‘Your Wife Is Not Your Mother,’Says Nyadol Nyuon

"One reasons we are so critical of divorced women in this community is because we expect them to act like mothers. We expect them to stay no matter how abusive or exploitative the marriage is".

If my son ever wants to marry and he tells me he wants to marry a woman like his mother, I will be so disappointed.

As a mother it is my job to go above and beyond for my son, my child. It is my job to make the necessary sacrifices, to forgive, to overlook, to narture and finally, to bring him to the shores of manhood as a fully formed human being. It is not the job of his wife to do the same.

When men speak of wanting to marry women like their mothers they often don’t mean they admire their mothers, they in fact want to be mothered. That they don’t necessarily admire their mothers but want to be mothered is betrayed by fact that none of them wants to be like their mothers (since they are so wonderful), they want YOU to be like their mothers.

They want wives who take over from where their mothers left. Wives who give up everything for their men. No woman owes a grown man this.

If my son ever wants to marry and he tells me he wants to marry a woman like his mother, I may punch him back into common sense. A wife is not supposed to be your mother. She is a fully formed human being. You turn up as a fully formed man or you leave her the fuck alone and go and do your growing up elsewhere. No one’s daughter is responsible for raising my son into a man.

One reasons we are so critical of divorced women in this community is because we expect them to act like mothers. We expect them to stay no matter how abusive or exploitative the marriage is. We, in fact, praise those women willing to suffer in silence. Motherhood is permanent, being a wife is conditional on the behaviour of each individual.

 

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