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Letter to Jil

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My dear Jil, it’s always better to have certainty in a relationship. You cannot assume someone is going to marry you. You’ve got to know. It’s got to be definitive, or you may have disappointment. I once asked a pilot why some pilots smack the plane on the tarmac as they landed. (Like many I thought this was bad landing). But my pilot friend told me it was the contrary. That the impact gives certainty the plane touched the ground. He said the shock absorbers of planes are configured to handle multiple hard landings so no problem. Without that impact the plane may just be coasting on a thin cushion of air till it runs out of runway, and then disaster. Bottom line, the impact against the tarmac gives the pilot certainty. In the same vein you need certainty about the future.
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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, there comes a point we must stop digging ourselves in, in a relationship that’s no relationship. If you keep investing emotionally and materially in a relationship knowing your love is not requited, you’re digging a hole. There’s that point in this kind of relationship when we need to cut our losses. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. We’re talking years of life investment. But we can’t keep digging ourselves in, fooling ourselves we’re collecting clay to make bricks to build a relationship. The deeper the hole we dig, the more we’re caked in mud, and the more we disappear from view.
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My dear Jil, from what I can see, I think the problem is your extreme faith in overt sexuality. You believe men can be manipulated sexually and you’re right. But you have a locked in contradiction in such philosophy. It’s why you can’t understand why he’d go for this other girl though you’re prettier and more socially gifted.
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Dear Jil, I’m not exactly sure what this guy means when he said his relationship with his girlfriend is stale. How can a relationship be stale? Is it bread or what? Has the relationship gone moldy or expired? What’s he saying? Is he in a relationship but not in a relationship? It’s not very clear and you better be clear. A relationship is a relationship whether moldy or not. Whether stale or not he’s still in a relationship. Ascribing the characteristics of a fungi-infested bread to a relationship isn’t exactly helpful in this circumstance.
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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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My dear Jil, you’re going into a contractual relationship not a marriage. May God grant you wisdom to know the difference! When a guy insists you get pregnant or he won’t marry you, just know it’s a surrogacy contract. Of course he’s highly presumptuous about the forces of life with such proposition. What if you get pregnant and he marries you but thereafter lose the pregnancy? And what happens to the marriage? And what if you indeed deliver a baby but you lose the baby? What happens to the marriage? And what happens to you if you can’t have another child suppose you lose the one that produced the marriage? These things happen and have happened and will continue to happen. We don’t control life and there are forces beyond us.
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My dear Jil, rape is a very traumatic experience. It is so traumatic it can terrify a marriage years down the line. Women have been known to die from rape. It’s because it’s beyond physical. It’s a violation of the sacred. Rape is so vicious it can shred the fabric of a soul, alter the balance of life energy. It kills something inside. Rape is not just one more incident in society. At the retail level it is the scarring of someone’s life. Our society ought to take rape much more seriously than we do. There’s a cultural shrugging of shoulders about rape. It’s locker room talk in boys’ circle, as if it’s some weekend discussion about Chelsea and Arsenal. Some young men in fact revel in the fact of rape. Which is really sad. Witness how some boys boast about raping a girl. Our tolerance of such banter and disposition is the cultural equivalence of conditioning boys for rape. There are boys boasting about rape in secondary school, boasting they assaulted girls during school socials. And for some boys it’s a sorority ritual. Which makes you begin to ponder the fundamentals of our society. And now we have livestreaming of rape. If only the law allows castration. Then there are those sickos who rape kids – eight-, nine-year olds. Some even babies. Surely such people are deranged. A nine-year old can’t know how to interpret rape. She’ll malfunction.
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Dear Jil, my problem is that you can’t even stand this guy. You’re not attracted to him, so how are you going to do it? You can’t stand the thought of him touching you…how exactly then are you going to consummate the marriage? The only reason you’re considering marrying this gentleman is because he’s succeeding. He’s going to be a made-man. You want him because he’s responsible, kind, and hardworking…but you can’t stand him physically. And you don’t love him. How do you want to marry a man you’re not attracted to and don’t love? Not that you can’t, but these things have consequences. Continue reading

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