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What exactly is wife material?

By Anthony Okoth Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 16:53
Isn’t it ridiculous how life seems to always be skewed towards one side? Rich people over poor people, straight people over gender minorities… Men over women? We’ve all talked or heard about “wife material”.

Women, they’re quite something, aren’t they? Something must be off though. If women are doing all this for men, then surely they must be getting the same in return?

A Proverbs 31 woman is a woman who can build you up. So we've been told. We've also been told that behind every successful man is a strong woman. A woman who provided counsel, a woman who provided motivation, was a shield. Women, they’re quite something, aren’t they?

Something must be off though. If women are doing all this for men, then surely they must be getting the same in return. Right? 

There must be men out in this world who are providing counsel for their partners, motivating them, being their shield and their sword, building them up, causing their wives to be respected…a Proverbs 31 man, as it were. Behind every successful woman… is a strong man?

Why does society demand so much from women, and doesn’t do the same for men? It is ironic when you think about it because men are supposed to be the heads of the household. You demand the most from the leader; the captain must have the coolest head and the strongest resolve. Yet the captain is not held to the highest standard? How can that be?

We’ve seen women castigated the hardest when relationships and marriages falter like there weren’t two people involved. Women are supposed to keep themselves pure for their husbands. We’ve seen women get blamed for their husband’s infidelity, alcoholism, joblessness. The reverse is never true though. In fact, society is especially harsh on women who show anything short of the superhuman traits that a 'Proverbs 31 woman' should have.

To be fair, as people we often ask for things we don’t or can't have. That’s part of the reason why social media has been referred to repeatedly as the doom of relationships. Most people want to be with people who are built like some Greek god or goddess, but we wouldn’t measure up.

We want nice things, but when those same things are asked of us…we shrink. Standards are always such a fantastic thing until we’re the ones who need to be measured up against them.

That’s also why most men would fail terribly if they were held up against the Proverbs 31 standard. Men get ridiculous passes for infidelity, to the point where it’s other women who make impassioned pleas for transgressions.

One of the reasons why women in Kenya are so good at saving (if you don't believe me, ask the person who made the meme about Kenya's female president being able to save Kenya through chama money) is because they’re protecting themselves against their partners leaving them in financial ruin.

Men ask women to leave their jobs and then hold them ransom financially for basic needs. You know, that thing we talked about: not being superhuman.

There’s nothing wrong with having standards, particularly for marriage. If you plan to be with someone, they should meet the criteria you want them to. Forever is a very long time, after all. Nitpicking at the small things and falling out over the major issues could lead to separation or even worse: an eternity with someone you have grown to hate but are stuck with.

But before we demand a Proverbs 31 person out of anyone, we need to ask ourselves if we are able to meet that level of sacrifice as well.

 

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