In Summary

Opinion. The more flexible the roles of men and women in the family, the happier they are. CHARLOTTE NINSIIMA sounds out men on what their marital role is.

Abbas Benard, a dealer in spare parts, has two wives and four children. He built well-furnished two-bedroomed houses for each of his wives and gives them a monthly stipend depending on their behaviour towards him. Abbas has just completed his third house and is looking for another woman to marry since he has what it take to look after her.
“If I provide shelter and all necessities, that means I fulfill my marital duties. Some women do not get a chance to all that,” he explains.

Makes decisions, leads
Ambrose Byamugisha, dean of students at Victoria University, says taking responsibility, making decisions and being manly sums up marital duties.

“Manliness is the positive qualities of decisiveness, confidence, self-reliance, high moral qualities, self-discipline, honesty and integrity. Being manly isn’t being macho. Manliness gives one courage to deal with difficultly, pain or danger without backing off despite his fear,” Byamugisha says, adding that, a man takes responsibility for the outcome.

Byamugisha adds, if a man wants to be seen as worthy and has a good relationship with a woman, he has to show leadership. He should step forward and handle a situation that needs to be dealt with. He should be able to control his anger since it can blow up and damage a relationship.

Protect the family
Walter Wandera, a lead pastor at Worship Harvest, Kibuye, believes a man ought to provide for, protect the family, provide leadership in the family, and love his wife and train children in the way they should grow. However, marital roles have changed with some women becoming sole providers but that does not deter the man from fulfilling his marital roles.

Learn to handle
Beatrice Langariti, psychotherapist at Thrive360 Counselling and Personal Development, says recently a friend shared how her husband slapped her and sent her away with the children at night. Langariti wonders why the man did that.
“He ought to have talked through things and advised, given counsel to find out why she did what she had done,” she advises.

After exchanging your vows before a congregation, there is much more to expect than sex.
“Make time to love, provide, protect, understand her love language and emotional needs. Have time with the kids, as opposed to leaving them with the wives. Children are a product from two and need to grow up with them,” Langariti advises.
As a head of the house, your actions ought to justify your status core in an appropriate manner to the children.

Marital duties not biblical
Patrick Muinda, a marriage counsellor at St Francis Chapel, Makerere, says there is no such thing as marital duties but man is commanded to love his wife according to 1 Corinthians 13.

“The biblical scripture defines Iove as patient, kind, does not envy, boast, and is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. A woman is created to thrive on love hence a man is supposed to lay down his life for a woman,” explains Muinda.

However if one opposes God, he cannot stand and his prayers are not answered.
He justified this in relation to 1 Peter 3:7, NIV: “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

Muinda advises that a man should not get angry even when it gets to the extreme. There are better ways to deal with situations such as counselling and communicating on solutions.