By Esther Kibakaya
Irrespective of their age, for a long time now some men have been viewed or considered to be resistant to commitment and responsibility. In other words, they refuse to grow up. Whether it’s their boyfriends or husbands, many women have found themselves in situations that force them to look back and see if the men they fell in love are the same ones they live with.
Cecilia Changala, 30, is a mother-of-one and like many women out there she feels overwhelmed by her man.
In her opinion, all men are mama’s boys. “I think we all know that men are mama’s boys. They love their mothers so much that they dream of marrying women who have the same qualities,” she says. Having been married for three years, Cecilia treats her husband like her second child.
“The fact is that men want to be pampered and sometimes I feel like we are to blame for that; we think that pampering them is the way to go. By the time we realise we have spoiled them, they can’t do anything for themselves, even things as simple as making the bed.”
Before they got married, her husband had several habits that she never really took seriously. “For instance, his laundry routine was to pile all his dirty clothes into a clothes basket and leave them in the corner of his room until he had nothing else to wear,” she says.
Once married, he felt like a huge load was removed from his shoulders and he breathed a huge sigh of relief. Suddenly, there was someone to take control of his life and make sure his smelly socks, shirts and underwear were cleaned and pressed.
Cecilia soon began to get into fights with her husband because he expected her to do every single thing for him. “I couldn’t understand. I felt like he simply transferred the duty and dependence from his mother to me.” In her opinion, some men never grow up because the dependence on their mothers turned them into big babies.
Not an isolated case.
The story is the same for Tuse Mwambaga, a mother-of-three who has had similar experiences with her husband. “When he comes home from work, the first thing he does is to go straight on the sofa to watch his favourite series. When time comes for him to have a bath, he asks me to boil water for him. Yes, he is my husband but I would love for him to be more mature. Am I supposed to care for our children or my husband? Before we were married he used to do things for himself like washing, ironing and managing his own finances, but now he is a different man.”
Tuse’s husband’s inability to take care of himself has killed the romance in their marriage. “When your husband is there to support you physically and emotionally, it brings you closer together, but when he leaves you to do everything, you grow apart. And that is when they begin to have affairs with women outside the marriage,” she says.
“As a wife, you don’t get time to relax. When you come home from work it’s business as usual even on the weekends. Instead of him seeing you as a wife, he might end up seeing you as some sort of a house help.”
Tuse says that while wives are busy catering for all their husband’s needs, husbands are out spending hours with women who have “time” for them.
How do men respond to these allegations? They claim that in today’s world, women have become bossy and overbearing. They feel that the safest option is to sit back and wait to be told what to do, just like they did when they were little boys.
“It’s not true that we are such big babies, and that we can’t do anything by ourselves. We just find it easier to pretend to be helpless because many women nowadays love to feel in control,”says Moses Kimambo, a 35-year-old, father-of-two.
He adds that women are emotionally stronger than men and men like a kingly treatment, which is why they demand so much from their women.
There is also an urge in all men to be mothered. “It’s nice to have our clothes ironed and to have someone around who can take care of the small details,” he says.
As a working father, Moses says it’s easier to be professional and responsible in the workplace but once a man comes home, he expects to leave his burdens at the door.
By Esther Kibakaya