- As newly-weds, we had healthy competition, without even realising that we were competing.
- We were putting our best foot forward and working at outdoing each other in good deeds.
- But we did not realise when the competition turned mean and ugly.
- Instead of enjoying the companionship and team work of marriage, we were arguing about important decisions and competing on whose opinion would carry the day.
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Men are mean competitors. Nothing gets a man’s radar buzzing faster than the whiff of a competitor.
And it starts early. The little boy in the playground puffs up his grasshopper chest just because he beat the rest of his playmates at the cat and mouse game. The same boy snatches another’s medal because that other child was declared the winner.
It takes love and loads of patient to have a 20-minute pep talk about fair competition, why completing a task is more important than winning, and why it is okay to celebrate another’s win.
Women are competitive too; just not mean at it. I know for sure that if we had more women sitting on executive boards and in senior leadership positions, our country would be far ahead.
COMPETITION IN MARRIAGE
While all humans have a competitive streak, it seems that men are simply all about competition. As newly-weds, we had healthy competition, without even realising that we were competing.
We were putting our best foot forward and working at outdoing each other in good deeds.
I would unleash a four-course meal and he would fix the bulbs in a jiff. He would tell me how much he loved me and I would tell him how much more I loved him. He would take me out for coffee and I would retaliate with a dinner; then he would get us away for the weekend, and I would get him nice shoes – men’s shoes are obscenely expensive.
Nothing lasts forever, we soon discovered.
Our healthy competition morphed into something else. He would delay fixing the bulb and yours truly, would fix the bulb. The taps were broken and needed a plumber? I knew the best guy.
“Forget Njuguna, your joker. Andrew is the best,” I would say, dialling Andrew.
Sure enough, my plumber would make a recommendation that seemed out of this world and that seemed to deal with our plumbing issues for good.
“After all these years, Njuguna has never made such a suggestion,” I would tell hubby, a smug smile permanently settling on my lips. My plumber was better than his. What a nice feeling.