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What makes a good husband or wife

The other day a Tanzanian friend shared over a whatsapp group qualifications of a good husband or a good wife. Each one began with a list and explanation of lesser types of husbands and wives.

Today I provide summary translation of the qualifications of husbands and wives. In the next post, I’ll include some commentary on these.

Lesser Husbands

  • King Husband – rules his home as the boss, without helping with chores or regarding his wife’s feelings.
  • Bachelor Husband – doesn’t care that he has a wife, never shares his wealth, spends his time with his friends.
  • Acidic Husband – is always angry, complains, holds grudges, is annoyed if she asks for money even to buy food, beats his wife.
  • General Husband – loves other women and girlfriends, doesn’t look after his wife while lavishing money on these others.
  • Dry Husband – a distant man, he thinks marriage is just about bringing food and bedroom activities, he does not talk to or  care for his wife’s feelings.
  • Panadol Husband – a man who only wants a woman to look after him, with no interest in looking after her.
  • Baby Husband – a man who still has all the habits of childhood, unable to make decisions, still asking his mother or his friends what he should do.
  • Visiting Husband – comes home as if he is a guest, coming home late without reason when wife and children are already asleep, often traveling and not taking his family with him.
  • Stalking Husband – controlling, following his wife around to see what she’s doing, checking her story with others.
  • Miserly Husband – has money, but if he gives it to his wife is always asking about her use of it and other things in the house, so his wife gives up asking and stays quiet because it’s too much work to ask him for money.

Husband Material

A man who loves you for you without being forced to by any person or thing (even pregnancy.) This is a man who values you, your preferences, problems and joys. Even if he does not have money, he has a treasury of thoughts and dreams of hope for better life later.

Lesser Wives

  • Party Wife – never stays at home on the weekend, always off to someone’s party, using up the family’s money for food on these things
  • Dictionary Wife – doesn’t like to ask advice, thinks she knows everything, doesn’t ever back down, is rude.
  • Pampered Wife – a woman who has been spoiled by her parents, she is lazy and doesn’t work about the house, just shopping and always asking for things, treating her husband as her driver or errand boy.
  • Office Wife – cares more about her work responsibilities than her family, staying late at the office, always with excuses about why she is not home, doesn’t respect her husband or think he is important.
  • Sickly Wife – always appears sick, weak and sad, blames her husband and the world, afraid to be involved in the world or start up a business.
  • Headmistress Wife – thinks she is the leader of the family, treating others like children, questioning their decisions.
  • Fighting Wife – contrary and rarely quiet, she speaks foolishly and buzzes around generally being a disturbance.
  • Dustbin Wife – a woman who is disorganised, and does not put effort into her appearance even when she has money.
  • Protective Wife – jealous and limiting of her husband’s activities, never letting him see others or have friends.

A Good Wife

This is a woman who is spoken of in the psalms and other holy books. She cares, she knows how to love, she is pleasing and she is loved by her children. She is a help. She is able to supervise all her husband’s activities if he is not there to make sure there are no problems. She is a guard and spiritual leader for the children and for the whole family. She is understanding, courageous and confident.

Categories: Tanzania Tanzanian culture Woman Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

4 replies

  1. I found it really nteresting that it seems like a negative trait for husbands “still asking his mother or his friends what he should do” -‘ is a positive one for wives “doesn’t like to ask advice, thinks she knows everything”.

    Also had my curiosity spiked about the references to women asking their husbands for money when you’ve written previously about there not being stay at home mums in Tz–do husbands have sole oversight/access to family funds? i.e. do women access $ through their husband, even though they work full time?

    Also found the sickly wife idea interesting (“appears” sick, rather than “is” sick) from a disability perspective–appears that her lack of activity is attributed to her fear (personal agency), rather than to forces largely outside her control (illmess or disability with organic aetiology or in some other way not controlled by her).

    1. I’m yet to really get into disability in Tanzania, but the disability people would be familiar with is pretty obvious to the eye e.g. blindness, no hands, Downs Syndrome, albinism, etc. I’ve never heard of something like CFS here, and don’t know whether it exists. I think the sickly wife one is about how sickness of mind can manifest in sickness of body, which is a pretty common idea, and one that is prevalent in 19thC western literature as well (for example).

      Re: money, yes lots of women don’t control their finances even if they work. A friend the other day remarked that seeing all money as the family’s money is a hallmark of a Christian marriage. The thing I’ve heard of is men demanding their wife hand over the money she earns, but I haven’t explored it further.

      I think with asking questions, the difference is a man who can’t think for himself, versus a woman who is arrogant.

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