Wanja had visited her mother. She has been having issues in her marriage.
"Mom, marriage is not what I imagined. My husband and I are drifting apart"
Her mother looked at her and hugged her.
"Thank you for the hug, but I need some advice. What can I do? I admire how you and dad have been married for forty-nine years and still look so happy together" asked Wanja.
"Since I am addressing you and not your husband, I will focus on you. When did you stop being a flower?" the mother asked.
Wanja looked confused, "A flower?"
The mother continued, "Yes. Your father calls me his Waridi, meaning his rose flower. That is because a man pursues a woman and marries a woman who he sees as a flower. Men are gardeners, they like to find something beautiful and take care of it and protect it. When your husband found you, he found his beautiful flower that he wanted to take care of and protect. Unfortunately, in marriage, alot of women stop being flowers and the husband pulls away wondering where his flower went. When did you stop being a flower?"
"How does a woman stop being a flower?" asked Wanja.
The mother continued, "A number of ways. A flower is beautiful. When a woman stops attending to her beauty, the husband gets demotivated to stay intrigued by her"
Wanja interjected, "Mom, are you trying to say I am no longer beautiful? I have had two children, of course my breasts will sag, sometimes I just don't feel like dressing up but I go to the gym, I tone my body. Ahh... These men just want too much"
The mother nodded "Yes, it is important to take care of your physical look, but I am talking more about your inner beauty. I am talking about your attitude. Are you defensive, arrogant and dismissive like I have just heard you now? Remember when he was getting to know you, he told us that he found you pleasant, peaceful, easy to talk to. If he approached you and found you with a bad attitude he would have never pursued you; why should he now be OK with your bad attitude in marriage? Inner beauty is so attractive and it radiates to your physical look"
"Fair enough" said Wanja.
"A woman also stops being a flower when she stops being gentle. Flowers are gentle, they don't attack. If you as a woman start to talk to him with a harsh tone, quarrelling him, attacking his masculinity and living as if you and him are competing for headship in the home; he will become defensive and withdraw. Such men pull away and let the wife who thinks she is all powerful have her way. Gentleness on the other hand makes a man feel respected, valued, appreciated, at peace and at home. You push your husband away by being tough against him"
"I am so guilty of that. I tell him things such as he is not man enough, he needs to man up, he is letting me down thinking that will push him to be better" said Wanja.
"How has that worked for you?" asked the mother.
"Not so good" answered Wanja.
"You don't push a man to be better, you inspire him to be better by speaking to his greatness. I used to hear you do that when you two were getting to know each other, you would praise him, respect him; these days you are constantly fault finding. When you two were building your relationship, you wouldn't be that woman who gets him defensive, why are you that woman now?" said the mother.
"I stopped being a flower" said Wanja.
"The third way a woman stops being a flower is when she stops showing her delicate side" spoke the mother.
"How?" asked Wanja.
"Because a flower is delicate, it needs a gardener to take care of it. Likewise, as a wife, you have to show your husband that you need him, that you are not all sufficient. Don't be those wives who says 'I don't need a man?'... So why did you get married? Show him you need him, you need him to please you sexually by making advances on him, show him you need his company by making time for him, show him you need his wisdom by seeking his opinion, show him you need him by confiding in him, show him you need him by involving him in your life and allowing him to be there for you. When a man feels useless and not needed he will feel out of place in the marriage" said the mother.
"Could he be busy with another flower?" asked Wanja.
"As women, that is where we go wrong. We are quick to think that it is another woman making our husband change and not us pushing him away. The truth I have come to know from my husband is that a husband just wants you as his flower. Yes, he might look at other women and notice their flowery attributes, but he will come back home wondering what happened to his flower" said the mother.
"If my husband was here, what advice would you give him mom?" asked Wanja.
"I would ask him, when did he stop watering and attending to his flower?" said the mother.
"See, he has to play his role too" said the Wanja.
The mother responded, "Yes, you are very right. He has a big role to play. But remember, you were a flower before he met you. Be a flower for you."
© Dayan Masinde
In my book, MANHOOD SERIES, I walk with men through the journey of understanding themselves and their woman.
In my other book, WOMANHOOD SERIES, I walk with women through the journey of self-discovery
To purchase the MANHOOD SERIES written by Dayan Masinde, MPESA Ksh. 200 to 0721590954, then text the word MAN and your email address to the same number and the book will be sent to your email address for you to download and read on your phone or computer.
To purchase the WOMANHOOD SERIES written by Dayan Masinde, MPESA Ksh. 200 to 0721590954, then text the word WOMAN and your email address to the same number and the book will be sent to your email address for you to download and read on your phone or computer.