My heart goes to the journalists who have been laid off from Media Max. Losing a job on any day is bad enough. Losing your job in the winter of Covid-19 is doubly worse.
I don’t know how losing a job affects women. I do understand that it is just as stressful.
But for the young men who have lost their jobs, especially if they don’t have a firm foundation in their marriage, they will be divorced in the next one year. Unless they get another job as soon, the marriage is at stake.
And I want to pray for those men. Presently, they may think they have loving wives, understanding wives. Presently, the men maybe loving their children to death, extremely responsible.
But down the line when savings(if he had any) dry up, they will see a different colour of their wives they have never seen.
It will follow a specific pattern. First will be unending arguments on finances. Second will come madharau ndogo ndogo. Next will be insults on how lazy, stupid, slow, unmanly they are. Next will be denial of conjugal rights which in any case will be non-existent as bills pile untold pressure on the man. If the man is alcoholic or into drugs, this is the time he will go proper addiction, unless he makes a conscious choice not to do so. Wife will probably cheat with other men with means, as her contempt for the broke husband multiplies.
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Walk into any bar in Nairobi or start a conversation with any random man, and chances are they know someone this happened to.
For men between 25-40, losing your job or means of income, and not finding an alternative within a year is synonymous with losing your spouse and kids. Nearly 70 percent of the men in my estimates who lose their jobs or means of income, especially if they had not sorted the basics such as housing, insurance for kids and health, lose their wives and kids within two years.
They never seen it coming.
For such men, all I can tell them, don’t lose your head. The road ahead will be narrow and winding. But you have to make a conscious decision on what to do when trouble starts at home.
First you must distinguish between unfair criticism from the wife and where she will be genuinely pushing you to do better. The line is usually so thin, if you are touchy you may not see it. If your spouse is cooperative and supportive, be humble and play good. If she starts madharau, don’t be violent. Start planning a future without her and be deliberate about it.
Because here is the thing. Once a woman starts to treat you with madharau, that is it. That is the end. You can go and paint the whole sky red. You can drain all the water in the ocean for her. But she will feel nothing. Women never look back once they have moved on. They have no capacity or empathy for a man they have started to hate. And here I mean, most women, not all.
This is a fate waiting MOST men losing their jobs from the media and other places as the virus shrinks the economy.
We live in a very hypergamous society where as a man, if you don’t provide, a woman has no use for you. Even worse for cities like Nairobi where people walk without hearts and soulless. Man. Never seen such a soulless city.
For the men, find support from friends and relatives. While at it, always cultivate good friendships and relations with your extended family. Keep your chin up. Understand that everything has an end, even your perfect marriage and the kids you love so much. It is not easy. It is not academic. But deal with it.
One thing I can assure, if you play well, one year from now, can be two years or three. Or even four, it will be a different story. And you will look back and thank God why somethings happened.
By Silas Gisiora Nyanchwani