"I am married to the most amazing woman on earth. Intelligent, beautiful, loving and... how do I say this... good in bed. There is nothing I find wanting with her. Nothing at all! But I am a mess! I have betrayed her and I can’t stop it." George Photo/FILE
Kitoto, I am married to the most amazing woman on earth. Intelligent, beautiful, loving and... how do I say this... good in bed. There is nothing I find wanting with her. Nothing at all!
But I am a mess! I have betrayed her and I can’t stop it. I am a born-again Christian, and the guilt of continually sinning against my God and my wife is almost paralysing me.
I have tried several times to stop, and sometimes succeeded, but only for a while before I relapse terribly. I can’t take it any more!
How do I overcome this? Can you please connect me to a good, Christian counsellor to help me on this journey? This is getting urgent.
George, the compliments you have heaped on your wife can make any man jealous. Which is why I have to tell you this: no woman of such quality deserves this treatment.
A woman’s beauty is enhanced and affirmed by a man’s appreciation of such beauty through active engagement that shows value and care; and an affair is devastating, both emotionally and psychologically.
I am glad you see the pain caused by such betrayal. Compliments alone cannot heal the pain and loneliness she feels.
There is need for a complete turnaround. First, it takes honesty and courage for an offender to realise his or her folly and what such folly is doing to him or her and his or her relationship. This, you have done. You can see the injustice of your betrayal.
Now, recognise what you stand to lose. The qualities you have painted of your wife leave one wondering: “So, why the betrayal?” This is a personal war you have to win. Your woman has done well to give you the satisfaction any man needs.
However, your lack of self control and sound judgment stands in the way of this would-be-great marriage.
Sexual addiction can be tamed and a person can heal and develop better relational habits.
However, your resolve to change must be followed by the support of a counsellor; a frank and honest relationship with an accountability partner that can stand with you; a radical shift in your lifestyle, including your social friendships and environments; and a personal resolve to make the sacrifices necessary to yield positive results. (I have sent you contacts of a counsellor).
SHOULD I SUPPORT THIS CHILD?
Kitoto, I separated with my wife four years ago after being married for five years. We had a daughter, but my wife, who has since remarried, took off with her. Should I continue supporting her?
Japhet, there are several reasons why you should play a significant role in your child’s life.
First, even though your former wife remarried, I really don’t think the support you are referring to includes her, but if she has requested personal support, be careful because this could interfere with her current marriage. After all, what husband would want to hear that his wife is being “maintained” by another man?
Second, the baby is yours. You are her legitimate father. Therefore, whether you look at it from a legal or social perspective, you have a responsibility to give her a future that will involve parenting, education and fun.
This child needs a father in her life, and I don’t think you want to have someone else perform that role. In the future, she could just end up asking you the question: “How come you abandoned me?”
Sometimes we just need to ask ourselves questions that children abandoned by one parent after either divorce or separation ask themselves or those around them. It is not only emotionally draining but also psychologically taxing.
Our children must feel loved and accepted by both parents. Period.
I THINK I MARRIED THE WRONG WOMAN:
Kitoto, some years ago I met a woman who was still in college and we fell in love. She lived with her brother who was paying for her college fees at the time.
During her last year in college, she was chased out of her brother’s house and she had nowhere to go except to terminate her education and go back home upcountry.
Since I loved her, I decided to take her in and cater for her needs, including paying her college fees. We began to live as husband and wife, and even though it was not easy for me since my salary was nothing much, I managed to see her through college.
She is still staying with me and has not found a job yet, so she relies on me for financial support. She, however, does not seem keen to look for a job and only does so when I prod her.
We have been trying to get a baby in vain, and recently we went for medical advice and the doctors discovered she has blocked fallopian tubes, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cervicitis.
I am the one who was catering for all medical check-ups and treatments since I am the only one who is working. We did not seek further treatment since I ran out of cash.
My frustrations are as follows: I shouldered the burden of taking this woman through college on her final year; I am still taking care of her since she has not found a job yet; she was diagnosed with infertility, which I am spending a tidy sum to address; I am no longer able to support my relatives since I got married to her, or rather since I started living with her, because my income is low; and we have never travelled to see both our parents because the financial situation does not allow it.
Apart from these issues, she is loving and caring, even though I don’t know whether she would have stuck with me were I the one with fertility problems.
I feel like this relationship is costing me more than I bargained for. It’s like I’m the loser, and so I want to quit and restructure my life before thinking of marrying or going back to her.
I wish there was something to bind us together — like her getting a job, or bearing a child. I feel like I married at the wrong time, or, worse, the wrong person altogether.
Anthony, let me start by congratulating you for your kindness and generosity towards this woman. You deserve to be commended for the financial and emotional sacrifice you have given her to help her achieve education.
This, to her, is a great asset that will make her competitive in the career world.
That said, the big question here is whether you married her out of sympathy or not. You have just confessed that she is loving and caring. Is what you feel a frustration of the issues you face and are unable to sort out?
You lament about her lack of job and the seemingly laidback approach on her part to seek one so that she can help you pay the bills, but you say you are frustrated because you just discovered, after trying for a long time, that she cannot bear a child.
Despite your meagre earnings, you say you have spent a fortune trying to sort that out, in vain.
So, you want a child with a woman you are not sure is the right person to marry? Huh!
Anthony, I think you still care about this woman and see a future, however dim, with her.
Let your strengths guide your reasoning so that you can become a team that can face these many issues together. Whether it is the medical or the financial burden you are shouldering now, no problem is too big for two people who are united and seeking the same thing. Don’t let your fears make you retreat.
Remember, there is no relationship without problems. In one, there is fighting and disagreement, and in another lack values to live by. In yet another, abject want rules the castle.
I believe that, deep down, this woman appreciates your gestures of love and care, and so I suggest the following: Let her know how you are proud of her hard work to complete education, and tell her that you have faith that if she works at sending job applications consistently, things will open up.
About her fertility problems, encourage her that, medically and with God’s help, there is hope. Talk about what makes the two of you fit for each other; and, remember, it is not things like career that make us great marriage partners.
Careers, physical beauty, and even children are here today and gone the next moment. However, marriage lasts, and lasts, and lasts.
If, through your discussions together, you discover that, fundamentally, there are major differences that make it impossible for you to get married, then part in peace.
But don’t let selfish reasons lead you to break a relationship that has been built through life’s trials. This, if handled well, could produce the greatest of relationships! I was told recently that the tightest bonds are created by intense heat. What do you think?
SHE WANTS MY BABY:
Kitoto, I’ve been in an on-off relationship with a girl who is older than me since 2007. We started on a wrong, reluctant footing, even though we were having sex at the time.
After some time, she cut links with me, but she has now come back to me and wants us to settle down and even have a baby.
I don’t want a baby, yet I we keep having unprotected sex because, in the seven years we have done this, we have never used any and I find it hard to explain to her why we need one now.
I do not have another girlfriend, but I do not want to marry this one as I feel the age difference may not allow me to enjoy this relationship enough. Kindly advise.
Mike, I’m sorry to say this, but the reasons that brought you together are not strong enough to sustain a long-term relationship. Yours is based on selfish reasons, and that is why there is confusion and fear on your part.
Her demands for a baby are also selfish because I can’t hear anything from you that would suggest that, for the seven years you have been together, you have been building this relationship towards long-term mutual benefit.
Sex, and even the desire for a baby, are not reasons enough to give you confidence to marry.
The fact that you have been together for all those years and yet you both don’t have anything on which to rest your confidence is worrying.
Relationships are dynamic and should provide opportunity for growth in the persons involved and in the depth of the relationship.
I suggest that you evaluate your seven years together and ask each other if you really are doing each other a favour by remaining in this relationship.
A child needs both parents and a home to grow in. Does this girl want to use you to get herself a baby, or is she going to use this to trap you into marriage since you have stayed for so long without serious commitment to the relationship?
Are her actions driven by fear or a selfish desire to get what she wants? If it is just a child she is pushing for, bro, rethink this journey.
HE CHANGED ON ME!
Kitoto, I have been in a relationship for the last one year with a man who was earlier married but is now divorced, and who lately does not engage me in anything.
I have even learnt that he moved from the house he used to live in without my knowledge. It’s not easy for me to forget this man because we work in the same office, yet I want to. How do I go about it?
This man has just shown you his true colours and it is better that you have seen this early. In life, when we see something we don’t like, we have an internal mechanism that begins to shelve it.
Whether it is an event or company with certain people, we have the capacity to say No!
When we do that, we have to move on and tell ourselves: “This was never meant to be.” You are your best saviour from this man no matter how close he sits next you in the office.
Your loss will be greater if you allow his actions to cause you to look down on yourself or question your decisions. This is not the end of the world. You have a life to live. Don’t let anyone make it miserable for you.
If you made a mistake in the choices you made, stand up again and know that you have another chance to rewrite your history.
How to make your relationship meaningful
HEAR EACH OTHER OUT: When you leave a house locked up with people inside, the place will be stuffy. Because there is no free flow of air, the room that would have been a nice place to relax in becomes unbearable as circulation is limited.
Live bodies breathe and remain refreshed when placed in an environment where this happens naturally. Similarly, relationships thrive better where the environment is conducive. Opportunities to talk, vent and wrestle on issues are a must.
Some of these discussions may produce friction and generate heat, but this is part of growing and maturing relationships. Friction, conflict and tough talk should be part of a healthy lifestyle.
We are made strong, wiser and knowledgable where we choose to remain teachable. We are made to grow where we subject ourselves to dealing with the past and present in an atmosphere of openness.
A better “hear each other out” strategy should involve speaking the truth in love; having your partner’s interests at heart when you speak; choosing the right environment for discussion; and having a learner’s mentality that says “I don’t know everything”.
CELEBRATE TOGETHER: People in a relationship who have intentionally made it their priority to discover each other’s potential tell each other, even without words, that they matter.
Celebration starts when we not only find out their potentials, strengths and weaknesses, but also look for ways on how to encourage them to greater productivity.
Two are better together not only when things are good, but also when they learn to support each other when things are tough.
Celebration becomes meaningful if I can see my partner alongside the joys, tears and rough moments of my rising.
Let us begin to see that our ability to bind our partners’ wounds and celebrate in their healing is more important than the expectations we heap on them.
WALK THROUGH EXPERIENCES TOGETHER: This is what some people call empathy. We need to provide moments when we become the shoulder our wives and husbands can lean on.
This is both time consuming and emotionally draining, and, as a result, many people in relationships abandon each other at their greatest need. Make a choice to be different this year.
Just learn to ask, “what is weighing you down today?”. We are encouraged to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. Empathy requires patience and a desire to hear your partner out without prejudice.
Don’t seek to listen and in turn use it against them. Neither are we called to be hearers only, but doers. We need to offer both the ear to listen and wisdom for your partner to draw from. At times all they need is an ear to listen.