I spent New Year’s day in good company and when we had binged on all there was to binge on and the children were doing their own catching up elsewhere, the topic gravitated to relationships and marriage.
The longevity (rather, the lack of it) of today’s marriages and why men seemed to be stuck on an ‘old script’ of domestication and submission, when the world had clearly moved on. I listened and laughed along as the wives funnily recounted how they cannot cook more than one meal a day, if at all, and how welcoming home a husband that saunters in after midnight is a no-no.
We debated food flasks, maids, how one husband almost burnt down the house as he warmed his supper after midnight, and how all the dynamics contribute to the quality of sex in the marriage. I had not had such a good laugh in a while, since it was a mixture of siblings, mothers, ssengas and in-laws.
At one point, when one wife narrated how her husband (he was not in attendance, don’t worry) consistently comes home after midnight, her aunt jokingly quipped: “Muwala, vvaayo! (daughter, just leave)” before the discussion turned to how she could better handle that.
Just then, one of us, who had not been saying much all along, chose to speak up and the room went silent for several heartbeats.
“Well, I don’t understand your fuss. As long as my husband is home, I will cook five meals a day,” she said, and every eye in the room turned to her like she was joking. Only she wasn’t.
As corporate as they come, she had had years of a rocky marriage that we were aware of, but in the last two years her marital joy and satisfaction were pleasantly shocking even to her. So, she shared how she turned the tide around.
“My husband is a conservative man, and the more I tried to mold him to modernity and my corporate ways, the more we drifted apart and fought over every small thing. At one point we were virtually strangers and I was quietly talking to divorce lawyers,” she said.
“But I thank God that I had a moment to reflect and wondered, what would I lose if I tried doing things his way? And the results were magical.”
Blocking out advice from social media and fellow corporates about what a ‘modern wife should tolerate’, she pressed the reset button on her marriage, withdrew the house help from the intimate sections of her home, and became increasingly hands-on whenever she was home.
“If we are both at home, I start the day with a breakfast of katogo, because he loves that. Then there is break tea at around 11 am, lunch, evening tea and later, supper. All cooked by me,” she said as the others erupted in disbelieving laughter.
But that was the shot that her marriage, sex life and bond with her husband needed, so she took it. In return, he has reportedly become more attentive to her needs, more generous, very affectionate and their sex life is at its best; “it was not this good even in our first years of the marriage!” the married-for-23-years wife enthused as eyes around the room bulged a little more.
“My husband loves cleaning, doing laundry, even cooking – always has – but I had taken that for granted and when he didn’t do the chores, the help took over as I argued that my job was too demanding. Once I set my mind to it, though, I actually have a comfortable work-life balance.”
Her husband is reportedly no longer the grumpy, angry person he had become, and I can testify that the couple is actually cute to watch. When a woman is properly loved and receiving great sex, there is no mistaking her glow!
Soon, no one was laughing; I think some wives were reconsidering how they ran their homes and spouses. Don’t listen to your friends, my friend; there is no one-size-fits-all in marriage and sex; so, do you, according to the dynamics in your marriage.