BARBARA Taylor Bradford, renowned author of blockbusters like Woman of Substance and its sequel, once said she was appalled by couples who row in public.  She wrote: “When I open my mouth to say something, I edit my answer before it leaves my lips.” 

According to her, her husband, Bob, is a terrible time keeper who often wears clothes she loathes.  But does she criticise him?  No.  She believes that would be showing a lack of respect.  Instead, she suggested we should all bite our tongues and put our husbands on a pedestal.

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“She couldn’t have meant all that seriously, or at well over 80, she might be making her peace with the world after all those racy novels she’d written which had made her the millionaire she is today,” fumed Omorede a highly successful PR expert.

“Why on earth would I want to put my husband on a pedestal when I simply don’t respect him?” she wondered.  “As a matter of fact, I disagree with virtually every word that comes out of his mouth, and the reason I feel this way towards Tony, my husband, stems from our very different backgrounds.  I was born and bread in England and went to a private all girls’ convent school.  I had a masters degree in business administration and worked in Ivy League establishments before I relocated to Nigeria.

“In contrast, Tony was brought up in one of the down-market areas of Lagos by parents from a remote village in the West.  And he has traits of his parents’ accent.  At 46, he still revels in parochial slangs and uses hideous phrases in spite of my protest, which drives me mad.  It’s so uncouth and sometimes makes me wonder how on earth we’ve ended up together.  For although my husband is at least as bright as me and has a masters degree, to listen to his accent, you would think he worked as a market trader.  And if he’s talking like a stall-owner in Ajegunle, how can I respect what he’s trying to tell me?

“It’s not just his accent.  Before working with the bank he now works for in a very senior position, he said he dreamt of being a musician and bragged he once played the drums with an obscure band that I never bothered to find out who the band leader was.  And no topic is off limit to him. 

“Recently, across the living room packed full of guests, I could hear Tony waxing lyrical to guests about the fantastic game of tennis he’d enjoyed that morning on Supersports.  On and on he’d talk about volleys and drop shots, his commentary droning on and on often set my teeth on edge until I finally could bear it no longer.  ‘Oh for heaven’s sake, can’t you stop going on about that hideous game?’ I asked.  “It’s bad enough that you have to play it.  Only dogs should be interested in ball games!”

“As I glanced around the room, I could see our guests gaping at me.  The look on their faces was all too obvious – how on earth could I be so rude to my husband?

“But Tony just smiled.  We’ve been married for six years and he’s used to me by now.  But the truth is that, although I love him to bits, and we have a wonderful life with our children, I don’t respect him and he knows it.  It is true that I was first attracted to Tony because he was so different to my first husband who left me for another woman.  Chima, my ex, was the chief executive officer of a big company – a typical Alpha Male who commanded every room he stepped into.  Tony, who I met a few years after our split, is quiet, unassuming and humble, he could not be more different.

“And if you were to look at us, you certainly wouldn’t have put us together.  I love to wear smart business designer clothes and Tony, in contrast, often has stubble when not at work, and wears more of native clothes.  I think his style shows a lack of good taste and standards.  How can I respect that? 

“When I first met him, I was contracted to do a PR job for the bank he works  with and had to work together with him.  His kindness and gentle nature attracted him to me along with his creative skill.  In addition, he’s unassuming and unflappable and I adored him for this.  But however much I love him, I simply can’t respect him.  Not only are his hobbies, accent and dress uncouth and immature, his political views are those of the Amala politics type.

“I’m all for a world where the brightest get pushed to do even better.  For Tony, the priority is ensuring that everyone is happy.  Our biggest rows are about the children’s education.  I attended private schools and want our children to attend the best – where they could learn to play the piano, etc.  Tony, being government school-educated, doesn’t see the point.  Any private school would do as long as they’re near the house and I despise his attitude that happiness is more important than qualifications.

“It speaks for itself, doesn’t it, that if the children want something really useful – like help with their home-work – they come to me. 

“Meanwhile, they’ll go to Tony for stints at the club or a fast-food joint.  I know for sure I am too set in my ways to change.  I believe the only quality we have in common is that we are both stubborn.  Women of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s generation were brought up to tiptoe around their men, bite their tongues and keep the peace.  I can’t think of anything more demeaning.  I am convinced that far from being the way to a happy marriage – putting your husband on a pedestal is unhealthy, and treating everyone of his utterances like part of the Sermon on the Mount can only end in tears.

“A lot of my friends have wondered: ‘Tony’s so nice, how can you be so rude to him?’ How, hypocritical!  Hardly any of them truly respect their husbands – and I know they all moan about them too.  The only difference is that they do it behind their backs while I do it directly. 

“Personally, I think they’re much more disloyal.  Pretending that I respect Tony would make for a quieter life.  But it wouldn’t make me happy.  And what’s the point in being married if you’re not happy?!”

The Wife Wins All The Time?  (Humour)

A couple were so bored with their marriage that they decided to liven it up by competing against each other.  But as the weeks went by, the husband became very depressed because his wife was always the winner of any game they played.  One night at the club, his mate took pity on him and suggested a new game.  “You can’t fail with this, Steve.  It’s who can pee up the wall the highest.  The bloke is bound to win.”

The husband thought this was a great idea and rushed home to tell his wife. She agreed and they went out into the back yard to begin the competition.  The wife dropped her knickers, lifted her leg and peed two feet up the wall.  Confidently, the man undid his zip, took out his dick and was just about to start when his wife said, ‘Hold on, stop right there, no hands allowed!”

The Husband Fights Back!  (Humour)

A couple are walking around the zoo when they come to the gorilla cage.  There’s no one around, so the man says to his wife, “Sharon, take your blouse off and let’s see if it has any effect on the gorilla.”  She hesitates.  “Go on!” he urges, “no one will see”.  So she takes the blouse off and the gorilla starts jumping up and down in excitement.

“Now take your bra off,” he says.  She does this and the gorilla gets even more excited.  “Right, take your skirt off” he says.  “Oh no, I couldn’t.  How would we explain it if someone comes along?”  She asks.  “There’s no one around, it’ll be fine.” 

So, over the next few minutes the woman gradually takes all her clothes off and by this time, the gorilla is going berserk.  Then the husband opens the door of the cage and pushes her inside.  “Now, tell him you have a headache!” he says.

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