Is there a drastic change in relationships once couples have tied the knot? Do you feel like you went down the aisle on your wedding day with one man and later found him to be completely different than you ever imagined?
Betty Muindi @BettyMuindi
A few weeks ago, in a village in Kisii, residents were treated to drama, when a couple engaged in a nasty physical fight that began with quarrels that had gone throughout the night.
The woman was being sent back to her parents after what the man, a primary school teacher, termed as failure to perform wifely duties as expected of her. But what was shocking for the neighbours was that the couple had just gotten married in a colourful wedding a month earlier. And before they got married, they had stayed together in a ‘come we stay’ arrangement and they had never fought before.
The woman said her husband had never complained before and she expressed astonishment over what had come over him. She explained to curious neighbours that since they got married, her husband completely changed and is no longer the caring man she knew.
This couple’s story stirred debate among women online who mostly agreed that truly men change once they put a ring on it. But do they? Well, if the above is anything to go by, then these allegations could hold some water.
During dating, Eugenia Wangui, a laboratory technician in Nairobi says her fiancé would occasionally cook for her, clean the house and even do the laundry. He, however, stopped doing all that, including showering every night and putting his clothes in laundry basket as he used to. He stopped helping with anything at all around the house even though they both had full time jobs.
“I had thought that living with him for two years before marriage meant that I knew him better and knew what to expect when we were married. However, once it was legal, he totally changed,” she whines. Hillary Were, a production assistant says it is a natural transition. “There is a difference between hunting a prey and finally catching it,” he says.
“Dating my then fiancée, I always paid for dinners, movie tickets, not to mention the countless flowers I delivered at her office. I even did the dishes. But that was us dating, when we got married, of course things had to change.
Marrying her meant she becomes mine. She becomes the woman of my house. It should be the best feeling for a woman—knowing she would take care of her beloved husband, isn’t that how it should be?” he poses.
But Rodgers Kilel on the other hand, insists that men do not change, it is the women that do. “After they have finally settled in, the women stop pampering you as they used to. If you were washing dishes, they want to start ordering you around. When a woman becomes bossy, a man stops before it get to the woman’s head,” he retorts.
But what about intimacy? You would ask. Christine Akinyi wishes she could turn back the hands of time and just stayed in the courting phase with her husband. For four years, Akinyi says their sex life was amazing, which her husbands admits, but just a few months into marriage, it all changed.
“He doesn’t have sex with me as much anymore. We don’t go out either. It is really frustrating to think that this will go on for the rest of our marriage,” she cries. Relationship coach William Muchiri says the damaging process of shifting gears after the wedding day happens incognito.
“Usually what happens is that men readjust their focus. He figures that now that he got the ‘marriage job’ done, it’s time to move on to another objective. He faced one challenge and beat it; now it’s time to face another one,” he explains. But he notes that there is no malice in his decision.
In fact, he is probably not even aware that he’s making the shift. If questioned about his love for his wife, he would deny that it has faltered in the least. He loves her as much as he did the day he married her. He’s simply doing what he has been conditioned to do.