he last time we had a fight, he told me, “When we were dating and you were giving it to me from left and right, did you ever bother to ask if I had bathed or not? We could do it everywhere and not care because you were doing it to convince me to marry you. Now that we are married, you’re here complaining about me not bathing. You women are all the same. Right after marriage, you think you’ve gotten what you want so you can do what you want.”
What he said really hurt my ego because that wasn’t the point. I didn’t audition for this marriage and it wasn’t the issue of me doing everything for him to marry me. Both of us were in love but unfortunately, we didn’t have our own rooms. I was still living with my parents and shared a room with my junior sister. He had come from a different town to work in Accra and didn’t have the money to rent so he was perching with a friend. He couldn’t come to my place for shuperu and I couldn’t also go to his place for the same so we met at weird places and did what we were supposed to do. We could meet at a friend’s place and every little privacy we got, we utilized it. Of course, that wasn’t the time for me to ask whether he had taken his bath or not. It was spontaneous and was done in a rush.
Both of us wanted it and so each time we had a small opportunity, we let ourselves go. No big deal and to me that wasn’t an audition for marriage by all means. We dated for two years under these same circumstances. At one point, I had the money to rent a place but I knew my parents wouldn’t allow me to leave the house when I was not married so when I realized marriage was on the table, I told him, “Let’s put money together and rent a place. You’ll move in first and put things in order. Once we get married, I will move in with you.” It was a dangerous move but I was ready to do it because I trusted him. My friends laughed at me but love didn’t make me see what was funny about it. Some even told me I’m renting a house for a man who’ll end up using the house with his girlfriends. I didn’t listen to them. I gave him almost half of the rent when we finally got the place.
He rented the place and about nine months later we got married. I went through all this because I loved him and not because I was playing a good woman so I’ll get a ring on my finger. The day he told me I was giving it to him from left and right because I wanted marriage, I told him I was hurt and asked him to apologize. He didn’t apologize. He walked out of the bedroom to go and sleep in the hall. He still didn’t bathe though his lack of personal hygiene was the reason for the fight. A man’s ego can blind him from seeing what the reasons are.
We’ve been married for almost a year and it was after marriage that I realized my husband didn’t like bathing. He’s a field worker. He would leave home before sunrise, toil all day under the sun and come home eventide and just go to bed without bathing. His excuses were numerous. It was either he was too tired to bathe or “I’ll wake up at dawn and bathe because If I bathe right now, I won’t be able to sleep again.” He’ll never wake up at dawn to bathe and on days when I remind him, he would tell me, “It’s already morning, why are you bothering me?”
At dawn when he wakes up and wants shuperu, I have to bear with him. His armpit would be smelling. His skin would be sticky. I would be very uncomfortable when he lies on me but I would take it as all part of marrying a sloppy man. I would bear something that has to be enjoyed by both of us. At some point, he’ll lie on his back and ask me to put his equipment in my mouth. I’ll bear all things in the marriage but not that. I can’t put my nose there and be smelling what I ought not to smell. I tried it once when he forced it, I nearly threw up. When I begged him to go and bathe, he went to the bathroom and washed just around his pubic area and came back telling me he was clean.
We had a fight. I insisted I couldn’t do it. He insisted I should give it to him just as I used to when we were not married. I refused. He left the bedroom and went to sleep in the hall. The next morning when he was leaving, he didn’t put money there for food. I didn’t fight him. I didn’t nag him. I cooked with what I had and he came back home to eat, except that he wouldn’t talk to me. Days later when he brought the topic up I told him, “I’m ever ready to do it for you if only you’ll be friends with the water and soap. You’re a construction worker for crying out loud.”
It was the same issue at first when it came to brushing his teeth before sleeping at night. I lost that battle because nothing I would do or say would make him pick the brush in the evening. He told me one night when I tried convincing him to brush his teeth, “Even if you brush your teeth in the night, you’ll still wake up with a stinking breathe so what’s the point?” I couldn’t win that argument and he’s not a fan of kissing so there was nothing to worry about. But there’s everything to worry about when it comes to bathing in the night because he’ll like to have my head in between his thighs.
This is not an issue we have to bring in a third party, right? I believed we could talk our way through it but anytime I try, it turns into a fight which may last for a week. Within that week, no money would be given. If we have utilities to pay, they won’t get paid. If we have a topic to discuss, it won’t get discussed all because I didn’t give my husband what he wanted. How can he want something so bad and still not want to do what would make him get it easily?
One night, he returned from work, ate his dinner and rushed to the bathroom to take his bath. I looked into the sky and told God, “Let this continue. Whatever pursued him to the bath should continue pursuing him every day so we’ll have peace in this house.” When we went to bed that night, he didn’t even have to ask for it. I pounced on him and gave it to him for almost thirty minutes without a break. I would look at his face and how he was struggling to catch his breath and wink at him. He was on cloud nine that night but he came back from work the next evening and didn’t touch the sponge or the soap because that day, he didn’t work with grease.
He’s slowly frustrating the joy out of our marriage while he blames me for it. A beautiful man like my husband shouldn’t have litigation with the water and sponge but this man behaves as if anytime he bathes, a piece of his skin gets washed away. Last time he told me, “I’m here thinking about making big money and you’re there thinking about bathing. A true hustler doesn’t have time to think about little things ooo.” If money chooses the pocket it wishes to enter, I swear it will never choose the pocket of my husband because it wouldn’t like the scent down there.
I don’t even know exactly why I’m here ranting about my husband’s lack of hygiene. Maybe I’m frustrated because I’m not able to discuss it with anyone. I need someone to just listen to me. Or maybe I need help. Anything at all to help my husband change his ways. It’s funny but anytime I pray, I mention it to God.
There are so many things we need from God, money, favour, good health and what have you but somehow, I ashamedly have to remind God every day to pour heaven’s water on my husband so he’ll like to bathe and brush his teeth in the night. “God, it’s not easy oooo. It’s not easy for your daughter at all to sleep next to a stinking man every night, a stinking man who wants a head. It’s not easy at all.