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I had a conversation with some friends and one of them was concerned. She had just gotten married and received the usual barrage of well meaning advice that is our trademark in Nigeria and almost everywhere to be honest. And her sisters had told her that as a good wife, she must never argue with her husband; she needed to just nod and agree with whatever they said. They particularly stressed on this because this my friend is a lawyer and is well known for speaking her mind.
My friend’s sisters are not the only ones who truly believe (and sometimes practice) this. I have heard advice to that tune too. But each time it makes me wonder… as a good wife do you see your man making a huge, maybe fatal mistake and just fold your arms and watch?
Each time I ask myself that question, the answer is always NO. Yet, there is some wisdom in what our women believe, there has to be right? My brother always says that in the garden of the fool, there are some edible fruits. So let’s look for the edible fruits…
To Speak Up or Not?
First of all, I strongly believe that marriage should make both partners better people and sometimes, that means speaking up when your man is wrong. A good woman should be able to help her man become a better man.
Secondly, every woman needs to know how to relate with her man. Meaning that there is a time for everything and there are times when a good wife should NOT speak up. From my observations and (small) experience, this is my take:
Know When and How to Speak
Do not argue with your man in public: You see, men are about ego and they crave respect. If you go about arguing with your man in public and countering what he says you are exposing him to the ridicule of other people. You do NOT want to do that to a man.
Do not put him down in front of his friends and family: Never never put a man down before his guys or his family members. You are only making yourself vulnerable. When other people are present, swallow what you want to say and save it for a time when you are both alone.
Learn when to talk to him: Timing is everything – literally. So learn how to gauge your man’s mood. Trust me, there is no point picking a quarrel when the man is hungry or angry about something. He’s going to put all that frustration at your door. So pick your moments.
It’s okay to let some things go: You do not have to have the last word. You do not have to let him know that you are right every time. You know you are right, just leave it at that. Leave the man with some pride. Some times, just shrug and let it go.
So tell me…are you a good wife? 😉