I had been sitting in the café for over one hour just sipping my tea and eavesdropping on a conversation between my friend’s husband, David (not his real name) and two other men who apparently were his friends. Their conversation was centered on how much their families; wives and children meant to them. I listened in amazement as David painted the picture of a shared love in his home. He expressed his affection for his wife, Grace and the sacrifices he would be willing to make for her and the children and all sweet blah blah blah…

The conversation was very strange because my friend, Grace (not her real name)  had confided in me about how unhappy she was in her marriage. I had at several times counselled her on patience and the need to give her husband time.

What were her complaints? “David does not love me” she says frequently and each time I asked her how she knew this, she goes; “He hardly talks to me, does not remember my birthdays and when he does, there are no gifts, no anniversary presents, no valentine gifts, nothing special that I can point to as a gift from my husband. And then he does not appreciate anything I do, fails to help in the house and hardly notices nor care when my health is challenged. He hardly observe changes in my appearance even when I had my face made up and fingernails fixed, he barely noticed”. The list was endless and my conclusion always; my friend was a very unhappy wife. So you can imagine my amazement to hear her husband declare his love for his wife publicly. How ironic?

The story of Grace is not peculiar, it is actually that of many married women here in Nigeria. From an informal  survey among working class married women, some of which are my friends and colleagues, I gathered that most women feel unloved and are just enduring what they described as a loveless marriage. Many agreed to have transferred their love to their children and their career. A few of them admitted that they felt loved by their spouses but also added that it could be lot better.

What on earth could be wrong with our men? They spend years or months of efforts, waiting and impressing a lady only to bring her home, get her to change her name, mother their children  and simply forget about her. It is true that many of them claim they love their wives and even boast about how resourceful, beautiful and supportive she is. They could sing about it to all who cares to know but not to the only one person that needs to know.

I once asked a male colleague why in his opinion would a woman feel unloved by her husband and he responded with another question; “what exactly do women want?” This response simplified the whole essence of a loveless marriage to mean that either wives are asking for too much or husbands are ignorant of the needs of their wives.

 So what do women or specifically wives want as proofs of love from their husbands? In very simple words, the answer is love, love and more love.

Love has expressions and no man can pretend not to know. This is because the expressions of love was what secured the wife in the first place. But how ironic, that suddenly after marriage, dear husband (former lover boy) is now confused and does not know what to do. The wooing of a woman is a lifelong Ministry that no man should retire from.

 In a quest for proofs of love I consulted the bible and google (I actually asked google for proofs of love) and trust me, the list is endless.  So if I miss out any, kindly send your contributions.

Dear Husbands, in the words of Mother Theresa “go home and love your family” and your family starts with your wife.

  1. Tell her you love her daily. Mean it and look into her eyes when you say it
  2. Spend quality time with her. Stop running from home only to return at midnight when everyone has gone to bed.
  3. Take her out on dates as you used to do. All these other dates that you keep outside will wear you out.
  4. Hug, be tender to her even as you go through the day. Stop being the lion of the tribe of your home. Calm down.
  5. Biblically, God love and gave His Son, a major proof of love is giving. Dear husband when was the last time you gave anything to your wife? How often do you give? All these no birthday present, no anniversary gift, no valentine gift, even mother’s day gift must change. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
  6. Be patient and kind.
  7. Be protective. Are you protective of your wife? When she has crisis or  challenges who does she call first? If it is not you, then it simply means you have failed in love.
  8. Show your partner that you desire her
  9. Trust her and stop sniffing
  10. Do something spontaneous with your partner (Join her in the bathroom)
  11. Pay special compliments. Tell her how good she looks after a hairdo.
  12. Be the first to notice a change in her whether positive or negative.
  13. Stop calling her “Mama Bose” . Haba! what would you call her mum
  14. Put her in first place (after God).
  15. Surprise her with little things. Come home with surprises.
  16. Show concerns on bad days (in sickness, work pressure)
  17. Take a walk together. Workout together where possible. Stop all these “be going, I will catch up with you”. Are you ashamed of your wife?
  18. Pray together.
  19. Visit family and friends together.
  20. Take a vacation together. It could be to the village.

These are just a few of the long lists of expressions of love that can restore a lasting peace into marriages. I encourage every husbands to review and make them a lifestyle. Trust me, it will be a seed that will bring a profitable harvest to the family as a whole. So Dear Husband, please go home and love your wife. It has a ripple effect that  will ultimately change the world. So let me end again with the quote of Mother Teresa “IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD, GO HOME AND LOVE YOUR FAMILY.” That’s where the world begins

Send your comments to denikyjay@gmail.com

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