Hello Mr Kitoto,
I am ardent reader of your column; you make my Mondays.
I am 30-years-old, and my wife and I, who is 27, have been married for a year-and-a-half. We have been blessed with a beautiful daughter, who is six months old.
Before we got married in 2013, we were good friends, since we had known each other for close to five years. I thought this was the best foundation for our marriage, but I was wrong.
When we started living together, I realised that my wife is too bossy. She at times shouts at me, and her outbursts have no limits.
She even does it in public. I am a very calm guy and have learnt to control myself during these outbursts.
I don’t intend to resort to violence in any way because I’m a staunch Christian and believe that violence solves nothing.
How can I learn to continue loving my wife even when am being provoked to wrath?
Secondly, she’s never satisfied with my efforts to provide for her and our daughter, yet I am the only one working.
I am struggling, and at times, I am left with nothing, to ensure that we have everything we need.
Since we now have a small baby, she insists that we move to a bigger house, yet she knows very well that I cannot afford to do that on my current salary.
We have talked over the same matter several times, but it seems she does not approve of, or accept, the conclusion.
What do I do about this? I really long for a home that is a small heaven on earth.
Thank you for the compliments. It is my desire for this column to be one that adds value to relationships.
Now, friendship is one of the pillars of a lasting relationship. However, friendship, if not understood for what it represents, can be a like thick fog, where one can hide even for years reaping the fruits of the friendship while the other gets nothing in return.
There is so much you two have hidden from each other. So, one would ask, “What makes a friend worth their name?”
First, a true friend will refrain from telling you something you don’t want to hear, something that could risk fracturing the friendship, says Alex Lickerman, while George Eliot says that, “Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words.”
Second, a close friend will stand by you, defend you, even, as they say, take a bullet for you when you’re under attack.
I really doubt whether this is what either of you is ready to do for the other.
Third, a true friend will not compromise the values you stand for - he will not place the friendship before the principles you stand for.
Having said that, let me mention that relationships involve people with different personalities, backgrounds and perspectives on issues.
We have different likes, dislikes, weaknesses and strengths, so you cannot expect two people in a relationship to always have the same perspective on everything, or to never feel taken advantage of even in the slightest of ways.
Since relationships are dynamic, we will always differ in many ways and on various issues.
Even if you are friends, disappointing moments will play up in your relationship once in a while.
You therefore need to know how to handle such a situation when it arises.
I suggest that you both go for personality tests. This will open your eyes about how each of you responds in certain situations. It will also help you to understand each other better.
Also, attending a marriage training course will go a long way in helping both of you acquire the tools for conflict management.
Remember that our personalities come through in the manner in which we communicate with each other, as well as how we manage conflict.
Some people can be very insistent on their point of view, others don’t like fights or arguments, while yet others are very aggressive.
I bet these behavioural tendencies you are now seeing and complaining about in your wife were there when you were dating.
Sadly, this is not what we focus on during courtship.
Both of you need to be willing to work together and lay out common ground in many of these areas.
I also have a feeling that your wife’s perspective on marriage might have been corrupted along the way.
The two of you need a marriage counsellor who will help you deal with these issues and walk towards building a relationship that works for both of you.
Your conflict on money-related issues is not new. Conflict causes disharmony, and if not nipped at the bud, can become a festering sore.
Disharmony occurs where people who depend on each other see their needs or goals as incompatible. Your wife’s goals on what makes a marriage is obviously different from yours.
This is now resulting in her desire to compete by wanting more, thereby causing the relationship tension that you now fear.
Building common ground requires that a couple communicate in two ways: Resourcefully (where we seek to add value to a communication instead of bringing each other down) and respectfully (where we respect each other’s contribution).
This is what the two of you need. In his book, To Change the world, James Hunter, a professor of sociology and religious studies says, “Cultures change when people change.”
Therefore, for the way things run in your relationship to change, both of you must change.
Meanwhile, evangelist Charles Colson says that “transformed people transform cultures.” When the heart and the mind change and transform, the ideas, beliefs and values we hold and live by change.
I’m a 28-year-old man in a relationship with a woman in her mid-twenties. We have been together for the better half of our lives though we are not married.
Our love life has been full of drama, with many separations because of issues with her family and misunderstanding between us. However, we end up re-uniting.
When I was in college, my girlfriend got pregnant by another man, and she got a baby. She asked me for forgiveness, and since I loved her, I forgave her.
Everything was fine between us once again until a day to when she was to introduce me to her parents in preparation for our settling down together.
That day, a cousin of hers accused me of many things, some false, others true, but all in my past.
A few months later, my girlfriend went to Arusha without my knowledge, and later went to college for one-and-half years without even telling me.
In the little communication during that period, she lied to me that she was working in a saloon, only to tell me three years later that she had a well-paying job in a hotel after we made plans to settle down together again.
However, our plans collapsed after I refused to be introduced to her parents in her absence by the same cousin who had messed up our original plan.
She had submitted her resignation letter and was so furious, that we separated again. Six months later, she contacted me again, saying she loves me.
Because I also loved her, I gave in, although sincerely, I don’t trust her. She stresses me a lot and loves material things, which I suspect she loves more than she loves me.
We quarrelled again, and have not talked for several days now. What should I do?
Wisdom demands that we ask ourselves whether two people can walk together without agreeing on the direction in which they want to walk.
Successful people, organisations and relationships, must question their direction, status and intentions if they are to remain relevant, continue growing and succeed.
Questioning helps us go past our current stalemates, short-term dreams and achievements and point us to new horizons and sacrifices we need to make to walk towards work achieving the kind of satisfaction a couple intended to have.
That is why I like the fact that you have begun to ask yourself questions concerning this relationship.
First, your communication lacks depth; it needs to get rooted and stabilise.
When a couple shares issues, concerns, and expectations in a fearful free environment, their space will be characterised by intimacy and trust. I do not see this in your relationship.
Disclosure based on true vulnerability helps create harmony and provides a safe way of dealing with conflicting issues in a relationship.
I see many areas in your relationship where sincere and open disclosure is lacking. This is dangerous. There are issues you feel she has not come clean about.
On the other hand, I feel you have also fallen short in your communication towards her.
What is now happening is frustration based on lack of full disclosure. Author Thomas Watson says that, “The ability of asking the right questions is more than half the battle of finding the answers.”
TAKE A BREAK
I encourage you to ask the right questions at the right time and in the right attitude.
This will help shed light and create a feeling of safety in the relationship. Moving towards having an open, two-way dialogue will improve the relationship and make it stronger.
According to listening expert, Paul Sacco, the key to a balanced conversation is actively paying attention to the other person.
Second, your relationship lacks the kind of values it needs to thrive.
Love is not based on materialism, although certain material things might be given out of the love one feels for their partner. However, materialism is not a guarantee that one is loved.
To avoid ambiguity and set things right, we must make sure that we see things right.
Your definition of love must be based on what makes relational sense.
For example, attributes such as faithfulness, kindness, patience, honesty, and trust that are badly needed in the relationship and must be seen to thrive in the relationship.
Entertaining lies and mistrust will will only hurt both of you. The break ups are but the evidence of a lack of clear direction for the relationship.
Finally, in relationships, we must work at getting the right perspective on each other and issues because the future belongs to the curious.
I do not see an honest curiosity that desires change and is willing to make sacrifices for it.
My suggestion is that you ask yourself whether you are in the right relationship. I do not think so.
I suggest that you take some time off from each other and reflect on what you want and whether you are willing to pay the price for it.
In your relationship, I see infatuation, not love. What you are calling love is not love but a longing to be with each other based on physical longing.
Thank you for the good work.
I have been in a relationship for two-and-a-half years. After six months, my boyfriend started accusing me of not being frank and honest with him. I have never cheated on him.
Recently, I have been having suspicions about him. I have gone to his place, but we disagreed and I left.
He later called me and told me he’s married. After two weeks, he called me to tell me that he wants us to get back together, but I’m confused about what to do. Should I take him back?
This is a relationship that is both confused and lacking direction and responsible commitment.
The issues behind the instability in the relationship will be evident if you make an honest evaluation of the same. Why is he accusing you of not being frank?
And I am not quite sure whether you are in a dating relationship or come-we-stay marriage.
Any thriving relationship must have certain rules of engagement that brings sanity in the way the two people relate.
Without established principles on which your relationship is hinged, it will be left drifting.
It takes two to make a relationship work. As far as your relationship is concerned, I really do not see the level of commitment that will sustain a working relationship.
Are there things that might convince you that this relationship is worth salvaging?
What I see is a man who wants to play around with you. I am inclined to believe that your confusion will be your own undoing.
You own your future; take charge of your life. I do not understand how, even after he has told you that he is married, you still believe that you are a part of his life.
Marriage is not something you do overnight. He must have thought about it. I would suggest that you investigate your actions.
Why do you want to go back to man who has told you by his actions that he has moved on?
I recommend that you re-organise yourself and take an honest view of your reactions and actions.
Evaluate the actions of your man and see whether he is being honest. I can say he is openly living a lie. Marriage needs careful thought and planning on your part.
You are definitely not on the same page and your goals and his are as different as night and day. I suggest that you move on.