38-year-old Damascene has just gone through a divorce. I sat down with him to find out how he was and whether he is enjoying his newfound freedom or new status! He said all is well, he is loving the early days of it, and he is relieved it is all behind him because for the last many months he has been burdened by the process.
He also claims he is happier than he has ever been before. Why did you divorce her? I asked. ‘She wanted to be the head of the house while not providing anything. I demanded respect from her but I did not get it,’ he retorted.
In his opinion any woman who is ‘looked’ after by a man should have no voice whatsoever, her role is to take in and never let out. He regrets having married while still young, he recounted lessons he learnt as a married man and what the divorce has taught him.
When he did it the first time he was naïve and never took time to sit with his future wife to find out what her aspirations were, they never discussed or synchronised their expectations. In future, he says, if he ever considers marrying another woman he will give it time and go through all the stages.
Having established that people marry for different reasons it is imperative for two adults to have a lengthy talk before walking down the aisle. Find out what there is in common between the two of them and try to meet in the middle for some of those aspirations, habits and plans.
When Damascene narrates his ordeal you see a bitter man who unfortunately is not angry that the relationship has ended, he is mad at the fact that it ended when he had amassed a bit of property that he was forced to share with a woman he says came to his life with nothing. The person he calls a schemer is the mother of his two children.
As the breadwinner he regrets providing for her and the family because it has not been rewarded. I wonder what sort of reward he wanted. Has he chosen to overlook her role as wife and mother? She kept the home, looked after the children and hosted his relatives and friends when they visited. To him that does not count.
It is not unusual to overhear a man downplay the role of a woman in their life or home. A lot of men that have stay-at-home wives do not consider house chores tedious and demanding, they will take every opportunity to remind the woman that they stay at home doing nothing as he works his bones off.
Damascene has made a personal vow to find a lover in future who will not come emptyhanded. He argues that if women continue to be vocal about equality then it should not be in words only but actions too. He contends that as a man, he will build a house but expects his future wife to finance the wedding. He will ensure family expenses are shared equally between the two of them. That is the point where I wished him luck for I know he needs it!