It's tough being a man these days. The struggle to survive preoccupies the mind of an average man and hardly think beyond putting food on the table.
Modern men are expected to be sensitive, caring and in tune with their feelings; while at the same time they're still expected to be strong, protectors and able to fix anything that breaks. Men can't be too sensitive or they're not being good enough protectors. On the other hand, they can't be too protective or else they're not being sensitive enough.
They try to navigate the balance between being caring and being strong. Some of them eventually fail while trying to strike a balance. There are also things they do that hurt their wives and unknowingly kill their marriages.
Here are five of those things;
1. Inability to provide the basic needs for the family
As a man, it is your responsibility to provide for your family, regardless of whether or not your wife works. Sometimes this means working harder to indulge your kids and sometimes this means taking all the insults when your boss gets tough on you. This is simply because you need the stability for your family. But it makes it all worth it when you come home at night and see the smiles on everyone's face.
2. Being Negative about everything
When we were growing up, our parents made us believe that there are down times in life, and these times don't last forever. This made us strong as we grew up and knowing that these will pass, we became optimistic about life itself.
As the head of the family, you need to be strong and be ready to assure your wife and children that all will be well. Your relationship will need to rally from all kinds of challenges, failures, hurt feelings and health problems. Your wife doesn't need someone to tell her to stop crying, she needs a shoulder to cry on and your shoulder must be available for her to cry on. Every family has her cross to carry, and when you have identified your own cross, carry it with faith and The Lord will deliver you somehow, only when you believe that it is just for a while.
3. Holding back emotions
Yes, this is men's core competence. Physical affection is more than just sex. It includes giving her hugs before you leave for work, holding her hand in a shopping mall and pulling her close to you when you're watching a movie on the couch together. If you're withholding these things from her, you're withholding physical affection that she thrives on. The affection you try to show inside the bedroom will never make up for the physical affection you show her outside the bedroom. This is a very valid point. Nigerian men hide under African Culture and deprive their wives of things that make them happy. Some men can give their wives all the money in their bank accounts but will never buy them gifts. How will they even buy gifts when they don't know what they like and how they like them. So you see, something is missing!
Know your spouses enough and understand their needs. Money is not everything. A woman will never give out a gift from her husband to anyone but can share the money from her husband with her friends and family. This is because some emotions are already attached to the gifts. So, bring it on...
4. Putting other things first
If she is your choice amongst the women you dated before marry her, there must be something in her that those other women don't have.
You check your phone each time you're out together or you come home late from work without calling that you will be late, you are sending her a message that she's not important to you. Consequently, she wonders if you still care about her as much as when you first met her.
Your work is important, but don't forget what you're working for. One of my Mentors used to say he mentions the name of the company he is working for each time people ask him who he works for, but he began to tell them he works for his family after he got married. Remember that there's nothing on your phone that's more important than what's going on right around you. So, put aside your gadget once she is beside you. There is time for everything remember.
5. Not speaking her language
Women need to know they are loved and appreciated. You think you're showing love by going to work every day and putting food on the table ; and you don't do much more than that (except maybe on Valentine's Day when you buy her a BIG handmade card) but she needs more than that to see your love and also needs you to show her that you're doing it all for her. So take some extra time and do something special. Send her a couple texts during the day or bring home some gifts you know she loves, no matter how small they are. You might be surprised at the reaction you get. Remember, little things matter to women.
It's not too late to put things right. Start making changes and you will see how speedily you will bring back the lost excitements in your marriage.