Hi Mr Kitoto,
Thanks for the good work.
I am a single, conservative, woman aged 38 without a child. I was single until I was 33, when I met a man with whom I thought I could start a family. But I have noticed some unsettling behaviour in him. For instance, he only comes to my place and when he does, he buys only what he will use when he is around. And he does not communicate, especially when he is out of town, and it can go up to a week.
I went to his rural home for a funeral, but he did not introduce me to his mother. Instead, he pointed her out to me from a distance. I feel he is not concerned. He had a wife and a daughter, but had parted ways with them seven years before we met. I learnt about this from his cousin and when l asked him about it, he did not deny it.
I did not want to have a baby out of wedlock but now l feel the pressure, given my age. In fact, even my family, friends and colleagues are telling me to have a baby. I have a man friend who has asked me to have a child with him but he is married and I had promised myself not to do this.
Singlehood is also a viable option but I sometimes feel lonely. I would appreciate your advice.
The decisions we make in life must not be seen to violate our long-held values if we are to live a fulfilled life. There are a couple of issues that need keen attention in your e-mail.
First is the issue of whether or not this man you met is the one for you. Second is whether having a child is the way to go. This is how to handle your loneliness in case you decide to remain single.
Now, given that your boyfriend is divorced, he should have told you this when you started dating. For you to find out from his cousin is a bit awkward. In addition, this clearly indicates that you cannot trust him.
You met him when you were 33 and now it is five years down the line. I feel he should have come clean in many areas, such as sorting out his issues out and introducing you to his family. Disclosure is crucial to any relationship. Secrets only heighten the insecurities you are feeling.
Second, having a child is something you should think through seriously. Remember, your initial idea was never to have a child out of wedlock. What has changed?
Living by one’s values is not easy. It is costly to live by the values and principles we set for ourselves, particularly if they are rooted in our conviction or faith.
Children are great, but your path to that goal matters much more than the goal. Some have lived to regret their decisions and ended up having abortions, bad memories, conflicting convictions and generally being unhappy.
A child is special and needs a loving and caring home. If I got you right, your desire for a child is based on your age and not because you are in the right circumstances to do this.
Third is whether being single is a viable option and if so, how do you manage your loneliness. Relationships must be born of carefully thought-out choices. Many people who enter into relationships need to know what makes relationships work.
I suggest that you make a mental journey to see what makes you feel lonely. Is it the fact that you miss a male companion? Sadly, many marriages are ending because that, in itself, is no longer viable. Fulfilment must start with the belief that you are complete and that you need not do anything else to be, or remain, complete.
Marriage brings together two completely different human beings with their own self-identity and behaviour. If you come to a marriage to be completed by the other party, then you are missing the point.
Be proud of who you are. Sex, children or marital resources do not complete us. There are already too many married but lonely people who feel trapped and would want out.
For you to have a healthy view of marriage and singlehood, you must overcome the following myths:
1. I will be happy and fulfilled only when I get married. Those who are happy are married. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many married people who are unhappy. Getting married does not make a marriage right or fulfilling. Marriage is about commitment and the right walk with each other.
2. I need to be sexually intimate with this man since this is my only way of being fulfilled and having a child. Having a child is not a path to marital fulfilment. It is a commitment to responsibility. However, a child should be born in a home where the two people are prepared for the responsibilities that come with it. There are many unhappy and miserable children because parents did not care about them. There are also many unhappy parents who regret having children.
3. I need to be in a relationship because all my friends are dating and I am being asked why I am not in one. I feel out of place because all my friends and peers are dating; my loneliness makes me insecure and incomplete.
4. My conviction is that being in a relationship will help to take away my insecurities and cure my loneliness. The cure for loneliness is more a function of healthy self-esteem than of feeling that I need someone to make me complete.
My wife’s silence over my affair has left me confused
Kudos for the good work.
However, my case is different. I’m confused about a situation that occurred in my marriage. A few days ago, we were making love and in the heat of the moment, I called out my girlfriend’s name. My wife did not react, but I believe she must have heard it. She has not brought up the issue. I’m not sure what to do. I think she is waiting for me to come clean and explain. She could be trying me to see whether I’m honest. I don’t know what to do about this.
It is clear that you have an idea about the right thing to do. At some point you will have to deal with it. Calm within yourself and in your future relationships will depend on how you process and deal with the perceived issues you are facing.
However, all will depend on what you value most. For some people, accountability and integrity are key in a relationship. For others, living by a certain code of conduct or value system is like being in prison.
Right now the onus is on you regarding which direction you will take. It boils down to living with guilt or confession: walking in freedom or remaining secretive and bound in fear. Most relationships are not really concerned about building each other and laying a foundation of faithfulness. However, great and thriving relationships bring value to the relationship by being people who embrace a certain set of values.
Selfishness, which is common in many of today’s relationships, comes in many forms. We hide information, we lie, we keep secrets, and use each other for our benefit. The result is wounded relationships.
Affairs have taken a toll on relationships. I cannot guarantee how she will respond when you talk to her. However, your willingness to face the skeletons in your closet is up to you.
We can control what we say and how we say it, but have no control over how the other person responds. Choices have consequences.
The future of your relationship will be determined by your willingness to remain transparent and choose the better path of mutual love and edification. Here are some helpful ideas:
1. Join your partner in therapy if you want to work things out. This is particularly important if you wish to bring healing and build a strong bond in future.
2. As the adulterous partner, you must be prepared to face the pain that your infidelity has caused her. Cheap repentance and making up will not last long.
3. Do you see your affair with this other woman as an isolated event, or as a compulsive act? This will help you determine the kind of help you need to overcome it.
4. Your desire to salvage the relationship weighed against the fear of losing a partner should not overwhelm the necessity to come clean. Allow her to vent her anger and then put in place structures to rebuild trust before you ask for forgiveness or she demands it.
5. Be careful not to make or demand long-term decisions too early in the process of talking and processing the need for healing.
6. Strive to deal with your walk, and not necessarily to win her back. Your priority should be to live a value-based life based on a good character with integrity. If you make her your aim, you will miss the changes you need to make to your life.
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