Nyamweya is a columnist with a Kenyan print media.He is also a freelance writer with various online and offline media platforms
A high-achieving man sometimes have it rough in marriage. And it is true that some high-flying men and women always struggle with relationships. Most high-flyers were probably best in their class. They are used to having everything their way. And yet, here is something that is deceptively simple but it kills them.As usual, this got me thinking.6 out of 10 men who graduated between 2008-2015, got a good corporate job and married between 2008-2015 are now divorced and probably in involved in a bitter post-divorce and baby-mama drama. This is limited to those who chose to stay in any of the six major towns of Kenya and are secular. You can always verify these in your circles, I could he wrong. No matter.So, why do high-achieving men fair badly in marriage compared to average men?I can think of three quick reasons.
1. Illusion of choice.
This happens in two ways. Because of assortative mating, we always marry within our circles. This means you will marry from your tribe, probably within your social circle. But pause for a minute.If you are a man from KU class of 2010, you are likely to marry from KU class of 2010-2014. If you veer off, it will still be a woman from the same social class; a graduate( from a public university), from middle-class or she would end up in middle-class down the line if she came from poverty. This comes with two risks.One, if you are at the same league or same level, she will want better. But remember if you are a graduate or post-graduate, you are in the the 0.5 percent of Kenyans. Most women are wired to want better, stronger males.
If you are a 30-year old man with a wife of four years with a two-three year old child, you can potentially lose her to that Luo or Luhya playboy in office who is late 30s or early 40s. What happens is that most women try to game their chances with a better men. And with the prolonged 'sexy appeal' most women take so long to accept and settle into a marriage, because there are these orbiters who don't know boundaries. Even a married woman, as long as she is vain, they will feed her vanity. Thus most young high flying men lose their women, not because there is anything fundamentally wrong with them or their women. Just that their women didn't know the ceiling of their hypergamy because of the illusion of choice. I have seen women in their 30s who abandon their graduate and educated husband to settle with a rich 50+ man who is not even educated. It works sometimes. Sometimes it flops.Nearly half of the women who wreck their marriage between the age of 28-35 because their men were doing badly financially or due to some misdemeanor that was forgivable, almost always want back. But if taken back they rarely eat the humble pie, instead they hate you for mediocrity and for being a compromise of their choices that they are stuck with. That is why men like Amerix and Jacob Aliet warn men to skip on single moms because their baby daddies have the first dibs, if you fail to meet their demands. Some of the most burnt men out here are those who tried to level up for divorced women but couldn't keep up. They are dropped like a hot sufuria.
Two. Illusion of choice also wrecks men. Because men in this category are high achieving, it means they have a lot of women at their disposal. These men are likely to be politicians, managers, or will be pocketing huge salaries. With disposable income they can get any woman they want. Thus, even if they married an angel, the hottest TV girl, without discipline, many such men always screw up their marriages because they will have women who are ready to give them babies and even settle with them.High achieving men and women (by this I mean those guys who used to be top ten in school, came from good families and moderately to above average likelihood of success in their careers) have the problem of intelligence and disposable income. A welder or primary school teacher in rural Kenya has a 90 percent chance of their marriage working. But masomo kidogo will whisper to you how limiting marriage is, how you married a shag-mondoz. Education and employment exposes you to 'better' people that you think you deserve. That is why working class women will mess their marriages because of colleagues or some simp they met online. Married men will lose it with slay queens and young female colleagues.
2. Romantic Idealism
Educated men tend to have romantic ideals about life. A Matatu conductor and driver when they wake up they know during the day they will bribe folks, overlap, behave dickishly in order to survive. An educated fellow will be thinking, it is wrong to bribe. Will think matatus are menace when they overlap. And would wish for a Kenya that was a Japan or a European country where shut works.When this kind of romantic Idealism is carried to marriage, they are punished very badly.
Nearly half if not all of the men who are divorced and despised are the faithful, loving and caring men. By the time they learn that women don't care about how loving and caring they are, it is too late.See, most high-achieving men are also high-value simps. In itself it is not a bad thing. Just that women hate it. So these men marry cute women and hope they will domesticate these women into eternal Bliss. These men become complacent.Their cardboard boring personal is no match to a man from Homa Bay calling their woman 'a girl-toto'. It is no match for some play boy who verbally promises heaven with a wish to dine and dash.So, these men think because they pay rent and can take kids to an expensive private schools, their work is done. They deserve flowers, hugs and claps. And then this illusion is shattered when they learn that all their best sacrifices mean nothing to the woman who thinks you ain't shit.
3. The belief that the world owes them something.
High-achieving people think the world owes them something. Right from childhood, they were always mollycoddled. The family loved them. At school they were the teacher's pet and scoring a high grade may have misled them to think they are special. That the world owes them shit. You know. A successful marriage. Cute kids who know math.Except that the world doesn't owe them or anyone anything.Save for brief tarmacking, a divorce is the first time these men encounter rejection in its ugliest version.And because of this self-indulgence and entitlement, they always take it hard that they can be rejected."After all I did!" They tend to ask. Not knowing that maybe what they did like picking a woman up, dusting her up and giving her honour and dignity don't really matter in the big scheme of things. That like any other man, they too can be used as ladder and the woman they love walking away is the wake up call for them to reset.Many fail to reset. But those who accept how things end up are able to pick the pieces from the scene and carry on.
If you are a high-achieving man here are quick reminders.
1. If you lose your woman when chips are down and she deserts you, remember you can't put a good man down. Charge her to the streets, spring back and go for an even finer, better thing.
2. If you are one of those high-achieving men who are players and have so many options, don't fuck up a good marriage. We all think we have options until we lose the good jewel at home. Things are never the same and those who come after we wreck the first good marriage are rarely even half-as-good.
3. Rejection from a woman is a time for reset. Women were put on earth by God to slap us back into reality. Don't take it too hard man. Just sit down, have a very cold drink or take a cold shower and remind yourself, "I am not special.
"4. Remember you are never too special that you can't be cheated on. You are never too special that you can't be dumped.
5. Shit happens.
6. Be kind on yourself and rebuild yourself. Remarry if you want. Take care of your kids if you don't want to remarry and choose happiness. It is not that most divorced women jump into happiness after divorce, if it is any consolation. However, after divorce, if there is any sadness, unhappiness, loneliness and such, it is yours and yours alone. Don't choose that. There is a preacher that I no longer mostly agree with, but once he said, we never thank God enough for removing some people (including bad spouses) from our lives. Sometimes we are too blinded by rejection to notice the sun shining again.
7. Remember, one day you the cock of the walk, the next day you a feather duster. Not sure who said that. Anonymous? But it applies.May the day break and may you all grab my new book for a lighter, easy read.