What is neglect?
Chris Field, an Australian pastor-based in Melbourne-defines neglect as a situation whereby a man does not make his wife the centre of attention. Thus he will be distracted, absent, uncaring, dismissive and always failing to focus on her.
"Some men feel that their wife's concerns are of no real substance and are unworthy of the attention they demand. Some don't want to have their time with their wife dominated by the wife's emotional issues, but would rather pursue physical intimacy and her joining in their interests," he writes in his eponymous blog.
He advises men against abandoning their wives, calling instead for them to pay attention to their wives and their needs. He needs to be attentive to her needs. Besides being seen together which is a good mark of approval is, he must also allocate special time that belongs to her, where she has 100% of his life. Equally he must offer her understanding and care.
"Sometimes all the wife needs is to have her emotional tank topped up. The husband is her best source of emotional recharge. A loving hug and assurances of his care and commitment will do much to lift her over her emotional hurdles and give her energy to press on," pastor field says. All the better if done in public.
Fix your social skills-expert tells women
Derek Gbenga an Image Consultant says that the woman's social skills are part of the reason why men do not want to be seen with them in public.
"Some women not only dress inappropriately but also try to emasculate their men during the outings. No man wants a woman who keeps interrupting him during conversations with his boys. Men also don't want a woman who lacks knowledge and cannot hold a conversation," Derek tells The Nairobian.
He also blames insecurity issues as part of the reason why a man would hate to be seen with his woman in public.
"Perhaps he feels that his wife is too pretty and might get a lot of attention from his friends. Man is a jealous being by nature."
Derek further explains that most men have a false illusion of masculinity mostly influenced by peer pressure.
"I truly believe that men do not grow up. They are just boys occupying adult body and make adult decisions. It is therefore very hard to drop some behaviour like choosing their boys and alcohol over their women. It also depends on the clique a man chooses to associate with," he said.
Sign of unstable marriage
Relationship expert Cynthia Otieno of Lamead Consultancy says that this is a sign of a shaky marriage.
"Marriage is a commitment that joins two people into one. If you are not proud of your mate there is something wrong and such couples they need counseling," she said.
What leads to these problems?
"It's always the communication and trust breached by any of them. The biggest problem is respect and luck of submission by the woman especially around his boys. Marriage is not a competition and women need to know when to stop," Cynthia said.
Marriage and divorce in Africa
Marriage are glued together loosely by the shared responsibility children, societal censure of divorce and the fear of starting anew in a country where single mothers are treated differently and less favoured than women without babies.
Overall, unlike the West where divorce is the natural outcome of marriages that have run their course, in Africa, couples mostly stick together.
Carol Blink, a German who studies Culture and Society of Africa, at Bayreuth University observes,
"You don't find men neglecting their wives. In that case you just divorce because such women do not deserve such foolish men."
"I have noted that while divorce is possible in Africa, the problem is that people seek societal acceptance rather than improve their own lives," says Blink.