When you treat friends better than your spouse

There is nothing quite like falling in love. You want to be around a person all the time, the mere mention of their name is enough to make you happy. You talk all day and all night about nothing, and it somehow still makes sense. You would do anything and everything for the person.

I once met a friend buying a particular brand of ice cream for his girlfriend, which would not be a big deal if the supermarket was not 30 kilometres from where they lived. His plan to beat traffic and get the ice cream to her, while it was still somewhat edible, was to jump on a bodaboda and be ridden like crazy.

Anyone who has been on a bodaboda at rush hour in Kampala understands that he was risking his life so this woman could eat a particular brand and flavour of ice cream. This is the nature of new love. Pure madness.

Fast forward a few months or years, when you have conquered this love and you now own it. Perhaps you staged a grand public proposal and cobbled together the funds for a million-dollar wedding. Children may have also come along.

Suddenly, even the idea of braving a bodaboda ride to get this woman ice cream is laughable. The thought of spending two hours getting hair and makeup done in order to go on a one-hour lunch date with this man is absurd.

People say we should expect things to be different after the honeymoon, and that we should fall into the routine of treating each other with the most minimal levels of civility, affection and consideration.

I say, this is nonsense. We can still treat our significant others like they are indeed significant. And you know how I know we have the mental and physical resources to do it? Because we continue to treat our friends way better than we treat our spouses.

For instance, how many times has your man come to you and said his buddy needs a lift to the airport, or a loan to bail him out? And the airport run is at 3am, but the man can never get up early to help prepare the kids for school, while the loan is an amount he would refuse to give his own mother.

God forbid that you ask him to pick you up from the salon. He will tell you about the benefits of Uber bodabodas. 

You would happily lie to the police to cover for your girlfriend if she said she needed it, but you cannot wash your husband’s underwear because he has hands and it violates your feminist ideologies.

You can be up all night on the Whatsapp group, trying to solve your former classmate’s conundrums (you were in school with those women over 20 years ago, but somehow daily conversation with them is a staple of your current existence) but you cannot talk to your husband and resolve a simple disagreement.

You’ll go to bed angry, plant a pillow between the two of you and sleep on the very edge of your bed, sighing dramatically.

Why is it that we are willing to go the extra mile for our buddies, but we cannot go a few feet to make our spouse feel special? What are we trying to prove to these friends of ours who will be here today and gone tomorrow to laugh at us behind our backs?

How does it make sense to set aside your lunch break to listen to your co-worker whine when you have no idea what projects your spouse is currently working on?

You would not believe how much marital distress is caused by the simple fact that we all treat our friends with way more respect and consideration than we do our spouses. Even when we argue with our friends, apologising and making up is a priority; not so with our spouse.

This week try and treat your spouse even half as well as you treat your friends. Before you escort your friend deep into some bushes to find a powerful witchdoctor, escort your husband to the gate and wish him a successful day with a genuine smile.

Before you head out in the rain to rescue your drunk homeboy from the bar, tell your wife to go soak in the tub for half an hour while you mind the kids. And then rub her feet. Then see if the sky will fall down.