I have received several calls and messages from strangers, to discuss the state of the Ghanaian man-and-woman relationship in the last few hours—and interestingly, the men seem to think the women are taking the piss and the women also think the men are the grand piss takers.
This morning, a friend called and repeated what I’ve heard numerously in the last few hours, that; when you take sex out of the equation, about 90% of Ghanaian women offer nothing—absolutely nothing.
That’s deplorable—if it’s really the case.
I’ve had several personal experiences with a lot of Ghanaian women, so much that the numbers are capable of forming a good sample for a study and I am afraid to say, I agree with this mantra.
But before I look at what’s expected of the man and woman in any healthy relationship, let me emphatically state that sex serves a mutual interest and benefit and if a person thinks all he/she has to offer as a participant in a relationship is sex, then that person should not join the conversation. That’s what booty calls are for.
While the men have accused Ghanaian women of not making enough contribution to relationships, the women have erected rational, albeit, emotional arguments to justify their positions—founded on experiences from previous dealings.
It’s only a fool that does not learn from the past—and it’s equally valid when you say, it’s only a fool who dwells in the past.
Such is the Ghanaian woman’s conundrum—at least, from what I’ve gathered so far.
Serwaa told me about how much she sacrificed for her ex-boyfriend; washed, cleaned, pampered him and even supported him financially, only for the douchebag to ungratefully go and marry another woman, Mary.
For this reason, Serwaa does not want to become a fool anymore and has, therefore, changed her ways of dealing with men. Consequently, she does little to nothing for her new boyfriend—reasonably because she does not want to be taken for granted once again.
Serwaa’s position is valid and at the same time invalid—especially, when her new boyfriend, Joe, is doing everything for her.
She said Joe is such a gentleman who regularly shops for her, pays and takes her out twice a week, helps with fixing her car whenever it breaks down and makes sure she does not lack anything he can provide.
She even told me about how Joe managed to buy tickets and flew her alongside himself to Dubai for the first anniversary of their relationship, all expenses paid by him.
Juxtaposing how Joe treats Serwaa to how she’s treating him, it’s grossly unfair, perhaps, even unhealthy.
Another friend and a writer at GhanaCelebrities.Com, Akua, also shared her experience with me and it followed the Serwaa pattern.
Today, she has sworn that she wouldn’t give much whenever she gets into a relationship—to avoid being taken a piss out of.
These positions are clever and human but also capture the fact that, these women are dwelling in the past. They’ve allowed their past to shape their today, which some may argue as good.
But keeping a new man in a disproportionate relationship where you offer basically nothing, because of what happened to you some months back is cruel.
So even though I understand the tangent a lot of these Ghanaian women are coming from, it does not make the outcome or their positions right.
As a man, I dated several women before I got married and it’s good that some of them are on Facebook and will probably read this.
I did not treat any of them less than I would want myself to be treated. I am not a perfect man but I made sure I contributed to each relationship, whichever way I know best.
I actually told myself I wanted to leave a mark in the lives of people I dated–so that when I am long gone, they will one day look back and remember the beauty of what we shared. It was actually a personal challenge.
I travelled to about 21 countries with an ex, I largely paid for all the expenses. Another, I wrote her whole first-degree dissertation and numerous of her university essays. As most men do, I paid for almost or all the dinners, bought dresses, laptops, iPads, mobile phones, call credits and other things they needed when I was in their lives and had the means to afford.
And there was the intangible support which we are not dealing with today too; the rich and poor conversations, emotional supports, the morale boosting and the others.
At no point in my life did I say because I spent some money on Abena and she ended up taking a piss, now that I am with Yaa who needs help (and I am in the position to help), I wouldn’t help.
Why do hurt people get into new relationships if they cannot treat the new opportunity or person right? It does seem a lot of our Ghanaian women are angry with their past or even experiences of their friends, therefore, badly housing themselves in relationships which they are mainly parasites.
It hurts to hear a lot of men shout that, all Ghanaian women offer in relationships is sex.
Men can give more than financial or material support but as I said, people ought to give what they have—be it skills, money, experience or whatever.
A lot of Ghanaian women do not work and even if they do, the gender pay gap is so huge that the man is always at a better position to provide financially. It’s well established in English Law that domestic contributions of women to relationships are of equal value to financial contributions by men.
Therefore, if your man is financially supporting you, what stops you from domestically supporting him too—if that’s what you can offer or afford?
I’ve not heard a lot of cases where the Ghanaian man has failed in providing the expected support. But the women seem to be holding back on delivering on what’s reasonably expected from them.
That’s why I get angry when I hear the nonsensical wife and girlfriend duties’ dichotomy.
If boyfriends are performing husband duties; what stops girlfriends from performing wife duties? To me, labelling people’s contributions to relationships under the umbrella of girlfriend and wife duties or whatever is plainly absurd.
I don’t think how I treated my girlfriend and now wife is any different. I’ve always treated her the way I treat her now.
I trusted her with my money while she was my girlfriend; she was literally my bank and she’s now. I consulted her on almost everything and I still do.
She always charged her funny exorbitant interest of about 200% whenever I was short of physical cash and needed her to borrow me money when she was my girlfriend and she still does it as a wife.
I’ve always tried to cheat her when we are sharing the meat and I still do it as a husband. We ate together as girlfriend and boyfriend and we still do it.
We said Goodmorning with a kiss when we were dating and we still do it. If a call wakes me up and I forget the morning kiss, she will call me back to do it. She did it then and now still does it.
A lot of marriages do not work because of swift changes; one minute you are a girlfriend with no responsibility towards this man and the next, you are a wife with overwhelming responsibilities—and the vice versa. Who even wants that?
Apart from the ring on my finger, nothing has largely changed about my relationship with my wife, before and after marriage.
We used to save our monies together and we still now do. She had access to my bank and credit cards and was even a second card holder on one of my credit cards as a girlfriend and she still holds that.
In fact, these commitments and mutual support helped her to easily relocate to the United Kingdom as my wife. Her spouse resident visa took just 15 days—since I didn’t struggle in providing numerous documents and photos to the Entry Clearance Officer to prove that this is a woman I truly love, that I have shared a life with before marriage and intend to do so, hereafter.
As a girlfriend, I paid for her to visit me in London and when we married, I paid for her to move over too. As a girlfriend, I borrowed from her and as a wife, I still borrow from her.
As a girlfriend, I used to steal from her coins’ bag and as a wife, I still steal when she’s not looking.
When she was a girlfriend and we decided to save together, I sent thousands of pounds to her in Ghana, to put in her bank account which I did not have access to–where we were saving.
Do you think it did not cross my mind how I will be at a disadvantage if she disappeared with my thousands of pounds or called one day to tell me a cock and bull story?
I am a human being and these thoughts came through, especially when an ex-girlfriend had squandered our joint savings without me knowing before. But I didn’t let those become obstacles to my full commitment and enjoyment of a relationship I had voluntarily entered.
A disproportionate and poisonous relationship is one in which a party to the relationship assumes no substantial responsibility and risk towards the other—and this seems to be what a lot of Ghanaian relationships have become.
Of course, people will disappoint you. They may not marry you when you expected them to do so. They may take you for granted and even cheat on you. But that’s life, nothing is absolutely certain.
Don’t let your past continue to haunt your now and future, even when you are with a new person. And importantly, stop listening to your friends—their life and experiences are theirs, yours is for you to make your own mistakes and correct them.
Kofi may be an asshole, but that does not mean Kwabena will be too. Even if Kwabena turns out to be just like Kofi, take it as a coincidence and nothing more than that. If you believe that what you are doing is good, don’t mind the piss take from the other side—because, people will always take the piss.
There’s no point in being in a relationship where your only main contribution is sex—that’s what prostitutes do!
Give your man great support and experiences–such that he would want to keep you “forever”, to keep enjoying what you are serving on the plate.
Be smart and make yourself valuable in a relationship by finding what he/she lacks or values and provide it, placing yourself at an irreplaceable position.
If you are a woman, don’t let the confused social media boss chicks, slay queens and megalomaniacs called social media feminists to confuse you too.