I am a huge Game of Thrones (GoT) fan, and after seeing “An hour of Ice and Fire” – last week’s episode where Khaleesi dealt with the sex-crazed and potty-mouthed khans by setting the Dothraki hut ablaze, I was filled with so much excitement that I decided to call a friend, Tiwa** to share my speculations for the next episode. As Tiwa picked up the phone and we started talking, I noticed that her responses were curt and her tone flat. I had to end all the GoT talk and ask her what was wrong. She surprisingly broke into tears and started to narrate the story of how her boyfriend had embarrassed her earlier in the day, in front of their friend.
According to Tiwa, she had gone to over to his place early in the morning to drop off the packs of food she had made for him to put in his freezer. Although she had called him before setting out and still called his phone when she got to his apartment, he had left her standing at the entrance knocking for almost 10 minutes before opening the door. It wasn’t all. After she put the bowls of food in the freezer, she headed to his room to give him a kiss before leaving as any loving girlfriend would do. On getting to his room, however, one of his friends (also a friend of hers) who had spent the weekend with him and was in the room with him, mentioned to the boyfriend that he needed to give Tiwa a key to the apartment. Before she could say a word in protest, her boyfriend of 3 solid years had already replied : “For what now? When she is not my wife?”
Of course, I couldn’t do much but just listen and sympathize with her. She had not asked for my advice and actually, I could see that she was finally at the place where she could see that her boyfriend was not in love with her. He was only stringing her along until the marriage benefits she was giving him runs out… or until he finds the benefits elsewhere.
Tiwa met him at the point in her life when she was going through the “i-want-to-get-married” phase and was a little desperate. In the bid to show him that she wife material and secure him for marriage, she started to give him the benefits of marriage: round-the-clock sex, home-cooked meals, cleaning his house, etc. Of course, we (Tiwa and I) had had fights over it all; I constantly told her that playing wife was not only inappropriate, it would take away the incentive for him to take the next step and marry her, but she wouldn’t listen.
Think about it, why marry the woman when you can get the wife for free?
In my opinion, there is a very big difference between a boyfriend and a husband – many of which circle around devotion, commitment, and understanding. The two are not interchangeable at all. If they were the same, what would be there to look forward to in marriage?
Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with loving your boyfriend and giving him a measure of devoutness. Actually, the caring-for-him part is what makes the relationship fun for the woman as caregiving comes naturally to her. The problem comes when you give him all the benefits of having a wife with none of the commitment.
In fact, the root of some many problems in dating stem from the fact that most girls go above and beyond the call of duty of a girlfriend. Doing for your boyfriends, what a wife does for her husband, is not okay. If a man wants all of you and wants you to do more than a girlfriend does for her boyfriend, then he needs to put a ring on it. Until there is a ring on your finger, you should never treat him as though he is your husband.
Treating a man as though he is already a husband, with the intent of getting him to marry you, often backfires. Usually, he instead takes you for granted or walks all over you. Like…even if you go to his mother and learn how to make their village meals or you decide to not just indulge all his sexual desires but also hang your ovaries on his wall so he will know you can do anything for him, you will be disappointed to learn how easily and quickly he can leave the relationship without batting an eye. Slow down, leave a little mystery, close your legs and set physical boundaries, have your own life, go after your dreams! Do not behave as though you cannot exist without a man. Let the courtship happen naturally, and you will be alright.
Biko, I am not setting rules for anyone on how involved they can be at each stage of their relationship….you may need to use your intuition on that one. Key thing to remember though: Do not force a more committed element in your relationship by playing wife. If he does not want to play husband, you definitely should not play wife. And if I might add…no double standards either. Lower your expectations.
Do not expect him to take up husband duties before marriage; taking care of you physically, emotionally and most of all, financially, just as though he were your husband. You have your father, brother and uncles for those. The expectation of wanting a man to prove himself worthy of becoming a husband will even keep you from getting to know him for who he really is, as you only get to see what he can do for you, without enjoying his essence. Again, if he starts to feel like you depend on him for everything, he may start to take you for granted as well.
It works both ways really…or what do you think? Have you ever fallen into the temptation of playing wife in order to get the ring? How did it turn out? Please, let’s talk about it all in the comment section.