So you want to understand your Nigerian husband…? This is great because you’re not alone. This article is for Nigerian women as well as non-Nigerian women married to Nigerian husbands. As I sat to write I did a quick Google search on’ how to understand your husband’ and there were lots of articles. I skimmed through, looking for something I could quote to lend authority to what I was writing, but as I read, I had to admit that I was on my own. Don’t get me wrong, the advice was great, it’s just that Nigerian men are in a class of their own.
So I changed the title from How to Understand Your Husband to ‘How to Understand Your Nigerian Husband’ and I’m gleaning from several quarters including advice from my mum, my aunties and personal experience.
Why You Need to Understand Your Nigerian Husband
The Nigerian man is a rare breed. He wants to be seen as a modern man, right there in the 21st Century, however he holds very closely the traditional roles of a man. He comes across as strong, capable and a macho man, yet that hides deep seated insecurities and vulnerability. The character and background of the man matter a lot, but not in the overall scheme of things because irrespective of where he comes from or the kind of person he is, if you understand your Nigerian husband you will have less emotional stress in your marriage.
Note: this does not apply if your husband is physically abusive; that is a totally different kettle of fish.
Tips to Understanding Your Nigerian Husband
Respect is VERY important to him
Actually this is true for most men. As a matter of fact, one of those articles I read mentioned how for most men, respect is more important than love. Never ever underestimate the power respect has over a Nigerian man. Love him or not, just give him his respect.
For most Nigerian men, respect goes beyond what you say. It includes the way you treat him in private and before his friends and family. NEVER run down or insult a Nigerian man before his friends. It is an almost unforgivable offence.
If you do not agree with his actions, tell him in private. Don’t disagree with him ‘outside’ – where there are witnesses. (Seriously, they will only paint you with a black brush and make fun of you husband later).
He wants to know you have his back
Where others are concerned, your husband is a wonderful man. Sure he’s not perfect, but who is perfect I ask you? Yes, he did something not so bright, but you know how to sort things out with him. That attitude is one that will endear you quickly to your Nigerian husband. Even if you feel he has been an ass, please do not say that to other people (except it is someone you absolutely trust).
For most Nigerian husbands, loyalty is indispensable.
Do not expect him to offer to do the house work
There are Nigerian husbands who like to cook and have no problem with domestic chores, but they are the exception rather than the norm. A lot of Nigerian mothers believe that the kitchen and the home is for women and girls and so did not train their boys to be domestically handy. My mother grew up in a home like that and so made sure there was no gender discrimination in her home. Not all mothers do that.
If you are married to a Nigerian man who is not domestic, determine whether he is willing to help or not. If he is totally against helping in the kitchen, do not give yourself a headache. Get help, maybe a live-in help or day help. If he is not averse to helping you out in the home, but just doesn’t do it, understand that this is probably not his default.
Do not expect him to see you struggling with near exhaustion and say ‘honey let me get that.’ Don’t get me wrong, he might, but it is not his default. If you want him to help you, just ask. Yes, it is that simple.
“Honey please can you help me empty the trash?”
It can get frustrating having to say it each time you need help, but just be patient.
He likes to be in control
A man needs to be in control and for the Nigerian man this is doubly so. So give him control. This does not mean that you automatically become a zombie, on the contrary. This just means that you gently and submissively (yeah, they love that word too) lead him to the decision you want. He will think it’s his idea and even claim credit…don’t let that bother you as long as you get the result you are after.
Food…This should have been the first point
Please when it comes to your Nigerian husband, don’t ever joke with his food. Remember that saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…? Well… remember it, that’s all I’m saying. Find out how he likes his food and give it to him promptly. That sounds old fashioned right? It is true. If he likes eba and soup, please don’t try to force chili con carne on him. He might not complain, but it’s only a matter of time before he does.
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Living with your Nigerian husband can be exciting. There will be lots of drama, but if you understand him, you will learn not to take too much personally and also not to let your emotional happiness depend solely on him.
Can you give us your tips on how to understand your Nigerian husband?