In Sickness

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Sunday Afternoon. NaijaHusband is reclined on the sofa. His eyes are glazed over, and his mouth is slightly ajar as he watches the figures on the television screen moving around frantically with their fast cars and even faster dialogue.

I speak to him. He does not answer.  I repeat myself but only the television responds, as the on screen hero fires a warning shot in the air.  My husband still says nothing, but the message is clear.

Do not disturb.

I begin to boil. Typical! More interested in the television than in me!  What if I was in trouble? What if I really needed his help? Would he only respond after his show had released him from his spell? He wouldn’t care!

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My father’s solution to everything

I consider standing in front of the television in protest at what I perceive to be his uncaring, unfeeling self…then suddenly I remember something.

When I was a child, whenever my mother fell ill, my father would simply look at her, while maintaining a safe distance, and ask her if she’d applied Robb.  It didn’t matter what the ailment was, be it a broken foot, an inflamed ulcer or malaria, he did not know how to extend any compassion beyond the bottle of ointment, which he would usually offer to her just a few minutes before asking if his food was ready.

So years later, when a doctor announced that I would need surgery and asked me to find someone to take care of me post-op, I realized that the only “family” I had nearby was Naijahusband.  Yet, at the thought of having him come to take care of me, I balked.  “He is a man…he won’t know how!” I thought to myself.  “He’ll just hand me some Robb like my father did.”  “And even if he could take care of me, would I want him to? ” “If I let him see me in my weakest and most vulnerable state, would he still see the woman he fell in love with?  Am I invoking ‘in sickness and in health’ too early into the relationship?” Would he view me differently afterwards or, even worse, abandon me if I didn’t get better?” I let these thoughts go on through my head, refusing to rein them in.

Fast forward to that Sunday afternoon, when I stood by the television trying to get my husband’s attention, I remembered an email I’d written to my mother during my post-op recovery. Scrolling through my phone, I quickly found it.

Mummy,

This process has been a real eye opener and taught me a lot about what “in sickness and in health” means.  When getting ready for the surgery I didn’t expect to need him this much (I figured what can a man do? What I really need is my mother!) and tried to prepare as much I could without him. But from the second the surgery was over it became clear to me that I’d need him for absolutely everything.  He sat in the waiting room praying until I was out and then he became a medical assistant in the recovery room, fetching things for the nurses and being my advocate when I couldn’t speak.

And at home this man has done everything from dressing my wounds, to taking me to the bathroom, to massaging my feet, to cooking for me. He even tried to sing me to sleep (didn’t work but I appreciate him trying lol).  He’s fetching me hot drinks at 3 in the morning and buying me gingerale when I’m nauseous.  He’s become my PA, constantly answering all the calls from family and friends.  He won’t let me lift a finger.  At one point silly me thought he wouldn’t find me pretty anymore because he’d seen me at my bloodiest and weakest. But he keeps hugging me and telling me I’m beautiful.

He was supposed to go back to his house and head to work today but he’s still here making me oats. I even heard him on the phone telling his mum “jobs will come and go but my wife* cannot be replaced.”

I can’t imagine….. I literally cannot imagine… trying to have done this myself . You know until something like this happens most women assume that they’ll have to be the ones caring for the guy…and that if they fall sick they can’t expect much from him either.  People talk so much about women being caregivers, we fail to question if the men in our lives can do the same.  Seems like we get what we expect.  I guess that’s what we grew up seeing from our parents…but I’ve realized that my assumptions about men should never have been an acceptance that they weren’t capable of caring.  I should have trusted him, trusted God and trusted that I made the right decision about the man I picked to spend the rest of my life with.

I finish reading that email and call out to him again. He responds this time, turning towards me with that smile that first got me hooked on him, and asks if I need something.

“Nothing…” I respond…”Just wanted to say I love you.”

———

To all the men out there who are like this, please, stay you.

*- Like a typical Yoruba guy, he was already using the word “iyawo” before we were married.

NaijaHusband

Welcome to the musings of the “not so typical” Naijahusband and his lovely Naijawife. Follow us on Twitter: NaijaHusband and NaijaWife

79 Comments

  1. Awww…“jobs will come and go but my wife* cannot be replaced”…so, so sweet of NH.

    This actually reminds me of the ’80/20 rule’, you know we sometimes spend so much time whining and worrying about what those men are not or what they don’t do forgetting to be thankful for all they are and for all the other things they do.

    I enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing, NW.

  2. Tears sha wanted to come out of my eyes and prevent me from seeing the lessons here but I refuse to let them fall. There’s no perfect man (or woman). Seriously, I’d rather have a man I can trust to be there when I really need him than one who’ll cater to my every whim and disappear for the big stuff. Much love to you both. I still volunteer myself as your agent. I see things…

  3. Wow!!! *singing* “What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man!”

    God bless you naijawife an naijahusband… You greatly inspire…

    And God bless all wonderful husbands and wives xx

  4. Awwww. This is so sweet. NH you too much! 3 Gbosas for you; Gbosa! Gbosa!! Gbosa!!!

    N/B: please always answer your woman the first time she calls you. Making us call you more than once is très annoying and you really don’t want us to get annoyed.

  5. I didn’t even bother holding back the tears. What a lovely letter! What a wonderful husband!! I can’t help thinking back to when I was pregnant and battling morning sickness, all the mess my husband took care of, the errands he ran! God bless their hearts. Indeed we must endeavour to call such times to mind whenever we are tempted to harshly criticize. God help us so to do. Amen.

  6. This is rily goodstuff. Memories like this keep u going when inevitable tough times come around. So happy to read this story. U both are blessed.

  7. Just let me cry myself to sleep. Happy tears. :’) Getting a chance to spend your life with someone you love and loves you in return has to be the greatest gift.

  8. This is really nice and goes further to make us realise that stereotype should not be encourage in describing any individual whether male or female. Also as individual we should learn to buried whatever bad experience we’ve had in our last relationship.

  9. This almost made me cry. *almost* I TOTALLY understand about the TV thing. Some days I’m glad we don’t leave blunt instruments lying around the house carelessly or else…You are one blessed woman.

  10. This is really sweet. I love you guys, you inspire me! Thanks for sharing. May your love for each other continue to increase in hotness IJN!!! God bless you both.

  11. Haha that is just like my mum. You have cough, use Robb; you are cold, use Robb; you are hot, use Robb; you have constipation, use Robb.
    Naijahusband kudos to you.

  12. This is soo sweet – the part of jobs come and go but my wife cannot be replaced….. *crying* this naija husband shhaaaaa. The write up is beautiful. A great lesson indeed ….

  13. *kneels* *joins palms* Dear God please, let my own Naijahusband find me so dat I can be his one and only NaijaWife. AMEN. Awesome post. Thanks 2 u both. Thou shall always enjoy happiness. Muah

  14. I’m reading this post and I think of my amazing boyfriend/fiance. He’s encouraged and loved me through a cancer diagnosis, a mastectomy and he’s just called to pray and encourage me as I go for my first session of chemo today. When I’ve felt down and out, he’s reminded me that I’m more than a breast to him. Thank God for good men and I loooove naijahusband.com. God bless you guys.

    • I bless God for your fiance, he sure has displayed his undying love for you. May the Lord keep you both. I wish you God’s healing and preservation as you go in for this next session and come out of it completely renewed in Jesus’ name.

    • Doluilori, it’s clear God has sent you someone who will help you make it through this difficult time and be an example of God’s love in your life. We thank God for him and pray he will always be there to support you. We’re sending many prayers for strength your way as you go through Chemo – NH and NW

  15. This is so sweet! Greatly touched. Thank God for men like this. Gives us hope that our standards are not to high. I mean, what else could a woman ask for?
    Thank God for men like NH and my boyfriend the male race ain’t so hopeless after all.

    #p.s you guys were married at this time right?

  16. NH in this post reminds me of my fiancè… I had a similar experience, and I must vsay I’m blessed to have him. Good job on ur blog guys

  17. Awwww, this is very sweet 🙂

    And I’m happy to read comments from other ladies whose fiance’s (like mine) would do the same thing.

    THANK GOD FOR GOOD MEN!

  18. First my colleagues at work sent this to me and I liked it then my girlfriend asked my to read an article then I got hooked it’s sad that some guys don’t get the accolades they deserve until something bad happens… Well most Nigerian women grew up with the saying “All men are the same…” Good to know that some speak to defend our honour… Nice job

  19. Awww, no I didn’t blog about that, I was on a blogging break at the time. Resumed after I had the baby…

  20. Aww, this is so sweet. My Dad is much like your husband and I pray I marry a man like that. And it’s *rein not reign. Rein your thoughts in

  21. Omg! this moved me close to tears….I want my future husband to read this blog…so many lessons to learn for us to learn *thots to myself*

  22. aaaww Naijawife does your hubby have a brother just like him ready for marriage in the next two years or so?? lol
    Seriously you are blessed with a good man, may God continue to bless your marriage

  23. wow! this is an awesome read guys! thanks for sharing your lives……..God bless you.

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