Dear Pastor Kitoto,
I am in love with a woman I met in college. We are studying the same course and are neighbours. Whenever I tell her that I am in love with her, she’ll either walk away or rudely shut me out. But I still love her and I am unable to let her go because I see a future with her.
Disappointing as your situation may seem, her behaviour and reaction to your proclamation of love should communicate something to you.
When seeking a relationship, what qualities do you look for? I ask this because saying you love this young woman is not enough. Feelings are not enough to sustain a long-term relationship.
You have to consider her values, vision and her perspective on issues related to marriage and the family unit in general before you can start thinking of a future with her.
Most young people base love purely on physical attraction. You have to look beyond such temporal feelings if looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with.
Rather than telling her that you love her, which doesn’t seem to be working, why not befriend her first? It could be that her reaction is based on the fact that she is pressurised and pestered by you.
There are various reasons a woman may avoid advances from a man.
1. One could be out of fear of getting into a relationship. Such fear may arise from past hurt or from watching other relationships fail. In other cases, however, it may be that she is not interested in a relationship.
2. Maybe her priority is to focus on completing college and getting her career started before engaging in a relationship.
3. Go slow. Don’t force it.
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Why do you advocate for people to hang on to relationships that aren’t working?
While you do a good job, I tend to wonder why you advocate for people to get back together in spite of the challenges they face in their marriages. Have you researched on Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Some people are simply beyond help; they will never change nor feel empathy. At times it’s best that people go their separate ways. My two cents’ worth.
I totally agree with your sentiments and your two cents are welcome.
I am aware about NPD, and know that people who have it exhibit low levels of empathy for others and tend to feel more insecure in relationships.
With this in mind, I would not advocate for a blind approach to love. However, before you throw in the towel if you’re in such a relationship, it is important to look beyond this disorder and see a partner in trouble and under oppression that may need support.
As we look for ways to create a path towards integration with our partners, we need to acknowledge that loving and living with such people is not easy.
I believe that making a choice to recognise such impairment as a serious mental illness is the first step to providing the compassion needed to help such a person start the journey towards recovery.
Such help must be consistent and given over a long period of time, and who better to offer this support than one’s spouse?
Of course the easier thing to do is walk away from the offensive partner, an act that will immediately add to their pain.
I believe that with the support of a committed spouse and medical help, it is possible for a couple in such a situation to reclaim their relationship.
This said, I however need to state that in cases where such mental illness may lead to physical violence, one should get away from such a situation.
I really empathise with relationships where mental illness is involved and pray that our desire should not be abandonment from the onset, but a need to find proper support.
It is tough living with either an abusive, erratic, or mentally ill person, particularly where there are no proper support systems.
Relationships within the family unit are key to satisfactory relationships. We should be careful not to add a wound onto another.
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