You can’t keep a man who doesn’t want to stay

Couple

You cannot make an adult loyal, you are not responsible for a husband’s behaviour.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • A spouse stays with you because they want to. They choose to be faithful because it is a choice, not because you made them.
  • There are no tricks or magic out there to keep a man. When a wife subscribes to this kind of thinking, then she ends up taking the blame for another adult’s behaviour.



The other day, while listening to a radio channel, the presenter asked, “How do you keep a man? Married women, how do you make sure your man stays with you? That he does not stray?”

If you have ever wondered what kind of training teachers go through, wonder no more. In the very first philosophy class, Prof Ochieng Phil said,

“Going forward, you must interrogate every statement, every worldview, every attitude. A teacher must not take things at face value.”

You will notice, that teachers are inquisitive, curious, and suspicious lots. The good ones, that is.

A teacher who leaves a lasting impact on his or her students is one who will question the norms.

Instead of jumping to whoop a student who consistently comes late to class, as some other teacher will do, this one will call the student aside for a cup of tea and conversation.

It is then that they will learn that the child always takes a break to administer lifesaving medication, which requires the student to sit still for fifteen minutes before rushing back to class.

Ineffective teachers fight to retain the status quo and abide by ill-informed rules, such as, ‘all girls must keep a uniform hairstyle.’

How can a teacher not question such a misogynistic rule? Prof Ochieng Phil would be appalled that a teacher, who is expected to nurture a child’s intellectual capabilities and churn out innovators and inventors is in fact, enforcing a rule that kills individuality and forces all girls to toe the line and dare not step out and be different.

Then, decades later, the government will spend copious amounts of taxpayer money encouraging girls to take up STEM subjects since some professions are now flooded with girls who were trained to embrace uniform thinking.

Back to our conversation. So, wives, how do you teach your man, not to stray man?

Grab a mug of tea or glass of something stronger and come, let us share the tricks and tips.

Own person

First, this is one of those statements, attitudes, and world views that you must interrogate and, promptly discard. You cannot keep a man.

You cannot make an adult loyal, you are not responsible for a husband’s behaviour.

He is his own person, responsible for his choices and behaviour. He is either in fully with you, halfway, briefly, for a season or for a lifetime.

I know we have been told otherwise. We are told we should move our bodies like an anaconda so that our husbands will not stray.

Sister, you could even speak the language of angels, but if your husband has the morals of an alley cat, there is nothing you can do about it. It is his choice.

You cannot reel him in by prayer and fasting nor by being humbler, loving, submissive or by ‘fighting’ harder for your marriage.

You are not a jail to hold anyone and enforce the rules of marriage. It is not your job to enforce loyalty from your spouse.

Personal choice

A spouse stays with you because they want to. They choose to be faithful because it is a choice, not because you made them.

They are adults and have the freedom to do as they wish. We are all responsible for our choices, our decisions.

Everything is first an individual’s responsibility. You choose to make yourself likeable, but you cannot force the other to like you, remain faithful and so on.

If you are paying top dollar to learn how to keep a man, please note that you just bought snake oil.

There are no tricks or magic out there to keep a man. When a wife subscribes to this kind of thinking, then she ends up taking the blame for another adult’s behaviour.

Some people have even asked a woman, “You couldn’t keep your man? Look at him with other women!”

These kinds of statements are meant to excuse the errant spouse from the accountability for their behaviour.

Taking responsibility for one’s choices is the first sign of maturity.

One of the most helpful lessons I learnt early on in a marriage is to pray and wish goodwill on my spouse, but work on myself, to be a better partner to him. It is on him to do the same.

Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. [email protected]

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