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A New Breed of Bahamian Men Needed

By Barrington H. Brennen, 2006


Barrington H. Brennen

Question: Dear Sir: My husband is messing up. My father is messing up. My father-in-law is messing up. My bossí husband is messing up. All my girlfriendsí husbands are messing up. And my church pastor is messing up. What do I mean by "messing up?" They are all having extra marital affairs and get mad when their wives question them about it. They give the impression that they can to what they want to do, and thatís just it. Whatís happening to our men? I think, Sir, we really need a new breed of men in our country.

Answer: Wow! Thatís certainly a whole lot of messing up. I am afraid to admit it, but you are right. Too many Bahamian men are messing up. They are messing up socially, mentally, and spiritually. However, there are scores of well-balanced, Christian, dedicated husbands who do not mess up. Many Bahamian men refuse to be enslaved by their hormones, but prefer to be intellectually directed by their brain and by a higher power, God. These men are wonderful fathers, committed husbands, and dedicated professionals. They do make mistakes, but at least they are humble enough and open-minded enough to recognize their mistakes and make necessary changes. These are words of encouragement for the "few good men."

I say a "few good men" because it seems that everywhere you turn there is a complaint about a husband or male partner having sperm depository problems. If that is not the problem, there is certainly an inappropriate show of compassion and affection outside of the marital relationship. These men are our teachers, pastors, doctors, lawyers, masons, carpenters, truck drivers, politicians, electricians, managers, etc. How do these men get away with their improprieties and responsibilities?

Bahamian men seem to get away with their irresponsible and immoral behavior because of two reasons. 1) As a society, we have accepted (consciously or unconsciously) immorality among men as normal, and perhaps healthy; but consider femalesí immorality disgraceful and inappropriate. This is evident by the different treatment men and women receive when they mess up. If a single woman becomes sexually involved and gets pregnant, generally, her parents treat her with disdain and great harshness. She has become a disgrace to the family. Sometimes her father punishes her terribly. In fact, some fathers have been known to say to their daughters: "If you ever get pregnant, I will kill you." On the other hand, when their sons "mess up," the parentsí first response is only disappointment and sadness, mingled with a little anger, perhaps. But soon the son is made to believe that he has come of age and that his behavior was not that reprehensible. Society looks upon street girls as trouble makers, sluts, whores, and dirt bags, while street boys are considered a "little troubled" and in need of help and rehabilitation. Since the boys donít become pregnant, we treat them somewhat like innocent bystanders.

Unfortunately, even tourists travel to our country to "enjoy" a piece of the immorality pie. Our country is not only known for the three "S", Sun, Sand, and Sea, but also for Sex. In some circles, our country is called the "Stud Farm." Many men are like vicious Bahamian potcake dogs on heat angrily waiting for their piece of the sex pie. They are impatient. They are impulsively running toward any female dog they see, smelling for the sign to move ahead. Is this what we call normal behavior? Is this a part of our pride and joy?

The sad part about all this immoral, irresponsible behavior is that children are born from these clandestine unions. These children are left fatherless and sometimes motherless. Parents and sometimes grandparents, of these irresponsible citizens, gladly nurture these children while their sons go out and mess up some more. Often the women who get pregnant are burdened with caring for the children. Sometime these women may have children for three or more different men, each time increasing the financial and emotional pain of child rearing. Where are the fathers? They are in someoneís else bed not worrying about nurture and care of new born babies and growing school children.

2) We have equated good looks, kind deeds, a pleasant personality, and popularity with spiritual maturity, or at least with wisdom and sobriety. This is usually the case with male community leaders or church-going men who mess up. When a wife goes to a male pastor about her well-liked husbandís immorality, usually he makes her believe she is the problem. When rumors of her husbandís "alleged" immorality have circulated among friends, church members, and gossipers, all eyes focus on the wife, not the husband. Sometimes a well-meaning friend approaches the wife in disbelief with this astonishing question: "What are you doing to make your husband behave that way?"

Often these immoral men are very kind. They volunteer to take the youth to camp. They donate funds for the purchase of church volley ball equipment or are ardent supporters of the church and community programs. If they prove to be unfaithful, we blame the wives for their unfaithfulness. We support the husbands, and minimize or deny the wivesí complaints.

When these wives do not get support and understanding from those in a position to help, they feel disappointed, distraught, and discouraged. These feelings usually lead to withdrawn behavior and often depression. Depression depletes their emotional and physical energies and they cease church involvement and eventually stop attending church, while the husbands remain active. The wives are now labeled "spiritually weak," and not attending church is proof now that they were really the problem all along. Because the Church seldom holds men accountable for their infidelity, the wall of marital separation and pain continues to become insurmountable until divorce becomes inevitable.

These are only two of the many reasons why Bahamian men successfully cover up or get away with immoral behavior. We must change our attitude and approach toward male immorality. We must hold them accountable for their behavior. This would be the first step in creating a new breed of Bahamian men.




Barrington H. Brennen, MA, NCP, BCCP, JP, is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to barringtonbrennen@gmail.com  or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org  or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.






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April 26, 2000, TAGnet/NetAserve / Network Solutions

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