In earlier days, men were the providers, they were the earning members in the family. Men worked in the fields, factories and the wives used to look after feeding the working men and it was commonsense to move to men’s (husband) house. Ladies likewise contributed alongside the men but their jobs were mainly overseeing household chores.
Gradually, when these men began sending their children to schools and when these educated children moved toward becoming men, again, the occupations were given to men and the husband/wife system continued. Over the years this system turned into the custom and around then the mentality of most ladies was that they had to become housewives. These were the reasons why ladies moved to mens homes. There are instances where women were earning or her father came from an affluent family and the men had to move to their wives’ place but this act was not well received in the society in those days.
From the late twentieth century, education has experienced a boost and more people are employable, both men and women. After liberalization, the world has become really ‘small’ and there are now equal opportunities for both men and women.
In the Nigerian culture, the default expectation is that the lady would leave her house and move into the man’s rented or owned property when they got married. Any suggestion otherwise might bring about objection from family and friends, but what is wrong with a man moving into the lady’s property if there are logical reasons to do so?
There are many practical and logical reasons that should make it acceptable. Think about it, moving into the lady’s house might be a better option in terms of space or the cost of rent. Sometimes, the guys may need to park their ego or this assumed norm and allow sound judgment to prevail. In most cases a bachelor’s pad is ill-equipped to cater for the needs of a married couple and the possible imminent arrival of a child. If the man is sharing with family or friends, he may not be able to eject them in order to turn the accommodation into a real home. He would then have to search for a property he can afford. If for any reason, he is unable to secure accommodation, he might put plans for a family on hold indefinitely, and possibly longer than he desires.
If the man had separate living quarters in the family home, moving in with the in-laws might be a bit ‘ok-ish’. But, it’s normally not the best in the early years of marriage or even ever. Having to perform life under the critical eyes of in-laws is like subjecting yourself to a nerve wrecking experience every single day. If Mr Hubby is mummy’s boy, Mrs Wifey will never be free from regular food and house inspection. Relationships may eventually become eroded by suspicion, doubt and disdain.
There are also financial considerations. The guy may not be able to afford somewhere befitting for his new bride and status. Also, if the lady enjoys the privilege of her house courtesy of her employer, then the man could move in to enjoy that privilege with her, provided the employer allows it. While the couple are in that house they might as well save up enough money to acquire a joint property or piece of land for the future. They needn’t borrow.
Saying all that, I’m not disregarding the potential difficulties or the reservations people may have. A man would want to feel he is the man, the provider. Very honorable indeed. But, if he doesn’t yet have his own house, for how long would he delay the blessings of companionship? Till he has one? It is also understood that a man might fear the possibility of the woman taunting him about her being the one who provided the roof over her head. Then, there are potentially the nasty in-laws too. Well, he would have to have a rebuttal that clearly sets out a promising future game plan for him to become king of his own castle. But really, isn’t it more acceptable now in modern times that a man could move in with his new wife when they get married. Should a man be stigmatized if he and his wife find good reason to do so?
On the negative side, it’s also very possible for the woman to rise up tomorrow and use it against the man. Even if she was to be the best woman on earth, you may upset her someday and she may not even know when she’ll remind you that you’re putting up in her house. Most of the time, an African man might end up being unhappy with himself. It’s even possible for him to plan leaving the home for the woman when he feels he can’t take it anymore. This whole situation becomes worse when the man in question does not earn much. If he’s wealthy, he would not mind buying the house from his wife and even if he does not, people will not see anything wrong with the idea.
Sincerely there’s nothing wrong in that, especially if the man in question does not have the financial muscles to live up to his responsibility. In this critical period of economic crisis, it would be advisable for the man or woman to move into the apartment of the party who already has one. If you look at this issue very well, you’ll discover that it’s another way of cutting down on cost. Instead of spending money on agents and their landlords, there’s no law in this country that says the man cannot stay in his wife’s apartment. In the same way, the woman would naturally move into the man’s house if he’s got all the resources. It’s a two-way thing. It’s either the man has more money and carries the woman along or vice versa.
Some time ago, a Twitter user shared a story of a man criticized for moving into his woman’s house after marriage and the tweet sparked a debate on-line. Some people felt no true Nigerian man would move into a woman’s house. Others said it is acceptable if the woman stays humble and doesn’t disrespect the man as a result. But the poster pointed out that men do not accord women that same respect when they move into their house, instead, at the slightest provocation, the husbands ask their wives to leave. Check out the tweet and reactions below.
If you are a man and you are reading this and you are in love with a woman and you want to completely turn up that relationship – you know, turn it into a model relationship that we can all admire and be proud of – I have an idea. Move in with her. Rather, move into her house. This is because maybe her house is bigger and she has better furniture than your terrible hand-me-down sofas from the 80s, and I’m certain she has better taste in curtains than you. Of course she does, you did not even know what a table-mat was until two weeks ago. Besides, her home address is nearer to where you both work than your house.