No girlfriend ever has a problem with submitting to the will of her boyfriend. It comes easily. He likes her way only when she keeps it that way. He likes her to do some certain thing in some certain way and she doesn’t have a problem with doing whatever even if it hurts her.
So why is it that increasingly, men complain that their wives have a problem with submission. In Nigeria, what does that submission mean? Does it mean that the wife must be in total submission to her husband irrespective of him doing wrong or right?
Does submission mean serving your husband his meals on your knees?
Or does it mean leaving decisions affecting the family to him and him alone?
Does submission mean that a woman must see herself as being owned by her husband and therefore everything she owns, belongs to her husband?
What’s your definition of submission?
What do the men expect from their wives for the women to know that they are submitting?
Is it when a wife never argues? Or has a difference of opinion? Or never turns down sex?
The Yorubas call the husband “Ade-ori”. The husband is described as a wife’s god-king. She must visibly show respect to him and all the members of his family.
Other tribes in Nigeria have varying degrees of their definition of submission in marriage but there is one straight line that runs through all – The man comes first.
A Woman’s role in the home is a support one. She is not to be heard but to be seen only.
So what happens to the millions and trillions of Naira that were sent on errand to educate the Nigerian woman all these years? Her education tells her that she is mentally the same with her male counterpart. Over the years, she has risen to top notch positions hitherto held exclusively by men. She sees herself as relatively equal to a man. She gets married and discovers that all of her life has been a bubble – which is out of touch with reality. She must learn to know to retreat, to preserver, how to smile through gritted teeth, how to wash boxers and vests, how to wake up at odd hours to cook for her husband if he so desires it, how to bear emotional pain, how to balance work, family and self. Not an easy task at all and one many women are ill prepared to handle. This modern woman has come to see submission as a subjugation, repression and disrespect of her person and a sort of dehumanization.
Let’s look at other jurisdictions where this rule of submission has disappeared into thin air. The dichotomy between man and woman is merely physical. A man and his wife jointly pay bills. The husband by law must leave the house for his wife and children if there is a divorce for whatever the reason. The man has no right of force. In recent times, even the law propounds that a husband can rape his own wife. The system makes the wife maintain a level of compliance. Submission in the African sense in this jurisdiction will not add any value.
So, if we could take a poll of women who have had seemingly successful marriages in Nigeria, what would they tell us is their magic wand for a successful marriage and how they handle submission?
They would probably say that once they get home, they throw away their degrees and positions, they make their husbands look and feel like their god-king. Nothing he says or does is ever foolish, even when he lies! She would seek his opinion first before taking a decision on anything. She would use emotional intelligence to maintain a good relationship with his family, most especially her mother-in-law. A husband is always putty in the hands of a wife that loves his mother or at least looks like she does!
She hands over all her wealth to her husband to deal with inhibition even if she is the one looking after the household. She never let’s on that she is doing so. She never complains about being tired or unable to perform her widely duties in the kitchen or the bedroom.
Our Mothers of old, submitted themselves to their husbands but many did so after taking time to study their husbands. They learnt how to lead from behind the curtains. They would pass an idea into the minds of the husbands and let it dwell and linger to the point that their husband would naturally assume that he was the initiator and proponent of the idea. The wife would kiss his feet and praise him for his intelligence, smiling within knowing that yet again she had won!
As you submit to your husband, do so wisely. Submission doesn’t mean slavery or abuse!