By TONY ZAKARIA, 10th September 2011
Why does trouble occur in paradise even though there is no shortage of love in a relationship? Is it due to fake disagreement or misunderstanding originating between men and women?
Maybe you know the TV game called Family Feud. They ask 100 people some questions and post the top five answers are on a board. The family scoring the most right answers gets to keep the price money or gift.
I conducted my own impromptu family feud. I asked three ladies this question. What does a woman want from her man? The first lady said he should be God-fearing because meaning he respects (higher) authority, therefore he will respect her. I thought, aha. He should be educated and hard-working. Hmm, she is looking for a pious donkey with education.
The second lady said her man should be from a named tribe. Was she courting tribalism? No, she just liked how the men of that particular tribe respect their women and treat them well. I don’t know about that.
Some tribes in Tanzania still prefer to marry from their own ranks. It prevents dilution of their rich culture, traditions, handsome men and shapely women from impure genes imported from other provinces. “Iwe bwana!”
Anyways, she also indicated her ideal man must be a church goer. Church goer huh? A masjid sheikh would stand no chance with this gal. She wanted good looking man who was not lazy. Maybe she was superficial.
Would a Miss Tanzania happily marry Shrek the ogre king of Never-never land? The notion of Ms Beauty Queen falling head over heels in love with Mr Bulky Beast only works in cartoon movies.
The third lady was reluctant to commit herself to specific attributes of her ideal man. However, she was certain she would know when she met the right man. Will she be conducting interviews? Come to think of it, women do interview prospective mates. It is just that men don’t know when they are being interviewed.
I was surprised by their answers because I did not hear love mentioned. I thought loving, caring and kind would have scored high. Maybe these three experienced gals had given up on love. They were already married and had experience dealing with love at second sight. Teens and young adults easily go gaga over love at first sight.
Sometime later I asked three married men what makes a marriage successful. Some things said or done work and some others do not, stated one man emphatically. He was strongly convinced there is a formula for success in marriage.
Now if we could just bottle that formula under patent and sell it like Coca-Cola, we could be minting more money than a gold mine. We would not need gold diggers, if you know what I mean.
The non-committal lady came alive at the mention of a formula for marriage. There is no formula for marriage. You have to deal with the real situation you find after marriage. I have been married for X years and my partner and I deal with issues as they come. Oh yeah? She has a licence to drive the marital boat but follows no rules. Kiibo.
She was serious and very forceful about her convictions. You enter marriage blind-folded and once in, deal with crises as they arise. This sounded like a recipe for disaster for the three Martians sitting on a common table. Not at all, she insisted. It worked fine for me all this time. Hello, anybody home?
Her marital life must have been on fire-fighting mode – or as some call it, flying by the seat of Mrs Zima Moto’s pants – for a dozen years. The formula argument took a life of its own with the men insisting there are certain principles to a successful partnership and the women expounding theories why a formula cannot be used in many situations they encounter in their love lives.
I said marriage is like a business partnership. One of the three wise ladies concurred wholeheartedly. She added that it is the sort of partnership in which one ought to give more than take. In practice, some spouses want to just take, take, take and that never works, she mused.
Just like some crafty servants want to keep taking from public money without providing adequate goods and services to the people. Not much give but plenty take. That is corruption in marriage.
One gentleman told me women do not know what they want. Today they want rain and tomorrow sunshine. He was no magician but he knew if rain is good today, it had to be good tomorrow. However, a woman may like something today and tomorrow she changes her mind and says that is not her choice.
Why don’t women stick to principles easily understood by the male species of Homo sapiens? This regular changing of mind by the better gender (formerly called the weaker sex) many men from Alaska to Zanzibar can drive some principled males up the Great Wall of China. Unpredictable as they weather, they live day by day and take every moment as it comes.
Now I understand why one lady said there is no formula in marriage. Women like you today and tomorrow they hate you like you are the devil incarnate. And on Sunday you are good again. Why? They change their minds often to keep them fresh and clean, like a change of clothes.
There is a formula and that is why there is one husband plus one wife equals one couple. Imagine if men changed their minds women preferences daily. Many relationships would be permanently in reverse gear. To all men out there, embrace the mind-boggling frequent changes of the female minds. You will be the happier half.
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