By: Musa Faridat
Today marks my 25th wedding anniversary. Twenty-five years that I have lived with my man. This longevity I celebrate today only came as a result of my unflinching assertiveness. From my reservoir of experience, I will be sharing a few lessons with you. Lessons that if you adopt, ladies, your marriage will be just as lengthy—if not lengthier— and merry.
My man was the easiest of all the men my father ever groomed for me. This practice of grooming transcends generations in my family line. Those before him were over-exposed and wouldn’t comply with instructions. One even had the balls to resist my father’s beatings. Men who can not withstand abuse are not for you, queen. Usually, this training lasts about two months but his was shorter because he adapted to the life faster. How did that happen?
Before the training, I strategized with my father to cut down the frequency of his punishments, and not overburden him with chores. Then I saved the rest for marriage. What is marriage without some little blows and punches? Bland. Since handling domestic chores are encoded in his genes, I made sure to never lend my assistance, or employ one. I never allowed the use of kitchen appliances. They made the work incredibly fast, giving him more idle time. Trust me, no good comes from an idle husband. Which is why I wonder why grown up men should be buying take-out food. That is absolutely irresponsible and the first sign of laziness in a man. Don’t marry those types. My husband complained about the work sometimes in the past, but I shunned him each time because my father did more work in my mother’s house.
When I received the call that he was proficient in Suffering in Silence, I was elated because I knew he was the one. Suffering is my love language and I have always wanted to be loved recklessly. His type are becoming so rare these days. Laziness was not in his blood, or at least my father dealt it out. I proposed shortly after in the presence of both families to deny him the remote option of saying ‘no’. A woman never accepts ‘no’. Even if he tried it, his family would have spoken sense to him.
The wedding was the last time he ever saw some of his friends, because I changed his phone and SIM card to avoid interference of friends I don’t approve of. Men gossip when they are in their company, sharing rebellious advice that will overthrow your supremacy. You would need his silence. His silence establishes and prolongs your dominance. You need an unreserved submission from him, the type our forefathers had for their wives. His only friend was my friend’s husband. Her husband demanded a divorce when she became too weak with romance. At the moment, he has no friends and we are better for it. Ladies, don’t lose your guard.
A week into our union, he tendered a resignation at his job that paid almost four times mine on my request. All his properties were readdressed as mine. Although he was skeptical at first, I taught him that his earning more threatened my authority and that wasn’t good for my temperament. If I didn’t pressure him to relinquish his livelihood and properties, he would have left me since because of the financial freedom he would have been enjoying. By the way, how would I have shone if I didn’t dim his light? He learnt my ego came first, before his dreams and opinions. Queens, make your husband learn this by all means and only then will you, both, work like a well-oiled machine.
Later on, I let him apply for a less demanding job which, of course, pays less than mine because I needed the extra cash. His salary was paid directly into my account. I paid him a paltry stipend only during weeks that he was obedient and worked hard enough to earn it. Literally, he has to ‘yes ma, yes ma’ his way to footing his most basic needs. More women should cultivate the habit of keeping their men at home. If this was the case, men won’t be sharing office spaces and car parking spaces with us. Our femininity is on the verge of obliteration. Keep your men where they belong.
Many times he suspected I was cheating because I made zero efforts to hide my track. I owed him no explanation and still don’t. Polygamy is an African thing and the line between adultery and polygamy is very faint. He confronted me about it when I was not in the mood once and I reminded him body no be firewood. He confronted me another time when I was in my mood; I tenderized his body with whips and punches as I should have. One time when he was overzealous, he ran to his mother’s house to seek refuge but his father scolded him, then begged me to accept him. He too — his father — knew that women will always be women.
As a woman, you can not go about apologizing for everything you do. You don’t even owe him an explanation to begin with. You are an Alpha being, so act like it. If he offends you, make him apologize to you. If you offend him, that is only because he incited your provocation, make him apologize too. There will be times when you correct him a little too hard, pacify him with gifts. Men seem okay but, deep down, they all need presents. In all your dealings with him, never be sorry.
You must never buy him fitted clothings. That is very wrong. His clothes must be oversized. You don’t want his outlines seducing anyone, especially if he is aesthetically pleasing. If he has beards, please shave it bald. That is his natural makeup. Or just remand him in purdah compulsorily. Freedom is a no no. He does not own his freedom anymore. He signed it over by accepting your proposal and exchanged it officially, with the bogus groom price his kinsmen charged me, during the wedding.
He shouldn’t have any say in how many children both of you will make, and mustn’t be allowed to use protection for any reason. That is abortion, a sin in the realm of men. He shouldn’t even be able to afford it with his measly stipend. Also, that could mean he’s been using the protection to cover his extramarital affair. Be very critical. Ask him where he learnt about contraceptives. Beat your answer out of him. Why will you cheat and he will cheat too? Who is the master? Exorcise that adulterous spirit out of his body.
Taking care of the children is his job. Like every other chore, this one is also encoded in his genes. Men are better caregivers because they are overtly emotional. For this reason, you should abandon the entire workload to him. On the flip side, you are an emotionally distant species, hence maintain physical distance too. Bury your eyes in the news while she struggles to calm one child after the other. He can multitask, providing care for as many as ten children. A whole you must not change diaper and wash feces from your toddler’s anus. It is unheard of. One time, my husband conjured an idea that involved me taking a step back — to manage the kids — so he could further his education. He said he wanted to be a trailblazer and I told him to go blaze those trails in the kitchen. Men will put insane things in your head but please don’t pay attention.
Forget what Koffee said. Gratitude is anything but a must. You must never praise his cooking. It would make you less woman. The salt or oil must be too much at every point in time. This particular tip makes them sad and men look beautiful wearing a gloomy face. If he perfects the meal, go for his appearance. Ask him why he smells of tumeric, sweat and smoke. Ask him why he looks raggedy. Because why for the life of your wife will you work all day and not have time to look nice for her? As a man, you should always to dress seductively to keep your wife. She saw many men but settled for you. For that you should be grateful! She might have casual affairs outside but you are the one in her house.
Now to your couple games. When your friends come around, make sure you busy your husband with errands to keep him running about like he is playing catch, but with orders. If he does one thing wrong, insult him and enable your friends to jeer along. If he scrunches his face or murmurs, strike him without mercy till your friends beg you to stop. Your reputation will be at stake if you don’t react with rage. Put him in his place. You are the head and he is the neck.
A journalist said that women should seek clarity on ways to not tie their identity to oppressing men. But I am here to tell you to discard that message. Your wholeness is entangled with oppressing men. You don’t need any clarity on how to woman your home. If your husband does anything innovative despite all the restrictions, you don’t have any choice but to destroy it. That is him reimagining his life. Coerce him into stopping that imagination. Your life will never remain the same if you allow him some space. You give him an inch and the next time, he is asking for nine. History validates this. Men asked for a right to education then a right to vote, then a right to use contraceptives and now, they want equal and fair opportunities. What are we left with if we give them everything?
Lastly, romance is toxic and has no place in your marriage. Avoid using endearments whether inside the house or outside. Romance is for the weak. You are not a woman of love. Your children’s feelings don’t matter in the grand scheme. Pass this legacy to them. Run your house in a manner that boys resign to servitude and your girls feel entitled to this service, commanding it but never willing to return it. Warn your girls that when time comes to rebrand our mandate, they should do it craftily; enticing from afar but the content still very intact and original. Longevity is the only prize, strive for it.
Musa Faridat is a medical student who swears by one thing: Japa-ing from Nigeria. She tweets @faireedah.
Feature Image by: College Humor/Nathan Yaffe & Shea Strauss