There is an increasing rate of divorce among Christians, even in very conservative and traditional churches where divorce was once considered a taboo in previous times. Among the clergy in Pentecostal churches, the divorce rate is becoming alarming both in the United States and Nigeria.
There are popular Pentecostal pastors and televangelists who are in their third marriages. There is mention of one on social media who is in his ninth marriage in Nigeria; I have also preached in a church where the Pastor’s pregnant wife was his third wife.
Why are men walking away from their marriages? Does any man really go into marriage with divorce as a primary objective or probable option? Truly speaking, there are some marriages that are doomed to fail right from the start. If a primary school child decides to write the Nigerian Law School exams, the likelihood of failure is very high, unless such a child is a genius. Even so, the school of marriage is quite a special one different from all others.
This write-up is not intended to put all the blames of divorce on women. There will be a corresponding write-up addressing why women walk away from marriages, which will be for the Men’s Fellowship, specifically. There is also going to be emphasis on why men should not walk away from their wives and the consequences.
Why Do Men Walk Away?
The major reason why men walk away is that most of our marriages are built on the wrong foundation.
There are the following Rs in marriage;
I will try to relate these to a woman who turns out to become a wife.
Why was marriage instituted?
What is the reason for creating a woman?
Adam would have been grossly inefficient in fulfilling his purpose without Eve. Eve or Isha—the womb-man—was created to bring efficiency to Adam in the fulfillment of his responsibility of working in and taking care of the Garden.
This implies that if a woman is not bringing out the expected efficiency from a husband’s “garden”, the tendency is that he would walk away. This is very ironical in the sense that men, rarely, choose wives because of vision. They choose wives based on beauty and sexual gratification. The society and the Church has placed so much emphasis on romance and sex to such an extent that men and women have misplaced demands and desires.
The truth, from the beginning, is that it was Adam that needed Eve more than Eve needed Adam. The burden of marital life is more on womanhood than on manhood. But women have been constantly taught to think that she is dependent on the man. They are, therefore, not adequately briefed before marriage or even groomed for marriage.
The young man who comes with clean clothes, who takes you out to eat in a restaurant, and lives in a neat house, will suddenly turn around to expect you to wash his clothes, cook his food, clean his home, raise his children, breastfeed him, and even help him think. He expects you to go to work like him, come back home with him, cook (while he is watching TV), present the food to him, and then, thank him for eating your food. He will still demand for sex and expect you to wake up the next morning after riding you like a horse throughout the night. That is the challenge and burden of marriage on the wife.
Isha means womb-man. The womb is one of the most wonderful creations of God. It is not more than the size of the fist of a young child when a woman is not pregnant. However, it can expand to take the weight of a 3.5kg baby, amniotic fluid of 1kg, and a placenta of 2kg. A womb can even expand to carry 8 babies. This expansile capacity of the womb defines a wife.
As a young single woman, you are expected to get to work by 7:30 a.m. When you have a husband, children, a home to manage, and additional responsibilities, you are still expected to get to work 7:30 a.m. It is this expansile capacity that many women (and subsequently, wives) have not understood and cultivated, that is breeding a lot of crisis in many homes. Many husbands expect these attributes from their wives, but the premise that was used to marry these women were totally different. It seems unfair to wives, but that is the reality of womanhood. The womb that will carry a man’s children must have the brains, strength, and capacity to carry his vision.
I have hardly, personally, built any of our buildings; my wife has been in charge of all our buildings. She organizes our businesses, manages our finances, and also the home. If there is a choice of who will die first between my wife and me, I will prefer to die and leave my wife behind in old age, because I can’t handle the responsibilities she has. I don’t have any moral right to commit adultery or to divorce my wife because I need her more than she needs me. Once you regularly add value to yourself and your husband, a bond is formed and you become a band.
Men are usually very competitive and comparative. When the wife is not meeting up in helping him to actualize his vision, he becomes irritated and because the wife has/had been conditioned to think that a woman was to be taken care of like a pet, she starts protesting by becoming obstinate and rebellious. Be sure that the man would walk away soon—physically, mentally, or both.
Psalm 127:1; Proverbs 14:1
The Bible says that a wise woman builds her home, but a foolish one tears it down. It is only God that is said to build a thing and it will stand. The wife is like the holy spirit of the home. She is a teacher; in fact, research has speculated that the intelligence of a child is directly proportional to that of the mother. The personality of a child is, 75%, formed within the first five years of the child’s life—Sigmund Freud—and that time is usually spent with the mother.
When a child succeeds, the father takes the glory, but when the child fails, he/she is the mother’s child. When children start to give problems in a family, ironically, it falls on the mother because she is the holy spirit of the house, the Paraclete, groomer, guide, and counselor.
The reason Abraham’s servant, Eleazer, had to ensure that Isaac’s future wife was able to fetch water for 10 camels, was because Isaac was going to inherit several camels. One camel drinks 120 litres of water, which is six 20-litre jerry cans multiplied by 10 and that translates to sixty 20-litre jerry cans—that is a total of 1200 litres of water. Now let me ask you, “Are you enhancing your husband’s dream or you are a burden to him?”
Psalm 144:12b states that, “may our daughters be like graceful pillars carved to adorn palaces”. Pillars determine the height and strength of a building; they are weight-bearing structures. The saying that behind every successful man there is a woman is very true. The weight of success on a woman is an enormous responsibility. Responsibility is the primary reason for marriage. Once this is not being actualized, men tend to walk away.
A man sold a building and gave the money to his wife to do business and she lost everything. Today, the man did not walk away, but his spirit has moved on.
Ephesians 5:22-24; Proverbs 21:9; Proverbs 27:15-16
There is an organogram in marriage, which is simple and plain. The husband is the head of the home; there is no competition or comparison. Once a woman has chosen to marry a man, even if he is an idiot, he is the head. You must find a way to manage his ideology and idiocy.
One major reason men run away from their marriages is talkative, nagging, and argumentative wives. A man is wired to reason; he is easily confused, irritated, agitated, and aggravated by a talkative wife. A talkative woman drives a man crazy and will soon kill him; hence he chooses to walk away.
The Bible says that it is better for a man to live in a wilderness with wild animals than to live under the same roof with a talkative wife. The Bible also says it is better to live on a rooftop than to live in the same house with an argumentative/ill-tempered wife.
The Bible equally says that a talkative wife is like a leaking roof, constantly dropping, and nobody wants to live under a leaking roof. Many women talk too much. Many of these so-called prayer warriors and evangelists think that they know too much. When you talk to your husband as if you are addressing a baby, he will walk away from you. He will prove to you that he is an adult male.
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath”. No man really likes to fight with his wife except he is mad. After all, he does not fight in the streets for no cause; even rough men respect their wives. Know this: your husband deserves all respect and must be treated like a king. What annoys most Christian men is that their wives treat their pastors and outsiders with greater respect and honour than their husbands. Invariably, the husbands think you see them as inferior to your pastors.
Men also expect you to speak to their parents with respect. Any woman who has a sharp tongue and extends it to her in-laws is on her own. If you must remain in marriage, you must learn to bridle your tongue and respect your in-laws.
No man wants to come from work and hear that his wife fought with her neighbours. Any combative woman who fights with her neighbours will soon chase her husband into the hands of an adultress, whose lips drip honey. Many pastors’ wives are the greatest obstacles to their husbands’ ministries; they just don’t know how to talk.
When your husband is talking, pay attention and keep quiet. Don’t talk back to your husband or walk away when he is talking. Men find that very disrespectful. Don’t use derogatory, cynical, and abusive words against your husband. These are some of the triggers of domestic violence. Many of the women who are feminists and women’s rights activists on TV are not properly married.
If Gaddafi could stay with his wife, then most men are manageable. Similarly, if Osama Bin Laden could live with two wives in the same building, then it is possible to handle your husband.
A man needs a wife he can relate with emotionally, feel his fears and pains, and raise his faith. Sexual relationship is the culmination of this relationship. Prior to marriage, a man has an ideal picture of a woman he would want as a wife; you must find out this ideal picture. You might not exactly fit into it, but evolve as close as possible to fit that image.
There is a concept of women saying, “Take me as I am”. This might not be very wise. When a man is growing and grooming himself, try as much as possible to also grow and groom yourself, else, your husband will outgrow you.
There is no ugly woman; it is all a matter of packaging. The Ibos have a saying that “the eyes eat before the mouth”. Your appearance, the food and the way you present it, and your bedroom must leave meaning, a mark, and memory in your husband’s mind. He relates with these three Ms before and after sex.
Sexual relationship in marriage is not only for reproduction; it is also for relationship and relaxation. There is nothing that relaxes a man more than a good and exciting sexual relationship with his wife. A man deprived of sexual intercourse at night is like a live wire, carrying a high tension current, the next morning. If the wife goes to place a demand on him the next morning, she will probably be electrocuted.
Many Christian husbands complain of their wives being too boring and monotonous in bed. Many Christian women are also too timid in sexual relationships with their husbands. This might be understandable based on the fact that a lot of them were raised to see sex as a taboo. Most times, it is the husbands that always make the first move and it will take so much effort to arouse their wives. Many Christian women are like old Indian generators that need a lot of winding to start them. These women fail to realize that the girls who are willing to seduce their husbands are more adventurous and tactful in seducing a man. A lot of those girls are more active in bed; if a husband makes the mistake of falling into their hands and they handle him once or twice, he will become like a drug addict, who keeps needing another shot of the drug despite the fact that it is slowing killing him.
A lot of Christian women age too early and starve their husbands of sexual relationships. They can leave their sex-starved husbands with a sharp housemaid to go and do Omugwo—that is, take care of a grandchild. Don’t be surprised if another baby joins your family when you return. Don’t take your husband’s sexual hunger for granted. Your husband is not as close to God as King David who fell.
Men like spontaneous sex, not routine episodes treated like it is a sacrament. Make him feel wanted by seducing him and give it to him often; he might not have enough strength for adultery. Give it to him before he goes on a long journey and give it to him when he comes from a long journey. The young girls of today and even older divorcees or widows called cougars—who are even more dangerous than the young girls—have money and experience. They can sweep any foolish and vulnerable man off his marriage feet, even pastors.
This is a very sad aspect of why men walk away. Many African communities prefer male offsprings. So if a woman is having only females, there is the tendency to go and look for a side-chick, who is expected to raise male offsprings. The tragedy is that it is really the husband who determines the sex of the child. I have seen men with only female offsprings who have stayed with their wives. I know of a man who has three girls and is not interested in another woman. It is also based on the way some wives handle their husbands.
The other sad aspect is when there is delayed conception or infertility. It’s sad because, most times, the causes of infertility are from the male partners. As said earlier on, the burden of life and marriage is tilted more towards the woman. No wonder Mighty Diamonds sang, “Man was made to suffer, yeah. And women were made to feel the pain”.
To most rules there are exceptions. I have seen males who have remained true and faithful to their wives despite infertility, delayed conception, or absence of male offsprings. It is a matter of discipline and fear of God.
Many women take their husbands for granted in this area; even from the names they call them. When you call your husband daddy, be ready to see him behave like a granny. Give your husband a hug and a kiss before he goes to work; call him to check on how he is doing with sincerity and concern in your voice, not with suspicion. Send him small gifts that he would appreciate; sit close to him and rest your head on his laps. These are simple things that they enjoy outside sex.
I know that the burden on women is much, but there are several ways to to lubricate your marriage—The Oil of Marriage—and create time for such little spice that “magginize” your marriage soup.
There is another challenge that makes men walk away; I chose to call it the “Kolorbi phenomenon”. Kolorbi or tie-neck is the technique of putting your opponent’s neck under your armpit with his head facing backwards. In marriage, when you reach your late fifties, there is the tendency for the wife to “corner” the children to herself and form her own political party— the husband becomes a minority leader in his own household. Something can happen in the home for 3 months without the knowledge of the husband unless they run into trouble. The mother and the children now form their own camp and the husbands feels alienated. Men are not designed to be alone; he will go to look for another company, starting with alcohol or his friends, who will introduce him to some hot babe or a divorcee, who is very expressive and doting. Very few men complain, but they gradually drift away into the hands of a younger lady and you will be wondering what took your husband away.
When men do not have the fear of God in their hearts and the friendship of a wife at home, they drift outside with their friends or co-workers. It is from such drifts that they pick up strange women who lead them away from home. Many women are too religious and officious that their husbands are like housemates. When women also become too involved in business and ministry and become headstrong, men also drift and move away from home.
Sometimes, there is nothing you do for an unreasonable man that can keep him; a Godless man is less loyal than a dog. Dogs hardly run away from home no matter what.
Every marriage has challenges, but it takes responsibility, diplomacy, and the fear of God to remain in a marriage.
In my marriage for 32 years, there are several things that crop up nearly every day that can cause divorce; but I fear God and I love God and I am responsible to my wife, family, and society, not to divorce. I respect myself. No strange woman is worth it. However, you need constant prayers, spiritual vigilance, the Word of God, good company, and endurance.
God bless you!