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Conflicts

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My dear Jil, you’ve got to get rid of all those munched conversations on your phone. Love does not keep record of wrongs. In your case, you’re not only keeping record of wrongs, but evidence to be used in future prosecution of your boyfriend. And so when he says something in the future, you’ll go into that file drawer, pull out what he had said, annotated with date and time. If the reverse were the case, you won’t want to date such a man – a man who annotates texts for future reference and accusation. Nobody will want to date such a person – someone who files potential claims and evidence against you. That’s a sophisticated spirit of accusation and unforgiveness, the literal holding of grudges. At the back of your mind somewhere, you’re rummaging through those files as he’s talking. Some of those files are years old. You’re literally holding him up to conversations you had as far back as two years ago. You filed them away “just in case”. But just in case what? It’s accusatory.

You’ve built in potential turmoil into your relationship and you’ve branded your boyfriend even if you claim that’s not your intention. Worse you’ve branded yourself. Means one has to be careful what one texts you. You file texts away and can pull out a file anytime. It’s a spirit of meticulous accusation. That’s what those munches are. Means you held those conversations with a view. While your boyfriend was texting freely, you were responding with a view. You were responding with the view to bringing up evidence in the near future that will vindicate you before third parties. It’s either that or you’ve branded him “prone to forget what was said” – which is another euphemism for articulate accusation. It means you never forget, and you don’t want to forgive and forget. There’s a stubborn insistence on bringing faults to remembrance, a lack of forbearance. The ideals of love state that love does not keep a score of the sins of others. Love keeps no record of being wronged. The moment you keep a record of wrongs, you’re already in the wrong yourself. Once you start digitally archiving a record of wrongs, you’re already in the wrong yourself.

You see, that digital archive of evidence of wrong of others also constitutes digital evidence of your own wrongdoing. The very nature of humans means in a relationship once every while, you’ll offend each other. In a relationship, you’re bound to do something wrong, something irritable to your partner – something that needs forbearance. But when you set up yourself as the standard you’ll never see your own wrongdoing. You’re after all the standard. A tape measures everything except herself. But the ability of the tape to measure other things implies the measurement of the tape itself. And so the moment you set up yourself as the standard in a relationship you determine your own limitation. If a 6ft long tape is used to measure a 30ft long wall, we not only know the length of the wall but also the limitation of the tape. That your boyfriend doesn’t vocalise your limitations doesn’t mean you have no limitations. I’m sure there are things he wishes for that you’re not, things he wishes you’d do you don’t do. That may be his quiet pain. But because he loves you he makes a determination those things don’t matter, that every other thing you are is what matters. That we’re deeply loved is not the absence of faults in us, it’s proof of frailties, needfulness and shortcomings. That’s what love does – love swallows shortcomings, focuses on what really matters. In a manner of speaking, love is wilful ignorance. It’s a perseverance inoculation.

There’s just something so negative about keeping record of old conversations of disagreement in a relationship. It’s somehow reminiscent of the defunct Stasi secret police in East Germany. They had files upon files on people. Those files later became public record when the communist regime fell. You can imagine the anger and recrimination when people discovered their neighbours had been spying on them. There’s just something so negative about such filing. Delete all those munched conversations. You’ll feel a burden lift off you. When you imprison others with unforgiveness, you’re imprisoned too. Both the jailed and the jailer stay in the same prison. And no relationship will endure in happiness with a record of accusations. There’s something off-putting and adversarial about a partner who keeps record of wrongs. When you settle a quarrel, let it go. Forget it and move on. Or you’re going to need a lot of filing cabinets. One does not want to imagine what a relationship in which both parties are record-keeping wrongs will be like. That will be some relationship! There’ll be accusations and counter-accusations, both sides tendering evidence. Words that should have been forgotten are dredged up – including words spoken in anger that should never have been spoken.

The most damaging part is those record of wrongs erode trust and faith. And you graduate into an accuser. Accusations wear out the fabric of the soul, rends the garment of a relationship in tatters. Accusation is an adversarial equipment, a prosecutorial technology. In the normal course of life people run from the accuser. Should you give your boyfriend cause to run from you? Most times anyway we’re deflecting our own issues when we accuse others. And it’s worse when we presume the worst of others and expect them to defend themselves and prove their worth. You’re not going to get a lasting relationship doing that. It’s emotionally draining. Your boyfriend is going to be a sad man. Of course there are also men who do these things. They dredge up accusations with diaristic meticulousness. Either way, you have to drop evidentiary and prosecutorial munching. If you want a healthy relationship that is. You have to believe the best of your partner. It’s an expression of love and goodwill. Then he’s forced to rise to the occasion. Your faith in him becomes aspirational. I do hope you listen to counsel.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

There’s something off-putting and adversarial about a partner who keeps record of wrongs. Click To Tweet

My dear Jil, I know you didn’t study law but there’s a principle in law I’d like you to note. When there’s litigation, say over an asset, the court does all it can to preserve the subject matter of the litigation. You see, if the subject matter is alienated or destroyed, there can’t be justice. It renders moot the whole purpose of litigation. That principle applies to your marriage and the subject matter that needs preservation is your life. If you lose your life to this marriage there’ll be nothing to deliberate on about the marriage. It’s effectively over. The subject matter then changes to a story – of tragedy, and funeral. We’ll be speaking in hushed tones at your funeral.

This is a most dangerous marriage you’re in. Your life has been subjected to gruesome threat the like of which no one can contemplate. When it comes to the issue of life in marriage, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Prevention of loss of life has to be uppermost. When we don’t err on the side of caution in these circumstances and the gruesome happens, we all acquire a haunted conscience. What is alarming is that your husband’s present continuous anti-connubialism constitutes an ongoing threat to your life. Your husband is most reckless and profligate in his libidinous explorations. Where will it end? Aggrieved third parties have now decided to pursue your life in retaliation for his activities. Where’s this thing going?!

There’s also the question of your dignity. (Won’t bother to elaborate.) You’re now at the mercy of third parties. As long as your husband remains unrepentant of his wrong-headed amorous pursuits, your life will continue to be in possible danger. If you die from this marriage, you die for nothing. Your life is wasted. That’s why it will be a tragedy. You obviously can’t see the tree for the forest. You need to step back. Without stepping back you cannot see the stupidity of your dogged determination to preserve this marriage at the risk of your life. Can’t you see? If you lose your life there’ll be no marriage to preserve. It’s that simple and it’s that cold.

Of course you have to bear responsibility for some of the stuff. You must accept responsibility for your choice. You knew he was like this but like many women determined to marry, you thought marriage would change him. And you thought you could wing it, handle it. You thought all those women would step back once you step in. The truth as any man will tell you is, unless he wants those women to step back there can’t be deterrence because you stepped in. And you’re just going to find yourself fighting endless battles. His amorous productivity is more efficient than your deterrence. This man has become so reckless he’s lost control. He’s looking for something you don’t have and can’t have. Whatever he’s looking for is not native to you. That’s why he doesn’t consider your offerings authentic. Wear all the lingerie you can, if you like charter the whole of Victoria Secret, it won’t satisfy him. Sin prefers native authenticity. Saliva as glue can’t do much. You’re trying to patch up this marriage with saliva as it were.

On top of it all, he doesn’t seem to care despite threat to your life. He just keeps on like Energizer bunny. He’s abdicated all responsibility for his recklessness and that is troubling. Day by day he’s becoming more and more reckless. Those who insist you stay to work things out are not risking their lives, or the life of their daughter. It’s your life that’s at stake. A marriage that threatens to exterminate life is no marriage. Marriage is the celebration of life. By the sheer fact this marriage threatens to snuff out your life, it loses essence. Without your life no marriage! You don’t wait to see what happens in this type of circumstances. That’s dangerous. There is no remedy after death. If you die from this marriage, you’ll just become digitised gossip – a news item circulated and floating all over social media. We’ll all be talking about what could have been, what should have been…you know, woulda, coulda, shoulda… But you’ll be gone! And your husband will shed some crocodile tears, thereafter, he’ll be free to continue his pursuit of strange flesh. Less than a year after you’re gone, he’ll remarry. Now up to your family to be putting in memoriams in the newspapers. They’ll talk about their loss – for which they’ll bear moral responsibility since they didn’t advise you wisely; they’ll wish you were here. But all that is platitude – medicine after death. You had no business losing your life in the first place. Of what use is Coca-Cola advertisement to those in the grave? So I’m asking you to take responsibility for your own life, to look at extant facts.

You have to sit down and re-evaluate this marriage. Is this man worth dying for? You have to determine what risks are reasonable in the circumstances and which risks are not. You have to draw a line somewhere. If he’s unwilling to alter the aggressive course of his life, you have YOUR decision to make. Especially when those pursuits constitute a threat to your life and the life of your baby. Truth is, he really doesn’t care either way. It takes two to have a wonderful marriage but it requires only one party to destroy a marriage. No matter the wonderful qualities of one party there are marriages that can’t hold up on the strength of that one party. If one party is dedicated to the destruction of a marriage, he or she rubbishes the constructive effort of the other party. The labour is in vain. You can’t clap with one hand. That’s an analogy of the binary necessity of marriage. There has to be that essential willingness to forge a successful union in a marriage. Without that desire, that willingness, a marriage will become an emotional burden. When a marriage becomes a death threat, that is something out of the contemplation of even God.

Your husband is suffering from an inability to handle wealth. Access to money, as well as a glamorous profession is making him lose his head. That can happen to young men easily. It’s why discipline must be cultivated. Ingrained discipline functions like a gyroscope. The ship may bob but it will somehow right itself. It will seek to regain balance. Why don’t you sit down with your family and explain the situation to them. Tell them the truth. No parent who loves his or her child will insist on continuation given these facts. There’s doctrinal ideology and there’s commonsense. Sometimes, commonsense is what’s required. Or why would God give us sense!

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

When a marriage becomes a death threat, that is something out of the contemplation of even God. Click To Tweet

Dear Jil, first, you don’t generalise about men. (Men shouldn’t generalise women too!) The statement, “All sparrows are black” has to be a presumptive fallacy since we can’t say we’ve come across all sparrows. It’s why we don’t generalise about the sexes. You can only talk about the men you know, or been told about. Even that is hearsay. Second, you don’t bring the spirit of gender unionism into your marriage. It’s not a “Men versus Women” thing. Third, other men are not your concern really. Just your husband. Marriage is very proprietary, narrow and custom. And so what you need to concern yourself with is your husband, not other people’s husbands. They’re not your worry. If others say their husbands are crazy but you know yours is sane, you don’t import non-existent insanity into your marriage. And so I understand your concern about men in general but men, in general, are not your concern. You’re not God.
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My dear Jil, you’re not going to have everything you want in a man, any more than you can be everything a man wants. The man who is EVERYTHING you want has to be someone you made. In which case you’re divinity. Man is the sum total of his genetic ancestry, nurture, knowledge, environment, cultural and spiritual influences. It’s hard to therefore, imagine that a man will be 100% of your requirement. You have no influence on any of those factors. By the time you arrived on the scene the man was already “formed.” Every other modification is now voluntary. And so we marry those who are largely what we want, not everything we’d desired. Or we’ll never marry. That man you want doesn’t exist and can’t exist. You’ll have to create him yourself. And you have to be afraid of creating such a man for yourself considering flaws in your judgment, character and make up. That means whatever you create must necessarily be a flawed individual. You’re flawed in your thinking.
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My dear Jack, you have to be careful about escalation. Escalation is always potent in marriage. The thing about escalation is, what started out as something trite that can be swiped like a fly might end up growing into a movie monster. And it starts with hardening of positions, often preceded by silences and disregard. Instead of discussing the issue both of you withdrew into silence, each not talking to the other. Be fearful of escalation of small quarrels in your marriage my friend. Be fearful of escalation.
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Dear Jil, I want you to be sensitive in your marriage. It’s the seeming lack of sensitivity that is causing the problems you have in your marriage. Of course, you’re not a selfish person. Forgive your husband for saying that in anger. He ought to have been careful about what he said. He’s going through some tough time in his business. You need to be sensitive about that. To his credit, he’s still meeting all the obligations at home, though he sometimes strains himself. Of course, he knows you’ve been a solid partner, picking up the slacks, doing your bit quietly. He knows you’re understanding, fundamentally. And that’s good.
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My dear Jil, you’ve got to break this chain of she said, she said, she said. It’s all gossip. Gossip is why there’s present continuous fight among you and your friends. Hardly is one she said settled when another she said resurfaces. Sometimes she said within she said. And so your relationship with your girlfriends is in a constant state of she said she said she said. And you’re so few. There’s a fluid alliance generated by all this gossip. Your friend today may say something behind your back tomorrow. Then to defend yourself you have an ally with someone who said last week, only you fought before the new she said. It’s like someone is playing you guys like marionettes, like someone stirring up strife among you. With all this gossip you and your friends are more or less a “Real Wives” TV series now. All we need is cameras.
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My dear Jil, at some point you’ll have to take responsibility for your life, especially as it concerns marriage. I do understand your mom’s concerns but she’s only looking at the “image” of the family, not your emotional health. This guy you’re betrothed to… He doesn’t love you. He’s just taking advantage of your inexperience and youth. But life assumes you’re mature enough to handle issues by yourself once you decide you want to marry.
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Dear Jack, you can’t afford an unhappy partner. You’d be playing with depression. She’s going to drag you down into a subterranean dark alley. It’s a place off the grid, a pit – a very dark jail. She’ll sap the life out of you, sap all your vigour. You’ll just know you’re growing dull, your energy being depleted. By the time you’re through with the relationship, you’ll be a husk of your self. Your health would have been destroyed. Deeply unhappy people have this conversation going on in their head. It’s a conversation no one knows anything about. An unhappy person lives in a world of interpretation. Everything is interpreted. And so facts turn into another set of facts. Your health won’t survive living with such a person. You’ll always be on the defensive, and the facts won’t matter. It’s those interpretations of facts that are true to her. They’re what she works with. Innocuous acts will take on new meaning. There’ll be negative interpretations attached to simple facts. The thing about such people is that they’re constantly accusatory. It’s their thought process. Anything you do will be turned into an accusation. And if you’re exonerated she’ll create another premise of accusation. You can’t win. Continue reading

Dear Jack, can you help me get this letter to Jil?

“My dear Jil, let me tell you a little bit about divorce, what many people don’t get… I’ve listened to all you said about your friend and his marriage. But these things are more complex than we imagine. And divorces don’t happen overnight, except of course in Vegas. Continue reading

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