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Romance

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My dear Jack, every relationship has an equilibrium base. It’s a place of tranquillity, a place of rest. At that equilibrium there’s peace in a relationship, there’s harmony, there’s joy. Things are settled, nothing worries you, you’re happy. And you want things to continue that way. There are no fights, just love, appreciation and understanding. It’s in that state of equilibrium that you can better appreciate the great qualities of your spouse. It’s a place of deep appreciation. It’s at that point you say to yourself, “This woman is just perfect for me; she’s just made for me.” You can see her happy and contented. It’s like she’s floating in happiness. You can see the wide smile on her face. There it is lurking just beneath her skin, making her soft and tender. There’s a glow. She’s open to collaborative love, wants to hear appreciation from you. She teases you no end. You make fun of each other. Think of an afternoon at the beach, only this time the beach is located right inside your home. There’s airiness and lightness in the house, the house is suffused with a potent mixture of joy, peace and harmony. She wants to take care of you at that base, and you want to care for her. There are cuddles, and there are bubbles of quiet joy. She’ll want that stretch of moment caught in a bottle and sent off to sea, unviolated and bubbling to the dance of the waves till forever. That’s the vision of marriage everyone ought to have; it’s a vision of a weekend – easy, peaceful, happy, contented, joyful, loving, caring. You work hard to keep your relationship at that equilibrium. That’s the work cut out for you. It’s why it’s important to love the person you marry. Love makes the job unbelievably easy. You won’t be “doing” anything. Things will just be.
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Jack, there’s a balance somewhere and it’s not always easy to find. You don’t want to be isolated as a man, but at the same time you don’t want your wife feeling threatened and insecure. Both of you have to work out a balance, you have to develop and nurture mutual understanding. Put first things first – your wife has to be #1 in all you do. That’s non-negotiable. You’ve got to set your priorities right. If you truly love her, that shouldn’t be an issue. It should come naturally. Everything else proceeds from that fundamental fact. In the same manner, you should be her #1 priority. Everybody else has to be secondary. In the hierarchy of prioritisation therefore, both of you come first for each other. Then comes every other person. You’re one. This can be a hard thing for many people. But every other logic does not lead to a good place in the long term. Your job is to make your wife know in word and in deed she’s your #1. You have to constantly assure her she’s your #1 any day. That is a very important piece of job you have to do – every day by the way. She needs constant assurance. You have to let her know you love her; SAY it to her. Tell her she’s so special, she can’t be compared. Faith comes by hearing. Don’t just expect her to discern your love. Tell her. SHE needs those words of assurance. It’s a woman thing and you can’t understand. Any more she can understand why men are boastful, or like cars. Husbandry is a fulltime job. It requires emotional commitment 24/7. You have to tend to her emotional needs.
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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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Dear Jack, a marriage can quickly become stale as a couple “settles down.” Anything stale and mouldy can’t be good. As with bread so is marriage. Yes, the courtship stage is over but it’s important to keep the momentum in marriage, even if it’s not exactly same quality. Life can be terribly busy but you have to create special occasions. You have to enjoy yourselves as a couple. Life will never end. It just keeps going and it will outlast you. You can’t overtake life. So sometimes, it’s best to get off the bus as a couple, get away from the chores of life and enjoy yourselves. The responsibilities of life never end. You have to create space to be a couple. It can be anything from going to the movies, to going for a drink together, to going to an informal party or hosting one.
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Dear Jil, your ex can’t be looming in the background of your marriage like a recalcitrant demon. Your ex can’t be featuring in your marriage like some malodorous atmosphere. You’re going to break your marriage. You’ve got to learn to let go of your past relationship. It’s gone. You’re married now, to another man. You’re just going to bring complications into your marriage hanging on to your ex. Continue reading

*A VALENTINE SPECIAL FOR MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE

My very own Jil, I was in church yesterday and the minister preached on gratitude. (I know you couldn’t attend). In order to make us appreciative of God’s graciousness, the minister asked us to list five things we’re thankful for. Continue reading

Dear Jack, the thing about marriage is that it’s easy to just “settle in”. It’s easy for a marriage to become something quotidian – a routine exercise of life, something we do mindlessly. Continue reading

My dear Jil, the chemistry you want in your marriage doesn’t come cheap. It takes effort. There are two phases of a relationship. There’s the attraction phase and there’s the maintenance phase. The adrenalin in the attraction phase constitutes a magnetic quantity that keeps a relationship cemented. But that phase will come to an end at some point. Then begins the maintenance phase and thence people struggle. Relationships need refreshment and they need maintenance. Continue reading

My dear Jack, tomorrow is Valentine. Time to prove your love and mettle. All those sweet things, and all those imagining – ¦time to prove them. Tomorrow is a verb not a noun. In the competitive department, Valentine means a lot to ladies. Everyone in the office checks out what each person received. It’s a time for one-upmanship for ladies – a sort of my gift is richer and bigger than yours undeclared competition. It’s also when ladies assess the quality of love a man has. And that’s measured in effort and gift quality. Continue reading

This Valentine edition of #Letr2Jil is dedicated to my beautiful Jil, my wife, my soul mate and one true love!

He turned to CHAPTER 4 of the book, flipped the page forth, and then back, and began to read:

My very own Jil, I sat up in the middle of the night watching you sleep, my heart a-wonder. I looked at your face. Continue reading

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