What you need to know:
- Does he feed a cat or kick it away when it appears at his table begging for pieces of his chicken?
- Does he demonstrate respect for every human being, despite a person’s job title?
Tall, dark, handsome (aka, TDH), financially stable and God-fearing seems to be the description that every woman parrots about the qualities she’s looking out for in that perfect future husband. Eunice, a young lady in her late twenties sent me a one-liner in the form of an email;
“What should I look for in a future husband?”
“Hi Eunice, salaams kwanza, at least,” I wrote back.
She wrote a longer, more elaborate response. She was not sure whether the man she was dating was the right one for her. What pointers could I share about making the right choice of a husband? I shared snippets of a conversation I had with our daughter.
Is he a kind human being? Does he feed a cat or kick it away when it appears at his table begging for pieces of his chicken? Is he a man of respect? Does he demonstrate respect for every human being, despite a person’s job title? How does he treat the security guard? How does he treat the waiter? What about when the waiter gets the order wrong?
Is he comfortable in his skin or is he waiting for you to validate him? Massaging the ego is a very difficult job. Life is already hard enough as it is. Now, if a man is not confident in himself and okay with his past, you are not a god to help him deal with that. Please deal with your ‘demons’ before you get engrossed in the life of another.
In the same breath, watch out that the person you want to consider a life partner has already faced, haggled, agreed, and settled with their past. Unless martyrdom is your life’s purpose, you will end up sending public appeals about how to handle your spouse.
Love you first, be whole and do not get into a marriage with the hope that your ideal husband will love you more. A person can only treat you as you do yourself. My friend Jacquie calls it idol worship when a wife neglects herself for the sake of her husband. When she loves him to the extent of giving up everything about her happiness and comfort for him, to the level of worshipping him, giving him the place of a demi-god, that is a recipe for depression.
You cannot eat before he does, you cannot enjoy a weekend away from him because you fret over him more than his parents ever did. This is not what we mean when we say that marriage is work! Ironically, humans were not meant to be worshipped and therefore a husband who finds a fellow human idolising him will end up treating that wife terribly.
Is he honest with you and others? A friend shared the story of this woman who was dating this man, but she felt that he was taking too long to progress things further. What did she do? She pushed him to take her to his parents for an introduction. Being a peace-loving man but a terribly dishonest one, the man arranged for that ushago visit. Only, he did not take her to his parent’s home but made some financial agreements with an equally dishonest villager.
Arrangements were done back in the village and home was identified. A man and a woman were handsomely paid and happily posed as the parents of the groom. They put up a perfect show, welcoming the young woman, half the time getting the man’s name wrong.
The day passed and the young woman considered herself married. She got pregnant and it was only after the birth of their child that she discovered that she had been duped. The man said he did not know what to do but lie, since he was not ready to marry her. Incidentally, their union was plagued with levels of dishonesty, and it eventually disintegrated, with their children the main victims of the dishonest arrangements.
Does he respect the other gender? Watch out for a man who makes disparaging remarks about women in general. He might call you a queen but if on the other hand he just placed a negative label on another woman, give him a wide berth. A misogynist husband will not respect you as a human being, just because you are a woman. And, no, he does not need to be financially stable, but he must be a man that works for his upkeep.
Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. firstname.lastname@example.org