Friday, January 25, 2013

Dear Myne - I am Happily Married to an Igbo Man

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I am married to an Igbo man and it took a bit of time to adjust to it. Having previously been a fiercely independent American woman, it took a great deal of adjustment on both of our parts. What seemed like control in the beginning I have come to realize is his way of protecting and caring for me. He is a gifted entrepeneur and an excellent provider for myself and his children.

Ha, I had to just laugh when I read that last line, but I won't edit it because its true -- most wives would say our children, but being married to an Igbo man I know they are his. My husband treats me with great respect and kindness. However, he does not place a high priority on my personal needs for affection or attention -- he is doing whatever is necessary to provide for the future of our family often with great sacrifice, and he expects me to do the same.

He is a strict discipliarian with the children, but it touches him deeply when they are hurt or sick or sad ... to see them cry breaks his heart, that is when his tenderness comes out. He isn't harsh or abusive or controlling -- he just expects things done in a certain way. My question is this -- of all that he does and sacrifices for me and his children, is it not a small price to pay to do these things as he wishes??


He's not the type to send flowers every day or leave love notes on the counter for me or write sonnets about his feelings -- but I wouldn't trade him for another in the world, he has made a wonderful life for myself and his children. I remember early in the marriage when I was frustrated with his behavior and ready to give up -- an older cousin sat me down and told me in their language there is no word for love. He said they have words for duty, obligation, family, loyalty but none for love.

He told me that Emeka won't love me with words and gestures -- he loves me by coming home each night, by working hard to give me a safe and comfortable lifestyle, by providing for and educating his children. He also told me something that changed my whole outlook -- he told me that just because someone doesnt love me the way I want them to doesn't mean they don't love me as much as they're able to.

I took that to heart and saw my husband and his actions differently after that and have been very happily married ever since.







20 comments:

  1. Hmmm.....but I thought the word 'Ifunanya' meant love in Igbo?

    Maybe she meant Romance? 'Cos I don't think there's a word for that in Igbo either.

    Still, it's good to know that just because someone doesn't love us like we would prefer, it doesn't mean they don't truly and deeply love us.

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    1. Ifunanya really doesn't mean love... it means to see through the eyes

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    2. NoRe, that is the literal translation, the meaning in use is love/affection/desire. Think of it this 'I have seen with my eyes and I like what I see.' There may be no romance in Igbo, but the culture certainly understands "feelings" of loving someone.

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  2. I am ibo and i will tell you that is a typical ibo man. Looks like the guy is one of the good ones. But there is something about control that is second nature to most ibo men. .

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  3. My favourite part..."He told me that Emeka won't love me with words and gestures -- he loves me by coming home each night, by working hard to give me a safe and comfortable lifestyle, by providing for and educating his children. He also told me something that changed my whole outlook -- he told me that just because someone doesnt love me the way I want them to doesn't mean they don't love me as much as they're able to."


    www.spynaija.blogspot.com

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  4. This is a really nice post. If you agreed to marry him when you knew he was not overly romantic, then you shouldn't expect him to change now that you're married. A lot of men are handicapped in showing their emotions as well as women but it doesn't meant that they don't love you.

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    1. I think that is the core of every marriage, whether Igbo or another ethnicity or race. Work with the person you're with.

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  5. as far as he is comin every 9t ane also wkin 2 take care of their ned no probs my dear,,jus teach him 2 b romatic as u want him 2 b...

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  6. I look at it this way, the Igbo man is 'dutiful' to his family and thus expects same from wife and as they grow older, the kids. Accept this..like the writer has and you shall reap a bountiful harvest.

    I don't do duty well, so my Igbo men and I might have problems.....

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    1. lol Ginger, this comment made me laugh...

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    2. I had to laugh too! Ginger, better make peace with your Igbo men :)

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    3. lol. I have said my own na.

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  7. Heart touching. I felt every single sense of pride and love this lady has for her husband in her choice of words. She knows her husband loves her, in his own special way, that's all that matters.

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  8. #gbam That is the definition of Igbo man! In fact, that is my father right there! LOL! This may not be the same for our generation (80s babies) of Igbo men sha! Those ones are more erm "exposed"! Women these days want romance! We have watched wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many romantic movies for our men to fall short( it's not like i'm asking you to write me poems, kiss me in the rain and do "pretty woman" things). I'm a romantic. I love to kiss and be kissed. I love to hold hands and be held etc so I don't know if I can marry that kin Igbo man oh. Mbanu! LOL! God you know my heart! Provide me with my kind of Igbo man so I'm happy and my Igbo family is happy! Hahahahahahaha! Side note: Myne, I love your blog so much. It has taught me a lot about love and relationships! Thank you so much!:-*

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  9. This so true, I think our people are getting confused with the oyinbo type of love and expect our men to follow that pattern...know the man you are married to, his way may not be what you are used to or want. This is not just an igbo man's thing, I think Yoruba men are also like this.

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  10. He told me that just because someone doesnt love me the way I want them to doesn't mean they don't love me as much as they're able to."

    TRUE.

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  11. Love comes in different forms & sizes. ;-)

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  12. Lol! Nna mehn...Ginger, ya not seriouX! Hehehe! This is a beautiful and touching story Myne, thanks for sharing; and big hug to the Igbos. Keep on holding your head up high. God will keep and protect you from more abuse. It is well. God bless. Xxx

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  13. Hi Myne, this is my first tym reading ur blogs and am kinda happy with what have seen so far,pls always kip me connected!

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  14. This article shed alot of light on some questions about igbo men. I too, am about to marry an igbo man and didnt know exactly what to expect. So i shouldnt get upset if he does not hold my hand alot or whisper sweet things in my ear. Its just his way. Now things are much more clearer coz i was wondering if this man still loved me from his actions. Thanks alot for opening my eyes to things.

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