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Aunty Bella – Mr. Man Down

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depressedmanThe Aunty Bella feature has been a part of Bella Naija since the early days of our existence. It is very special to us because we have actually learned a lot from the situations, responses and advice given. In most instances, we get people send in relationship dilemmas but in some instance, readers share situations that are almost heartbreaking. Today’s Aunty Bella is from Mr. Man Down, do read and offer him any words of advice and encouragement.

Dear Aunty Bella,

My story starts 12 years ago when I moved to the USA. I was just rounding off my 400 level of university when I got the notification that I had won the US Visa Lottery. The climate then was very different from now, winning the US Visa Lottery was the ultimate prize because of the economic situation in the country then especially for young graduates. After all the processes and checks, I moved to the US. Luckily I already obtained my degree certificate before my trip. I arrived and stayed with an aunty and her family in one of the small east coast states. You know the ones that have very few foreigners. I had been warned by my relatives not to expect too much in the beginning because most companies did not recognize the Nigerian degree certificate, I agreed when they said I would have to get a menial job to start off but within me, I knew that I would do better.
My aunty gave me some weeks ‘grace’ to relax and get acquainted with the American environment. During that time, she also found me a job as a cleaner in a hospital and told me that I should start saving towards enrolling in a local college to study nursing. I didn’t want to see ungrateful but knew that was not for me.
During my grace period, I used that time to scout around and apply for job in my field – of study. Contrary to what my relatives had said about my Nigerian degree, I got a job with a computer firm with a very good package. Imagine my aunt’s surprise when within 1 month of being in the US, I told her I was moving out, I had already gotten my own apartment and new job. She had expected me to be a dependent for much longer like others than had come before me.
Maybe my early success is now the cause of my downfall.
I spent the next few years rising in my job- bought my own house, car etc… You know the excitement of a local Nigerian boy moving to the US. All those oyinbo babes I had seen on TV, I was so excited to sample them. Then I clocked 30 and decided it was a good time to settle down. I started corresponding with one of my younger sister’s friends in Nigeria, I remembered her as quiet, pretty and smart so after a while I proposed over the phone. After a year of form filling, she finally got her visa and moved over to the US to join me. She was so shy and we were basically strangers but that made me feel more protective of her. I made sure she was comfortable, provided for her etc…We had our first child within her first year in the US and then I paid her way through nursing school. Life was good – we had our 2nd child and moved to a bigger house in a nicer neighborhood.
Life completely changed last year when I was made redundant, It was really a shock but I was not phased as I was confident that due to my experience, I would get another job before the redundancy check ran-out (my redundancy payment was high due to my position and then fact that I had spent over a decade with my employer). Now I spent months and months applying for jobs to no avail, suddenly the few employers that were hiring didn’t recognize my Nigerian certificate/degree. Now, this is where I believe my early success destroyed me. If I didn’t get my job so soon after my arrival then I would have obtained some US qualifications but I did not. Apart from the in-house work training programs that my company sponsored, I did not get any other qualification.

Now my dilemma, I have been home for over 16 months, my once shy wife who I nurtured and brought to this country now comes home and asks me if I have done the laundry. If I have done the dishes, If I tucked the children into bed and did their homework with them. I feel like less of a man, I have tried to get even the most menial of jobs (something I never even did in my early days in the US) but I have been told that I am over-qualified. I cannot move state because my wife refuses due to her jobs and the children – also due to the housing market, we cant even sell our house here. To be fair to her, she is carrying a very heavy burden as she is now solely reponsible for the mortgageand car payments – we even had to remove our children from private school. I did not make any investments in Nigeria apart from a house in my village and some shares in the stock market so I am not reaping anything from there. The joblessness is one thing but the feeling in my home is worse. I feel like my children look down on me (especially after they changed schools) and my wife see me as less of a man. I am not sure what to do.

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59 Comments

  1. Emma

    August 18, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Well, this may sound cliche` but do persevere. I always say everyone is on different journeys and we all are on different routes to reach our destined destinations. It may be long to get you there but someday, you’ll get there and in good form. You story shows and contrary to what is regarded as the norm that you can get a good job without the US qualifications on moving there. That is luck + opportunity. Your story is a wonderful one and it leaves me feeling how ungrateful we are for what we have. I have a story not quite like yours but the morale of our stories are similar. We get really worked up when things are not working as we think we deserve. Why do we think it shouldnt happen to us? Why do we think we are special and different and that the sufferings are for someone else? What if there are known statistics of how many people should be unhappy and how many to be happy. Why cant we make up the unhappy statistics?. Yes we work hard to ensure we get what we want and it is great when we do. However, when the routes of our journeys take a course we didnt plan for, we must be ready to say, this is for a minute or two or a week or a day or a year or more…. but it will come to pass and i will survive because i am a fighter. You need to hold your head up high. I am sure your wife has not forgotten how much of a man you were when you were taking care of her. Surely your children understand. I agree that men are under immense amounts of pressure as providers for their family, but if your wife’s pay puts food on the table at the moment, let it… it may be temporary. Being a man doesnt mean monetary provisions alone. Give your childrean the moral, phisical and all other supports you can at the moment. Use this period to develop other aspects of your self and remain strong for your family. If you believe that it will get better, it will. You could start a business. Think deeply within yourself and be positive. It is well! I know it is easier said than done, but hope my few words brings some encouragement. Do not blame this temporary problem on a past success! Surely that cant be healthy. All the best. You have to be the Man UP!

  2. yemi

    August 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Keep looking…God who helped you secure a job will find you another one….As for your wife, she has just shown you that she cannot have your back when things are bad..you have catered for her and your children all these years and now she is suddenly irritated that you are out of a job,like that is your fault…Now you know the kind of person she is…If i were you once i land a job..i’d leave her…because there is nothing worse than a partner who cannot be your backbone, who cannot be with you during a raging storm!!!!

  3. Kpakpando Nwanyi

    August 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Mr. Man Down, cheer up. This is a temporary situation and you will get past this chapter in your life and maybe you’ll even look back and laugh. You shouldn’t equate you employment status with your value/worth like men tend to, you are so much more than your earning power. Perhaps your slight depression about the job situation is coloring your perception of what your wife & children think of you.

    Don’t feel anyhow because she’s asking you to chip in with the housework and raising your children, you both are partners and right now she’s carrying a heavier load with bringing in income and she needs your help in keeping your home the way it was maintained in the past. Contributing to the household isn’t just about making the money, I’m sure your children are loving the extra time they have with you. If you feel like your wife doesn’t respect you, then start a conversation with her about how you’re feeling and I’m sure she loves you enough to be more sensitive to your emotions.

    In the meantime, realize that you’re in good company, many people no longer have jobs in the United States, and are in the same position as you are or even worse off. While you look for other jobs, perhaps you should use this time to explore other opportunities, start up your own thing, or consider freelancing, so you can live the life you always dreamed about.

    • olamide

      November 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      thank you for this reply unlike the previous comment!

  4. Dorah

    August 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I hate to sound like a bitch, but he didn’t know his wife, like really know her when he married her. I don’t believe in these “hook-up-with-sister’s-friend-who-lives-in-Nigeria-who’ve-I-never-before” relationships. If he knew her (and her character) for years, maybe things wouldn’t be so bad between them. It’s best that spouses be friends, imho, before marrying. Good luck!

  5. Dorah

    August 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I don’t get how she could forget what he has done for her. He put her through school and provided a nice lifestyle that she wouldn’t never have in Naija. She sounds mad selfish, imho.

  6. xxx

    August 18, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    my dear, i wont give u sympathy rather a kick in the butt will stop u whinning n get u back in d game.stop dwelling on d past n find a forward n stop trying to paint ur wife as d baddy here. there s always 2 sides to a story. u shld with pleasure help with d house work it doesnt make u less of a man n enjoy ur time with d kids. the recession and unemployment s just a temporary glitch in d bigger pics so be brave.no woman will come home after a hard day’s work to find d house messy n d husband just there scratching his crotch….its not fair. call ur wife n have a honey to honey talk with her.shez human even a witch has a face n name.pls drop d attitude dt u raised her from nothing to something. some women @ d sign of trouble wld av bolted but shez still there, so shez a good woman. u shld encourage and pet her n u guys shld pray together as a family.dont allow seeds of bitterness break ur home. who wants to come home to a [partner with a lousy attitude by the way? no one deary. u’r not a failure its just a glitch in d master plan. give ur wife a hug n a kiss and praise her for what shez doing.

    • Dominic( Jnr)

      March 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      i take it you’re a female. I also take it you’re a feminist. Well, miss feminist think before you talk. he adores/ed her but due to this she has lost respect even in words! don’t talk like this. words are powerful, if wrongly used it can break a person (male or female). She really had nothing – but because of him she’s in the U.S, whether she’s working or not she should also be loving in words and attitude.

  7. isitjustme

    August 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    ahh,aah…nah wah for you oh. Yemi, you must not be married. How can you start advising him to leave the woman? That’s the mother of his children. Yes, her behaviour was not best but sometimes situations bring out the worst in us. We can always change. My dear, I second everything Emma said. This situation is only temporary. Thank God you have another means of income. Please don’t be mad at your wife or feel frustrated that you’re not man enough. You men bottle a lot of stuff internally. Try communicating with her and let her know how you’ve been feeling. If you have to wash dishes and laundry to support your family, just do it. Its not a big deal. Lets not carry naija mentality into this. Fight for the peace and love of your family. Do not resent her, please. You don’t know how she feels with this burden all of a sudden on her head. Seek counseling if possible. Please do not allow the devil to use this temporary situation to destroy your family. All I can say is see your family as a partnership, nobody has any designated role. Do whatever it takes for the sake of your children. You will bounce back up again. Maybe you can go obtain more certifications or get a temp job while waiting for the economy to recover…abeg let me stop for now. The sky is your beginning…better days are yet to come. Oh one more thing, if you allowed pride to creep in, then repent and ask God to forgive and restore you.

  8. Baffled

    August 18, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I am constantly baffled by how judgemental and backward Nigerians choose to be when it suits their purposes.
    I assume that in order to keep up with the financial responsibilities, hiw wife is working extra hours and juggling as muc as she can to ensure bills are paid. Circumstances have reversed their roles, albeit temporarily, and the husband is the one at home all day. I quite frankly fail to see how asking him to help out more so she’s not burnt out is selfish or bad. A true man will step up and help out without being asked. The only issue I have is with her approach. All I see is a man who has made a few poor choices (marrying a stranger, not pursuing further education in the US), is paying for the latter now, feels inadequate because he is no longer the primary source of income and is projecting all of his insecurities and hangups about being a trueblue naija husband on his wife. That guarantees that anything that comes out of her mouth, to him, will be because he has no job. I have watched others go through the exact same situation this man is in and the couples that have survived are those who together worked on solutions to the problem. My guy, what stopped you from spending the last 18 months pursuing a post graduate program? Have you spoken to your wife about how losing your job makes you feel? Because what you are expressing is how YOU feel. She could serve you your dinner on a golden platter in sexy lingerie on her knees after a 12 hour work day and you’ll say she’s kneeling funny because you don’t have a job. The point is, this is about you and you need to address your issues and then talk to your wife. Be candid about how you feel and let her know when she speaks in that manner, it makes you feel worse. Biko, do not tell the woman that she is talking to you in that manner because you don’t have a job. The emphasis is on how it makes you feel. Do not purport to insert yourself in her mind and know what she’s trying to say.

  9. lolastic

    August 18, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Me, i dont see how she is being selfish from what he has said. All she has asked is that he help with the house since he is at home. Since when did that become a crime. Should she go to work and still come home to do the laundry while he is asleep or whatever. Should she also help the kids with homework when he is looking on. Is that fair. she has not insulted him by asking him to do housework now. As for the children, I think it is his own heart that is giving him this feeling, because children have kept loving parents who have done worse things.

  10. Bibi

    August 18, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    How comfortable did you get within that 10yrs that u FORGOT to get ur masters?? Thats probably the worst mistake u made…I suggest you should enrol in school now for a masters program so that when the job markets get better, u’ll be as qualified as ppl with Americans degree to get a better job..
    And regarding ur wife, u CAN’T blame her.afterall, she’s taking the responsibility for everything in the household..there’s only so much a woman can take….washing dishes, tucking YOUR children in bed and cooking IS NOT A BIG DEAL! Naija men and their egos sha…pshew… As long as u guys have that christian foundation in ur marriage (i hope u do), she won’t have any reason to treat u any lesser than the MAN of the house that u are..Unless, ur marriage was founded on anything other than…..
    Good luck with you..u’re not the only one dealing with something like this tho..

  11. Elle Woods

    August 18, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    lol…who is this guy? Is he high? Instead of him to be thanking God that his wife is employed thereby maintaining that they have a source of income, he is coming here to talk smack about her. All the so called “looking down on me” feelings are all of his own creation. So when she has finished working all day, she is supposed to come home and cater to you? You that you have been home all day? Is it too much to help her out by doing the dishes? or helping your kids with their homework?
    Are you for real? So because you brought her to this country, i am sure you think she should be submitting her paycheck to you. Nonsense. Better get on your knees and start thanking God that one of you is employed. Nonsense African men and their dumb ass egos. Abeg clear road jo!

  12. wow

    August 18, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    God bless u for this comment

  13. Bebe

    August 18, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    although you feel put down by your wife asking if you’ve done the chores, really it’s not too much to ask. Its just best if you did it, then she wouldnt have to ask and you won’t feel down. Trust me..no woman [at least speaking for myself] would like to come to a dirty house…it is such a turn off…could cause great problems!
    I totally support what ‘isitjustme’ said….all those saying you should leave her are ill-advising you.
    Everything will work out for your own good.

  14. Dorah

    August 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I see what you are saying. Both of these ppl have made serious mistakes regarding their lives and marriage. But I still don’t agree with her behavior though. I know she’s frustrated, but still, he’s helped her advance. They need to work together and fight through the tough times. It also seems like this dude and wife was living beyond his means. What happened to saving and downsizing? I recently lost my job, and I thank GOD that I saved a good sum of money up. I am able to pay student loans payments, travel to job interviews no problem, and take a class to prepare for B-school.

  15. J

    August 18, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Move to Nigeria. You’ll get a job in no time with your experience. Nothing wrong with that. You’re Nigerian aren’t you? There’s a lot of repatriates in Nigeria now because there are more (believe it or not) jobs there and less in America/Britain.

  16. Blessing Ihedioha

    August 18, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    what are you saying!!??..”I don’t get how she could forget what he has done for her” when he had a job, he supported her, paid her way through school. and in return she takes care of the house and children. now that the role is reverse, she doing the supporting, what is hard in keeping the house clean and tending to the children. yes maybe the tone she uses may be a little disrespectful but i see no crime in what she ask. what do you want her to do. go to work, come back and clean the house and tend to children while he does WHAT?? Plz i would like to you to reply.

  17. mercy oduah

    August 18, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Life is unpredictable. I will like you to calm down first and look at the bright side. Do not focus on your situation too much because it will overwhelm you and cloud your judgment. Your wife needs help in the house whether you have a job or not. At this point that you do not have a job, help in the house. You are to serve your family in one way or the other. Blessing comes through service. Be very careful so that the enemy does not destroy your home with the d-word. Be smart and do whatever it takes for peace in your home. Forget about African tradition right now and do the right thing to keep your home together and new job awaits you soon. It maybe a test of your faith. love your wife, support her and praise her effort and that will keep her balance in her mind. God bless you and cause his favor to sorround you this time. Very soon, you will have a new song if you faint not. much love, Gods blessing.

  18. niyi andre

    August 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    @ Dorah, I’m glad you know you sound like a bitch so please shut up! I’m assuming you’re a female and instead of being sympathetic to the situation, you’re fueling the man’s negative feelings towards his wife. Is ten years not enough to know someone? what is he never really knew her. when he had children with her and when things were good did he not know her then? rubbish! I’m sick of this chastising. first of all, I cannot read any tone off of the statements the woman made. He did not mention that his wife comes back home angry and raising hell. simply put “my once shy wife who I nurtured and brought to this country now comes home and asks me if I have done the laundry. If I have done the dishes, If I tucked the children into bed and did their homework with them.”
    pray tell, where’s the tone in that? Mr. Man down needs to get off his high horse and face the reality of what he failed to do when things were “smooth”
    @ Mr. Man down, Now read all the good comments by the sensible people who have been moved to talk some sense into your head and heed their advice. Pray pray pray, ask for direction, start up something for yourself (my Pastor always says the wealthy ones are not on a monthly payroll), go back to school, now’s as good a time as any to explore opportunities in Nigeria. You have it good so this description of man down is ill-deserved.
    For the love of God your wife appears to be a good woman (except you’re not telling the whole truth). Helping out with household chores does not make you a house husband, in case you think that’s what you’ve become. Depending on how you approach her, you might be able to convince your wife to relocate. I recently graduated from nursing school myself (B.Sc) and I am yet to find a job so it’s not that easy. At least she has some experience so things are brighter for you/her if you decide to move.
    Finally, I’m sorry I sound harsh. I’m usually a nice person. Seems to me like you needed a dose of tough love and lucky for you, there’s enough to go round, even for DORAH above!!
    Peace, love and Gap y’all lol!!!!!

  19. Zenna

    August 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    thank goddness you came the BN, really hope you’ve not disscussed your wife issue with family sha.
    as others have said before me, get off the chair and stop complaining about your wife that’s doing two jobs asking you to do a bit of cleaning. the good thing is you have realised that you need to retrain so, go get that qualification and as someone said try to fish for jobs in naija you might find something worthwhile.
    your issue with your wife is really easy, help her out speak to her about how you feel am certain some things may change and you’ll feel better. but truly you shouldnt even say things like you took her to the US if you love her, i mean she married you of all people be gratefull for that and she had 2kids for you. i think you just been a lucky guy and God has decided to work with you better learn quick; he is trying to reposistion you but first he needs to deal with the person. you just seem like one of those guys that doesnt want their wife to do well or be better than them. yeah! no one wants anybody to be better than they are, but you need to begin to see your wife as a partner, helper and friend.

  20. Zenna

    August 18, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    wow! nicely said i couldnt have said this better

  21. jen

    August 18, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Please tell me what is wrong with cleaning your house, taking care of your kids, and helping them with homework?Should the mailman do it

    Your wife will be there for you as long as you help out around the house, what’s the point if you’re home and she’s working and has to come home and clean.

    It’s never too late to go back to school, just register for a program and keep your head up.

  22. blows2numbskull

    August 19, 2009 at 1:12 am

    i can imagine the type of wife u r/will be. Ur life sucks-its abt bucks, huh? Did the guy mention anything close to having her part with her earnings here? Objectivity-zero. Dat’s why must of u fair-weather wifey get wrong guys, losers! Show off ur non-african man, as if race makes a difference.
    Sure, nothing wrong 4 a hubby to get his butt down 2 some hse chores. But, d woman reactns also speak volume. Reverse d situ, is d guy justified if he didnt partake in hse chores? Do u know or hv any faint idea of what a good marital life is? Its too large 4 ur grey matter, obviously. I blame the guy 4 sharing his predicaments 4 no-lifers like u to hv a say. I preach equality and true love not money-monging that is the hallmark of today’s relationships. Let’s see how ur type end-up.

  23. olachi

    August 19, 2009 at 4:22 am

    we are all suppose to be offering advice from our point of view so why are people vexing over other people’s opinions…like what is seriously wrong with some Nigerians.We dont always have to share the same view for pete sake!I tire for this website o….

    Anyway Mr Man….just look up to God and keep being pro active, something will surely happen. There is nothing wrong with you helping out at home…but if she is asking you to do the house chores in a condescending manner or talking to you in a disrespectful way …then you may want to talk to her about it (esp if this was stuff she wasnt doing b4)…just talk to your wife about how you are feeling and also ask her how she feels about the whole situation..i am sure she hasnt forgotten how you paid her way through school and all the other good things you have been to her…Communicate your thoughts with her and take it from there…thats all i can say

  24. olachi

    August 19, 2009 at 4:33 am

    i totally agree with you..the only issue i see could be her approach too…perraps she shouts at him “useless man, your mates are fending for their family, come on go and wash the plates jare”…lol.Marriage is a partnership and you should be willing to go an extra mile to make the other comfortable..
    personally i think if he wasnt helping out with the house chores before and she wasnt asking to…then she probably will want to limit what she asks him to do because that right there will emasculate Mr.Man….and he will feel she is asking him to do it cos she is now fending for d family….Also, Mr.Man should step up and quit the pity party…he doesnt have a job so he really shouldnt wait for d wife to tell him to get things done…

  25. wale olooro gbogbo bigs boys

    August 19, 2009 at 5:48 am

    The story is a sad story..There is nothing bad in doing home chores but how can a wife be asking the husband if he’z done diz and dat.the approach to things in life [email protected] least things have been going good before the unexpected happened.From have u done d laundry it would turn to go to market,do diz,do dat.Think about this before you question the poor man.

  26. FatherHadADonkey

    August 19, 2009 at 7:47 am

    but a husband can ask the wife whether or not she has a job “if she’z done diz and dat” abi? so d problem now is because he is the husband she cannot ask him to do this and that abi?….i hope this is not the attitude Mr.Man has…if so then the problem is his fault

  27. Kpakpando

    August 19, 2009 at 8:14 am

    @Baffled, Thank you very much Sir! I like u already.

  28. jumoke adedeji

    August 19, 2009 at 8:34 am

    i totally agreed with some of the comment; there is nothing wrong in a man washing dishes or doing the laundry. since there is no affordable house help in america, london or anywhere abroad. i am in a similar situation myself, i am a nurse doing two jobs, and also in school for my masters( actually double masters). most of the times i pay 80-90% of the household bills, becos my husband does not make enough money, but he knows to wash plates and do his laundry at least. so there is no big deal in what his wife is asking him to do.

  29. mia

    August 19, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I think all what u are going thru is a test of faith, test of marriage bla bla bla.. hold on and keep praying God will see u thru.

    ps:I don’t see anything wrong in a man helping out with house chores. But it all depends on his wife’s approach. If she is being rude to him and stuff then it is definitely wrong.

  30. Milan

    August 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

    well firstly how old is she and how does she react when asking you if you have done this and that??……….

  31. Emma

    August 19, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Ditto all I said yesterday; but having read the other comments (ignoring all negative ones) I don’t see that getting a masters will do wonders now but waste more of your time… probably fuel your ego and maybe that will propel you with the confidence necessary to get another good job (who knows) as Its being 18months and your confidence is most likely down. I will say it’s all in the head. What you allow affect you will indeed affect you.
    Agreed there a number of qualified people out there all fighting for the same jobs and the bar has been raised …but times have changed…Qualifications is not all that matters. Just yesterday on the UK news, kids were being encouraged to seek alternative routes to their future ambitions, i.e qualifications not for everyone. Experience is very key! I for one, have five different degrees (including a masters and doctorate) largely due to moving countries a lot and with only a couple of year’s experience. All it does is make me analyse everything more than is necessary! lol…
    At work now, i sometimes admire my colleagues who have 9 years experience or more even though they are at least 5 years younger than i am and all because i spent those years acquiring one degree after the other. Needless to say, you never know until you’ve done it yourself. (in my experience and for the current climate, Experience is key!) If you must get a masters degree, be very sure of what you want to do going forward, and be wise on your choice of masters, perhaps draw on skills gained from the years of work and find something that you really need to complete any gaps and do it part time. Study/work and study. The fact that you studying part-time while searching may also put you in good stead.
    Overall, be thankful your wife has a job!

  32. niyi

    August 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Well said Mr. Emma. I get the sense that you, just like me, feel that this is more so a psychological battle Mr. “man up” is fighting. The current climate is bad for everyone, those with experience and those with multiple degrees. Just like everyone else in the country, now is the time for him and his family to get close to their “chi” and for him to explore other avenues to generate income for himself. Now is the time to pray for a breakthrough business idea.

  33. silva

    August 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    well first and foremost, u made a terrible mistake and u are partly to blame, how could u nt hv invested at home? i dn’t mean shares i mean in real estate. u could hv bought properties in abuja or other states and rented them out, at least if u had done dat, u’ll find dat relocating home won’t hv bein so difficult or u’ll be getttin some moni from dat area. well dat said, i dn’t thnk u shld despair, becos tough times neva last, jst keep hopin and wen thins get beta, hopefully u’ll learn 4rm ur mistakes…
    i also dn’t see anytin rong in helpin ur wife out at home, & if u dn’t like d way she talks to u, den tell her, bt give her a break, cos she’s obiously unda a lot of pressure..

  34. Dorah

    August 19, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Wow….It’s really not that serious. I have my opinion and you have yours….

  35. Dorah

    August 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I meant that he should have known in person before they got married. I believe that ppl should be friends (for a long time!) before marriage, that’s my opinion, okay. I don’t think she’s a bad person, but they both need to work together now as a team! And of course, I do think that he should do his part around the house, but at the same time, he’s probably really confused and scared about his future. He should learn to humble himself and get it together.

  36. Nice Anon

    August 19, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    This is only one side of the story. I highly doubt that she comes home to talk to you in that manner. Also I think all these started off with her being understanding and encouraging. 16 months is a long time for one person to keep paying the bills. A woman will always respect a hard working man even if he doesn’t make a lot of money. She won’t be happy if you don’t even bother to help out around the house the same way you won’t be if you came home and everywhere looks like a tornado ran through it.
    These men telling you to divorce her when you get on your feet are morons. Your ego is talking and sometimes it pays to be HUMBLE!
    I am sure if we do hear from her; it will be a very different story. Whatever the case maybe, go out there and work your ass off! Keep your family together.

  37. sasha

    August 19, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    @Baffled- Well said. Your comments make the most sense so far. The rest are busy fighting each other for no reason.

  38. sasha

    August 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    ok miss dorah- this comment is definitely an OP(out of point). This situation can happen to people who have known or dated each other for years before marriage. This is a classic case of a guy who feels down and out because he has been out of a job for a long time and feels inadequate. He just needs to get his shit together, pray as a family and continue looking for a job or enroll in a program in the meantime. Everyone is feeling the credit crunch so he is not alone. He is simply wallowing in self pity. So quit this talk about not knowing his wife well enough. Wetin concern agbero with overload.

  39. sasha

    August 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    @Dorah again- your comments are so annoying. Quit writing anything here please. Your comments are so judgmental and not intelligent at all. There are 2 sides of the story and you only heard the man’s side of the story…..

  40. Kpakpando Nwanyi

    August 19, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    So if she wants to know if he has done some of the necessary chores in the house how else is she supposed to know if she doesn’t ask the person in the house? Maybe she wants to know what hasn’t been done so she can put hand and do it.

    This man didn’t say his wife was rude when she asked the question & because he didn’t initially mention it I’m inclined to believe that she’s not. His feelings are based on his self-esteem & ego being tied into his ability to provide financially for himself/family, I don’t understand why this wife is being painted as bad or unsupportive simply because she asked a basic question about the status of the housework.

  41. wordsmith

    August 20, 2009 at 5:05 am

    ahh but men can be terrible. look at them adding firewood to something that is not so serious. so she has asked you to look after the house when she is out and she is checking to see you know what to do, not being used to it. BIG DEAL. and if she asks you to go to the grocery store nko? I see men there all the time. It’s not like its a womens only establishment. nobody is asking you to be subservient ehn, please help her a little. if you refuse to contribute anything at all to that household then she and your children will truly despise you as you seem to be afraid of happening. Nobody likes a whiny mooch..

  42. Aribaba

    August 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Omo Mr. Man…. Pray to God… sometimes our biggest valley is the beginning of a journey to a bright spot on the mountain top…Talk to your wife about how you feel, and your concerns. I’m sure she’s frustrated with the situation… as long as she doesn’t insult you, or talk down to you then it’s all good.

    All in All… Pray!!! Sounds like the age old advice but that’s the best thing you can do.

  43. brainerd

    August 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    With the current global recession, the possibility of getting a regular job is very slim. Its time to be proactive. Money we all know significantly shapes a man’s self esteem as well as how he is regarded by others even by his family…with his level of skills and experience he should seek out online/freelance jobs that can at least bring in some little income to keep the home front together. Try sites like rentacoder.com, suite101.com, demandstudios.com, limeexchange.com and several others.

    You don’t need any money to start just your internet connection and a PC. Start making money and all your challenges at home will quickly fade away.

  44. bumight

    August 22, 2009 at 2:15 am

    from the tone of ur post, its obvious that u have the “i-am-the-man” mentality. Even if you brought her and nurtured her in this country, i think its time to let go of all that. Even if you didnt lose your job, I see nothing wrong with a man helping his wife out with the laundary, dishes and all especially if you have the free time. It doesnt make you less than a man- especially in America, couples help each other out with such stuff.
    you have to change your mind set – cos even if you dont tell her, women are perceptive and she’ll (if she hasnt already) pick up on it.
    2. The employment market is not the best out there, even people with multiple qualifications and job experience are losing their jobs. you have to make yourself more marketable to even be able to stay in the work force.
    I’ll suggest that u use this time to get some additional qualification (online school etc) that can give u some level of competition. Try applying for an advanced degree in a recession proof field (these things take 1-2 years, and time does fly). Also, like another person said online freelance jobs are also there.
    This is obviously a trying time for your marriage and also finances, but you can make the best of it. Goodluck!

  45. Quitwhining

    August 22, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Ok, I pray your situation will take a turn in the near future but my brother…you are home, do you expect your wife to come home and do the cleaning and cooking while you have been home all day. Haba, if anything show gratitude for her not leaving you like some trifling women would do in a situation like this. Most of us on here are giving you a dose of “tough love”, yes you paid her way through school and yada yada but aren’t you thankful you did that so she can actually be of help at a time like this!! Please help out around the house, it will not kill you…even if you can’t cook, just do what you can. Look at this time as an opportunity for you to really see what your wife has to put up with, once you start working I think you will appreciate her more since you have been in her shoes a bit. Dust yourself off and stop with the self pity, pitch in around the house and you will actually feel better about this whole situation. So as you are waiting for God to bless you with a new gig, be a blessing to your wife!!

  46. T

    August 23, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I really don’t see any problem in helping out at home when you wife is out there slaving for you and your kids, afterall isn’t marriage meant to be a partnership? what do you expect? the poor lady should work all day and then come home to do housechores as well while you just sit around doing nothing?
    However some women can be so vicious and might be using a degrading tone to voice her opinion, if that is the case take heart. We all go through difficult times, things will look up for you, it will be a good idea to do a post graduate course that might increase your chance in getting a job. Above all be prayerful.

  47. Baffled

    August 23, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Lol. I’m actually a woman with waaaay too many guy friends. This is an argument that we have all the time – a Nigerian man’s role in North America especially when the wife is the breadwinner.

  48. Ms.White

    September 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Be human being first, a good person second, her friend third and her husband last. If you get the first three right, the last won’t be an issue.

    Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought, helping out in the home now is your time to shine….in a different way. If you do it with a joyful heart and without complaint, despite your feelings, you will be greatly rewarded. Have faith.

  49. olayinka

    October 2, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    This is the humbling period that we must go thru in order to truly appreciate what we have and do not have. Unlike many ppl you were rewarded with a great job upon your entry to the U.S. and the reverse is now happening. Look at this period as that that time that you must ask God what is required of you. The waiting period such as when Joseph was in prison waiting for the baker, or is it the butler, to tell the king about his gift of dream interpretation but as we all learned only God can release us from our prison of isolation. Another important thing to note, God created a need for Joseph, a need that can only be met by Joseph. We all know what happened at the end, the king had a dream that no one could interpret and we all know what happened after that. Wait on GOD and He can use your gifts to pave the way. amen.

  50. seyi oresanya

    November 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    my friend life is full of ups N down, so doin the house shores is’nt a big deal at all. so wake up n do the needfull. what ur wife deserve from you now is ur support n encouragement. cheer up things will return to normal again. it shall be well.

  51. ameze

    November 24, 2009 at 11:14 am

    men!!! u can never ever change. especially nigerian men. it is only a nigerian man that will say ‘doing laundry, changing the baby’s diaper and cooking makes him less of a man’ thats what real men do my dear. it does not make u less of a man but more of a man. i personally respect men who can do domestic stuff not always trying to prove ‘i am a man’

  52. Onoja

    December 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Hi, Ameze. I think U miss the point. Its not about what the reality is. Its about emotions and we have no control over that. Every decent man wants to contribute to the welfare of his family. And we’ve spent all our lives being taught that once we can’t do that , we’ve stopped being men. U don’t shake that sort of feeling out overnight. Not even in 16 months.
    The question to ask is how his wife has reacted to his redundancy. Has she been supportive emotionally and tried to help him realise that this is a phase that will pass? Or has she been haughty and thrown his joblessness in his face and made him feel as though he no longer has a say in the decision making process in his home?
    My friend, if it the former then please pick Ur self up and continue trying. This too shall pass.

  53. getreal

    October 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    its a pity this happened to you but let’s get real. at least u’ve learnt tht u shud hav taken courses or another degree during the period.also, u cant rily blame ur wife. she may not mean it the way u think (n u probably think so cos of male ego). she’s a woman n naturally aside working n helpin put food on the table alongside u, she’l also worry abt keepin house clean n doin other stuff. my advice to u is show her ur appreciation, talk to her abt how u feel and also make sure u start takin steps to gettin urself out of the situation.its never too late to start over. take courses, do something n get closer to ur family in creative ways.God will help you.all the best

  54. chiamaka

    September 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    this is very sad, but you’ll definately get a job…

  55. Dominic( Jnr)

    March 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    i take it you’re a female. I also take it you’re a feminist. Well, miss feminist think before you talk. he adores/ed her but due to this she has lost respect even in words! don’t talk like this. words are powerful, if wrongly used it can break a person (male or female). She really had nothing – but because of him she’s in the U.S, whether she’s working or not she should also be loving in words and attitude. Yes, the dude got too comfortable now’s he’s without work but, this is just to show him what he’s doing wrong and to see what the next step to take would be. no matter who is working both parties are each others strength they should be there for each other in words, action and otherwise.

  56. Chiamaka O

    May 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Naija men and their ego sef. My bf cooks, cleans d house n all but he has told me that once we get married that he will stop. I think what MR MAN DOWN should be thinking now is how to better himself to get another job. He should also help out in his house. If his wife has started acting funny just after 16 months, I wonder what will happen if God forbid, he does not get a job in 2yrs time.

  57. mama

    August 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    just reading this article……its funny how men suddenly begin to feel less of a man when they have nothing……cos it has been drummed into their ears that a man is not meant to do house chores when they start to do it then they feel insulted…..do you expect the wife to work all day and start doing house chores as well? anyway we don’t know exactly how she says it but what is wrong in asking if you have done the laundry when you have been at home all day? its sad what is happening to you but dude get over yourself……..there is no law that says certain chores are restricted to the women gender but God has given certain innate ability to each gender that makes certain job easier…..from your complaints you haven’t even come out to say exactly what your wife has done to you cos everything you have said has been “i feel my wife, “I feel my children look down on me””……get over yourself, its not easy but hard time don’t last but tough people do……most people in life have to go thru such phases and sadly cos you were lucky and got a good job early you didn’t have to pay your dues which is making it harder…..lastly i find it amazing that men expect women not to have moods or be angry sometimes and always get it together when its the man going thru issues but they can behave anyway they like and the woman will forgive cos its a man,s world…..have you sat down one day to think of the pressure she too will be going thru? does she also not have a right to be frustrated with carrying the burden for the family? no one is super human..

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