I am not a man but I speak for married women.
I can make attempts at outlining what I think men want. Even then, it would still be guessing.
Yes, I am a woman. And as outlined above, one who has been married for over a decade. I have female friends who have been married for a while. I can say categorically what most married women want.
The typical woman who is married and with children in Nigeria has a lot on her plate.
She is expected to care for all the feeding needs of the family. This changes in degrees of complexity. From when you have babies you need to feed hourly, to changing diets of growing kids and even that of a husband.
She is supposed to be on top of every other need each individual in the family has. She knows their allergies and aversions. Also, she knows whose shoes are getting tight and need to be replaced. She picks up when kids are displaying attitudes faster than the husband. She is responsible for taking kids to the hospital; finding help for the house, ensuring the neatness of the house and noting wear and tear.
Most married women now have to work.
A lot of men resent paying all the bills in the house. A woman not bringing anything in the way of cash is easily despised. Not just by her spouse but by the society at large. The husband’s family will treat her as though she is a user. People will assume she is lazy and chooses to do nothing all day. It gets to the point that some spouses will not be sensitive to her personal needs. Once they have given money ‘for the house’, they expect her not to bring up other expenses.
After many years of marriage, a lot of men interpret showing love as paying for the bills.
The same men who still enjoy cavorting with friends and if they still date women outside; they do all the things that boyfriends do for their girls to the women they see outside.
Somehow, with years of marriage, the effort to feed the fire of romantic love diminishes. It isn’t out of the order. Being intertwined in the lives of each other and dealing with the mundane things together; some things naturally take a back seat.
Growing up, after watching ‘oyinbo’ movies, I used to wonder at the lack of display of physical affection by all the married people around me. My parents certainly did not go about holding hands and kissing each other. The only proof that they were not platonic friends were the eight kids they churned out.
This was true for all their friends and my relatives.
I had this notion that married women did not want romance after being married for a while.
But speaking to my female contemporaries, I have come to the conclusion that this simply isn’t true. Married women still want romance. It doesn’t matter if they tie double wrappers, have a wide mid-section and grey on their temples.
It doesn’t matter if they no longer giggle like school girls.
A lot of women lose their spark because the men no longer seemed excited by it. A lot of women pretend to be content with raising their kids simply because they don’t think they can get more affection from their men.
I was talking to my best friend and we came to the conclusion that we wanted exactly what the men were giving to us during courtship.
In courtship, you seem to have the man’s undivided devotion. He paid attention to your hair. He made sure you went out on dates. Also, he noted the things you liked so that he could surprise you with them.
I guess that was just bait. This is why the fisherman places a worm on the hook. To get the fish, you have to dangle something in front of it. The fish is entranced with the meal and in no time finds itself flopping on the deck.
Women are reeled into marriages and the promise of romance and love fizzles out.
I kidded with my friend by saying;
“That deception should be maintained throughout the marriage.”
The lines they fed us with to get us hooked need to be said constantly.
The loving gestures need to continue.
Married women still want romance. They want courtship.
Forget how serious we look; we want to hear kind and sweet words from our husbands. We want to be surprised with gifts. I am not talking about expensive cars. I am talking about little things that say he had you in mind and went out of his way to do something for you.
Paying the rent and school fees is much appreciated. Providing ‘feeding money’ is not taken for granted. We see and appreciate how hard you work.
But those are not gifts you give to us. These are responsibilities you are taking care of.
But when you go out of your way and do something for only your woman; that goes straight to the heart, no corners.
Look, even if once in a while you hand her a wad of cash and say go make your hair and do your nails, she will giggle like a school girl.
This is not because she can’t afford these things for herself. This is simply because it feels good to be cared for.
Now, like I said at the beginning, I only speak of married women of my age range.
I don’t know what men want.
It would be nice if a man did a rejoinder to this.
Stay safe, people.
Wash your hands.
Sanitize and wear a mask.
COVID-19 is real.