My husband and I have been married for almost seven years now. We are both born-again and wedded in church. My husband is still committed to the Church and is also a good preacher.
After two years of marriage, he started moving out of the house to answer calls on his mobile phone. This made me suspicious and I later found a curious message from a woman.
When I questioned him, he explained that he had lent his phone to a male friend, who used it to write a message to the woman. The woman, he explained, sent the reply to his phone.
After the first baby came, I noticed that he showed a lot of interest in the house-helps that I employed and this made me develop some mistrust in him.
Two years ago I went to the our rural home for a few weeks while I was on my annual leave, and when I came back I noticed he was having regular communication on the phone with a female workmate.
I told him to end it and the calls stopped.
Because of all this back-and-forth, and especially his relationships with women, I am never at ease whenever I find him talking to a woman or whenever he is away.
I cannot trust him with house-helps anymore yet I must have them in the house since I am a working mother.
He lost his job last year and now spends quite some time in the house — with the house-help — and this is killing me. I need him and I need the house-help, but I cannot live with the fact that I have to leave them in the house — alone — every day.
He seems to have this desire to always be around women and this has lowered my self-esteem. Now I wish to be a free spirit, to trust him again (if that is possible), and to forget the past. Please help.
It is clear that your fears are fuelled by the fact that your husband’s behaviour around women has always been suspect. But as much as your fears are justified, you need to deal with them, otherwise they will work against you.
Worry and anxiety will settle in and cause great damage, not only in your relationship with him, but also on your health. Evaluate the key areas of weakness in the relationship. What are the things you are unhappy with?
From your perspective, what are the causes? Of the issues that are connected with him, is there anything you can do to help deal with them?
This may look like a lot of homework, but it will help you deal systematically with your fears. For example, of the things that you cannot change in him, what percentage of these can you tolerate and believe God to sort out?
What other things require the help of a counsellor? If he is willing to go to a counsellor, then these things can be handled together.
Mary, do not allow your fears to cloud your mind and cause confusion. You could end up acting irrationally. Your husband needs to hear from you — in front of the counsellor, if possible — all your disappointments.
Lay out your expectations before him firmly but in love.
As a Christian, and being born-again, you may need to seek his consent for you to visit a Christian counsellor, and that counsellor must be someone unknown to both of you if you are to achieve the required level of objectivity in these matters.
In a nutshell, your husband may be the unfortunate victim of your fears, or he may be having affairs right, left, and centre. Find a way of confirming or refuting these fears.
This is the first time I am writing to you even though I have been reading your articles. I am a woman aged 25, but horrified by the fact that I am not in a stable relationship.
I am emotionally unstable and cry a lot, and this affects my relationships. Do you think there is something wrong with me? Please advise, and thank you.
Anxiety has a way of making us fearful and unsure of the abilities and opportunities that God places our way. At only 25 years, not being in a stable relationship should not consume you to the extent of making you cry and feel low about yourself.
This kind of instability can easily cloud your judgement, lead you to compromise, and even make men feel uncomfortable around you. The way you present your self is key to how a man views you.
Deal with your inner fears and do not focus too much on dating because this is not all there is to life. Be a woman who believes in herself and in whom she can become.
No man wants to date a woman who shows signs of being desperate for the relationship. You seem to believe that there is nothing wrong with you. Let this be your motivation, and thereafter live your life with confidence.
Second, remember that you can only love someone as much as you are able to love and appreciate yourself. If you are filled with anxiety, that anxiety moves with you and lays traps of insecurity along the path of marriage.
Therefore, do not be anxious about anything. With prayer and thanksgiving in all that God has made you to be, make your request known to him.
God’s will is not for you to be filled with pain and fear for your future. See yourself as fearfully and wonderfully made, a beautiful woman worthy of being dated by a worthy single man.
In a nutshell, be confident with who and what you are.
All the best.
I am 25 years old and have never been in a relationship. Recently, I got a four-week contract at a firm and met this woman who happens to be the human resource manager and I developed an interest in her.
After the contract ended, she tracked me on Facebook, where we chatted for some time. Then we moved from Facebook to mobile SMS and we are still at it.
She is five years older than me (aged 30) and has a two-year-old daughter, and, even though she has not suggested a romantic relationship yet, I am really interested in her. Should I tell her how I feel?
Definitely. Tell her. Even though I hope that your feelings about her are informed by the realities of relationships. Here, age is just a number so long as the two of you have counted the cost of relating that way and make a commitment that is based on knowledge.
For example, what age will she be when you hit 40 years, or 50 years. What will you need to be doing then? Are you comfortable with that? These are questions you need to answer ahead of time. The greatest thing here is the commitment to the choices you will have made.
Second, marrying a woman with a child is neither a sin nor a crime. You, however, may need to consider how the baby came into being.
Where is the father? What is his relationship with the mother? Were they legally married? How does that fit with your convictions? Keep in mind that you are marrying this woman and at the same time becoming a father.
Finally, remember that relationships call for commitment, faithfulness, and responsible behaviour. If you are ready for all these, I would say “go for it”. Let her know your feelings, then walk with care before you finally get fully involved.
All the best, John.
I am a working student and have been in a four-year relationship with a certain girl. We are not married, but have been having sex.
As a result, she fell pregnant and, five months into the pregnancy, she moved in with another man.
This hurt me because I could not understand how she could let another man raise my son yet I am a ready, capable, and willing father.
I have sought visitation rights from the Children’s Department, but this has not helped a lot.
To complicate matters even further, before my grandmother died, she decreed that any man who fathers a child in the family must take care of that child, otherwise a string of calamities would befall him.
You may not be the kind of person to fall for this sort of superstition, but a few mentions of how this decree has come to haunt us may change your mind.
My brother, a hitherto straightforward man who was focused in life, fathered a boy and abandoned the mother. Well, the boy is now dead and my brother has turned into a drunkard who has no control over his life. The same happened to my cousin, and I do not want to be the next one.
What can I do to legally take custody of this child?
The superstition aside (phew!), the best way to get custody of your child is to follow up the issue with the Children’s Department.
The woman would be in contempt if she is ignoring orders to give you visitation rights. Go back to the officer who handled your case and seek redress.
I am, however, not sure if you are this child’s biological father. Has she told you so? If so, you have every right to seek legal help if she frustrates you, but if you are not, you are chasing a waterfall.
As far as the curse is concerned, I am a believer in a faith that says “no evil fashioned against me shall prosper”. Because of that, I believe that no evil will reach you unless you leave a door open for it.
Thanks to you, I got the facts right about men and all the signs. I want to do what I love now and the rest will follow, but I hope God will give me another heart to love a man.
I do not want to be in the male-bashing committee again, but to be level-headed and “wife material”. God help me, and God bless you.
I am delighted that we were able to help you. Always remember that happy people draw their happiness from their self-esteem and their relationship with God and others. God never created us to live in a vacuum.
We need other people. But how we relate with them depends on how were value ourselves. This is what brings value to any relationship we make.
The perspective we have of others will help us see each other’s potential as necessary for the advancement of the relationship and family goals.
Any man you meet that does not acknowledge and value your potential will most likely take you for granted.
We are not called to live by default, to live an aimless life, or just survive. In my book, The Marriage Dance, I quote Dr Warren in the book Learning To Live With The Love of Your Life, in which he emphasises that “when two dream and envision together, they merge the resources of their deepest, most positive centres.
They each have tremendous personal power when they access the core emotions and longings of their individual centres”.
No man should bash you or your ideals. Great men value and help build self-worth in their women. It is sad when couples spend their time fighting or competing as a result of their strengths or weaknesses. God made us to complement, grow, support, and remain accountable within the confines of the relationship.
Another marriage writer, Dr Gary Chapman, in the book The Four Seasons of Marriage, advises that “positive choices lead to positive actions that result in positive feelings”.
You may feel hurt, disappointed, frustrated, or even angry in your marriage, but these emotions need not control your behaviour. Your boyfriend must see you as an equal partner because this is what God says — the woman is man’s equal partner in the gift of eternal life. Therefore, your contribution and support to the building of your future marriage lies in this thought.
I am 25 years old and in a relationship with a man who is 30 years old. Our relationship, just like any other, has faced difficult moments.
For instance, after college, I applied for a degree course, which I am still pursuing. In my first year at university, my boyfriend moved to Kisumu, where he was doing academic research.
While there, I later learnt, he was staying with another woman, who once warned me on the phone to never call “her man” again.
After that heartbreak, I ended the relationship and decided that I would not be involved with any other man in the foreseeable future.
Two years later, he came to me seeking forgiveness. After a lot of soul searching, during which I also sought the advice of my friends, I accepted him back into my life.
He seemed genuinely sorry for his transgressions and even promised me to do all that he could to make me happy. He has proved to be a gentleman and faithful since then, and now I think I am the problem.
I claim to have forgiven him, but truth be said, his past transgressions still haunt me.
His hanky-panky with the Kisumu woman still lingers in my mind, and this has turned me into an inactive member of our relationship. He does everything to make me feel loved, but that memory has refused to clear out of my mind.
Please tell me how I can best handle myself for the sake of this man and our relationship.
Thanks in advance, and stay blessed,
Gary Smalley, in the book The DNA of Relationships, states that “choice equals change”. Simply put, even though change may be unpromising and hard work, it remains the only way to a good marriage.
Within every relationship are positive and negative factors that contribute to how the relationship is lived, and every spouse must deal with factors that could positively or negatively affect their relationship.
For you, Anne, there are factors that are associated with the hurts of your man’s past life, which, if carried into marriage, will negatively affect the building of a great relationship.
You, therefore, need to examine these factors and define how each of these past experiences affect you.
Rick Warren, in Experiencing Life Together, states that “God intends us to experience life together without being unselfish, loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, and sympathetic comforting”.
This calls for both of you to show responsibility and forgiveness. Your realisation that your man is imperfect will help you seek to create a climate of sharing practical love, where we choose to be totally unselfish.
Desire for change may call you to make tough choices that could cost dearly. Therefore, between yourself and your boyfriend, embrace these practical steps that will help you realise lasting change from the past:
Create a climate for sharing such hurtful past experiences.
Expose your past experiences to your boyfriend without fear. Trying to stop because he is hurting will only leave issues unsettled.
Explain to him how such a hurtful experience has affected you.
Empathise with each other during and after sharing such information.
Do not use what has been shared against each other because this will only aggravate the pain.
Do not allow fear to control you.
All the best!