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Letter to Jil

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My dear Jil, the problem is you keep dating the wrong guys, it’s not that you have a string of bad luck with guys. You keep dating guys that are neither right for you nor care about you, guys who just want to exploit you. Funny thing is you know from onset these guys aren’t right for you but you plunge on all the same, just because you feel you must have a man. Take this latest guy. Barely one week into the relationship, he’s already asking you for a loan. That should have been a red flag. You tried to mitigate your risk by giving him half the loan he requested, but you had increased your risk profile by sleeping with him! Wise guy he was, he simply asked for a second loan of the same value the very next week knowing you’ll likely half it. And so he got the original amount he asked from you, only in two instalments. The second demand right after the second sex instalment! I guess he reckoned you’re hooked, that you need sex. So he bargains with sex. You have that sore feeling you’ve been outsmarted. He’s never going to pay you back. I’m sure you know that.
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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

My dear Jil, it’s really very simple when you think of it. What you want in a relationship you must be prepared to give. If you want devotion, give devotion. If you want affection, give affection. If you want care, give care. What you want, give! Seems so simple, doesn’t it? These are simple rules of relationship and happiness. If you check out fantastic marriages, you’ll see these rules being applied. And they don’t seem like work because love is present. You pay things forward in a relationship if you want happiness. You give first, you don’t wait to collect and then consider giving. Once you enter that mode the relationship goes transactional. Doing good to your partner then becomes no tit no tat. And the whole thing grows worse when you don’t want to give but expect to collect. And worst when you then want to control the other party. That smacks of all sorts of character trait that are antithetical to relationship. In essence, you’re being smart. You keep what you have but expect to collect from the other party. Very selfish. It’s not just selfishness, it’s stinginess as well.

Sooner or later your partner will get the message and wisen up. Those who do these things tend to have a sense of entitlement. They EXPECT to be given, they’re blind to the duty of giving. Never giving, always expectant. That’s poverty of spirit. But that disposition negatively impacts so many things in a relationship. It naturally abhors taking initiative of care. And so the relationship becomes a one-way traffic of affection – only one party giving, no reciprocity or giving of any sort from the other party. This greatly impacts on the quality of relationship and in time someone begins to feel being taken for a fool. The aggrieved party soon pulls back. He becomes quietly angry and feels short-changed.

Stinginess in a relationship is not always about material gifts. It can be something as simple as a text. If he texts and you ignore his text you can’t complain if you text and he ignores your text. It’s called responsorial reciprocity. Surely, if you like to ignore people’s texts, you must be able to handle your texts being ignored! One rule can’t apply to your partner and another to you. There must be egalitarianism of responsibilities in a relationship. You can’t be affection-dry and ungiving yet be expecting affection. You won’t have a successful relationship. There are other expressions of this principle. Think of something as simple as duty of care, for example someone checking up on you. If you care about someone and you don’t hear from him, duty of care demands you find out what’s wrong. But lack of care and selfishness says, “I’m not going to call him to find out what’s wrong; I want him to want me more than I want him.” If something is genuinely wrong, say he’s ill, the guy will of course find such attitude painful. And the seed of termination of that relationship is sown. It begins to incubate in the heart. Every other thing that happens thereafter becomes reinforcement and confirmation of that awful impression of selfishness. And when one day he decides to pull out of the relationship, you’ll wonder why he’d do that over a trifle. But it’s not the trifle that precipitated the breakup, it was the grain of sand that caused a sand avalanche. In other words, it wasn’t the immediate event that led to that break up; it’s your character. When your friends ask you what happened you’ll of course be perplexed. That’s because you’re used to people giving you forbearance. Your friends will of course then start blaming the guy. But they ignore the fact of your character.

A relationship made up of one-way expectations is a parasitic relationship. A parasitic relationship wants, never expects giving and has a sense of entitlement. It’s incredibly emotionally draining. There’s material stinginess but there’s also emotional stinginess. Both outrightly destroy a relationship, prevent it from attaining its full potential. It cannot maximise its possibilities. Something as mundane as going to the movies can be used to demonstrate generosity of heart to your partner. Why don’t you one of these days offer to take him out rather than always expecting him to take you out as if it’s some duty. I’m not saying he shouldn’t try and be a man. But even men want to be taken out once in a while. It’s a good gesture. A relationship can’t be a one-way in configuration. It will have traffic issues. The danger of being selfish in a relationship is that you make room for the possibility of a generous alternative to you. At some point, the man will ask himself what exactly he’s gaining from the relationship. Stinginess makes a man ask such questions eventually.

The world recommends emotional and material stinginess as the best way to manage a relationship but they destroy relationships. Even outside of relationship, stingy people lose a lot. The sad thing is they’ll never realise how much. But it’s quite a lot. In a relationship a stingy person is seen as extractor. And he or she is like a heavy cloud without rain. There’s that expectation of reciprocity of affection in a relationship. Stinginess introduces manipulation into a relationship. Everything becomes deliberate, robbing the relationship of honest affection. You won’t have the kind of relationship you want being stingy to your partner. You won’t get the marriage you want. And stinginess blinds us to ourselves. Our vision becomes stingy to us. We can’t see much. Everything we see is about us and us. By the way stinginess, manipulation and stubbornness are triplets. They tend to go together, occupy same person. Stinginess – emotional or material, is antithetical to healthy relationship. If you’re not ready to give, you can’t have a fulfilling successful marriage or relationship. The very notion of love is giving and sacrifice. That’s what it’s all about. And when partners are committed to being generous to each other – be it materially or emotionally, the relationship is solidified. But if all you’re thinking is how to extract from your partner and not give, the relationship soon becomes a tiresome undertaking. And the quantum of giving must be the same even if quantity cannot be. Just give your best in your relationship. It’s emotionally draining to have a partner constantly expecting and not giving. It drags the spirit down. Re-conceptualise your philosophy of relationship. If you don’t you’ll lose this guy. There’s a limit to the excuses a man can give himself about a partner’s stingy disposition. He’s soon forced to come to terms with reality.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

If you’re not ready to give, you can’t have a fulfilling successful marriage or relationship. Click To Tweet

My dear Jil, I wish you had listened to me. You wouldn’t have had this problem. When someone offers you sincere advice with no ulterior motive and nothing to gain, you ought to pay attention to such. I told you not to give this guy money. But you went ahead and gave him doles of your money. And now… The whole thing was corny. The love was fake. Anyone could tell this guy was trying to fleece you. The sustenance of a relationship can’t be dependent on doling of funds. That it started that way shows its false foundation. It means the relationship was only sustained because you kept giving him money. In which case it was a simple commercial transaction. You were unwittingly trying to buy affection. But then you have to wonder what exactly you bought. Even a dog will become your friend if you keep doling it food.

This guy was clearly an opportunist. You mistook his response to the doling of your money for love. How gravely mistaken you were. Your “relationship” had hardly begun when he began to ask for money. You should have been worried. And you were. It’s why you wrote me. Then you succumbed to foolishness. The moment you let him in on the fact you had substantial savings he became more loving. And now you’re out for what… Close to a million? That’s expensive “love” you bought. What did you expect? You should have known such a “loan” would never be repaid. The guy had no intention whatsoever to pay you back. You exchanged your hard-earned savings for mushy sentimentalism – something you can get without paying a dime.

You were probably targeted, by the way. And in your earnest desire for a relationship, any relationship, you allowed yourself to be conned. Yes, you’re smart but there’s a difference between smartness and wisdom. Sometimes “smartness” gets us into trouble. It gives us a false sense of invincibility. Smartness knows it all. “Smartness” is what makes you say, “I know what I’m doing, don’t worry!” even when it’s obvious you don’t. “Smartness” makes you feel you’re in charge and in control of an agenda. Until the other side and even your agenda outwit you. Once you take all that “smartness” into a relationship, you kill sincerity, even honesty. Everything is programmed. And so you were smart but not wise.

Yet wisdom is the principal thing. Wisdom has depth. Wisdom introspects. Wisdom considers. Wisdom takes a reflective pause. Wisdom will not rush into murky waters or into an indefinable. Wisdom looks into the horizon. Wisdom looks for patterns, tries to make meaning of patterns and wonders what conclusion to draw. Wisdom is allergic to foolishness. I’m afraid you’d have to forego the money. It’s gone! Probably partly spent on another girl. I know it’s painful, considering the fact that your debtor ex-lover is even blocking you on WhatsApp to avoid his obligation. I’m not asking you to forego the money to indulge his capriciousness. No. I’m asking you to forego the debt so you don’t tether your life to this guy for a considerable number of years in seeking your money. He has no intention to pay. He doesn’t even have the money! It’s all blown, gone! Unbeknownst to him he’s back to Square One. And he’s bitten his benefactor. People have gone on to develop very successful businesses from much less money.

If this guy couldn’t create something tangible with almost a million, you better be thankful your devourer is gone. He’s probably off chasing another girl he reckons he can fleece of another million. And on and on his life goes being defined. If you insist on collecting the money he’ll hold you down sadistically. He has nothing to lose. You have much to lose actually. You’re the one with the drive and ambition. You’re going to be bogged down chasing this guy for the money. You may end up bitter. When we don’t pay attention to wisdom we end up paying an expensive tuition fee for life’s lessons. A serious guy wouldn’t have been asking you for money. He’d be too ashamed. This was right at the start of the relationship. You ought to be careful about going into a relationship with a guy without shame. When he does the shameful it will just be water off his back. Won’t see anything wrong. He may even revel in his shamelessness.

These kinds of guys have a philosophy about how to treat women. They regard women as people to be exploited in the name of love. Women giving them money is taken as fulfilment of obligation. It’s a duty. Will even accuse you of not helping out though you have. These are guys who believe in living off women. They’re one of the more terrible versions of boyfriend you shouldn’t have. They have no sense of responsibility whatsoever. Their sense of manliness is bent so crooked only God can do a miracle. Such go from woman to woman, the only contribution to the relationship being sexual ardour. They scout Facebook looking for prey. You ought to be careful about those profiles on Facebook. Some are figments of imagination. There has to be a correlation between the Facebook profile and the real person.

You fell into this situation because you refused to listen to your heart. Indeed, the reason you wrote me earlier was for confirmation of what your heart was telling you. So you did have warnings about this guy. Several warnings in fact. But you ignored those warnings. Sometimes, we’re so besotted with our desire that we ignore all rational warnings. We try to explain things away to ourselves unconvincingly. And so when an alarm bell rang in your heart concerning this guy you put it down to undue apprehension. You kept explaining everything away till you got sucked into the cauldron of anaesthetising desire. You were too busy enjoying being given “loving attention” you failed to see the deceit in those “affections.” Everything he told you he also told the last girl. All the phrases used, they’re formulaic. He targets needful women. The relationship was a hobby. He lathered you with deceit and saliva to soften you up to ask for the money. Just move on. Lesson learnt I believe. But he’s got his comeuppance coming. What you sow you reap. Life has a balance sheet. Conny man die conny man go bury am.

Don’t date all these guys who do foreign exchange with affection. These are not “husband material.” A husband material is thinking of how to give to you, not how to take from you. A husband material adds to you not depreciate you. You can’t be bitter though I understand why you’re angry. But remember you share some of the blame.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

Don’t date all these guys who do foreign exchange with affection. Click To Tweet

Dear Jil, I do understand how you feel. Not being approached by any male can make one feel underappreciated. I think you need to change one or two things. Let’s try that and see the result. You see, I’ve always been intrigued by one particular statement of Solomon: “He that hath friends must show himself friendly.” It’s a very powerful and loaded statement. The depth is not that obvious. The statement posits two things. First, if you want friends you have to have a friendly disposition. That’s attitudinal. Second, if you want to have friends you must be proactive. Friendship is thus conditional.
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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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Dear Jil, surely you can see these plans are asinine. I mean, how does it make it sense?! You’re dating a guy who lives abroad and hardly comes to town – may be once a year. So you don’t see him much. You face the typical challenge of long distance relationship. However much you do Facetime it’s never like being together. But instead of talking marriage, this man is talking about making you a baby mama. Why would you want to be baby mama instead of wife? And according to him you’ll have to stay here for two years after you’ve had the baby. You can’t travel to stay with him immediately. This allegedly is to ensure you don’t do menial job when you travel to meet him in UK! I’m lost and confused over this logic. So you stay two years apart so you don’t do menial job in the UK. Don’t get it, what’s the link?
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My dear Jil, it’s important you distinguish between love and sentimental expression of love. The two are not the same and if you don’t distinguish them you may break your marriage. A man may deeply and sincerely love you but may be poor at sentimental expression. That he is lacking in the sentimental department doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, he just needs to work on that. Of course, your feelings are legitimate, a man ought to express his love and appreciation to his wife. But you can’t say a man who works so hard to take care of you doesn’t love you. That will be unfair.
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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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