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These days, we see a lot of weddings but very few successful marriages. It has now become pertinent to discuss issues that contribute directly or indirectly to this sad development in our marital institutions. Tosin Ayo, a lawyer and social pundit writes about things to really take note of during the early days of dating and courtship in this piece titled ‘how to recognize the wrong man for you’
For the umpteenth time, I am going through the road of getting it right in making the right choice of man with my stream of social media daughters. Many ask me as a ‘social prophet’ the often discernible but often ignored signals to watch out for in a man when they are in a relationship to determine If that ‘boyfriend’ is ‘eligible’ to become their husband.
I have seen many people in shattering life-snuffing relationships with their so-called ‘boyfriends’ beating them mercilessly and pouncing on them physically and sexually in a weird ‘pain-is-love’ megalodrama when they are not a bogus toy or a meat of suffering (eran iya).
To as many of you with proud, empty-headed, ego-filled, uncaring and abusive boyfriends, I sincerely commiserate with you and beat the drum of suffering for you to dance as you are in for a real shocker, undiluted misery, unbridled pain and some sheer marital grief if that relationship continues and if it eventually culminates into marriage.
As I read the story of a Lagos female bank official whose husband of 2 years stabbed mercilessly 76 good times and killed after series of wife-battery cases (according to the autopsy report) dated back to their relationship days, and remembered how a guy pushed down his girlfriend from the staircase, tied her up and made wild sexual romp with her in my undergraduate days at the university only for me to see the stupid ‘love-soaked’ blind and brainless girl holding the cruel guy’s hand the next day, I feel extremely compelled to tell you the truth as it is in the following lines!
1. If he has ever laid his hands on you, he is the wrong man for you!
To all you my young unmarried especially Christian girls out there, listen up: Don’t just marry anyone and it is not every man you can marry! You might think that the way he treats you isn’t so bad or that love is enduring but you are fast descending into death, ruin and perdition with such a silly mindset.
A girlfriend-beater is not going to become a wife-carer after the wedding, it can only get worse. You might think that he’ll change. It is possible with God, but most men do not change! Assume the extreme and the worst: what If he doesn’t! A ‘girlfriend-batterer’ dovetails into a wife-murderer! I have seen a man blinding his wife in times past!
Don’t kill yourself! Old habits die hard! Leave that hot-tempered guy today or prepare for an endless drama of tragedy! Do not experiment with your life! Forget all the admonition from the peaceful Priests who contended that you might be able to minister to him and help him leave his bad ways. Possibly, but if you can’t now, you won’t then!
If a man is not overly nice and caring to you now that he is dating you and wants to marry you, how much more when his hand has reached the sword of vengeance (Eku ida) when he has married you?! You will only be at risk yourself. A husband should lead, care and cherish you, not need your counsel for basic personality or behavioural defect! If he won’t nurture and pamper you, severe the ties please!
2. If the change you envisage with him is a negative one or a disaster, he is the wrong man for you!
Unless you have carefully studied marriage as a crucial life concept or get married yourself, you can’t understand how much a husband will impact your entire life. Next to salvation, there is arguably no other long term event that will change so many areas of your life so deeply.Your last name, body shape, mindset, relationship with friends and family, feeding habits, friends, sexual life and almost everything changes after you say ‘I do’! By all means, say you ‘do’ but to the right man! You must be at peace with yourself and know that it is worth it to do all these and more for him!
3. If he is spiritually impotent, he is the wrong man for you!
If the guy you are dating is not a believer, you can as well stop right there If you sincerely want to end up in Heaven. You have no business yoking a redeemed soul with an unregenerate one, even if he seems open to change or won’t question your Christianity for now.
Christ has bought you with a great price and it is not an option to give away that blood bought heart to someone who doesn’t know and love your Lord. It will cripple your spiritual development, drain you of life, open up a host of temptations, stifle your prayer life, make stunted your relationship with your Creator and make regular church attendance difficult, and cause massive parenting conflict if you have children.
Forget that he attends church, that is not the same as being a Christian! It is not every man you see in church that is a Christian! If not, there would be nothing like an ‘altar call’ in churches to save Church-attending sinners! I remember how my Dad’s enthusiasm about Church matters made us to attend vigil every Friday night even If he was tired. He knew he was the Head and he had to inspire and motivate us. In those days, I use to silently utter a word of ‘prayer’ that my Dad should not feel like going to vigil this Friday to prevent us from going as that was the surest way not to attend vigil! (I hope he is not reading this) How much have I grown?
More like it is to decipher If the guy is a strong believer or a worker, not just a nominal or a casual Christian. A casual Christian is a disaster waiting to happen! Will he raise a family altar and lead you in prayer, Bible reading, family devotions, and public worship? Or will you be on your own? Will he edify you when you are weary on the journey to living a Heaven-focused life or Is he going to make spiritual growth a priority or do other things come first? Is he going to ask you how your soul so he can help you grow in holiness and love for Christ as the family Pastor, or will he leave that to your pastor? Is he going to lead the children in this, or will you have to spearhead that?
In Church, is he going to help the kids sit well with his corrective eyes ‘saying’ more messages than one, be a father-figure, the respectable type you can ‘threaten’ and scold your children with and they’ll comport themselves? Will he pray, find the hymn, inspire you and the kids to love God or will you be the one pointing out what is happening next and helping the family keep up? Many women have married spiritually immature men or is it spiritual toddlers, imbued with the erroneous thought that it wasn’t a big issue, or that the man would change afterwards, and they were wrong. They bear the horrible scars till date.
The spiritual health of your eternity is at stake. Think carefully about who you marry. The husband you marry can determine where you will end up in the afterlife, choose the right man!
4. If he wants you to sell groceries in Onitsha when you dream to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, he is the wrong man for you!
Two cannot walk together unless they agree! You cannot travel with a man heading in your opposite direction! If the man’s vision opposes your dreams and career projections, flee from him! Never marry a man with no ambition or dreams to succeed!
A real man is never intimidated by the successes and achievements of his wife, he rather spurs her on to do more! That should be his joy! His primary job is to bring out the best in you. He is not called a ‘Bride groom’ for nothing! He is to groom you into stardom! I just marvel when a pay rise, promotion, a PhD degree and other social status assumption cause marital ripples in homes. A man who is unhappy with your success and still believes that a woman’s primary office is in the kitchen is simply archaic, empty and does not deserve you!
5. If he drains you emotionally, he is the wrong man for you!
Is the guy you’re thinking of settling down with going to encourage you, love you, be kind to you, care for you and seek to understand you, or will he want to go out with his friends when you are having a hard night with teary eyes? Does he enjoy your company and can he bear leaving you out of his sight for a second? Is he sensitive to your plight or do you come first in his agenda? Will he listen when you are struggling with something deeper or will he be preoccupied with watching Arsenal Vs Chelsea match? Is he going to be annoyed when you cry like you sure will or will he give you a hug, wipe your tears, tickle you and tell you how ‘sexy’ you look in those tears but more sexy without them?
Does his mood fall when yours fall or can he plant a kiss on your forehead when you have furuculosis (boil) predicated on pregnancy? Will he get you your favourite dish when you are irritable during pregnancy, get you another delicacy when you reject that and happily run errands for you when you are incapacitated? Is he going to understand that you are probably more tender than he is, more sensitive to issues and comments, or is he regularly going to run rough shod over your feelings?
Will he see you as his younger sister and not react to everything you say in anger? Do you think he will not get mad that your chest plates have fallen after child birth and child nurture? Are you sure he will not remind you of how fat and shapeless you have recently become? Are his words a soothing balm or a piercing dagger in your bowels?
In as much as I believe that you all have to get rid of princess’ complexes and the feeling of emotional insufficiency, void and sense of incompleteness without a man, but the truth is that we do have emotional needs at one point or another. We need each other as interdependent beings created for association and not for isolation! Any guy who is uncaring about your feelings and self esteem is selfish and should be left alone! Leave him now before you can’t any more: when you marry him! God hates divorce! Be very careful in making your choice as a husband can either cripple or nurture your emotional health.
6. If he is physically incapable (financial, sexual attention and moral strength), he is the wrong man for you!
I hate to say this for many people might misconstrue it as a reflection of the author’s privileged upbringing. All fingers are not equal but we all have fingers! Don’t settle for less when you can get more! Do not care that he is poor but care If he doesn’t care that he is poor! I remember a man telling his complaining wife that she knew he was not bouyant when she married him and she said wittingly that he never told her he would remain poor!
In life’s drama, there are no rehearsals! Life is indeed a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich and a tragedy for the poor! The night is an ingenious reflection of the day, stop deceiving yourself! I believe in miracles though.
Is the guy you’re with going to provide for your basic needs? Will he be able to shelter, clothe and feed you? Will your prospective husband be able to pick up menial work at fast foods, clean and dig shit, carry a pay loader, do the bizarre and the unthinkable, do whatever it takes just to provide for his family and put food on your table regardless of his education and training? You know into every life, some rain must fall! Don’t ever marry a stingy boyfriend! Its a ticking doom embellished in ‘attractive disaster’. Marry a man with a helpful and a giving attitude.
A man who doesn’t provide for his household is worse than an infidel (I Timothy. 5:8). You might have to help ease the financial burden too as two heads are better than one, but unless your husband is disabled or there is another unusual circumstance, you shouldn’t have to carry it yourself. Remember sharing is not palatable when one party does not have!Will the man you are with care for your body or abuse it? If he gives you little kicks, smacks you or slaps you jocularly when you are dating, watch out, he might be an abuser! It’s almost guaranteed that he will abuse you after marriage! Is he going to care for and protect your body or will he hurt it? There are women in many churches today who thought it was no big deal to have little (sort of friendly) punches or slaps from their boyfriends, but who are covering up the bruises from their husbands. They pretend that they fell when indeed they were beaten mercilessly by their husbands.
Will the man you are with care for you sexually? Is he going to honour the marriage bed in physical and mental faithfulness to you or will he flirt, feed his porn addiction, fulfil his fantasy, make you the object of his wild adventure or even leave you for another woman?
I once heard a tale of a newly married young woman whose husband lured into sleeping with his best friend in his presence! He said he wanted to watch her being smacked and sexually pumelled by another and she obliged! All in a bid to please a man! Insanity! You can be sure that marriage is headed for the blistering rocks already! By all means, explore but know your boundary. You can’t always predict these issues or know the heart of a man, but if the seeds or practices are already there, watch out, flee today. A boyfriend who arranges ‘twosome’ with you can never marry you! If he does, you will exchange partners and he will arrange you to ‘do’ his friends some day!
Is he going to be tender and gentle with you during the sacred act behind closed doors? Many married women bear sexual encounter injuries and have trouble walking for days because their husbands are so rough and insensitive in bed. By all means, go fast and furious all you want but a real man must be selfless enough to care for the body of the woman he claimed to love! If he eats his meat before the food, he won’t do ‘foreplay’, take heed!
7. If he injures you mentally, he is the wrong man for you!
Is the man that you’re thinking of marrying going to be a source of worry or will he help you deal with your own worries? Will he encourage your intellectual development, or will he neglect it? Is he going to value your opinions and listen to what you are thinking, or will he disregard your thoughts without any rationalisation? Can he help you manage stress so that your mind is not burdened that way, or is he going to let you struggle through issues alone? Is he going to care for you and be thoughtful of you if you are experiencing a mental strain, or will he ignore it?
8. If he does not value or welcome your family, he is the wrong man for you!
Marriage will surely impact your relationships with friends and family. How’s your relationship with your parents? Do you love them? Does your boyfriend love your family? Will he not require that your parents obtain a special formal invitation before they pay you a visit? Will he be excited when you tell him that your mother is coming for the weekend? Or will he be angry?
Of course, a husband should come first in your priority of relationships, as you both leave father and mother and cleave to one another. But parents are still a big part of the picture. Whatever negative feelings he has about your parents now will probably be amplified after marriage. Your marriage will either strengthen or damage or even destroy your relationship with your parents. The people who know you best and love you most right now could be cut out of the picture by a husband who hates them.
It’s the same with sisters and friends. Will they be welcome, at reasonable times, in your home? Will the guy who you are with encourage healthy relationships with other women, or will he be jealous of normal, biblical friendships? Does he trust you well enough to leave you to attend innocuous vigils alone? Will he help you mentor younger women and be thankful when older women mentor you, or will he feel threatened or see himself relegated to a second husband’s position? Do not ever sacrifice many good relationships for the sake of one man who can’t value the people who love you!
I dare say it is better to be single for life than to marry the wrong man for you who will make life a burdensome disaster. Singleness can be great when you wait diligently for the right man. Marriage to the wrong person is a scary nightmare. Don’t be so desperate to get married that your marriage is a funeral blister and a discomforting grief.
If you are in an unhappy marriage, there are ways to get help. But if you are not married, don’t put yourself in that situation. Don’t marry someone whose leadership you can’t follow. Don’t marry someone who is not seeking to love you as Christ loved the church. Marry someone who knows and demonstrates the love of Christ. Don’t marry for the sake of being married! By all means marry but marry the right person! God bless your prospective marriages.
‘The word bank’