What you need to know:
- Thriving relationships are grounded in respect, faithfulness and accountable behaviour.
Walking away and taking time to heal and take stock of your life was the right decision to make.
Two people can build an intimate love connection without having to be sexually intimate.
I trust you are well. I need your advice. I’m 32, born again, and a mother of three. In December 2017, I walked out of my marriage of seven years due to infidelity, cruelty and violence from my ex-husband. He has since moved on and remarried though he supports the children after I took him to the Children's Court.
I resolved to take time to heal, bond more with my children and become financially stable. I now want to date again and be in a serious relationship that leads to marriage, but most of the men that hit on me are just after sex while others take off when I tell them I have three children.
What are my options of finding a partner and how do I go about it? If push comes to shove, should I consider a polygamous marriage? What does the Bible say about polygamy?
First, worthwhile relationships uphold faithfulness. It’s clear from your email that your husband was not only abusive, but could not be trusted too, causing you lots of pain. Second, thriving relationships are grounded in respect, faithfulness and accountable behaviour. An abuser is never willing to be accountable and exhibits irresponsible behaviour. Walking away and taking time to heal and take stock of your life was the right decision to make.
Marriage should never be just about sex. Two people can build an intimate love connection without having to be sexually intimate. Although sex is important and an essential part of marriage, sex outside marriage is built on selfish desire and gratification of the flesh.
What do you think would happen if one of you were sick and became sexually inactive? Many people have broken relationships because of building their dreams on temporary aspects. Please get me right, I’m not trivialising the place of sex in a relationship, rather, cautioning about glorifying or idolising it.
The current men you have met lately, who’re only interested in sex, are not worth the effort or worrying about. You are not a sex object but a person with feelings that need to be valued and respected.
You say you’re ready for another relationship; do remember that it’s not only you that needs to heal, your children carry their own scars since they witnessed what you went through in your husband’s hands. You, therefore, need to be sure that your children have healed as well.
As you go about finding someone to date with marriage in mind, wisdom and intelligence will come in handy. First, is this person willing to accept and love your children? What do your children think of him? If they are too young to contribute to such a discussion, determine whether the man loves and respects your children.
As for polygamy, I do not recommend becoming a second wife. Think of the pain the other woman would go through. She will definitely see you as a home-breaker. Don’t just listen to your urges, try and listen to what God would want from you. Also do bear in mind is that a second marriage will not necessarily be an answer to your needs.
Help! I can’t get over my ex, who left me for another woman
Hello Pastor Kitoto,
My story is long but I will try to make it short.
I’m 25. I dated my ex for three years before we went our separate ways. We were in love, and I had even introduced him to my family, and the plan was that he would pay bride price four months after the introduction.
On the month that function was to take place, he broke up with me. He told me that he loved someone else whom he had met in high school.
It took me over a year to heal, and last year in November, I got into a relationship with someone else. He has almost all the qualities I want in a guy and he loves and cares for me.
The only problem is that he is a year younger than me, plus I’m not sure if I love him because I can stay even a week without texting or talking to or accepting to go on a date with him. I still think about my last relationship and wonder how my ex could just walk away from me, yet we were planning to get married.
Better a broken engagement than a broken marriage. You need to move on and not let past feelings prevent you from moving towards the future. You clearly haven’t healed yet, otherwise you would not be feeling and reacting the way you are.
His being a year younger than you may not be an issue; the problem is how you feel about him. If indeed you know that you do not love him, then give the relationship a break. It could be that he is the wrong man for you, or you compare him to your ex and find him wanting.
Here’s how to grow a great relationship
Perspective is everything
Relational intelligence requires couples to differentiate between facts and feelings. This way, they’ll not view each other through the filters of past failures, pain, and disappointment.
Most relationship problems and break-ups can be traced back to misconceptions on what makes a relationship work.
Know who you are
Knowing this and what drives you allows you to be free to live out your values and ask for what you need without fear. When we grow a healthy self, our values will incline us towards people with similar principles.
If we don't listen to those values, we most likely get involved with the wrong person. Remembering that you are the most important person in your life will help you to resolve to value the greatest resource you have—you!
Know how to love yourself
People who have learned to love themselves in the right way know how to love others. The fact is that what you truly think about yourself affects how you treat others. Do you praise yourself for your achievements or rebuke yourself for your failures and shortcomings? The way we love, appreciate, care for and affirm ourselves will determine who we relate to and how we relate to them.
Pride kills true interaction in a relationship. Many couples sell themselves short by not being true to self, therefore relating superficially. An article I read some time back in Psychology Today says that when we’re authentic, it’s not just about telling other people where they’re going wrong, but also being aware of our shortcomings.
Love yourself so that you can be a good judge of what true love is and feels like. The idea is to play hard to get until you are sure you have found your match. Falling for anyone who comes along because you’re afraid of being alone is the worst mistake you can make. There are many married people who feel alone and wish they never got married. Enjoying your single life stage is one way of coming to the realisation that life has seasons and that it’s prudent to enjoy each one of them.
Allowing the fear of remaining single for the rest of your life grip you will make you vulnerable and easy prey for those seeking to take advantage of you.
Use your intelligence
According to Steve Saccone, pastor and leadership development expert, “Relational intelligence entails developing one’s interpersonal skills as well as learning to embody relational health and wholeness.” He adds that since relational intelligence is the ability to learn, understand, and comprehend knowledge as it relates to interpersonal dynamics, the more relationally intelligent we become, the more we will demonstrate increased love, respect, and trust in every relationship in our lives.”
Relating intelligently, therefore, means that we recognise what drives us emotionally and how to handle it as we seek emotional wholeness.
Do you have a relationship question? Email [email protected]