the dirty clothes he leaves littered across the room, the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, the empty OJ carton in the refrigerator, the trash still waiting to be taken out… oh… oh… got a little caught up there. anyway… don’t know if those things qualify as the male equivalent. 🙂

  7. when she was calling u “baby” during courtship, didn’t u realise she will start treating u like one?

  8. men dont blame us, we just find ourselves mumying you (as my hubby would say). its a natural instinct.

  9. I am a woman and I don’t think it’s natural to treat a man like a child. I hate it. I’d like a man to behave like a man, because I don’t have time to be his mother
    Imagine, an ex once accused me of nor having motherly instincts, because I refused to indulge his childishness. Nonsense! Go and grow up.

  10. too hilarious to comment…
    prejudices and the modern couple….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *