Women after marriage: do they still care about their looks?
It is sometimes said that women take care of themselves while single, but let themselves go slightly once they are married. For Daniel Kubwimana it is very clear that is indeed the case. “A young woman wants to attract a potential husband, but once married she thinks she got where she wanted to be,” says Kubwimana, adding that she then stops putting in much effort in looking as good as she used to.
One of the areas of complaints rises from women’s sizes and diet. For example, a man who identified himself only as Chris, commenting on one story, writes with obvious frustration that “we marry small girls and when they reach a man’s home they overeat as if they had no food in their father’s house.”
Chrisostome Dusabimana agrees with the above statement, adding that it is also reflected in the way they generally look besides their size. “I can compare it to merchandise on the market: it is well taken care of, wrapped in a nice package so that it appeals to the buyer. But once it is bought, the package is removed, and that object is used, it loses the appeal it once had,” remarks Dusabimana.
He points out that it is an illustration of what more than 60% of the women he knows who married have behaved. “Their attitude is careless, as if they think: I got where I wanted, so I don’t need to put in as much effort.” So if she was on a diet to retain her small size, she will no longer see the use of making that effort and will eat whatever she wants.
However, many women would disagree. “I continue to take care of myself, so nothing has really changed,” says Anne Ingabire, adding that even when it happens, it may be because the wife no longer has the time to do apply make-up and other stuff due to increased responsibilities at home.
Mukabalisa, who is in her fifties, agrees that such changes in behavior may be due to the fact that a woman may have more to think about, especially when there are children in the equation. “Then she will provide for the children first before buying all those products for herself, putting more efforts in caring for the children rather than herself.”
Vestine Mukandahiro for her part admits that her husband has asked her why she is now looking like a peasant and no longer a city girl. “But the trouble is I don’t have a job and he doesn’t contribute in any way to buy lotion, at least. How can he expect me to look the same?” She says she looked better when she was with her family and is now even ashamed to go see them looking the way she now does.
“It reflects on a man and his honor, you know. People start wondering what happened in that family, speculating that things are going wrong.”
This can lead to serious tensions within the marriage, and some men even take it as an excuse to cheat on their wife. “If I no longer have someone who is nice and well-kept to look at when I’m home, it will cause my eyes to wander to other women who are better looking,” admitts Julien Irankunda.
Others might not go that far, but they confirm that lack of care will definitely cause problems. “Maybe I liked her in the first place because of the way she looked and dressed,” says Jean Paul Habimana. “If she changes, it is certain that some things will also change.”
He also has an explanation for this: if the wife was taking good care of him, she stops doing the small things she was doing that made him happy, especially if there are children involved. “All the attention is shifted and she forgets that I am the first and oldest child and I also need affection,” he says.
Yet men do not take such changes lying down. Eric Kagire points out that he certainly would not keep quiet when that happens, for it would upset him. “It reflects on a man and his honor, you know. People start wondering what happened in that family, speculating that things are going wrong, either you have financial or relational problems,” he says, adding that a wife’s being and appearance is the honor of the family, when she looks good, the husband also looks good.
Ingabire therefore urged women who behave like that to change their habits. “If you wanted to look good for your boyfriend or fiancé, it should be even more so for your husband,” she remarks, reminding them that not only does the neglect affect the relationship, but also adds wood to the fire of gossip started by those who like to analyze the happenings in other people’s homes based on what they see.