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I CONFESS: Relationships take work


I CONFESS: Relationships take work

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The problem plaguing relationships in this country is that men don’t act like men. That is, they don’t speak their mind clearly.

They tend not to be honest about their feelings.

They are hardly ever forthcoming on what they think about the relationship and what could be done to improve it.

They do not tell a woman what they like and what they don’t like, unless it is about sex.

And they are never willing to confess that they are involved with someone else, and would rather lie and evade every question rather than come clean.

Because of this attitude, we women often find ourselves complaining about our men’s nasty attitude; that they’re indifferent, insensitive, uncaring and so on.

I’m saying this because I was moved by last week’s confession. That woman advised that when your man gets involved with another woman, don’t blame the woman; don’t curse or harass her. Rather, blame the man. The woman could not be involved with him unless he wanted her.

I wholeheartedly agree with her, and I wish other women would be honest enough with themselves to realise what she said is true.

Having said that, I also feel women need to look at themselves in the context of their relationship, and see where and how they could have slipped up with their partners.

I’m not saying here that men who cheat are not wrong. I’m simply saying that we need to recognise that our actions, or inaction on some matters, could have been a factor in our men’s straying. As I said – let’s be honest with ourselves.

For instance, there are some men who do not like fat women. They tell you this from day one and love your slim body and how they can wrap around you and cuddle up and do other things.

Yet some of us put on weight after having children and make no effort to slim down. Then when the man leaves you for a slimmer woman or keeps horning you with slim things, you get upset.

I say as much as he is a rat for not sticking by you and encouraging you to lose weight, the reality is that it is our responsibility to take care of our bodies so our men would continue to find us attractive.

Another thing is lack of ambition. Some of us – after we get married, get a mortgage and children – stop trying to achieve. We no longer see the need to further ourselves and often say we don’t have the time or the money to do it.

The truth is that though things are tight and getting worse, and one does not have enough time in the day to do basic necessities, we can always find time to do what we consider to be critical. So stop crying foul and trying to fool other people.

If your man wants an intelligent woman, or at least one who is working along with him to achieve whatever goals you have chosen together, then you have got to work with him and do your part.

It is foolishness when you know this is what you both discussed, but you decide you can no longer work with him to achieve that goal for whatever reason and either don’t tell him so, or tell him that you’re still interested but don’t work to achieve it. In other words, just making promises but not performing.

Who gives me the right to say so?

A live-with, a divorce, and now a great marriage.

As a young woman I lived with someone and we just had one problem after another. After four years we just split up. The frustration of that relationship was not worth it.

When I married, I was determined not to go through the same miscommunication, misunderstandings and mishaps in my previous relationship.

And for the most part, I did. We talked a lot, shared our fears and dreams, our likes and dislikes, and pledged to work together so we both could be fulfilled.

But then came the children, the full-time job, the church and social commitments. Not only did I lose sight of what I pledged, but I also got really fat and out of shape.

All the while my husband was dropping hints about what I was becoming. However, I never realised the seriousness of his concerns until too late. He began having an affair with an upwardly mobile young woman. In other words, someone like I used to be.

I hated him for it. We clashed time and again. I used to call and curse the woman for trying to break up my family. I used to rant and rave to whoever would listen. This situation went on for nearly two years before he decided to leave me and the children in the house. Eventually we divorced.

When I eventually calmed down a few years later, I realised that if he was man enough to talk with me straight about his feelings, where he thought our relationship was going, how I looked and, of course, his girlfriend, I may have wised up and done something with myself.

But no, he was not a real man. He beat around the bush, dropping hints which, at the end of the day, were often misinterpreted.

Of course I was to blame too for not seeing what I had become as a wife. I had begun to take my husband for granted. A lot of us women do this but never admit it. But men feel this and never say a word. They show their frustration by getting involved with someone else, as if that were the answer.

Today, thankfully I am married to a real man. We talk about everything – whether we agree or not. We respect each other and are working together for a better life. It’s not perfect between us, but at least we understand what each of us wants to achieve.

So ladies, I suggest you take a long hard look at yourself and your relationship. Are you fulfilling his needs as you both discussed?

Is he fulfilling yours?

If the answer is no to either of these questions, both of you need to talk this through before one of you starts cheating.