Thanks for the great work.
I am a 27-year-old man. I have been married for eight years. We have a five-year-old daughter. We disagree most of the time and at times insult each other.
However, I have been a jerk and have sometimes slapped her, or even hurt her more. Recently, her parents took her away and told me to forget about getting back with her.
What do I do since I know I am the cause of the separation? I drink heavily and on many occasions have been unfaithful to her when I am drunk. My wife has lost trust in me. Please advise. Sangel
Most separations that occur today could have been avoided if some effort had been put into dealing with the issues as they cropped up.
Although it’s a bit late, I’m glad that you have begun by recognising and acknowledging the areas where you are wrong. Recognising your mistake is the first step in bringing healing and restoration to a damaged relationship like yours. I must be quick to add that, although acknowledging that there is a problem is key, it is just a small part of the process.
Let’s look-at the things you have acknowledged. First, your heavy drinking seems to be a problem. Second, you have been unfaithful on a number of occasions. Third, you have been physically abusive. Fourth, the two of you have been constantly in conflict, which have turned ugly on some occasions. Finally, you blame yourself for your wife’s loss of trust in you and the separation.
How have these issues affected you and the relationship? Research has shown that excessive drinking can make one engage in ugly arguments, promiscuity and physical violence. It seems highly likely that this is what is happening in your relationship.
Your efforts to restore your relationship should start by rebuilding trust. For her to trust you, everything is hinged on your behaviour, and the way you treat her. Think through your drinking habit and how this affects the way you act and react to issues.
In addition, how does alcohol affect those you hang out with? How do your drinking mates influence you and your actions towards your wife?
You could start turning your life around by making a deliberate decision to live differently. No one can force you to change; you must decide to begin a new journey in your life yourself.
Talk to a counsellor or a close friend about the obstacles preventing you from making the necessary changes.
To summarise it, here are some tips that might help you restore your relationship, and possibly get back together:
1. Accept that change must begin with you; this is one way of building hope for your marriage.
2. Start on a process of ending your excessive drinking. Find out what makes you drink. Assess all your friends and how they influence your life.
3. Get a counsellor to help you walk through how you can manage your anger, which makes you beat your wife.
5. Seek forgiveness from your partner without making unnecessary excuses for your actions.
6. Do not demand of her what you cannot fulfil yourself.
7. Make an appointment to visit her parents so that you can begin the process of reconnecting with your wife.
8. Get time to rekindle your love and fellowship as a couple.
A lot has happened over time that has killed your love life. It is important to look for opportunities to build faith in your wife. Her fears can only be assuaged if you make a conscious choice to change your life and the way you relate to her.
Find new activities you can do together that will help keep you out of mischief.
What should I do to keep a relationship growing?
I can never love a woman beyond lust. You could say I have a psychological problem, but that’s not entirely true. I love the women I meet but the love fizzles out when things get serious. I know what my problem is – I don’t appreciate what I thought interested me. I see a beautiful woman, but then I see another pretty woman and realise that the woman I’m with is not as pretty as I thought, so I end the relationship. I have been in several relationships but have found nothing tangible or interesting in any of them. I would really like to get a permanent solution to my love life.
If most people in relationships were to be honest, they would tell you that, with time, not all one hopes for in a relationship turns out the way one expected.
It’s just like a person who gets a new job or moves to a new house in a particular estate; initially, they are very excited, but soon the enthusiasm and excitement disappears when the rubber meets the road. The demands of the job might increase, or your supervisor might make things worse.
In fact, when it comes to relationships, as someone put it, true love is seen when you start loving the person you married.
The truth is that the thinking that love is static is misconceived. So, since it is dynamic, loving the same person over a period can be both fun and challenging. Love then becomes a choice rather than a feeling. The fun in the relationship must remain the fuel that keeps you excited about dealing with the challenges.
Consequently, it is important to ensure that what attracts you to a certain woman has a good balance between good feelings and the fact that what the two of you have in common is strong enough to help you build your relationship on a strong foundation. Often, our feelings for someone waver, but since relationships involve intellect, we can guide our feelings accordingly.
As you move from the initial crush and excitement and get to know your partner’s real strengths and weaknesses, some of the truths you discover can be detrimental to the marriage. When you acknowledge that people are not what they seem, you will be careful not to have overly high expectations of them.
Basic to all relationships is the fact that people, and the circumstances they face, keep changing. But our choices, if well founded, can help steer us away from decisions that could affect us negatively. For example, your feelings might lead you to think that there is perfect woman out there waiting for you. Greatness comes when your choices are based on values that are authentic, realistic and sustainable.
I suggest that you moderate your view of what makes a great relationship. Be more accommodating in the way you handle the people you connect with. Acknowledging that no one person is perfect, including yourself, is helpful.
Take a keen interest in turning the unexplored areas of each other’s life into opportunities for adventure to find new ways of accommodating, and therefore, keeping the relationship moving forward.
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