Growing up, my four siblings and I were never taught that certain chores were only appropriate for a specific gender. The boys could help in the kitchen, swept floors and did laundry. The girls ran errands, could put generators on, changed bulbs and fix meter related issues. My parents were co-dependent. Unlike your average African family, nothing like submission or dominance was needed because my dad wasn't regarded in any sense as head of the family, my parents were co-leaders instead. My dad listened to my mum and took her advice as much as she did his. We didn't have to wait around for my dad whenever we needed money in his absence because my mum was a successful business owner, and we didn't starve in my mum's absence whenever we were little because my dad never minded going to kitchen to cook for us, he was even very good at it. Throughout my childhood, everyone in my family lived together in peace and harmony. My parents were happy and loved each other like new couples, consequently, I had determined from a very young age that when I grew up and got married, my family was going to be modelled after their's. Indeed, the perfect job they did in keeping their home was undeniably everything to be emulated.
My education was fast, by age 21, I was already a BSc degree holder in Biochemistry, by 23 I was a master's degree holder, within 4 years, at 27 I was fully established, had a nice bungalow apartment in a serene neighborhood and was getting married to my old time sweetheart Tiwatope.
Tiwatope meant the entire world to me and she was everything I could possibly want in a woman. She was intelligent, tall, gracious and remarkably gorgeous. I swore within myself that I was going to do or give anything in the world to make her happy and I kept my promise.
Because I was so driven by my passion and will to keep her happiness a first priority, after marriage, I had to change a lot of my ideologies and settle for a lot more different than what I had hoped for.
Growing up, she had been taught women were lesser beings and that a wife's only pride should be in fully submitting to her husband and pleasing his interests. She did every single thing in the house, from cleaning to cooking, washing dishes, laundry and grocery shopping. She got angry whenever I tried to help with anything, she insisted that even the tiniest of chores like laying the bed we both slept on and rumpled for a man was a thing of shame. Even when she was heavily pregnant she still overworked herself, she never subscribed to the idea of a house help either, she felt bringing a house help in the picture would destroy our matrimonial home. She got angry whenever I tried to suggest ideas that'd relief her off her duties. She insisted she was just fine.
We have three children now and she's nowhere near slowing down. Nature is beginning to take it's course as she has been getting frail and wrinkled, she looks noticably stressed out and relatively less attractive than when I had met her. She has declined so much over time. From an outsider's perspective it'd easily look like I am not taking care of her or making her suffer, but there's absolutely nothing I can do about it and I feel perpetually useless.
I am scared she will teach my two daughters in her long suffering ways and overload them with household responsibilities, while my son on the other hand will be given an entitled mentality and an undue sense of superiority over his sisters when they grow up. But those are still brewing concerns, for now I'm bothered that at the rate she's going, she might just end up killing herself.
What should I do?
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