Few young men can argue that they haven’t been faced with a dearth of illumination when it comes to selecting who to settle down with. The conundrum most of these young guys face is what I call the Vanity-Charity syndrome: do I date my vanity or date love? Or succinctly put, there’s this banker… and there’s this other lady who’s not a banker. Who should I date? And while some will sneer at your question, the truth is, it’s an issue young men are often confronted with, could be an issue too for young ladies I’d admit but I think it’s more pronounced in men than in women (my opinion).
There are many choices to select from: Do you marry rich Gbemi who’s well established, or do you marry Charity? Do you marry Tolulope the beautiful singer, or do you marry Charity? Do you, an entrepreneur, marry Bimpe whose father is Dangote or Elumelu… or do you marry Charity? Or, do you marry Aderonke the legal practitioner, or do you marry Charity?
For a lady, it may be: Do I marry Olayemi the rich guy… or do I marry the most loving and kind-hearted John? Or do I marry Wizkid the music star… or do I marry the devoted and loving Olumide? You see making a choice is not always easy; it can get complicated and convoluted with things like lust, desire, ambition and vanity. Many times emotions, ambition and vanity make up our minds for us, not reason.
Undoubtedly to you, boasting you married a banker is a big deal… In the same way that marrying a university graduate can be a big deal for a man denied formal education in life, you feel like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible (remember that movie?); you feel like you have achieved the impossible. Shall I state the obvious: social recognition means a lot to men, it’s why we boast about our cars, gadgets, houses… and how beautiful our wives and girlfriends are, it’s what drives men to buy what they can’t afford… Just to impress the world. I believe all men should undergo a basic course in Ego-Discipline 001 in order not to fall into the trap of manhood. Ego is man’s Achilles’ heel.
Like the bible would always advise ‘let us reason together’ so I call on guys-let us reason together on the qualifications of a wife. I am not sure the ability to dissect a cadaver or handle a microphone on stage is qualification for wife. Neither is the ability to diagnose flu or balance a worksheet a qualification for wife. As much as you like the idea of a singer wowing crowds with her frenetic display or a doctor wearing a stethoscope, let’s be honest she won’t always be that frenetic or wear one at home. The idea of a sexy skimpy nurse or doctor must remain in the woods of Hollywood, Nollywood and the other woods. I can imagine you introducing this young woman in your fantasy… Meet my wife, Barr. Aderonke, SAN, CFR, LLD, FNIALS, Legal Practitioner, Charles and Chucks Chambers… But fantasies don’t necessarily translate into matrimonial bliss.
The ability to treat a patient is different from the ability to treat a man right or well at home so also is the ability to wow crowds different from the ability to lift the spirit of the family when it seems melancholic. The qualifications for a legal practitioner are not the qualifications for wife. A doctor wife is not the same as wife doctor. That she’s a fantastic singer in the choir doesn’t mean you will sing the same tune at home. You don’t marry a doctor, or choir member, or a fashion model bro… You marry a wife who happens to be a doctor or singer or a model. This differentiation is quite critical or you’ll make a major mess of your life. People, often in their state of illusion mistake qualifications out of context and so as expected they arrive at wrong matrimonial decisions. That she’s a good singer doesn’t mean she’ll be a good mother or sing lullabies to your kids…
All I am trying to say is don’t marry your vanity, marry charity. If you’re sick would this person take care of you? If you’re in trouble would she still be your friend and stick by you? If you come home would you have the peace you so much desired? If you feel lonely would she be there to comfort you? If you need a confidant, can you trust her? If you’re feeling down, does the thought of her lift your spirit? When life has dealt you a blow (and you’ll have blows to contend with) do you feel she’s your compensation in this world? Would her arms be warm and tender enough for your head to lie or would they be tenderised with thorns and broken bottles? When your finances take a dip (like a determined eagle after a prey) would she be willing to step up to the plate? These are the kind of questions you ought to be asking yourself not fantasizing about the ephemerals. And as you can clearly see the questions have nothing to do with vocal prowess or stage or makeup or stethoscope or novocaine or penicillin or opera or soprano or alto (I have no idea)… If like you say in our local parlance here in Nigeria that she’s “wife material” and also a good medical doctor, great! Then you have vanity and charity (congratulations!) but if she’s a good medical doctor but not “wife material” there’s k-leg, that’s vanity staring at you eyeball to eyeball bro.
But the primary things in a matrimonial pursuit are not the ephemerals, not the seen things for the seen things are temporary but the unseen which are eternal (says the bible), they are the matrimonial capacities of one’s intended. Trust me, if she’s under-capacitated as a wife when the troubles begin you won’t remember her stethoscope or her great vocal prowess! It’s just like the beauty/wife conundrum – If she’s beautiful but nasty you’ll come to a fast realization of one of Solomon’s deductions: Beauty is vain.
The things that are important in a marriage are love, peace and happiness. If she won’t give you love, peace or happiness then what’s the point of marriage! Does she love me should be a very important question in the consideration of marriage. I know there are theories we can marry ANYBODY but common-sense should dictate to us not to stake our future on this pedestal. Love is important in a marriage. Very important. Very, very important. In short Very, very, very, important, I cannot stress it enough. All the things we want, love will do as a matter of course. And really, what is marriage without love?
So like the average Nigerian young man I ask, “Is she wife material” or she’s just a medical doctor? The decision as always is yours, afterall, you’re going to live with her… For a very, very, long time.
I wish you all the best in your decisions…
I heart you…