Yes, men should take care of themselves, given the way events have been unfolding in recent times. There is nothing wrong if a man creates happy moments for himself. However, this is not applicable to all men. Men, who have become victims neglected by wives and children, should take care of themselves before it is too late. When news broke out of the untimely death of one of the founding fathers of an electrical products business in one of the densely populated markets in Lagos, people were shocked by the attitude exhibited by his immediate family. An autopsy report revealed that the man died of cardiac arrest, which was attributed to very high blood pressure at the age of 58. His colleagues wept bitterly while his apprentices were inconsolable. Grief enveloped the whole electrical section of the market where his shop was located. For his colleagues, the chain has been broken.

One of them eulogised him this way: “He was the candle that lit others. He was the chain that bound so many in businesses. A good man has gone to be with his maker. He was one of the pillars, a policymaker and a stakeholder in the market and he positively represented others.”

His death shook the market and most of them felt the absence of the fallen big tree. As normally obtains, his associates came to condole with his family in compliance with the provisions of the constitution of their business association. Apart from the executives, other members came on the condolence visit to the bereaved family. But what they met was reprehensible. The delegation was treated with arrogant indifference and brazen boldness by a number of the man’s children. They just gave the visitors a cold shoulder. The sobriety one would have expected in a moment of grief, and the solemn appearance and teary eyes usually associated with the loss of a breadwinner was far from the immediate family.  His undergraduate daughters were sighted in the house walking about in bum-shorts with their long weave-on flying in the air in a devil-may-care manner as they chewed gum like tarts, parading and chatting with their friends as if nothing happened. Only his first daughter and second son were calm and felt the death of their father. Tongues wagged about the abhorrent conduct of the other children in the face of the demise of their illustrious father. The situation was managed, but at the end of the visit, it became obvious that his immediate family was only interested in receiving his entitlement from the association and the proceeds of his business. The situation witnessed by the delegation made the executives to beat a hasty retreat and have a second thought. One of his neighbours made sure all his children were in boarding schools to reduce affinity with their mother. It became a sing-song that went like this: ‘I don’t want to be like the man who washed his hands to crack kernel for the hens.” To his colleagues, the dead man did not deserve the attitude displayed by his children for any reason. Assuming there were issues before his death, there were also times of conjugal bliss. Based on that, he ought to have been given the last respect due to him.

People wondered, speculated and commented freely. “Though he appeared to be a happy man from his looks, not many knew he had an unstable home,” one of them said. Only few confidants had a faint knowledge of the soured relationship with his wife. His wife apparently had sown seeds of discord and poisoned the minds of the children against their father. The very children he laboured every day for their welfare; as the man built an aesthetic twin duplex in Lagos and an exquisite house in his hometown, where he was buried.

Regrettably, one of his apprentices confessed that his ‘Oga’ was a good man, but madam who the husband called by the pet name, Mine, was the big headache at home. “She did not give this man peace at all, they were always quarrelling. At such moments, the children always aligned with their mother,” the apprentice said.

This eventually led the man to develop hypertension, which caused his death. He was a worthy man who took good care of his family, yet there was no peace for him.

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Well, looking at the number of untimely deaths and the attitudes of some widows, it becomes important for men to take care of themselves while alive. Some men may wrongly see the situation at home as reason to engage in extra-marital affair or other forms of irresponsibility.

A wise woman who knows the power of her femininity will always be respected. Stories have been told of a young widow who started frolicking with the best man of her husband at their wedding as soon as her husband passed on. She made herself a cheap feast for young boys who claimed they loved her, but they were only interested in her late husband’s wealth until all businesses closed shop.

Unfortunately, it became a lesson for most men. Today, any man who finds himself in the shoes of the late electrical businessman should take good care of himself. It is instructive that not all men are qualified for this bonanza. First of all, look at the man’s parenthesis and achievement as acknowledged by his apprentice, before you begin to take care of yourself. If you are not meeting your responsibility at the home front, you are not part of this discourse. When you are sure that you are a committed husband, comfortable companion, responsible father who provides for the family, attends to in-laws as much as possible while keeping the oil well drilled, and yet you are not rewarded with peace at home, then you can make yourself happy. But there is a proviso: this is not a license to go overboard in the quest for peace and happiness. Remember that the Good Book warned that “he that breaks the hedge (of God’s protection around the person), the serpent (the devil) shall bite (destroy) him.” The devil is lurking in every strange woman and eager to destroy any unwary man that gets into the grip of a strange woman. A relationship with a strange woman is like moving into a danger zone.

Now, to all men who are victims of negligence, please take care of your mindset; do not allow sentiments about what people will say take over your being. Make sure you are on the right track with God. If you are a lover of football, plan a holiday; get your visa and travel to watch the UEFA championship in the heart of Europe after you have provided for the home front. If you like to sit in the company of friends, sit out responsibly; if you love music, play it as you like, go and watch live bands. If you love food, eat in the best restaurants you can afford. If you love evangelism, preach the undiluted word. If you like reading, bury yourself in books. If you love adventure, tourism, sight-seeing and games enjoy the experience. Are you a politician, play your game. Are you a lover of arts and artifacts? Find happiness around it. If you like fashion, designers are ready to spoil you. If separation or relocating from a cantankerous woman will restore peace and love, go ahead and do it. Find your happiness and do that which makes your heart merry. Nobody is perfect; irresponsibility is a two-way thing. It is only the living that can be in relationships. Give a negative woman space and enjoy your life because you are also entitled to happy moments. Besides, time heals wounds, maybe when you become scarce around them, all will rediscover themselves and make a great come back as one united happy family again.

When a man puts in all he can for the relationship to work, why can’t his woman accept him the way he is? Cast away the spirit of competition and enjoy yourself. If he cannot steam up the oil rig to 100 degrees Centigrade, spare him the horror and celebrate his potency with your children.

Dear women, kindly show a little respect to your husband, no matter how bad the relationship. Mind you, respect is reciprocal. If you rubbish your husband, so will family, friends and associates see him. Do your bit and pretend as if you are deaf and dumb, then watch events play out in your favour even if you are financially stronger. Target when he is in a good mood and politely discuss that pain in your heart. Give him his due place in your life and watch him be a toy in your hand. Do not discuss problems during romance and at meal times. Give it a trial and see if it will fail you. There are some bad influences of a man, but use the positive measures to disarm the devil.