By Carol Kasujja
For long, marriage counsellors and church leaders have advised couples to marry their friends. However, these days women have taken their need for friendship with their husbands to another level; they expect their husband to act like their girlfriends.
Some women want their husbands to accompany them to the salon and if they cannot, they expect them to take them food at lunch time and keep on checking on them.
When the man wants to go out and have fun with his friends, the woman sets curfew for him. Women reason that when they get married, they usually drop most of their friends to concentrate on their marriage and thus, only have their husbands for company.
Therefore, some women even expect their husbands to accompany them to their friends’ birthday parties, baby or bridal showers, which many guys find really boring because they are full of girl talk. It is more disturbing for a guy when a woman wants to spend every hour of the day with him.
However, women say they do not see anything wrong with such behaviour, adding that it is a sign of love for a man to be fully involved with his wife. For example, Harriet Akiror says:“When I am in my periods and my husband buys me sanitary towels, I feel loved and cared for. Today’s men should not only be bedmates, they should be our friends.”
“Involving my husband in everything I do is the secret to my happy marriage. I always feel proud when he comes along with me when I visit my friends. Love should be expressed in actions,” says Anita Ogwal.
Sarah Kalyango also admits that when she had just met her boyfriend, she was all over him and it did not please many people, as some described her as someone who did not have her own life.
“For the first six months of our relationship, I threw out everybody; it was me and my boyfriend. If you wanted me and my phone was off, you would call him and I would be with him,” narrates Kalyango.
Some men also support this approach. For example, Medi Mbogo says he would consider it a sign of love if a woman wanted to involve him in whatever she did. Tonny Katerega, 35, also says a woman who treats him as a best friend shows that she is deeeply in love.
“A woman who does not love you cannot even share her plans with you. But the one who loves you would feel bad if you found out on your own that she did something without your knowledge,” he says.
John Bakoza, 32, also says: “It shows love and trust for a woman to involve her husband in whatever she does.” However, Esther Katasi thinks it is not advisable for a woman to involve a man in everything she does. “If he does not want to go somewhere with you, accept his decision and do not get angry, it makes you look clingy,” Katasi advises.
Beatrice Lagariti, a counsellor, says most women involve their men in their daily work because they do not trust fellow women. “However, over-involving the man in whatever you do suffocates the relationship. It makes you appear like a stalker.
“As much as you would want your husband to be there for you thinking it is love, it would end up making him feel uncomfortable only that he might not tell you. It is not right to always be in his face. Men need space. Let him have his space and when he is done, he will be looking forward to being with you,” she advises.
However, Ann Tweheyo, a counsellor, says it depends on the man. “If he finds it okay to attend a bridal shower with you, let him do so.
” Tweheyo says if the relationship is in its early stages, that is a sign of bonding. She explains that women want somebody who can listen to them, comfort them and laugh with them. However, she advises women to understand if their husbands do not want to get involved in some of their activities.
Justine Nantume, a renowned Ssenga and a radio presenter, says women who feel loved by their men would want to do everything with them but those who do not get enough love or care from their men will never feel free to involve them in their lives.
“How do you expect a woman who is going for a party to involve her husband if the man does not buy her clothes and shoes or give her money for the salon?” she asks.
Nantume notes that there is nothing wrong with involving your man in whatever you do. She says most women want to totally share their lives with their husbands because they have been disappointed by their friends. “I would advise all women to share their secrets with only their husbands. Your women friends will just gossip about your issues,” she advises.
Don't be a nagging wife
You beg him to accompany you to the salon one weekend, the next to a girlfriend’s party you cannot afford to miss—you risk him silently labelling you a nag!
Ann Asiimwe, a counsellor with Care Counselling Centre in Bukoto, advises couples to sit down and have an honest conversation about their different interests at the beginning of the marriage. “It is unfair for a wife to drag her husband to the salon just to wait for her as she has her hair or nails done.”
Asiimwe adds that much as you may request him over and over again to do something he is not interested in and he finally gives in, that does not mean he is interested in what you are asking him to do. “He might actually be thinking to himself that you are such a nagging wife or girlfriend!” Asiimwe warns.
She says it is better for a woman to keep her girlfriends for the ‘girly’ activities and not drag her partner into them when he would rather be somewhere with the boys watching a game!
Compiled by Vicky Wandawa