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Making Requests From A Spouse In A Non-irritating Manner

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A woman complained bitterly to me sometime ago. In her opinion, her husband has, after a few years of marriage, turned into a hard-hearted man. Her reason was that, anytime she made a request, he either turned it down outright or granted it roughly or unhappily. Such common requests as feeding allowance or notification to visit were unattended to or harshly turned down.

As I inquired further, I discovered two things: The man was not really wicked as she thought, but had grown to be highly impatient, due to the pressures of life. Most times, he was tensed up and was not in the mood to listen to requests made by his wife. Secondly, the woman had no idea of how to politely request for anything. She would barge into him and demand whatever she needed. Her tone and words were highly insensitive and her requests badly timed.

Wives that brashly make demands from their husbands are more likely to receive unfavourable responses. When making financial requests from a man who is still in the lower or middle class of the financial ladder, a wife should do so with a tone and body language that will make the man feel that his wife appreciates his efforts to provide for her and the family. A request such as “there is no more rice in the house o. You better give me the money now o before you go out o,” will most likely stir up anger and resentment than a request made with such words as “honey, you are trying. Can you make some money available to buy some rice in the house?”

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It is also very important for a woman to know when to make requests. When a man is tired and has just returned from work, what he needs immediately is the woman’s love, care, attention and respect.  Every woman should realise that God designed her to be a helper and not a tension multiplier. Knowing when to make requests, as a wife and making them lovingly and in a respectful manner are signs of maturity.

Now, let’s go to the men. Many men, especially African men, find it difficult to ask their wives politely for anything. Some reason that as the heads of their homes, they are entitled to everything that belongs to their wives. They, therefore, live with and make requests from their wives like a boss and not like a KIND leader.

They make their requests in an authoritative manner that compels their spouses to obey, not out of love but because ‘oga’ has commanded. Instead of politely asking for a glass of water for example, some men may yell in the wife’s direction, “give me water quickly. I am very thirsty.”

I always tell Christian men that the moment one surrenders his life to Christ, he has been translated from his culture and ethnicity into the Kingdom of God, where God’s principles reign supreme. The culture of the man being high in the clouds with his wife way below his feet cannot build a symbiotically healthy marital relationship.

The traditional man may find it difficult to lovingly request a favour from his wife, but a civilized and kind man realises that his wife is his partner in progress and deliberately trains himself into treating her as such. Men should avoid bossing their wives, while making demands. Instead of storming the kitchen to demand for your meal, you can lovingly request for it.

A strong man is one who has respect for his wife’s feelings, while a weak man does not. Spouses should learn to make requests from one another in love and not as if there is a war, even if there was a previous disagreement. Love you.

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