I have never really understood why wives are always blamed when their husbands turn up somewhere unkempt or shaggy before the eyes of society.
One thing we should all realise is that these husbands are adults of sane mind and they are capable of deciding what to wear when they leave the house. Why women are always blamed for this is something I have never understood.
You find a man out there dressed as he wishes and it will be blamed on the wife. Any signs of fashion fail is equally blamed on the wife. Even when the man walks around in clothes that don’t fit, the wife will be blamed as if the man didn’t realise himself that the clothes didn’t fit before leaving the house.
I understand that, as wives, we are expected to ensure everything is in order within the house, especially things to do with hygiene. Not that men are not hygienic, they are. Only that some of them need that little push to remind them how things should be done.
In my 20s, when I first lived under the same roof with a man, I had dedicated my time to even selecting the clothes he would wear the whole week because of fear of what people would think of me if he ever stepped out looking unkempt. You should have seen me selecting every little thing, including his handkerchiefs. All I wanted was to please people because I had been warned about being held responsible for my man’s dressing.
I remember how much we differed on matters clothing because he felt like I was forcing him to wear something he didn’t like. At some point, I gave up and let him be. I realised I was infringing on his rights. I thought about it and figured that I wouldn’t equally be happy if someone forced me to wear something I didn’t want to. From then on, he started dressing himself and I stopped caring about what people said. If anything, the blame would squarely be on him and no one was going to drag me into it.
Out of experience, I have noted that people just want to live their lives as the wish; who doesn’t anyway? Sometimes we push our partners into doing things they don’t want just to please other people. This includes deciding what they should eat.
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I have come across people who put their partners on compulsory diets in a bid to control their weight. You find the aggrieved partner maximising on every opportunity, away from their spouses, to eat whatever they wouldn’t get the chance to eat at home. It seems some people believe society will blame them for their partners’ obesity. Some are even dragged out to the gym or out jogging against their will.
Like I said, I made some of these mistakes back in my 20s. But the world has taught me better. If my man wants to put on a weird looking outfit when going out, he should go ahead and do it and be ready to face society on his own. No one should come to me asking me why my husband is walking around in a shirt that’s too big for him. If you meet him out there like that, by all means, ask him why he is doing that because he alone has the answer. I cannot be here trying to figure out how to raise my children to be responsible people and at the same time ‘raise’ a man who I believe knows himself best. I will never put my man on any diet. If he wants to eat everything, I will be glad to serve it to him. We are in this marriage to make each other happy and that’s exactly what I will do.
Above all, change comes from within. If you wish to change a grown man, use a better route than cushioning him whenever he does wrong. Let the axe fall directly on him when he messes up. Let him learn for himself what it means to walk around looking presentable. Once he understands the genesis of your talk, he will gladly walk the talk. That’s easier than living your whole married life running after a grown man trying to control what they do and how they do it.