A letter to my unmarried daughter: do not enable him
My dearest Daughter,
It gives me so much pleasure writing you this letter. I trust you are doing well and excelling in every sphere of your life. I am sorry I am unable to be with you for your birthday bash this Saturday; work, you know. I know you will have fun, and I hope you are looking forward to your new year with a better perspective on life. Your emotional life and romantic relationship mean a lot to me, so I want to share a few thoughts with you to help you run a better race for your future.
My prime advice to you is to never enable a man you are not married to.
Most of what we see women go through stem from a culture of systematic enabling of men on different levels. There is a culture that makes most parents create the impression that boys can get away with certain things; they are boys after all.
Boys can be allowed to grow free range; Boys can be excused. We see so much emphasis placed on grooming girls for these ‘over excused’ men. I don’t know how that is paying off; we now have a generation of inadequate men, having to marry well-groomed women.
You see, in the past, when women did not have access to education and therefore limited as to what they could contribute to the family and the world around them, they were considered as part of man’s responsibility and by extension, at the receiving end of his grace and goodness. Women were to be seen and not heard. Of course, what really did you know about the world? At most, you peaked at Standard 7 (sanseven). The world was too big for you to make sense out of it. The man was your Google to the world. He gave you what you wanted to know about the world, and whether it was true or false, you run with it, nemine contradicente.
Then we woke up one day to a new dawn….and nothing could stop the rising sun from shining; not even the ominous cloud of institutionalized Patriarchy. Everything was changing for the woman. You could now go to school, and go as high as you could and be significant to the world around you. Here, my dear, is where we are today. Your contributions at your place of work put food on the tables of many families. Your contribution to the world saves businesses, helps startups and influences the environment. You are powerful than you can imagine.
All these are possible because like the man, you also burned the midnight candle to get good grades that offered you the various educational and career opportunities opened to him as well. Where you stand now is evidence of your dedication to life. What you have achieved, personally and socially, is a proof that you are not less of a human than the man.
Your mother tells me you are single, although I feel there is someone in your life you are not telling me about. Whatever it is, it is of little consequence to me, so long as you take my advice seriously and act on it with alacrity. Do not enable any man, let me repeat myself.
Love is no excuse to cast your pearl to the swine. He will trample it and turn on you. Love is not an excuse to enable a fool. There are two women I would love to mention from our Holy Book. These are Abigail and the Nameless woman in Proverbs 31. One married a Rich fool, and the other and prudent man who respected her for her industry and allowed her space to reach her full potential. If you have to choose between these two men, I am sure you will not disappoint me with your choice.
We trained you to be a reasonable person who makes reasonable decisions and choices. We did not raise you to be petty, erratic and inconsistent in your thinking and actions. As my daughter, without any prejudice, if any man tells you to be worse off in order to be good enough for him, you should tell him to upgrade himself to be good enough for you. You do not drop your vision, hopes you have cherished all your life, dreams and destiny, so you can fit into a small box. You get yourself a bigger box; something that can hold all your Essence.
Never scale down for a man who has not even discovered himself to know what he wants, how to get it and who to get it with. I have seen many women confused in my line of counselling. First, the men they were dating hated their zeal, energy and social connections. So in order to be good enough for them, these amazing women let go of everything; that massaged the men’s ego. Five years after marriage, the men think these women are slow and not up to scratch in their thinking. These ladies are asking, ‘what do we do? We used to be all that, you made us drop it all; now we are being blamed for being the very people you made us become. That, my dear, is the identity of a man who did not know himself and what he needed in life.
Do not enable his abuse. We trained you in a home where we talk; talk about everything. We find ways of discussing issues, even the most thorny and difficult ones. If you end up with a man who cuts the call on you because he is upset, walk away while you two are having an argument, banging the door behind him, think twice about him. If you go visit a guy, and because of something you said or did, he puts his earpiece on and for the rest of your visit he completely ignores you, chatting with someone else or playing a game or, goes out and leaving you behind, walk out; you have a home.
If you know you are at fault, apologize. If he can’t let go, and he gets into a sulking mood, leave quietly. When he finds a value for you, he should come and look for you. That is how you set the tone for your marriage; No Drama. A man who cannot address a problem dispassionately and put it behind is a not a man enough to lead an emotional woman. If he wants to be pampered for every offence, even after you have talked about it and apologized, then soon you may struggle to tell him apart from the toddler at home. Someone needs to own conflict resolution and it is not you. He calls his home to order, he does not run from that responsibility.
If you always beg, even when it is clearly not an issue to fuss over, you enable his foolishness, giving him room to manipulate you emotionally. I did not raise you to be a victim of a boy whose mother did not beat the hell out of him when he was growing up. His mother rolled on the floor to please his Lordship because no one had seen his kind before; well you have seen better men. It is a relationship, sweetie; it is not marriage. I am challenging you to be more than this. You did not acquire an MBA for this.
When will it stop? It is a question you need to ask yourself, really. Dating a guy is not marriage. It is a period he is supposed to woo you and prove he can take you away from me and take care of you. This is the time he needs to convince you that of all the guys out there, he is the best candidate for you. It is not a time for you to beg to be married. That is why we took time to teach you self-love.
Do not enable his abuse. The day he so much as lay a finger on you is the day you kicked is ugly behind out. If he has a temper, he can find a place where less evolved humans live. You have been so well sculptured for such a brute to lay hands on you.
Do not enable his control. Your family is all you have. There will be times, married or single, that you will need us, and keeping this relationship is key, although we appreciate that once you marry, we must give you space to build your home. When a man starts creating rifts between you and your family, that is divide and rule; run. He will cut everyone off, then manipulate you, knowing you have no one else to turn to.
Yes, men, like women, have the sixth sense; we see threats even when you see nothing. It is human. If he sees how a particular guy looks at you and he sees into the future and the guy is already inside your dross, he may tell you to cut the guy off. Have a conversation about it. I guess it is only fair for him to defend his turf. I believe if it was you who saw this other woman who gives you the shivers, you may want to issue your own edict and hope he obeys. So yea, discuss it. Ask for reasons, and toss it around in your head to see if it makes sense. As for your Ex di3, abi you know I personally think they should stay in the past. So if he says to cut them off, I side with him small hehehehe, I know you will be upset, but mennfa ho…
However, if all he is doing is cutting off all your male friends, then you need to know, it has crossed the place of clearing threats, into a place of paranoia and possessiveness. If he is attacking your relationships with your girls and everyone who gives you comfort; people you may have come this far with, then he is a man who is out to take over every facet of your life. Walk out, child.
Disrespect is a form of abuse, especially when it is because of another girl. Never settle for a man who cannot choose between two women. There is more to a vagina and breast, and if he cannot see you past that, to know the unique qualities you bring to the table, then he is definitely not a man for you. You are more than the goodness of your crotch. Forgive my Latin. If you two fight more than twice over the same woman, walk out. Come on, show yourself some respect. Are you that desperate? He cares about how the other lady will feel when he cuts her off, but not how you feel about her attachment to him? Really?
Do not enable his infidelity. It is not in the genes of men to be unfaithful. That is a foolish, misogynistic thinking. Of course, it ties in perfectly with the polygamous culture we find ourselves in. People toy with danger, get weak and fall into temptation, I admit. It may be age-long, but never admit it is normal. When you find out about his indiscretions, treat it with the seriousness it deserves and how society will handle it if it were you who did it.
In Christ, there is no Jew or Gentile, Slave of freed, Man or Woman. We are all the same. What is good for the geese, my darling dear, is good for the gander. If it is good that his woman stays faithful, then his zip better stays up. And stop calling it Cheating; this ain’t exams? INFIDELITY; now that makes him feel uber bad! Hahahahahha, Your daddy is bad!
The world has changed, my child, and this change has permeated every facet of our lives, including our love lives. The man of today is quick to split the bills and close his eyes to a need, knowing the woman will sort it out. He will ask you to drive over because you have a car. All nice; division of labour, I guess. Well, if the new world order has got his splitting game up, so he can comfortably share his traditional responsibilities with the woman, then is it not only fair to go beyond the hard tasks, and take into consideration the woman’s views, position and opinion on how things are done in the relationship?
Baby, he can’t do Selective Splitting. If your money and resources matter, then your views also matter. He can’t use up your resources, but shut you down intellectually, go mess up with all the dumb decisions and bring the consequences to you to clean up. If you are taking up a cost, then you need to be there when the budget is drawn. Yes Ma’am!
Baby girl, you will rise, and your workload will triple. When you marry, God willing you will have children. You cannot do an 8 to 5 job, leave home at 6am and get back at 7pm to a fuming man sitting ‘kosoo’ like a god behind the TV or with his gadget, waiting for you to come cook and take care of the children as well. You cannot go out there to put in hours, just like he has done, and come back home to put in four more hours just to get the home together, prepare the children for school the next day, while he watches TV or chats with some small girl. Then at 10pm, when you are totally beat down and can barely move, he comes asking for Snake In The Monkey Shadow style in bed.
His mother might have done that; well she was not living at Adenta and working on the Highstreet. She was not leaving home at 6am through the thicket of this cruel 21st Century traffic to punch in the figures and spend crazy hours in traffic to come home in the evening to do this. And even if his mother was doing it, was that noble of his father to have watched his wife go through that? Are we all not humans? So what will actually happen to a man if he comes home after work and handles the children while his wife handles the kitchen? What is wrong with one person cooking and the other cleaning so they both beat the time? Is that not even a good time to talk about the day and de-stress?
He wants a Stormy Daniels in Bed, a Beyonce in Body and a Gainsville Slave girl in the house? All in one? Honey, he can create a home office for you, give you money to start a charity for Locked-Down-Hubby-Pampering-MBA-Holder-Turned-House-Wives. You get to sit all day at home, paint your nails, gossip about pastors, experiment with substance when the boredom gets out of hand, and when it is 1pm go to the kitchen to cook, 4pm, go pick up the kids, 6pm set his table. 10pm be great in bed. What a life. But if his cash can’t pay for all that ECG credit you will blow by just chilling at home and being great, then he needs to understand it take hard grind and a man who lends a hand at home to make it work in the 21st Century Home, according to the just circulated Memo.
Do not enable his lack of care and support. If you visit him or he visits you and folds his arms while you toil, then you are signing a contract that says, it is ok to continue like this. Do not call me, if he tells you to scrub the bathroom in your third trimester when you should be taking it easy.
It is not your place to cook for him; though I admit he needs to know, for the records, that you can cook. We raised you well. Besides, life may not always put you in a place where you can afford the luxury of hiring a cook or eating out; being able to spin a decent meal for your family, is quite crucial. So yes, from time to time, you fix him a meal; one that he comes to eat in your house, or you go to his house to prepare for him. If you are feeling generous and have time and energy, you can do a week-long assorted gig for him; let the Fante in You do the talking…once in a blue moon. Do not play the role of a wife when you have not been sworn in as one. Whichever way he has survived till he met you, he should continue; cooking for him cannot be your weekly routine!
If he has always depended on women to cook for him, then you may be looking at a man who will bring intruding women into your home when you are out of town. One of the tests of his fidelity is his ability to take care of himself on his own. If you think another woman will come and cook for your man, clean for him when you are not around and it is because she is Mother Christmas, then you are dreaming. Unless she is a relative or a childhood friend with a stronger bond, it is a NO. So if a guy always depends on women to get by, be worried; you cannot trust him to take care of himself when you two are apart.
You do not enable his laziness. We raised you in a home where hygiene is integral. Filth is more psychological than physical. If a man sees nothing wrong with it in one area of his life, watch the other areas of his life, you will find traces of his filth. You will notice he is not just filthy in his bedroom, but in his kitchen, on his body, in his thinking and through his worldview. If you ever find yourself with a dirty man, it is not his kitchen you will daily clean, but his thinking, choices and decisions. And because he sees nothing with them, he will heap them up and prevent you from cleaning them. Do not start cleaning his kitchen, lead him to do it or leave him.
Do not enable his Lordship. Do not give him permission to suppress your thinking and your worldview, when he hasn’t proved himself to be better than you or of similar standing intellectually, emotionally, spiritually psychologically, therefore only good that you learn from him. If you swear in a man with twisted worldviews as your husband, you will be expected to obey and respect his views. It is not in the marriage that you go and do, ‘I know my right’; do it now when you are not under any form of obligation to him.
It is your body, if it is ‘no sex before marriage’, it is ‘no sex before marriage.’ Sex is no guarantee he will marry you. If he is bold enough to whisper that classic nonsense, ‘if you love me, let me do it,’ I expect you to be wise enough to tell him, ‘if you love me, wait.’ But then these are choices, and I hope you will make the right ones. Ultimately, whatever decision you will make, it should be a personal choice, based on the upbringing you have received, not because he said he will leave you if you don’t allow him.
Money is not everything, and much as I will say give a hustling guy a chance if you have to, my advice is not to give him the chance because of his ability to run his mouth and wear big talks like blings and rings! A man may not sleep on a bed of roses, but his heart is rich with compassion, his brain is rich with wisdom, understanding, maturity and every good thing that can come out of the brain. A man may not buy you a mansion and the fine things of life, but with his ideas, his encouragement and his guidance you can build that mansion. Ultimately in marriage, it is not who brought what; it is how we collaborated to be great together. If he is broke in his pocket, in his mind and in his heart, run. What is there again, honestly?
Do not enable him to rob you. Many girls have broken up toxic relationships and not only hurt their hearts, but their finances as well. Many have given money to men who always had one business ideas or the other; businesses that never materialized. Many have given hard earned money out; money spent on prodigious living. Do not enable him to rob you of your life’s investment.
Your car is your car; he gets to drive it with you are in it, when you are out of town, when you are not using it or when he is going for an important meeting and he has to make an impressive appearance. But the day I see you walking to work or taking a taxi, because your car is with your boyfriend, that day I will put a curse on you, if I can’t catch you and whoop your butt flat.
You don’t pay his rent for him, he doesn’t move into your apartment because he can’t even afford to rent one. You want him to come enjoy your shelter, your meals without paying for anything and, God forbid, eat OTHER THINGS ON YOUR BODY TOO? What is wrong with you? Why would you want to sell yourself this cheap? Why are you setting yourself up to be hurt like this? Does love make one sacrifice their all when there is no commitment?
Do not enable men to take the best out of you. Do not hop from one penis to the other looking for sexual compatibility: Right size, right person who knows how to use the right size and all that nonsense. Let me tell you something my dear; right side is no guarantee he will not abuse you or share this right size with other women. Now tell me how all this compatibility thing plays out when you know he is sleeping with others? Tell me how you enjoy it after he has heaped insult on you a moment ago?
You see, sex is more than actual penetration; it is a whole menu. Pray and look for a man who knows how to always make you emotionally ready for it. A man who handles you with respect, support, care and honour. Such a gentleman may give you two minutes, but you will enjoy it. You will enjoy it because he took his time to work on you emotionally, physically with a good foreplay, saying the right things and touching the right places and all. Such a man gives you more than just penetration. He gives you love. It is with this man that the Congress is complete. Look for a good man and you will not look for penis size. Nsemfon kwa. But…emomm… Size and stamina matters kakra momm. Pray the Lord Blesses you with one. Amen oh!
Oh and sexual compatibility is no guarantee he can fire live bullets. Some men have it p3p33p3, size, style, stamina, all intact except he cannot make a woman a mother. There are no guarantees. You cannot guarantee it will be the same way forever. You may find a man who is good for you, but it is no guarantee you are the kind of woman he wants. It guarantees little my dear. At the end of the day, in the name of sexual compatibility, you would change so many men you may lose count. And what do you think will be the emotional, spiritual and social implications?
I can go on and on and on. But well there will be another time for another letter. For now, I need you to think about this. No need running to a conclusion. You may have another opinion on these issues. Before you reply think; think about it first. You can even discuss it with your girls; I know you listen when they advise you.
I wish you well. I’ve got nothing but love for you honey. Click here to talk to me if you have any struggling in your love life and we can discuss it.
Columnist: Paa George