Why Do Women Make Excuses For Men’s Bad Behaviour?

Growing up as a Nigerian child, one of my favourite songs was African Queen by Tuface Idibia. I loved the music video especially and loved how his girlfriend Annie Idibia was in it.

However, as I grew older and became more intentional as a feminist, I started to question Tuface’s attitude towards Annie and started to dislike how he was a womaniser.

Eventually, Tuface and Annie got married and are still married. This hasn’t stopped him from cheating on her with his numerous women and baby mamas. Every year, there seems to be one sob story or the other from her about him.

In a popular series on Netflix called Young, Famous and African, she went into detail on the show explaining how he has hurt her multiple times and essentially made her be on the receiving end of disrespect.

Now, I admire her honesty and I would never shame her because she was essentially groomed by Tuface and cannot see herself surviving away from him. However, it was her statement at the end of one episode that threw me off balance and made me question why women are quick to offer excuses for men’s bad behaviour.

She said that while she is pained by what he has done to her, she will stay with him because she knows that the good times will make up for the bad. 

For those of us observing their relationship, it however seems like there are few good times and the marriage is one defined by exposing her to disrespect.

Her statement pushed me to think about why oftentimes in relationships, women and this includes me, have made excuses for bad behaviour that is glaring at us in the face. 

What is it about facing reality that most women run away from? Is it the fear of being alone? Is it because acknowledging a man’s bad behaviour would mean that we have to also acknowledge that we were scammed into believing that men hold the keys to our happiness? Is it because women want someone they can post on social media and get “God when’s” from other women?

Sometimes I wonder how many relationships will truly last if more women had better self esteem and weren’t scared of being alone. If more women learn to look reality in the face and not seek to call what is clearly plastic foil diamonds. The honest truth is that lots of relationships between women and men carry on for so long even in the presence of heart wrenching pain, because women have been fed a lie. 

A lie that should they be single they won’t be happy. Meanwhile, if one observes the lives of most divorced women, one notices that they are less willing to remarry and live with a man’s bad behaviour in such close range.

To further understand what fuels women making excuses for men’s bad behaviour especially in relationships, I spoke to two women.

For Banke, a writer, she believes that religion has a role to play in how women make excuses for men.

In her words: “From a more personal point of view, I’ll say women stay in relationships because of their stance religious wise. According to many doctrines, no matter how bad you’re treated as a woman in a relationship, it’s your duty to keep the home secure irrespective of whatever trash you’re being served. Then pious men of God come and tell you as a woman, you ought to endure it all. Some go as far as quoting scriptures where a woman ought to be virtuous. 

Then, it boils down to the children who are not exactly blind to the disarray in the home. The mother consistently tells them “He’s their father” and even paints a perfect picture so that they’ll serve as a model.”

She went on to say: “Also, women make excuses because they hope the man in question is going to change as if marriage is supposed to magically give a man a different skin. What I see can be done is for a woman to have something doing. 

She should also pass the right message to her kids. I mean, as a daughter, I saw my mom consistently defending and tolerating less than she deserves. I grew up believing that’s how it’s meant to be.

Mothers should never compare their past and what they tolerated with what their daughters are facing. “That’s how all men are” then the case is closed…. It’s not fair.”

Speaking with Michelle, she feels that some women make excuses because they are afraid to start over and can’t accept that their time was essentially wasted.

To quote her: “I think sometimes it’s the fear of being alone or starting over. Sometimes its the background or family from where they were brought up.

Other times it’s the hope that they will change and things will be better.

That hope and emotions makes the woman stay overlooking and giving excuses. She might feel that if she leaves he might become a better man and all she had endured, with all her sacrifices to make the relationship work wasted.”

She continued by saying: “It also could be what they benefit from the relationship or the fact that their identity has been intertwined with the relationship. They don’t see themselves whole anymore without him.

I know a close friend who endured cheating while in the relationship. She believes all men cheat but as long as she is comfortable then there is no problem. She said she once saw condoms in her dads car and can never see him the way she did before. Sometimes she is tempted to tell her mum but she doesn’t want a divided family.

I will suggest before going into a relationship to know yourself, have your own identity, be assertive, know your values. That will help I believe.”

As a woman it’s important to note that suffering is not what you came to do in your time on earth. Making excuses for the red flags and bad behaviour seen in men only serves to elevate anxiety in you and assign you a fate of bad experiences.

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