Relationship requires maturity. It’s why marriage is for men and not boys. Without maturity there will be emotional brickbats in a relationship. Such a relationship will trace the virtual paths of a yoyo. Up today, down tomorrow. Moods, temperament, anger, malice… these are pointers to the issue of emotional maturity in your relationship. And so because of a disagreement she withdraws to a corner and you become annoyed with the fact that she did. And so you withdraw in anger too. And soon it escalates as molehills are geologically blown out of proportion. Until everyone forgets the real issues. Now it’s all about pride and who’ll blink first. Such immaturity!
I told you in my last letter that there are two types of love in scriptures. There’s dutiful love – as in when God commands husbands to love their wives. That’s dutiful love. Then there’s sentimental love – all those writings of Solomon eulogizing the anatomical details of the woman… All those romantic stuff Solomon wrote about in Song of Songs. That’s sentimental love. A marriage needs both dutiful and sentimental love. Sentimental expressionism is important. But sentimental love can be temperamental in nature. Full of whimsicalities. Sentimental love can evaporate fast. That’s because the fuel for it is a combustible substance called emotions. Your emotions can be up today and down tomorrow. Chocolate can have the same effect on your mood.
Emotion is a veritable chemical cocktail that’s highly impacted by words, touch and visuals. When you sing, Baby, baby, her emotions can be up. And when you do something she doesn’t like those same emotions can plummet, fast! It’s why you don’t build a lasting relationship on sentimental affection. You build it on dutiful love. It’s also for this that it can be difficult to have a relationship with a very touchy person. You require pachydermatous skin to have a relationship with a rather sensitive person. But all in all, relationships must be tolerant and absorbent. And agreeable. Without absorbent capacity a relationship will flounder.
It’s in respect of dutiful love Paul wrote that love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious, love is not proud. Sentimental love can’t carry those weights. It’s not strong enough. Whether you like it or not your partner will do things you don’t like. But Paul says dutiful love hardly notices it when others do it wrong. But sentimental love is very sensitive to being wronged. It leads to moodiness. Do you now see you can’t build a lasting relationship on sentimental love? You as a man are very affected by visuals. You’re very responsive to the suggestiveness of visuals. If she dresses in a particular way your mood can go down, and that’ll affect your outing. But she’s still the one you love, and so a relationship cannot rest on a tripod of feelings, moodiness and visuals.
When Paul wrote that love is never envious or jealous, he’s talking about dutiful love. It’s a decision. In other words even if your FEELING is envious and jealous, Paul says you can overwrite it with dutiful love. When Paul says love bears up under all things, he’s talking dutiful love not sentimental love. When Paul says love is not rude, surely you know emotions can be rude. He’s talking dutiful love. Same when he says love does not insist on having its own way. That’s dutiful love. It’s a choice and decision. Dutiful love is a demonstration of maturity in a relationship. Willfulness leads to contest of wills, which invariably grows into tit for tat. Dutiful love is not resentful or touchy, Paul says. It pays no attention to suffered wrong. Note that he’s not saying you’re oblivious of a suffered wrong. He says you CHOOSE not to pay attention to it. You’ll have to exercise dutiful choices at every stage in your relationship.
A relationship is not give and take. It is give and give. At best a relationship is give and accept, rather than give and take. Once the taking begins in a relationship, parties begin to target each other and calculate and manipulate. Calculators are then produced to see who’s giving the more. You’ll be shocked how petty such a relationship will become. The healthy thing in a relationship is both parties giving and accepting, not taking and taking. You can’t love without giving.
And so all this tactical withholding of affection stuff – it doesn’t bode well for your relationship. Withholding of affection is emotionally unhealthy. It is a repugnant control system. And it soon scales up in marriage. In a matter of time money and sex become bargaining tools. And once couples begin to use money and sex for bargaining they have set each other up. Matrimony cannot be a contest of wills. It is a case of an immovable object meeting an irresistible force. It’s patent contradiction. You and your partner have to re-engineer the philosophy of your relationship. The one you presently subscribe to is not producing happiness, cannot produce happiness. And you can’t afford unhappiness as a man. It’s energy sapping. Will suck the life right out of you. Update me on the resolution of the issues. I wish you the best as always.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org