I’m a man, I’m a Jerk!
I read a beautiful story the other day; you possibly read it too in The Daily Nation (online edition). It is about a couple who had tried for a child for what seemed like eternity. The woman had one miscarriage after another; giving birth to twins on one occasion only to lose them both, a few days or weeks later.
This is a story that one wouldn’t read from start to finish and still remain dry-eyed. It tugs at your heart the way the couple sticks together through those hard times. The way the man steps in to become his wife’s pillar and strength. The way he rejects advances from his wife’s friends who try to take advantage of their misfortunes by promising to give him children, something they believe his wife cannot do because she is ‘cursed’ or something. You got to give it to some women really. How desperate can one be for a man to the extent of kicking their ‘friend’ while she is down like that? Seriously, who does that?! Only Numbskulls (Hi Caroline!) I guess…
It is a heart wrenching story that fortunately ends with a ‘happily ever after’ when the couple successfully manage to get two children after twelve failed attempts. TWELVE! That is no mean feat for any woman. For any couple.
Then I went ahead to read the comments made by the readers reacting to the article and if you still don’t know already, the comments people leave on any interesting piece always put a spin on things. Try youtube one of these days, I bet you my new pair of earrings (I’ve been buying those obsessively of late… don’t ask) that the comments could make your day.
The response to the article was beautiful. Very encouraging words to the couple but then I realized one common trend, almost all the contributors wrote in to congratulate the man for his commitment to his wife; the way he stood by her when she most needed him, the way he shielded the advances from other idiotic women, the way he is a rare species of a man etc
I am privy of the fact that in this day and age of ‘Instantaneous-panty-removing-alcohol-swigging-loose’ women, getting a good man who will turn a blind eye to all that the female fraternity has to offer is becoming increasingly difficult, needle-in-a-haystack, kind of difficult. I too, therefore, joined the voice of the masses in sincerely commending the guy for doing what he is assigned to do as a husband.
We should however be careful not to go over and above and turn this into a knighthood ceremony of sorts. A thought is lost in all this; that the guy was living up to his vows before God. Isn’t that what every couple promise each other when they stand before all and sundry to take their vows as they get married? To stick by their spouse and care for them in their time of need, and to reject any advances from other women thus staying faithful to her till death do them part?
Eureka! I finally know why men are jerks. It is because we set the bar too low – Waaaay down there! We get into marriage expecting him to live up to his name; Jerk. We expect to be cheated on, be disrespected and mistreated, and to be abandoned when we are at our lowest. So when he does what he is supposed to do as a husband, we go into shock, our jaws drop to the ground and when we recover, we smother him with praise and knight him!
Don’t’ get me wrong, you should always appreciate what your man does for you – trust me, this gives them wings. There is nothing as disheartening as an ungrateful spouse. Being unappreciative kills the spirit. A dead spirit makes for a dead relationship, a dead marriage. So I insist that every man and woman in a relationship should learn to appreciate each other.
When you gape at a man when he thankfully proves that the male species is not entirely irredeemable (alleluia!) he might start to think that he is doing more than he should! When you act surprised that he did not cheat when he had the chance to do so and get away with it (“ I need children!” – Sounds like a perfect excuse, right? ) what message do you send to other younger men aspiring to marry someday? With all that “Oh My God! You are so superman! You are unbelievable! You are just out of this world!” A young man somewhere reads all that and realizes that even though he has not been on his best behaviour it’s no biggie because that is what is expected of him. It’s how men are.
More and more men will get into marriage knowing that the Jerks they are, they are expected to have multiple affairs, treat their wives with disrespect and walk away any time things get unbearable. After all, we all seem to agree that this is the normalmale behaviour The other good guy, he is the abnormal one, neh?
Au Contraire gentlemen, it is expected of you because it is what you are called to do. Vis: ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his family and cleave to his wife’.
Cleave (noun) – To adhere, Cling or Stick fast. To be faithful.