I know all the feminists would want to kill me, for this blog. But sweetie, I believe in truth. The fact is that people are cruel, whether they are men or women. There are the good, the bad and the ugly among both genders, and I’m sure among the in-between genders too!
About six years ago, I had given a lift to four ladies after our Mashal meeting, in my car. On the way, a weird thing was happening… each lady was talking about the ‘greatness’ of her husband!
I smelt fish.
I mean I really did. Usually, women when they get together, often leave no opportunity to do some ‘husband bashing’, or talking about this or that trait of theirs. Here were all of them saying grand things…. Soon I found out, that they all were widows. So, it turned out ‘that the only ‘good’ husband is a dead husband!’
“Why is this?” I thought?
I was to find out very soon – fate brought me right into their shoes!
There are two facts that hit you in the face:
- The fact that being a wife, in a country like ours (Pakistan), there is complete protection. No one would dare to misbehave with you, knowing you have a man behind you. Your husband is just looking out for anyone who dares to even look at his wife, what to say about speaking in a foul way! You get used to a pampered and protected life. His positions in life, are another protection. People go out of their way to be nice to you, (probably, sometimes in the hope you will put a nice word for them, and your husband may help them.) You enjoy the fringe benefits of being the wife of ….. whatever status your husband enjoys. You don’t have to fight any battles, of any sort. You have your own man for it.
You notice here, your husband has done almost nothing, it is just the automatic process of being the husband-and-wife- entity. So, you automatically enjoy these things. You get quite hoity toity too. I mean, it is a known fact in the forces, the wife often wears her husband’s ranks more than he does – even a higher one!
- The second thing a wife enjoys is freedom from worries of ‘food, clothing and shelter’. Her husband automatically takes over these concerns. Later, when the children arrive, he even looks after all the fees and extra expenses. He takes responsibility for education, marriage, retirement, house… all expenses in your future as well. You just carry on as usual, more concerned about the latest trends in fashions, homes and designs.
Suddenly, when all that you took for granted for so many years, gets blown off, by the sudden departure of your husband from this world. You face the first shock, by the changed attitude of ‘others’ in your life. So, suddenly, the same two points stated above are all shaken up like in an earthquake.
Suddenly, you are out in the open, under constant threat. Now, there is no one to protect you. As soon as the vultures realize this, they all start positioning themselves for the ‘kill’.
Now, if you make the mistake of going with a beggars’ bowl all round, you will get even more ‘pecked’. Or you stand tall and up-right. Laugh off the vultures and ‘killers’ in your life, and be brave. They will soon realize that you too can give back, if they try to mess with you. That you are capable of handling all issues on your own.
Yes, this world is cruel and heartless towards you, when they know you are weak. This can happen when you are suddenly in a weaker position and it is evident to others also. Men too can face such a situation when they are suddenly exposed to a crises and others find out.
The changing attitude of people indicates what kind of people they are.
Many good things happen too:
- You turn to the One above who will not die or leave you – as long as you only look up to Him. Knowing, He had confidence in you to bear this loss, otherwise, He wouldn’t have put you through it.
- You finally realize what your husband was doing for you simply by being your husband.
- You realize all the nitty-gritty details of things that your husband was silently doing for you and your children. You begin to enumerate all that he stood for in your life, now that he is no more.
- You realize you have a legacy to defend and uphold. That really makes you feel strong.
- You learn to fend for yourself, giving back as good as you get! You learn to get up, brush your clothes, and take life head on.
- You find out the true knights in shining armors in your life. There are men and women both in this category.
- Of course you make lots of mistakes, but you learn to enjoy them, because each mistake teaches you a big lesson.
- You get the confidence of life as a single woman who can fend for herself and others, just like men do. Enjoying a greater respect for all men, and for your-self.
So, what to do while your husband is alive and kicking? (God bless him and keep him that way!) A few tips:
- Love, cherish and honor him all you can, even when you are not feeling like it too much. Simply fake it some times.
- Always speak well of him, specially behind his back.
- Notice, and praise all that he does for you knowingly and unknowingly.
- No score keeping!
- Stand by him in every sense.
- No nagging, let him live (too!)
- Do not try to control him, remember you hate it when he tries to do it with you.
- Never sleep with an argument still in the air, always try to make up before sleeping.
- Follow the Quranic verse “Be a raiment unto him.” (That goes for both).
Moral of the story: We all need to respect, appreciate and value the men in our lives at all times.
Stay blessed my dear ones. 🙂
Note: Photographs courtesy google online family images, author. Photograph of author by Nataliya Najib Khan.