Archive for the Relationships Category
As a “Big Man” in Ghanaian society the trick is to marry early. Give your wife at least two children sharp. After the firstborn, and certainly by age thirty or so, on a diet of oily, starchy foods and sweet cakes with no exercise, she should have already turned into “Big Mama.” You know, grossly overweight with everything hanging out. You may have already seen the American caricature on screen; huge sagging breasts, big belly, giant thighs and an even bigger behind.
What does it matter that the once slim young woman you married now waddles in fat and can barely walk anywhere? Or that your children may inherit the obesity trait and your daughters will most likely follow in their mother’s untimely footsteps to deadly diabetes and heart disease?
Here in Ghana, where we equate size with wealth and power, the hefty mother of your children is already seen by all and sundry as the wife of a very rich man indeed–a “Big Man.” And as long as you can afford to keep her latest hairdo done, and provide a “home used” 4×4 all-terrain vehicle for her to roam about in at will, she’ll be happy enough to just play “de madam” of the house for the rest of her natural life.
Leaving you with enough time on your hands to go chase the young skirts, and maybe even a few tight trousers, too. For your wife and you now live very separate lives, still under the same roof but in separate bedrooms. You may come together for church, but only on Sundays and funerals. Not that you would have it any other way. You have finally arrived. You are now a “Big Man.” No more small boy-ooo.
I was having a conversation recently with a well-connected Nigeria who provides extremely well for his wife and three children. Yet he and his wife had separate bedrooms and individual private lives.
With all the martial woes in modern life and rising divorce rates amongst celebrities, the rich and famous and ordinary mortals alike, this was for him the solution to a successful twenty-year marriage. And if one or the other felt like a little amorous ‘get-together’ one night, either he slipped into her boudoir or she came to him, before saying goodnight and returning to their respective bedrooms.
When others around us scoffed at the way he lives his life, he told them point-blankly that “the idea of romantic love is a myth that exist only in Western cultures, and only amongst the lower classes at that.” In fact, he and his wife were rather like the English aristocracy, he said. They married for companionship and for the production of well-adjusted heirs, and as he provides very well for her and the children, to whom he is a loving/caring father, the rest of his life is for him to do with what he wants.
This was no secret between them. His wife fully accepted the deal and they got on with their separate lives perfectly well—likewise the children—all of whom were over-achievers at expensive private schools and universities.
I could not find much at fault with this man’s argument. Of course, I had not met his wife, but from his own descriptions she sounded perfectly at ease with their arrangement.
His upfront point-of-view actually made me understand for once, the nature of the conflict between my own parents, who had been coming from completely different perspectives all of their married life. Even in my own relationships, I had been inclined to repeat similar patterns and mistakes. Or perhaps I’m more at ease with his POV because I am male.
What say you? Is the idea of romantic love and monogamy a myth of Western cultures and a set-up for certain failure from the start?
If your best pal just shouted out, “a rich dad who owns a brewery,” then you’re probably sat in the pub right now reading this on your iPhone or iPad for a laugh.
But seriously, have you ever dated a girl you were crazy about but wished you could change that one little thing about her? What was it? Have you kicked yourself afterwards because your honey and you shared almost everything in common, yet you still broke up? So what is it you really need to look for in a woman in order to build a successful marriage when ‘Miss Right’ comes along?