A friend of mine is actively seeking a longterm relationship. “I am ready to settle and have babies,’ she told me one evening. She has been dating left, right and centre, meeting all kinds of men (and boys). She is petite, beautiful, a go-getter, in her late thirties, and gets ample attention from the opposite gender. Let’s just say that her social calendar is rather colourful.

She has been at it for a couple of weeks. We met again recently and I enquired about her progress in finding the right man. She didn’t have any solid prospects yet but what she did have was a rare insight into how men see relationships. More importantly, why does unbridgeable gap seep in between a once-madly-in-love couple.

What she said sounded so basic yet profound. A majority of men that she had met over the last few weeks were divorcees and every one of them had a similar story. She said, “All of these men, they say exactly the same thing to me. And I can see it in their eyes that it isn’t just a tale. They would tell me that they felt ignored. Their needs weren’t met. They were last on the list. They always came after kids, family and friends. The did not feel as important as other parts of their ex-wives lives. They were lonely. Each man’s story – it’s like a broken record.”

She added that this is where things go wrong, and a once-solid-marriage starts to fall apart. Loneliness in a relationship is the worst, be it for a man or a woman. When a man sees that everyone else’s needs are stacked above his own, it hits him hard. Maybe even harder than it would hit a woman if roles were reversed.

This is something to think about. Let’s just take a minute to evaluate our own actions – have we been doing something like this to our partner? If there is even a slightest of chance that you have, take this as a wakeup call and adjust your priorities. Marriage needs to be a priority. A wise woman once told me that you need to take care of yourself first (it’s so hard when you are in the trenches with kids, a job, and a husband to tend to, but try!), then your marriage, and children come after that. Kids need a happy mom and dad, a supportive family unit and parents who invest in each other.

A lot of women I know have their priorities in stark contrast to this; for them, kids come first, husband second, and if there is any time and energy left, it is spent on chores and responsibilities. Ladies, please don’t do this to yourself. Take care of yourself. You can only make others happy when you are happy. It maybe a cliché but 100% true.

Finding a good man in 2019 is difficult. If you have a decent man by your side, hold on to him. Don’t let chores take him away from you.