Thank you for your good counsel. I have been following your column for a long time now. I am 33 and ready for marriage. I have met many ‘frogs’ in my dating journey. At the beginning of this year, I met a man that was ready to commit to a relationship, unfortunately, he is broke.
He got a job last year after being jobless for some time, but most of his salary goes towards repaying a loan, and supporting his child from a previous relationship. He basically lives from hand to mouth and has no savings to talk of.
He would like us to get married and have children, but my fear is that all the financial burden (moving to a bigger house, house help, baby expenses) will be on me, especially since we live in different towns.
I have no problem paying my bills, or cost-sharing, but I am hesitant to carry a man’s burden. How do I resolve this dilemma?
Your question provokes one to ask several questions. One: what characteristics make a great marriage? Two: What are the qualities of a great man? Mind you, these qualities must stand the test of time.
Your biggest concern, it seems, is about this man’s financial state. As much as I agree that money is an important element in marriage, I have seen many marriages survive the trials of the lack of it.
I am sure there are many married individuals that have lost jobs, businesses, or even property but still enjoy a fulfilling marriage. I am a believer that happiness should not ne founded on the material things we own because these are seasonal. Money or material possessions should not define us. Your confidence therefore, should be in the assurance that this man will stand with you and support you in good and bad times.
I also need to point out that from what you have written, this man is trying his best to do what is right – he is paying his debt and taking care of his child. My advice is that you encourage him to keep giving his best, bearing in mind that no situation is permanent.
You refer to this man’s failed marriage. Have you found out what caused the collapse of his marriage? Has he come to terms with the break up? I ask because the past has a habit of affecting the present if not dealt with. Although past failures should not define us, when we fail to solve past issues, we leave a door open for further failures.
I love my Muslim girlfriend but she refuses to convert to Christianity
Hi Pastor Kitoto,
I am writing to you in the hope that you will advise me on how to overcome this issue. I am in a relationship with a Muslim woman - we love each other very much, but unfortunately, she doesn’t want to convert to Christianity. I can’t imagine us parting ways given that we have dated for a long time. What do I do?
Religion and matters of faith are personal choices that cannot be forced on another. Our religious convictions are either based on what we saw our parents practice, or the result of a personal encounter with God. Our culture and religion have a way of impacting our values, beliefs and practices. We can therefore not afford to underrate the impact of religion on marriage, family, and society. I believe this is where your fears come from.
It is commendable that you have chosen to confront this issue instead of sweeping it under the carpet.
The first step I advise couples in a situation such as yours is to find out what attracts the one you’re dating to a particular religion because this can reveal a lot about his/her preferences, their motives and convictions.
In case of an inter-religious marriage, or a situation where the couple is unable to agree on the denomination or church to follow, consider these guiding questions:
What lies at the core of your differences?
How fundamentally different are your beliefs and convictions and how will they affect your values and practices should you choose to embrace your significant other’s religion?
I will therefore ask you: Would you consider converting to Islam for the sake of your relationship?
If not, the best decision would be to go separate ways, otherwise this relationship will end up becoming a source of great pain.
Should I ditch my irresponsible boyfriend?
Dear Pastor Kitoto,
I am 21. In 2015, I met a man that I got attracted to, something that I confided in him. He however told me that he was in a committed relationship, therefore it wasn’t possible for us to have a relationship. This rejection affected me so much, I stopped talking to him. Around August 2016, we started talking. At the time, both of us had just broken up with our partners, and opted to become friends with benefits because we were not looking for commitment. We have now fallen in love with each other. The problem is that he so irresponsible, he even asks me for money. Should I ditch him or give him the benefit of doubt?
As much as attraction is key to a relationship, there are other aspects that hold it together. Any bond must be born out of a sincere desire to remain true to each other. These questions might help you arrive at an answer: What aspects about this man attract me to him? Are you connected in terms of vision, values and life goals?
In addition it is important to consider what drew both of you back together. My take is that you still harboured dreams of being in a relationship with him even after moving on. This man, I suspect, knows this, and is taking advantage of you. The two of you are not good for each other, but don’t take my word for it. I suggestion that you give each other time to get over your past relationships, once you clear up your mind, you will know what you really want.
10 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO MARRIAGE
1. How well do you know your partner? How much do you know about their convictions, driving motives, and vision? This is what helps cement the bond between a couple.
2. Do you feel a great level of freedom in disclosure? Does your partner keep part of their lives or friends secret you? Do you suspect there are things they don’t want you to know about them?
3. What do you have in common? A strong connection guarantees a lasting and healthy relationship.
4. Are you good friends? The best kind of friendship has no barriers or prejudice
5. Is your relationship a safe space where you feel you can deeply and honestly communication with each other? Is your partner comfortable being questioned by you or is he or she always defending themselves?
6. Do you feel valued and respected?
7. Do you see yourself growing old with the person you are with?
8. Do his good qualities outweigh his negative ones?
9. Do you know his circle of friends? Do you feel comfortable with those that he hangs around?
10. What do others say about your partner?
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