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It bothers me that I moved in with my husband before we married in church

Sunday June 28 2020
wedding

We did a church wedding but I did not tell the officiating pastor that we were already living together. Photo/FILE

By PHILIP KITOTO

Hello Pastor Kitoto,

Thank you for the help that you have been giving us. I hope you can help me figure out this situation I’m in. I was due to do a church wedding, but a month to my wedding day, I made a mistake of moving in with my fiancé. Later on we did a church wedding but I did not tell the officiating pastor that we were already living together. The problem is that I am bothered by what I did. I just want to forget about it. Please help me.

Hi,

Thank you for your honesty. Each one of us is driven by a set of values and beliefs. As a Christian, you were supposed to live by biblical values that govern marriage and relationships. Your conscience is now bothered because there is a conflict between your Christian beliefs and what you did. Many times, God will bring us back to that conviction of needing to put things right.

You have two choices: First, you can override what you feel and move on as though nothing happened. However, the danger of this is creating another belief system that justifies lying. That because no one knows, you can keep hiding the truth and move on with your life. Of course, your pastor is not God for you to feel obliged to confess to him. However, when you start a marriage on lies, the relationship is bound to develop many cracks as you move along. You and your husband should revisit this issue and seek to heal so that the values that were violated are restored.

Second, you can simply come clean. Agree with your husband that because you were married by a pastor who thought that you came to him as two singles, you erred. I’m of the opinion that since the pastor is God’s representative or servant, you, in essence, lied to God.

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Finally, be aware that the pastor or any other person you share with as you seek to make things right is entitled to their opinion, so, if they choose to forgive you or become indifferent towards you, take this in stride. What matters is that you live right and in the light with everyone. The truth is that people can be judgmental. Don’t allow this to put you down. Focus on your desire to live by your beliefs and values.

My boyfriend refuses to discuss our problems and own up to his mistakes

Hi Pastor Kitoto,

I'm 21 years old. I've been in a relationship for 11 months now with a man I’ve known for two-and-a-half years. I love him. I really want things to work out between us, but I'm really discouraged because of some unresolved issues. He gets defensive the moment I attempt to discuss an issue with him and brings up my mistakes to make us look even, even when he is clearly at fault. This makes it even harder to have a civilised conversation and we end up arguing.

He has insinuated six times that he would want us to break up, and whenever I bring this up he says that I’m being petty. I’m thinking about walking away since we can barely sort things out. What would you advise me to do?

Hi,

Your relationship cannot work out unless you are in agreement about a variety of factors that drive relationship. That you are 11 months in a relationship and yet you can’t agree on anything is worrying. It appears that you lack the basic skills or intelligence to manage each other. Without clear values and boundaries, your relationship is bound to fail. Your concern, therefore, is genuine and worth pondering on. The fact that you’re able to identify the matters that require discussion is commendable.

However, in most relationships, knowing that something is wrong and getting the issue at hand discussed until a conclusion is found is another thing. Most relationships don’t work because parties lack the will to deal with the issues that cause conflict.

Your boyfriend’s refusal to discuss the matters you raise, instead bringing up other issues to muddy the water could be a deliberate effort to keep the status quo or a fear of the unknown.

Another angle to consider is how you raise the issues for discussion. Does he feel threatened or accused or judged, therefore becoming defensive? If that is the case, then you need to change tack.

Since many roads lead to Rome, find another way to bring up your concerns without sounding patronising. However, if you find that you cannot be on the same page when it comes to communication and conflict resolution, then walk away.

In desiring to manage conflict in their relationship, a couple should know certain facts: First, when you engage in a game of fault-finding, you open the door to the blame game. When blaming enters the door, one refuses to take responsibility for his actions and instead uses unhealthy defence mechanisms such as finger pointing, which does not only smear your partner’s character, but totally assigns blame while seeking to leave you spotless.

Second, the effects of unresolved conflict on a relationship cannot be understated. Trust, faithfulness and intimacy die when conflict is persistent. A study of relationships reveals that couples that embrace tough times and challenges together are most likely to grow deeper in their relationship.

As such, challenges provide the opportunity to review the relationship and how it can become better. When a couple is intentional, they will pursue honest and wholehearted involvement in issues that confront the relationship.

The fact is that couples who share pain grow better together. They’re able to deepen their team effort and cement their bond of love. Challenges help you empathise with each other and develop new ways of looking at life. When going through tough times, you get to appreciate love better.

It bothers my girlfriend that she is older than me

Hi Pastor Kitoto,

I'm 28, dating a woman who is 32 years. We have been together for a year now. I’m not bothered by our age difference, but she cannot get over it. She says that I'll be a laughing stock among my friends when they know that she is older than me. What is your take on this?

Hi,

As I mentioned in this column in April, first, can age difference affect a couple’s love life? This may seem like a simple question, but it carries a lot of weight.

My wife and I believe that one can be older in age but remain young in the mind. The attitude we have concerning a man marrying a younger or older woman can affect how we perceive, treat and relate to them. I know of marriages where the woman is older but it is difficult to know this due to the way the couple relates to each other. For these couples, age was never a factor in their relationship.

In one case, when I asked the wife how old she was, it was the man who jumped in and asked me to guess. They have fun with their age difference.

You have to work harder to assure your girlfriend that your age difference is of no consequence, and that you do not care whether your friends know it or not, and that should they make it a big deal, you will defend and protect her.

If you are, however, unable to resolve this issue now, it will always be a thorn in the flesh of your relationship.

Do you have a relationship question? Email [email protected]

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