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Key Questions For Jil


How do I get over heartbreak?

  • If You've Been Hurt, Leave It In The Past

    Dear Jil,

    Let me pretend this morning to understand where you’re at…that I know your pain. I pretend because no one can ever feel what you feel. No one can know the hurt. Such pain is individualised. Too many people theorise prescriptions about getting over hurt and pain. They’ve never been hurt in a relationship. I do understand how holding on to the pain can seem so natural. The pain actually keeps coming back at you, on its own.....

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  • Gallinaceous Crow!

    My dear Jil, let’s keep the momentum on #BringBackOurGirls going. It is a civic duty. My profile pix is blacked out in honour of the dead, honour to the dying, honour to the missing #ChibokGirls

    As per the issue you raised- Yes, I ask you to forgive. And I do know forgiveness can seem difficult. In fact unforgiveness is the norm and much more easier, especially when you’ve been badly wronged. How do you forgive a trusted girlfriend who snatches away your boyfriend you ask? Such can destroy so many things in a person, destroy self esteem- make you doubt yourself.....

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  • Coping With Heartbreak

    My dear Jil,

    It must have been harsh Wednesday for you, and I’m sorry about the breakup.....

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  • Jil, Move On!

    My dear Jil, this reminds me of a lovely movie I saw on my flight to London. It’s called A Most Violent Year. Directed by J.C. Chandor, its leads were Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain and David Oyelowo. Set in New York in 1981, it’s a very good drama with many layers of lessons. It’s simply the story of a young man who against all odds and temptations fought to preserve his business. Had Mafia undertone – you know, mob bosses. Of course a beautiful wife was obligatory as well. But a statement by the lead character Abel Morales struck me, though I can’t exactly quote it now. It’s something about looking forward to what’s next, not looking back at what’s past. It’s his philosophical posture, what helped him in all his travails. Dynamic positivism, less of recriminations. It’s a powerful philosophy. Not always easy to follow but a powerful philosophy nonetheless. It takes steel and guts to adopt the philosophy but it’s a philosophy that makes one strong.....

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  • The Words of Isaiah

    My dear Jil, have you ever sat down to read a book and certain words just seem to leap at you from the pages? Well, I was reading the Words of Isaiah the other day and a statement just leaped at me! Even more intriguing is the fact that I felt the words were meant for you. I can’t explain the feeling. I am therefore going to share them with you.....

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  • Emotional Diagnostics

    My dear Jil, just as we self-diagnose basic ailments like headache, I believe we should diagnose ourselves emotionally. Oh yes, there’s such a thing as emotional ailment. We get emotionally ill for example from being jilted. We pay scant attention to emotional ailments. And yet it accounts for many of our physical ailments. Doctors have learnt to look for psychological diagnosis when physical symptoms lack known causalities. Many instances of debility and physical breakdown are caused by emotional problems, depression in particular. A woman in an abusive marriage may for example, suffer recursive instances of extreme debility – chronic fatigue syndrome. She WON’T be able to get up in the morning because of tiredness occasioned by emotional abuse.....

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  • Bad Luck

    My dear Jil, you don’t have bad luck, you’re just exercising poor judgment. I get a lot of mails like yours from young women who have had successive broken relationships. These women sometimes feel there’s something wrong with them; that’s why their relationships don’t lead to marriage. They wonder why almost immediately after break up the guy goes on to marry someone else. But if you check some of those cases the women should actually be thanking God they didn’t marry those guys. They can’t see that because emotions get in the way. It’s natural in such moments to feel emotionally down. It rives a lot of women when a guy breaks up and just months after marries another. Creates consternation. Here’s the problem in your situation: you get so excited about the prospect of having a relationship that you commit too fast. You don’t get to know the guy. You really never knew any of the guys you dated – who they really are. And so the facts about them that should have informed your decision to date or not to date are hidden from you. You essentially based your commitment decision on your feelings of wanting to be in love, rather than facts. Facts that should inform your decision to commit to a guy, not just feelings. You lay yourself open to surprises committing to a guy you hardly know. And many, if not all these guys you dated were full of surprises. One or two even had live-in lovers and you never knew. And that’s why one in particular never wanted you to come to his house. That should have raised a red flag. How do you date a guy and you don’t know where he lives and can’t visit? Obviously he’s hiding something from you, or trying to keep you from discovering certain things. You should wonder why.....

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How do I manage my desire to get married?

  • December Rush

    Dear Jil, let me tell you how pickpockets operate in downtown Lagos! Downtown Lagos pickpockets thrive in confusion, in the melee of the crowd, where there’s no order. Because public transport is in short supply downtown, there’s usually a melee for buses. And so the bus stop is an ideal location for Lagos pickpockets.

    The people rush for available transport – the yellow Danfo mini buses striated with fake Adidas stripes. Such is the conditioning that the people still rush even when the crowd is sparse. The pickpocket knows this. He waits at the bus stop holding a black cellophane bag to conceal his mission and sleight of hand. Usually contains a piece of cloth – an overall. Gives him plausible deniability on arrest; reduces his oddity at bus stops. When the 14-seater bus shows up he charges at the bus with the ten or so prospective passengers. He has no intention of getting on the bus with them. He just wants to create an artificial rush. He jostles and shoves, pushes behind his mark, all the while slipping his hands into the back pocket. In the confusion attending the contrived melee he removes the phone, or whatever amount of money is lodged there. The victim only comes to realisation when after all the hustle and bustle the bus is only half full! The pickpocket’s accomplices made up part of the crowd. The victim feels for his pocket. His money, phone, gone! He looks up and sees the pickpocket signalling to his partners. And they disappear into the shadows.....

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  • Dating A Separated Man

    Dear Jil, to be honest with you, you’re in a quandary. Dating a separated man is tricky. It can go either way. There’s a probability it may lead to marriage, a probability; but there’s also the probability he may return to his wife. If you’re pregnant for him and he returns to his wife, you’ll be holding the very short end of a looong stick. You’ll be stuck with a child, have no husband, and you’ll assume all the complications involved in such reality show. If he returns to his wife, you end up being a baby mama; if he thereafter carries on relationship with you, you’re a concubine.....

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  • Three Contexts

    My dear Jil, I think you’re mixing up some things. In choosing a groom it’s right to look at the personal qualities of the person, not just his family. He may come from a wondrous family but if he himself lacks the qualities of a good husband, you’ll have marital issues. And so you have the man, his familial context, which by the way is very important; but then you also have the marital ambiance. Familial context can prove disastrous to a marriage if his mum for example is repressive and he can’t stand as bulwark. You’ll be left to face the force of his mum by yourself if he can’t shield you, stand up for you. It’s going to be you versus his mum if he can’t man up and protect his wife. But if you marry into a wonderful family the fact will be supportive. Will cocoon your love for each other. There are wonderful families. Pray you get a good mother-in-law and good father-in-law. Pray you get a mother-in-law who’ll treat you like her daughter, not one contending for your husband. Or your mother–in-law will become chairman of your local government.
    ....

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  • Amnon Syndrome

    My dear Jil, distant relationships have their challenges. As much as your generation prides itself in digital embrace the sociological inadequacy of a Facebook romance is glaring. There’s only so much you can say or do over Facebook when it comes to relationship. You can’t go to the movies together on Facebook for instance. You can’t have a drink together. Can’t stroll together. Your case is doubly compounded because your boyfriend is not even in the country. You can’t see over the weekend. Distance can wreak havoc on a relationship. A distant relationship requires fealty and commitment. Distance can make the heart grow fonder. Or it can make the heart go flounder. To maintain a long distance relationship you’ll need to put in extra effort. Facetime has to be your bosom friend. There must be regimented discipline if you want to maintain a long distance relationship. In a long distance relationship it’s wise to have fixed periods for calls. It defines expectations and schedules. And this apart from “I just feel like calling you” moments. Those are extra. The bigger danger though is what you’re facing now: the emergence of an interloper. It’s why commitment is so important in long distance relationships. Without commitment in a long distance relationship your heart may wonder and wander. And a credible interloper may easily snatch you away from your boyfriend. You’re lonely as it is. Facebook can’t give you the intimacy you need in a relationship. That’s expecting too much from the platform.....

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  • You Deserve Better

    My dear Jil, come on, you deserve better than this guy, and you know it! You’re dating him because you’ve put yourself in desperate straits – feeling or believing you can’t get any better. And this apart from the embarrassing fact that this guy tried to date two of your friends who turned him down for good reason. You feel you can’t get any better based on an aberrant philosophy.....

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How do I get over my past?

  • Scale Your Past

    My dear Jil,

    You’ve got to find a way to scale your past.....

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  • Blast From The Past

    My dear Jil, I keep telling you to leave this past alone, to get away from it as fast and as much as you can. If you don’t leave the pain of the past where it belongs, you’ll damage your marriage and your future. You won’t be able to relate well with your husband, and you’ll punish him for the sins of your father. Lots of marriages have broken up not because of present tense but of past participle. And you’re in a losing position here. The man that conditioned your worldview is long gone! You’re fighting a dead man. How can you win?....

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  • False Narratives

    My dear Jil, it’s very early in the year and I think it’s important to set a tone for the year, it’s young. By now of course you would have discovered that resolutions don’t seem to work. It’s not because resolutions are a bad idea, it’s just that they’re structurally deficient and underpowered. They depend too much on human will but fail to account for counter-wills. Willfulness, selfishness and self-centeredness overwrite resolutions. Without resolving those, resolutions can’t work. I’d rather recommend you depend on God’s grace this year instead of your willpower. Grace is empowerment. The structure of resolutions is that when it breaks, it consigns us to what we’re running from. Makes us give up! A resolution is nothing more than a serious decision with a hint of finality embedded. That finality can go either way.....

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  • Emotional Diagnostics

    My dear Jil, just as we self-diagnose basic ailments like headache, I believe we should diagnose ourselves emotionally. Oh yes, there’s such a thing as emotional ailment. We get emotionally ill for example from being jilted. We pay scant attention to emotional ailments. And yet it accounts for many of our physical ailments. Doctors have learnt to look for psychological diagnosis when physical symptoms lack known causalities. Many instances of debility and physical breakdown are caused by emotional problems, depression in particular. A woman in an abusive marriage may for example, suffer recursive instances of extreme debility – chronic fatigue syndrome. She WON’T be able to get up in the morning because of tiredness occasioned by emotional abuse.....

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  • Deconstructed Relationship

    My dear Jil, let me tell you a story about two people who could have been. (We are going a bit deep in this letter. We’re going to explore the ventricles of the human heart). I want you to understand the workings of why we do what we do in a relationship, what motivates our actions. More often than not we’re not aware of these things, the effect of them. We’re too focused on ourselves. Yet they mar our relationship and prevent us from getting what we want, and the happiness we truly need. Here’s the story: Two people met online and in the course of time met offline. There was strong attraction between them. It was one of those relationships that just “happened”, you know, those relationships you can’t really explain the genesis of. You know how the relationship started but you don’t know why it started – exactly what prompted what. Usually that means both parties have been in search of something embedded in each other. May be genuine friendship, or sincerity, or love. Or a combination of all three. It may be trust. Anyway, these two people started a wonderful relationship. They were a wonderful thing to behold. The girl was happy, the boy was happy. They were free with each other. What was budding was so beautiful.....

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  • The Letter

    My dear Jil, thank you for your last mail. It gave me more insight about your person. I know the scars from the past are still there and the past seems to have left an indelible memory. The scars have made you tentative, afraid, sad at times, unsure. They put a shroud of mourning on the beauty of your spirit. But you have a lovely spirit, such simplicity and grace. But who’d ever have known! You’ve cried so much in the past few days and no one will believe you’re even emotional. You said so yourself. Those scars have given you a hardy crust. The depth of your being is buried beneath that crust. The real you is down there somewhere, under that layer of fear, distrust and apprehension. Yet you can’t distrust all men because of what someone did to you in the past. That’s unfair even to you.....

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  • Revenge!

    My dear Jil, I feel I need to write you once more about that “f” word – forgiveness. Forgiveness is a hard thing no doubt, and yet it’s the easiest of things. Forgiveness is only hard when we regurgitate and re-experience the pain and the trauma visited on us. Memory loss, and the willingness to have memory loss are critical to forgiveness. There are experiences that should not be relived. Every time you recall a painful experience it’s like peeling the scab on a wound.You make it fresh and draw blood. It will eventually heal, but it would now take a very long process of attempted healing of scabs of memory. There are things we should let go in life, memories we should never revisit. If you come out of a trauma it’s best to leave it in the past rather than going after your enemies. You survived! What makes you larger than those who do evil to you is the largeness of your heart, not the constriction of your heart. We do not have the capacity for revenge. It’s why revenge consumes us.....

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How do I get along with my mother-in-law?

  • Mum-in-Law

    Well, Jil, to be honest with you, there are 3 types of mothers-in-law. You have the good, the insouciant and the… what has now come to be known as the erm… monster-in-law. May you be so fortunate to have a loving and kind mother-in-law.

    It’s unfortunate that the term mother-in-law has almost become synonymous with tyranny and colonial authority. Yet some mothers-in-law are so wonderful they are a factor in the love the woman has for their son. Same holds for the men. The truth is some men married their wives for the love of their mother-in-law. But some mothers-in-law are so oppressive their son’s marriage is only holding because of the special grace of God!....

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  • Of In-Laws and Akara Balls

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Lagos. Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. When people talk about Lagos they tend to imagine a continuous landmass stretching for miles unend. But that’s false geography. Lagos is not a stretch of landmass. It’s more like Venice. To bring the lesson home, think of akara (bean cake) balls floating in a hot mass of vegetable oil. That’s Lagos. The vegetable oil represents water and the bean cake balls represent several islands. That’s a vision of Lagos. By the way those bean cake balls are a local delicacy your taste buds must familiarize themselves with. Combined with maize corn pap or the cassava granulate popularly known as garri, you have a deliriously dangerous combination.....

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What's the place of my family after marriage?

  • Matrimonial Colonialism

    Dear Jil, funny that I wrote Jack last week on this very same issue. I fear you’re making the same mistake. Sometimes mistakes come in genders. There’s the masculine version and then the feminine label. Listen, your mum cannot have dominion over your matrimonial home. It’s not allowed.....

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  • Of In-Laws and Akara Balls

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Lagos. Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. When people talk about Lagos they tend to imagine a continuous landmass stretching for miles unend. But that’s false geography. Lagos is not a stretch of landmass. It’s more like Venice. To bring the lesson home, think of akara (bean cake) balls floating in a hot mass of vegetable oil. That’s Lagos. The vegetable oil represents water and the bean cake balls represent several islands. That’s a vision of Lagos. By the way those bean cake balls are a local delicacy your taste buds must familiarize themselves with. Combined with maize corn pap or the cassava granulate popularly known as garri, you have a deliriously dangerous combination.....

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How do I tame my temper?

  • MTN

    Dear Jil, let’s talk a little about uncomfortable truths this morning – about this temper thing.

    Men are very uncomfortable with temperamental women, and you’ll see why. The man will friend-zone you if you’re temperamental. Which is an irony – a reverse equation. That means he’ll like hanging out with you, but won’t dare commit because he’s afraid of being in a relationship with that temper. In a man’s thinking he can hang out with you because it’s not his problem. It’s your future husband’s problem. And some men will just take off! Can’t handle it. For the alpha male it means you’re incontrollable. Temper is scary to men!....

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  • Angry Black Woman

    My dear Jil, you can’t continue this way. You’re going to hurt yourself and hurt those who love you. You have pain and anger. The reality of life is that we all run the risk of being hurt in a relationship. It’s an inherent risk Even if you’re so demure, you’d still be exposed to the possibility of hurt for the simple fact that relationship is two people. And even if a couple is perfect in themselves, life still has the capacity to impose hurt through third parties. If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, you’ll know life can be bitchy.....

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  • Finger-Pointing Missiles

    My dear Jil, can’t you see we’re all ridden with faults and imperfections? In classical expressionism, we’re all fallen short of God’s glorious standard. We’re in effect substandard messed up products. There’s no human without obvious and painful faults. You’re full of faults, he’s full of faults. Therefore a good relationship is not one in which parties are perfect but one in which parties are accommodating. You’ve got to be able to absorb the faults of your partner and he’s got to be able to absorb yours. That’s how it works. It’s why we don’t keep a record of wrongs. Just accept your partner, accept his imperfections. He’s called human. We only see the other person’s faults in full glare when we place ourselves in the driving seat. It’s only when we sit on a pedestal that we can have an aerial view of the faults of other people.....

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  • You Pushed Him Over The Ledge

    My dear Jil, this is what I’ve been trying to warn you about, and I wish you’d listened to me. In much the same way I tell Jack to understand women, you also have to understand men. It does make sense to try and understand the gender you’re going to marry. You need to know how men reason. It will make your relationship easier. You’d know what to do and what not to do, what to say and what not to say.....

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  • Clash of Titans

    My dear Jil, when heads clash in a relationship, the heart can’t mesh, and that’s the problem you’ve been having in your relationship. There’s stubborn willfulness on both sides, more especially yours. So even though both of you are individually wonderful, there is a clash of personalities and clash of wills. And now both of you have reached the point of stubborn insistence. At that stage it’s all about being right. So the whole thing makes no sense any more; your fights have become ideological. They’re not fact-based. Once he takes a position you automatically take the opposite position, and vice versa. It’s not that you examine the wisdom of his position, just the fact he took that position so you take the opposite position. You’re using situations to fight each other, to propagate a clash of wills, to prove a point to each other. You’re trying to prove he can’t subdue you and he’s trying to prove he’ll not concede leadership to you in your relationship. The relationship has become a proving ground in which there’s no yield. This is costing both of you enormous energy, putting you under strain and tension. Now, you both anticipate each other, watching out for next moves. Even making preparations. Before he pronounces the first letter your tongue has uttered a complete sentence. You anticipate what he’s going to say. You’re now like the predictive text technology on your phone. You already have possible answers.....

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  • Trivialisation Of The Trivial

    I think the issue is the inability to take things seriously…things like vows. That’s actually serious stuff. It’s not that he doesn’t love you, and he wouldn’t contemplate leaving you. It’s just that he’s not reached that point in life in which he realizes some things are more serious than they appear to be. He will get there. Though I’m afraid he might do harm to himself enroute. The things that matter in life do not always appear so. Your husband doesn’t realize how potent marriage is, and that it’s not something to trivialise. He needs to get to that point in which he takes his marriage seriously. If he doesn’t life will teach him the lesson. But we don’t want you as collateral damage in that tuition system, do we? Which is why I’m writing.....

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  • My Dear Stubborn Jil

    My dear Jil, I do understand your devastation concerning his choice. You can’t imagine him picking the other lady. I know you’re wondering why he went for her and not you. You are after all “more qualified.” Yes, I do agree you have pedigree and stronger social qualities. You’re intelligent, culturally literate, well-travelled, exposed, even kind… It’s just that you’re stubborn! The problem with stubbornness is that no one wants to tell the stubborn person the truth. What’s the point? The outcome is predictable and people don’t want to waste their emotional energy. Confronting a stubborn person is a waste of energy. Behavioural intransigence often takes on demoniacal quality. And it’s debilitating trying to convince a stubborn person item by item, issue by issue, with more to come tomorrow. And where do you start from? When is it going to stop? Where is it going to end?....

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How do I deal with issues of ethnicity in marriage?

  • Inter tribal marriage

    Dear Jil, he’s from a tribe different from yours and your family is in opposition to the idea of marriage. He’s from the East, you’re from the West. Your tribe find people from the East loathsome. (The love is reciprocated). The whole thing goes back to the civil war. The issue then is an atomised insalubrious continuation of internecine rivalry.....

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  • Does Faith Matter In A Relationship?

    My dear Jil, does faith or religion matter in a relationship? Well, I get this question regularly. In asking me this question, I suspect you’ve met a charming guy whose only disqualification for you is his faith. If we seek to answer your question from the proprietary perspective of each faith, we’ll get ensnared in relativism. So, let’s take a common sense approach to your question. Hopefully we can derive some wisdom.....

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What's the place of giving in a relationship?

  • Loving and Giving

    Dear Jil, relationships are conceptualised as two-way traffic. The traffic can’t keep flowing in one direction. If you want to experience abundance of joy in your relationship, learn to give. It’s not the duty of one party to give. It’s the duty of both.

    You can’t be stingy to your boyfriend. And you don’t justify stinginess with the logic, “After all, he’s the man!” That’s sexist selfishness. If you’re a stingy or grudging giver it will affect your relationship. It will become contrived. Even God in a typical display of anthropopathism loves a cheerful giver. If you don’t give, at some point the other party will start feeling cheated. Your partner may continue to give, but the joy that comes from reciprocity of affection is hoovered out of the relationship.....

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  • Commercial Marriage

    My dear Jil, you know I’ve always expressed my doubts about your money-denominated relationship. Your marriage is now at an impasse, and if you don’t make a radical shift in values and philosophy, it will unravel. The record of your marriage almost reads like a bank ledger. The marriage is totally transactional. It’s all about who bought what, who didn’t buy what, who’s owing whom and who, what’s outstanding… That doesn’t feel like marriage. It sounds like commerce – marital commerce. And now the families have moved in. His family is incensed you seem to be suggestionizing he’s dependent on you financially. The man himself is peeved, worried about degradation of his manhood in the market place. Feels you did a number on him. There are now demands and counter-demands, accusations and counter-accusations. I don’t get it!....

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  • Performance Bond

    Dear Jil, you don’t pay back a man’s financial outlay on you with your life. You pay back with money if you must. Like for like. This man wasn’t generous to you because he wanted to do charity; he was generous because he fell in love. Every act of generosity to you was predicated on his love for you. And he got something back in return – your consideration. If all he wanted to do was charity, he wouldn’t have dated you; there are many orphanages around. But he spent all that money on your education for love. He did that to educate his future wife, it wasn’t selfless. And for the period in question he got requited in obligated devotion. So, transaction complete! Or do we also demand back from him the attention you gave?....

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  • Libido Down

    Dear Jil, this is what I’ve been trying to say to you, to warn you about, to get you to see. You’ve been neglecting your husband’s sexual needs. You’ve not been paying attention to him. And that happens in marriage. You do work, do your family, do church, get all caught up in those things, but then neglect your husband. And not just his sexual needs, but his tactile needs as well. Touch matters to men. Affectionate hugs matter. The sex you have is so perfunctory it doesn’t even count. It’s most times summary sex. No depth of involvement or passion. It’s almost like you’re telling him to get over it. He merely gets to relieve his pressure. He gets no emotional satisfaction. And sex is as emotional as it is physical in marriage. Yes, for men too. Now, he’s not blaming you. He loves you too much. He’s just asking himself whatever happened to his girlfriend. What he’s done in order to cope is adjust himself to less sex in the marriage so he doesn’t feel disappointed. It’s why his sex drive seems low. And he’s been in that state for over three years. He’s afraid. Afraid of being rejected, having been rebuffed persistently. So he lowered his sexual expectation. He did it to preserve his love for you. He knows you love him, and he’s a good man.....

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How do I know if a guy just wants sex from me?

  • Titi Lailai

    Dear Jil, let me tell you about Titi Lailai. She was a lovely girl, a very kind person. Her kindness transcended her beauty. That kindness sometimes came in little packages – like the unforgettable pocket-sized transistor radio she bought her cousin. The radio- black and yellow, reminds one of her complexion – what she is, what she’s not. She’s dark in complexion. She bought a red and black for her uncle – her adopted father. Her life is littered with such little gestures of kindness.....

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  • Dating A Con

    My dear Jil, come on, think! Should you be relating to this sort of fellow! One expects a guy that age to be fairly settled. He’s in his forties. Not only is he unsettled and very under-achieved, he’s trolling young girls on Facebook. At 40? From onset all he’s been interested in is sex, and extorting money from you. That’s all he’s been interested in. It’s reasonable to expect at 40yr old man to have his act together. If he were in employment for instance, he should be in senior management with his education. And if in business he should have achieved some milestones. Isn’t that the basis of that famous saying– a fool at forty is a fool forever? Society expects you to have put your act together at 40. And yet this man has no regular income. He has no business, and he’s not in any definitive employment. He’s playing silly games on Facebook with young girls at forty and you’re entertaining him! I don’t blame him, I blame you. Are you so starved of affection that you’ll entertain advances from any man, even one of ill repute? And he has the temerity to show you his nefarious historicity in pictures with various women and you don’t know to run! So what’s he really offering you? He has no money, has no plans. He’s just a parasitic philanderer. So what exactly are you going to get from this relationship? All this man does is demand money and sex.....

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  • Amnon Syndrome

    My dear Jil, distant relationships have their challenges. As much as your generation prides itself in digital embrace the sociological inadequacy of a Facebook romance is glaring. There’s only so much you can say or do over Facebook when it comes to relationship. You can’t go to the movies together on Facebook for instance. You can’t have a drink together. Can’t stroll together. Your case is doubly compounded because your boyfriend is not even in the country. You can’t see over the weekend. Distance can wreak havoc on a relationship. A distant relationship requires fealty and commitment. Distance can make the heart grow fonder. Or it can make the heart go flounder. To maintain a long distance relationship you’ll need to put in extra effort. Facetime has to be your bosom friend. There must be regimented discipline if you want to maintain a long distance relationship. In a long distance relationship it’s wise to have fixed periods for calls. It defines expectations and schedules. And this apart from “I just feel like calling you” moments. Those are extra. The bigger danger though is what you’re facing now: the emergence of an interloper. It’s why commitment is so important in long distance relationships. Without commitment in a long distance relationship your heart may wonder and wander. And a credible interloper may easily snatch you away from your boyfriend. You’re lonely as it is. Facebook can’t give you the intimacy you need in a relationship. That’s expecting too much from the platform.....

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My boyfriend depends on me financially, what should my attitude be?

  • VAT Boyfriend

    Dear Jil, seems you have a VAT boyfriend – a Value Added Tax boyfriend. He brings some value into your life – you can now boast you have a boyfriend, and that feels good. But the value he brings is so highly taxed that when the tax is netted you have a serious deficit. This guy you call boyfriend – he’s feeding off you in the name of relationship.....

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  • Commercial Marriage

    My dear Jil, you know I’ve always expressed my doubts about your money-denominated relationship. Your marriage is now at an impasse, and if you don’t make a radical shift in values and philosophy, it will unravel. The record of your marriage almost reads like a bank ledger. The marriage is totally transactional. It’s all about who bought what, who didn’t buy what, who’s owing whom and who, what’s outstanding… That doesn’t feel like marriage. It sounds like commerce – marital commerce. And now the families have moved in. His family is incensed you seem to be suggestionizing he’s dependent on you financially. The man himself is peeved, worried about degradation of his manhood in the market place. Feels you did a number on him. There are now demands and counter-demands, accusations and counter-accusations. I don’t get it!....

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  • Dating A Con

    My dear Jil, come on, think! Should you be relating to this sort of fellow! One expects a guy that age to be fairly settled. He’s in his forties. Not only is he unsettled and very under-achieved, he’s trolling young girls on Facebook. At 40? From onset all he’s been interested in is sex, and extorting money from you. That’s all he’s been interested in. It’s reasonable to expect at 40yr old man to have his act together. If he were in employment for instance, he should be in senior management with his education. And if in business he should have achieved some milestones. Isn’t that the basis of that famous saying– a fool at forty is a fool forever? Society expects you to have put your act together at 40. And yet this man has no regular income. He has no business, and he’s not in any definitive employment. He’s playing silly games on Facebook with young girls at forty and you’re entertaining him! I don’t blame him, I blame you. Are you so starved of affection that you’ll entertain advances from any man, even one of ill repute? And he has the temerity to show you his nefarious historicity in pictures with various women and you don’t know to run! So what’s he really offering you? He has no money, has no plans. He’s just a parasitic philanderer. So what exactly are you going to get from this relationship? All this man does is demand money and sex.....

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  • Oinks Like A Pig

    My dear Jil, let me tell you a very sad story. I want us to draw a lesson or two. There was this genial old man everyone loved. He was kind, compassionate, generous. He prayed for everyone, related with everyone, reached out to everyone, in love. He was a wonderful father and a wonderful father-in-law to the husbands of his daughters. Old men as you know fall sick every once in a while. That said he minded his health. He was a doctor’s dream. If ill, he took medication as prescribed religiously. He greatly respected his personal physician, put faith in his word. He loved his physician. Only rub was the physician didn’t value him as much as he valued the physician. And he hid it well. He saw the old man as no more than a means of livelihood – a recurrent source of income. And the old man never knew, he being lovingly disposed to everyone. He couldn’t know even if he tried. One day our genial old man complained of abdominal pain. Professionalism demands certain tests be carried out for men that age when they complain of abdominal pain. But a lack of concern impairs medical practice. Instead our doctor chose perfunctoriness. He treated the ailment as no more than a digestion problem. He treated accordingly. When an old man complains of abdominal pain to a doctor there are automatic suspects. They must be ruled out. The family of likely causes need to be screened in order to be ruled out. But our doctor took things casually. He even went pedantic, prescribing fibrous diet. That recommended course of treatment would shock even a first year medical student. Because the old man placed so much faith in the doctor he never realized how dangerous the regimen would prove. The old man died. He died obeying irrelevant dietary rules instead of being treated for cancer. The cancer could have been nipped in the bud if the doctor had exercised a duty of care. The pain and the anger is still there for those who truly loved the old man.....

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Is it okay for me to ask my boyfriend when he will propose?

  • Are We There Yet?

    Dear Jil, sometimes I marvel at our capacity to complicate simple things with religion. It’s exasperating.

    This boyfriend-girlfriend thing: it seems so simple and straightforward! Boy meets girl. He wants to be with her, for whatever reason – her physical or non-physical attributes or both. He begins to fantasize about being married to her, imagining scenarios in his head. Boys do that. Guys think in fast forward mode. It’s why a guy wants a kiss on the very first date. He’s way past himself!....

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What is love?

  • 100 Questions

    My dear Jil,
    Here’s the continuation of the story:
    ‘And the old man looked into her eyes, like one who could see into her soul. Her naked soul tried to cover itself. He wore a tweed jacket, the fashion of the fifties. His crushed bowler hat sat on his head, his trousers baggy. She felt young, even immature, innocent… A sharp contrast to the corrugatedness of his soul. The artist called Life had turned his face into a canvass, drawn lines upon his visage. They were lines of history.

    ....

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  • Love Breakdown

    My dear Jil, this thing we call love, it’s not feelings you know. Feelings are like thermometer. It can measure heat but it is not heat. The palpitation of the heart you have – that’s not love; it’s just the INDICATOR of your emotions. And thank God for those palpitations. They interpret our feelings for us.....

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  • Love and Other Misdemeanors

    Dear Jil, I can’t over-emphasize this enough: marry someone you love, and who loves you! It doesn’t mean you won’t have quarrels. Couples disagree ever once in every while or less. But the love you have for each other will keep pulling you together. Love has a gravitational pull.....

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  • *You Are That Wonderful Beautiful Thing

    The letter floated ashore, preserved in a plastic case – debris from the ill-fated plane crash on the Adriatic Ocean. It was a love letter from a man to his wife. She apparently carried it with her on her journey, among other mementos. There were 80th anniversary birthday cards in that plastic box. Some had children scrawls. “Happi BathDaY GrAMa,” one read cheerfully. “When are yOu bakin My choclat caKe?” The Adriatic being the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, the plastic case had floated ashore by that route But what a letter it was. It’s a living letter. So raw with emotion, so honest. It’s the type any woman would wish for. It was posted on the Facebook page of one of the grandchildren, now a full grown woman. This is the content:....

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  • Chapter 4

    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:....

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  • Chemistry Lessons

    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.....

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  • Heart Intelligence

    My dear Jil, there are relationships that can’t be however you try. Everything will seem so perfect, seem so right and yet for some reason the relationship just can’t be. It’s something like the way magnets repel each other. You push and push but they surreally just can’t come together. In the same manner, you can want a relationship to happen, for it to work you try hard, pull hard, push hard. But something inside of you just can’t click with something inside of him. And it’s so surrealistic. You can’t lay your hand on why. There are some rational explanations but you know they don’t explain it all. He’s the kind of person you’ll like to date. He’s everything you’ve always wanted, but “something” just won’t allow. You try hard but there’s like a buffer zone between both of you, some invisible buffer pushing away gently. You try to push against that buffer but it’s like something keeps preventing a certain type of closeness. Oh, you can go through the mechanics, but there’s just an element of distrust that is not substantiated. You want the person but you just can’t trust the person. One incident just seems to have truncated the relationship. Somehow your values can’t “gel” and won’t gel, though ordinarily they should be similar. Your cultural exposure just won’t sync perfectly, though like in this case you both have middle class upbringing. To all intents and purposes he’ll make a great boyfriend, someone you can be proud of. Except for that “thing”. Something about him is disturbing, though on the surface there’s nothing.....

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What role does forgiveness play in a relationship?

  • Sins of the Father

    My dear Jil, you have to forgive your father, otherwise you’ll jeopardise your marriage.

    There’s a special bond between fathers and daughters. It’s why fathers are protective of their daughters. It is also why daughters are especially hurt when fathers offend the unspecified expectations of that bond. Without forgiveness that offence is carried over into marriage, but it’s buried deep in the psyche. It’s triggered by fears, and similitudes of past offences and experiences. Then comes over-reaction.....

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  • Revenge!

    My dear Jil, I feel I need to write you once more about that “f” word – forgiveness. Forgiveness is a hard thing no doubt, and yet it’s the easiest of things. Forgiveness is only hard when we regurgitate and re-experience the pain and the trauma visited on us. Memory loss, and the willingness to have memory loss are critical to forgiveness. There are experiences that should not be relived. Every time you recall a painful experience it’s like peeling the scab on a wound.You make it fresh and draw blood. It will eventually heal, but it would now take a very long process of attempted healing of scabs of memory. There are things we should let go in life, memories we should never revisit. If you come out of a trauma it’s best to leave it in the past rather than going after your enemies. You survived! What makes you larger than those who do evil to you is the largeness of your heart, not the constriction of your heart. We do not have the capacity for revenge. It’s why revenge consumes us.....

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  • Trivialisation Of The Trivial

    I think the issue is the inability to take things seriously…things like vows. That’s actually serious stuff. It’s not that he doesn’t love you, and he wouldn’t contemplate leaving you. It’s just that he’s not reached that point in life in which he realizes some things are more serious than they appear to be. He will get there. Though I’m afraid he might do harm to himself enroute. The things that matter in life do not always appear so. Your husband doesn’t realize how potent marriage is, and that it’s not something to trivialise. He needs to get to that point in which he takes his marriage seriously. If he doesn’t life will teach him the lesson. But we don’t want you as collateral damage in that tuition system, do we? Which is why I’m writing.....

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  • An Appreciation Of Imperfection

    My dear Jil, I did get your mail. Sorry for my late reply. I was travelling. It may sound strange, but I think you ought to appreciate his imperfection rather than just tolerating it. Imperfection is of course not the same as imperfections. Imperfection is a state, the state of man; imperfections are his acts. You’re dealing with a human not a robotic entity. His inherent nature is imperfect. He is imperfect, he’ll never be perfect, can’t be perfect, won’t be perfect. There’s a lot going on causing disequilibrium. He’s growing up; the environment around him is changing. Even you are changing. That’s nature of life, the nature of humans, and the nature of marriage. There is no stasis. All those changes going on will present a challenge of accommodation and adaptation. And then there’s the economic environment, which implies he must accommodate changes. He’s got to adjust. The adjustments will of course create imbalances here and there. It’s where love comes in.....

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How do I deal with distrust?

  • Trust Factor

    Dear Jil,

    Judging by all you’ve said, you’ve got a wonderful gentleman. Seems trustworthy to me. But you don’t trust him. There’s a trust “gap” you’ve created… your 10% safety margin. He can’t bridge the gap. There’s virtual resistance. There’s a reservation inside of you – an illogical reservation… a just-in-case! A teeny weeny just-in-case! You find yourself holding back from him, not totally trusting him. Yet there’s no basis for it.
    The reason – if you do some introspection, is because of some past experience. It has nothing to do with this man. He’s paying for a crime he didn’t commit, is not planning to commit, is not THINKING of committing… Yet you hold him guilty of the POSSSIBILITY of committing a crime of the heart. That’s what it boils down to.....

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  • False Narratives

    My dear Jil, it’s very early in the year and I think it’s important to set a tone for the year, it’s young. By now of course you would have discovered that resolutions don’t seem to work. It’s not because resolutions are a bad idea, it’s just that they’re structurally deficient and underpowered. They depend too much on human will but fail to account for counter-wills. Willfulness, selfishness and self-centeredness overwrite resolutions. Without resolving those, resolutions can’t work. I’d rather recommend you depend on God’s grace this year instead of your willpower. Grace is empowerment. The structure of resolutions is that when it breaks, it consigns us to what we’re running from. Makes us give up! A resolution is nothing more than a serious decision with a hint of finality embedded. That finality can go either way.....

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  • Emotional Insincerity

    My dear Jil, I’ve taken time to think about it, you know, just think through. I surmise the most important thing in a relationship is sincerity. It’s the basis of trust. Once you remove sincerity from a relationship everything becomes contrived, everything becomes manipulative. Affection will be withheld with a view. That’s one of the symptoms of a manipulated relationship. The relationship becomes a cat and mouse game. Everything becomes conditional. There can’t be commitments. Each party waits for the commitment of other party before expressing basic affection. No one will want to say “I love you” unless the other party commits to that simple statement of affection. Neither party will be able to say, “I care for you” either, or something as benign as “I like you!” Whoever is generous in the relationship will be short-changed of affection. Someone will be seeking to be in control, which if you really think about it is a measure of insecurity.....

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  • Deconstructed Relationship

    My dear Jil, let me tell you a story about two people who could have been. (We are going a bit deep in this letter. We’re going to explore the ventricles of the human heart). I want you to understand the workings of why we do what we do in a relationship, what motivates our actions. More often than not we’re not aware of these things, the effect of them. We’re too focused on ourselves. Yet they mar our relationship and prevent us from getting what we want, and the happiness we truly need. Here’s the story: Two people met online and in the course of time met offline. There was strong attraction between them. It was one of those relationships that just “happened”, you know, those relationships you can’t really explain the genesis of. You know how the relationship started but you don’t know why it started – exactly what prompted what. Usually that means both parties have been in search of something embedded in each other. May be genuine friendship, or sincerity, or love. Or a combination of all three. It may be trust. Anyway, these two people started a wonderful relationship. They were a wonderful thing to behold. The girl was happy, the boy was happy. They were free with each other. What was budding was so beautiful.....

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  • Finger-Pointing Missiles

    My dear Jil, can’t you see we’re all ridden with faults and imperfections? In classical expressionism, we’re all fallen short of God’s glorious standard. We’re in effect substandard messed up products. There’s no human without obvious and painful faults. You’re full of faults, he’s full of faults. Therefore a good relationship is not one in which parties are perfect but one in which parties are accommodating. You’ve got to be able to absorb the faults of your partner and he’s got to be able to absorb yours. That’s how it works. It’s why we don’t keep a record of wrongs. Just accept your partner, accept his imperfections. He’s called human. We only see the other person’s faults in full glare when we place ourselves in the driving seat. It’s only when we sit on a pedestal that we can have an aerial view of the faults of other people.....

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  • Simple Interior

    My dear Jil, it’s so important to have a simple interior. It’s critical to marriage success. As it is now your interior is so convoluted it rivals the notion of conspiracy theory. You see suspicion in every thing, can’t have simple faith in people. You’re all so convoluted. Even a compliment arouses suspicion.It’s first read as denigration, until realization dawns. And so every one has to defend their actions before you, everyone has to justify what they do or say. And it doesn’t matter who. Your suspicion is non-discriminatory. You’re just suspicious of every one. As far as you’re concerned everyone wants to take from you, to get something from you. Even people you’ve known for 20years, who’ve never cheated you, in life or business. You’re suspicious of them. In other words you live in a constant state of unvocalised accusation. The irony is that they’re the ones who should be suspicious of you, yet they don’t. They maintain their state of heart.
    Your suspicious nature has altered your personality. In a bid to protect yourself you’re not straightforward. You’re not straightforward because you morally see obfuscation and deceit as defensive manoeuvres. To mask your direction you squirt black ink into the medium of life like an octopus, to confuse everyone. And so simple things end up being convoluted. You miss out on the simplicity of life. And you’ve created a siege mentality for yourself. It’s why your armour is always up. The sad thing is you’ve practiced this lifestyle for so long you don’t know any other way to relate to people. And so your love life suffers. The man is guilty until he proves himself innocent, on everything. And so if he buys you a present you wonder what he really wants. He must want something. You miss the simple joy of the receiving and giving of presents. A suspicious mind misses out on simple joys.
     
    In order to protect yourself you tell unnecessary lies, and send people in the wrong direction. What then happens is that you end up tying yourself up in your own web of lies and deceit. How do you think you come across to others? Especially those on the receiving end of your deceit? Yes, I do understand one or two men might have targeted you in the past, after all you’re doing well in business. But do we then tar everyone with suspicion just because of one or two bent individuals? Don’t we then create impossible loops for a good man to pass through in trying to filter out the bad? All those loops remind one of the Olympic rings. That’s what you’ve turned even dates into – love Olympics! And the man begins to wonder if this is how it’s going to be always. At the bottom of it all is your insecurity. It’s what’s making you suspicious of everyone. You can’t imagine altruism of anyone, yet you want YOUR altruism accepted and appreciated.
     
    Unfortunately many of the things you do come across as manipulative and “smart”. You might not have meant it but that’s what your philosophy of life produces. Your insecurity is such you can’t imagine anyone wanting you despite your colourful past. But that’s not true. Who doesn’t have a past! Surely, there’s something about you that attracts all those men. Those attractive qualities will also attract the unsavoury. That’s the nature of life. If you have wonderful qualities both the good and the bad will be attracted. You just need discriminatory capacity. But you don’t go around suspecting EVERYONE. You won’t like it if you’re so suspected. Suspicion is also some form of control mechanism for you. Allows you to retain control in a potential relationship. But that control comes at a cost. And you risk ending up with the very thing you’re trying to avoid. Your strategy of suspicion will keep keeping good men away. Relationship with you is too convoluted. As it is the man who will date you has to have a missionary disposition. He must believe that’s his calling in life. And he must be very forbearing and patient. And very understanding. He must also have a strong sense of self, or he’ll always have to wonder what he’s done to arouse suspicion.
     
    And so you’re working against the very thing you want – a loving, trusting, fiduciary relationship. Your thought process being lined with suspicion is too convoluted to birth a trusting relationship. It’s like twisted entrails. And again, don’t get me wrong: I understand you’re trying to protect your core. But Solomon said the integrity of the upright preserves them. In other words, if you want to preserve that core from abuse you have to have integrity. It’s what preserves you not suspicion. This gentleman wants to date you, but you’re turning it into an arduous task. He doesn’t want anything from you. He has his own means. And he’s quite satisfied with what he has. But he’s genuinely concerned about dating an insincere person. He should be. Insincerity is not a weapon to be used in a relationship. It can’t produce a honest relationship. The very idea of a dishonest relationship is such a misnomer. An insincere relationship is full of suspicion. The parties can’t trust each other. Because you don’t trust yourself you can’t trust others, including the trustworthy. Why don’t you try a suspicion free day, you know, try and see genuineness in what people do for you, for a day. You’ve helped so many others some people just want to show appreciation. Stop suspecting their motives. Or should they also have suspected YOUR motives? A suspicious nature kills trust in a relationship. Besides, it’s unhealthy.
    Your mentor, LA
     
    © Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com
    ....

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What issues should I be aware of regarding divorce?

  • Battery, Divorce or Dogma

    Dear Jil,

    I am worried for the life of your sister. She’s in a horrible and terribly abusive marriage; and why is everyone playing religious ostrich? If anything untoward happens to her would you not all bear moral responsibility for her death?....

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  • The Divorce Issue

    Dear Jil,

    You know it’s a bit hard to argue with those in the legalistic chambers of Moses about divorce. They insist there can be no divorce under any circumstance, until of course it’s their daughter, or sister. Sometimes it’s ignorance, and sometimes it’s that judgmental condemnatory spirit garnished in bigoted religious sadism.
    Of course there are scriptures cited for the extreme legalism of no divorce under any circumstance. Most of the scriptures on divorce if not all, are taken completely out of context, historical and circumstantial. And that is how the word of God is turned into a yoke of bondage rather than a freedom charter from fear.....

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  • Dating A Separated Man

    Dear Jil, to be honest with you, you’re in a quandary. Dating a separated man is tricky. It can go either way. There’s a probability it may lead to marriage, a probability; but there’s also the probability he may return to his wife. If you’re pregnant for him and he returns to his wife, you’ll be holding the very short end of a looong stick. You’ll be stuck with a child, have no husband, and you’ll assume all the complications involved in such reality show. If he returns to his wife, you end up being a baby mama; if he thereafter carries on relationship with you, you’re a concubine.....

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How do I manage my expectations in a relationship?

  • Managing Expectations

    My dear Jil,

    Happy New Year and how are you! I do hope you had a nice vacation. Mine was wonderful as you can see from the pictures I posted. Had a wonderful time with my family. My expectations are high for this year. I hope you’ve ramped up yours too. Without desire we cannot attain.
    As to what we discussed when we met at the airport, let me elaborate a bit. We didn’t have much time to talk. You see, every relationship has an inherent logic. The logic of a relationship is the combination of critical factors that bend a relationship in a specific direction. If for example you marry a tenured professor, the simple logic is that your existence will be defined by academia. And your acquaintances will likely be academic staff, or those affiliated one way or another with academia. Thus your social life is defined. Your party will likely be populated by radicals, nerds, thinkers and theorists. If you marry an actor, there is a logic progression as well: red carpets, shooting absences. Same if you marry a pastor. Fastings and prayers will regulate your kitchen output.....

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  • Finger-Pointing Missiles

    My dear Jil, can’t you see we’re all ridden with faults and imperfections? In classical expressionism, we’re all fallen short of God’s glorious standard. We’re in effect substandard messed up products. There’s no human without obvious and painful faults. You’re full of faults, he’s full of faults. Therefore a good relationship is not one in which parties are perfect but one in which parties are accommodating. You’ve got to be able to absorb the faults of your partner and he’s got to be able to absorb yours. That’s how it works. It’s why we don’t keep a record of wrongs. Just accept your partner, accept his imperfections. He’s called human. We only see the other person’s faults in full glare when we place ourselves in the driving seat. It’s only when we sit on a pedestal that we can have an aerial view of the faults of other people.....

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  • Heart Intelligence

    My dear Jil, there are relationships that can’t be however you try. Everything will seem so perfect, seem so right and yet for some reason the relationship just can’t be. It’s something like the way magnets repel each other. You push and push but they surreally just can’t come together. In the same manner, you can want a relationship to happen, for it to work you try hard, pull hard, push hard. But something inside of you just can’t click with something inside of him. And it’s so surrealistic. You can’t lay your hand on why. There are some rational explanations but you know they don’t explain it all. He’s the kind of person you’ll like to date. He’s everything you’ve always wanted, but “something” just won’t allow. You try hard but there’s like a buffer zone between both of you, some invisible buffer pushing away gently. You try to push against that buffer but it’s like something keeps preventing a certain type of closeness. Oh, you can go through the mechanics, but there’s just an element of distrust that is not substantiated. You want the person but you just can’t trust the person. One incident just seems to have truncated the relationship. Somehow your values can’t “gel” and won’t gel, though ordinarily they should be similar. Your cultural exposure just won’t sync perfectly, though like in this case you both have middle class upbringing. To all intents and purposes he’ll make a great boyfriend, someone you can be proud of. Except for that “thing”. Something about him is disturbing, though on the surface there’s nothing.....

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  • Without Make-Up

    My dear Jil, of course he has to get used to the idea of you without make up. In marriage he’ll see you without make-up. Every night you’ll wash the make-up off your face, won’t you? So how’s he going to cope? And you’ll do facial scrub. That’s not a good sight to behold for men but it keeps the skin fresh and healthy. It’s only in the movies that women wake up perfectly made-up. Reality is less pleasant. And we’re not even talking about oral hygiene yet, not to talk about other departments of hygiene. The point I’m trying to make is that if your beauty is skin deep the relationship won’t endure. And if his appreciation of you is limited to your beauty then he’s setting himself up for disappointment. He’s got to see you without make-up lest he accuses you of false impression or impersonation. Real relationships are not surface deep. That’s not saying you shouldn’t appear your best. That’s wise and it makes sense. At his age it’s important he’s able to boast about your looks. He wants everyone to know he married a pretty woman. Of course what’s pretty can be pretty relative. But young men like to boast in muted expression about the physical attributes of their girlfriends.....

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  • Bad Luck

    My dear Jil, you don’t have bad luck, you’re just exercising poor judgment. I get a lot of mails like yours from young women who have had successive broken relationships. These women sometimes feel there’s something wrong with them; that’s why their relationships don’t lead to marriage. They wonder why almost immediately after break up the guy goes on to marry someone else. But if you check some of those cases the women should actually be thanking God they didn’t marry those guys. They can’t see that because emotions get in the way. It’s natural in such moments to feel emotionally down. It rives a lot of women when a guy breaks up and just months after marries another. Creates consternation. Here’s the problem in your situation: you get so excited about the prospect of having a relationship that you commit too fast. You don’t get to know the guy. You really never knew any of the guys you dated – who they really are. And so the facts about them that should have informed your decision to date or not to date are hidden from you. You essentially based your commitment decision on your feelings of wanting to be in love, rather than facts. Facts that should inform your decision to commit to a guy, not just feelings. You lay yourself open to surprises committing to a guy you hardly know. And many, if not all these guys you dated were full of surprises. One or two even had live-in lovers and you never knew. And that’s why one in particular never wanted you to come to his house. That should have raised a red flag. How do you date a guy and you don’t know where he lives and can’t visit? Obviously he’s hiding something from you, or trying to keep you from discovering certain things. You should wonder why.....

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  • Inadequacy

    Dear Jil, sometimes the people we’re considering for relationship or marriage are inadequate for us. It can be financial inadequacy, or mental inadequacy, or spiritual inadequacy, or cultural inadequacy…or motivational inadequacy, or emotional inadequacy, or expression inadequacy…The inadequacy is why we’re not satisfied, why all the person does can never be enough. The challenge many times is there’s nothing the inadequate person can do. He’s given to the limit of not just his ability, but also his capability. What inadequacy says in effect is that people may actually not be ABLE to change. Emotional configurations for example are not easy to alter. It’s why Hillary Clinton seems to struggle with likeability. Personality configurations are not easy to alter. It’s who we are. Better to assume the man in front of you is what you’ll marry rather than hoping he’ll change. If he’s emotionally inadequate you can’t change alter him. You’ll always be wishing he can just do something! If he’s emotionally inadequate he may not understand cuddle. He may even TRY! But doing it as a duty is not the same as natural expression. However much he tries if it doesn’t come naturally to him you’ll always feel you’re lacking something. And then you’ll grow frustrated with him, and he can’t understand. Just can’t understand! He’ll try to mechanically compensate, put in his best in other areas but you won’t feel it because it’s not natural.....

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How do I balance religious activities in marriage?

  • Religious Imbalance

    My dear Jil, what I’m going to say in this letter may not go down well in certain circles, but you know me…
    I’m worried about the spate of your religious attendances and the fact it’s at the expense of your marriage. I pray you don’t lose your family before you realize the importance and potency of your marriage. No one loses a marriage without paying a price. And the price can be steep, incredibly steep in instances. On Sunday you’re in church till late afternoon; on Saturday you’re in church for most of the day. Weekend gone! So, no weekend moments with your husband – no movies together, no sleep-ins, no lazing… You’ve gone to church!....

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  • Does Faith Matter In A Relationship?

    My dear Jil, does faith or religion matter in a relationship? Well, I get this question regularly. In asking me this question, I suspect you’ve met a charming guy whose only disqualification for you is his faith. If we seek to answer your question from the proprietary perspective of each faith, we’ll get ensnared in relativism. So, let’s take a common sense approach to your question. Hopefully we can derive some wisdom.....

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How long should courtship be?

  • Courting Trouble

    Dear Jil, now you see why I said courtship should be long and deep enough. I reiterate that marriage is a knowledge enterprise. The more you know, the more you hedge against the risk of failure. If you’re considering marriage to someone commonsense dictates you know enough to make a good decision. You can’t take a marriage decision outside of knowledge. It’s unwise to do so. A marriage built on assumptions and suppositions will eventually crash under the weight of ignorance.
    And why shouldn’t you discuss salient issues? You’re going to be yoked to him. Why dance around topics? Marriage is so powerful. It’s going to affect your life to a level of significance you can’t even contemplate. Whatever the outcome of marriage you can never remain the same. It’s a powerful processor. If you want to marry someone you should discuss the issue of children. And the discussion should be as detailed as how many children do you want to have. Don’t assume everyone wants children. There are people who don’t like kids and there are people who don’t want children.....

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  • Peggy Said It!

    My dear Jil, do you know Elizabeth Moss? You probably know her as Peggy, Peggy Olson in the Mad Men drama series. In the series she’s the former secretary who ended up as advertising executive, breaking the glass ceiling for women. She made one major mistake – had a child for a married man, eventually giving up the child for adoption. But she didn’t allow the mistake to define her. She somehow pulled through. In her real life though, Elisabeth Moss has also had one or two ups and downs on her own in the relationship department. In her mid-twenties, she married comedian Fred Armisen. The couple ended up separating within a year. More recently, she broke up with her boyfriend, cinematographer Adam Arkapaw. She’s had disappointments. The pair met on the set of Top Of The Lake, for which she won a Golden Globe in 2014. But neither experience has put her off the idea of marriage, she said. “I’m still totally romantic.” In her interview with redonline.co.uk, she made a very interesting observation. When asked about what she’d learned, she said: “One of the biggest lessons I learned is that marriage itself is not the be all and all… An honest, trusting, compatible relationship is actually the most important.” And she’s right. The relationship is the key to a successful marriage. It’s not the other way round. The marriage ought to come as a result of the relationship, not the relationship as a result of the marriage.....

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What's the impact of nagging, disagreement and misunderstanding in marriage?

  • Misunderstanding Misunderstanding

    My dear Jil, I’m not sure you got what he’s trying to say. I think both of you are lost in translation. And things get further lost in translation as we try to narrate marital problems to third parties. The reason is simple. Every time we try to relate issues in a marriage to a third party we do so with an objective. We relay problems in marriage to third parties with a view to achieving vindication. And that objective colours the truth. Our objective makes us unobjective however we try. Why Solomon said every story sounds true until you hear the other side. It means we downplay some things and omit salient facts.
    And we can’t represent the views of the other party anyway. Men and women process facts uniquely. For this alone there’s bound to be disagreement even about the disagreement. I could try and explain his position to you, but you’re not a man. So you won’t and can’t get it, unless you open yourself up. Let me try anyway. Things are way deeper than you imagine.....

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  • Nagging

    Dear Jil, I’ll advice you quit nagging your husband. You’re going to turn him completely off you. Men can’t handle nagging. It’s emotionally and psychologically debilitating to them, and very disturbing. I’ve told you, you need to understand the male psyche. It’s a knowledge investment you ought to make. You’re married to one. Nagging is a grave irritability to men. It’s like the constant dripping of water from the faucet on a tin roof. Note that Solomon likens a quarrelsome woman to same constant dripping of water. And so your husband sees you as troublesome and quarrelsome, just because you nag!
    And to a man, a quarrelsome woman is the vision of a street tyrant… Always getting into altercations with neighbours. Her mouth agape with vituperation, she has the thermostatic constancy of boiling blood. She constantly gets into scrapes, and there’s always an issue, there’s always someone to report. Think of a woman who deliberately parks her car in the parking spot of her neighbour while hers is empty. That’s a man’s vision of a nagging and quarrelsome woman. It’s that of a provocative hypertensive individual. I’m just painting for you how a nagging woman is visualized on the screen of a man’s soul. The man can’t take it. And he’ll take to the attic or the equivalence in deference to Solomon’s advice. By the time your husband is running from you, you can imagine what he thinks of you. You don’t want that.....

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  • Disagreeability

    My dear Jil,

    There has to be agreeability in a relationship if it’s ever going to work. Both you and your husband must be agreeable, and achingly want your marriage to work if it’s going to work. You must desire the marriage. That desire has a magnetic quality to it. It’s a virtual marital glue. It binds souls together. There’s a difference between being in a marriage and being in a happy marriage. In a happy marriage the love is a non-negotiable. There can be differences of viewpoints on certain issues but both of you maintain agreeability. There can be disagreement without disagreeability.
    Disagreement is a state of facts. It’s temporary. Disagreeability is a state of spirit. It’s permanent. Relationships work better when parties choose to consider and accommodate the other’s perspective to an issue. Accommodation of another’s viewpoint can enrich a relationship. Affords a larger picture of life. As much as you love your man you’ll never agree with him on everything. But it shouldn’t be disagreeability. Men and women view issues differently. The sexes have unique perspectives on facts. Agreeability has more to do with attitude than actually agreeing on things. Agreeability looks for accommodation. Even though couples disagree on interpretation of facts they must see those perspectives as missing links in viewpoints. And even in a disagreement a couple must yet meet in a middle ground called love. No matter how much you disagree with his perspective your love must remain sacrosanct. It’s a no go area.....

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  • You Pushed Him Over The Ledge

    My dear Jil, this is what I’ve been trying to warn you about, and I wish you’d listened to me. In much the same way I tell Jack to understand women, you also have to understand men. It does make sense to try and understand the gender you’re going to marry. You need to know how men reason. It will make your relationship easier. You’d know what to do and what not to do, what to say and what not to say.....

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  • Clash of Titans

    My dear Jil, when heads clash in a relationship, the heart can’t mesh, and that’s the problem you’ve been having in your relationship. There’s stubborn willfulness on both sides, more especially yours. So even though both of you are individually wonderful, there is a clash of personalities and clash of wills. And now both of you have reached the point of stubborn insistence. At that stage it’s all about being right. So the whole thing makes no sense any more; your fights have become ideological. They’re not fact-based. Once he takes a position you automatically take the opposite position, and vice versa. It’s not that you examine the wisdom of his position, just the fact he took that position so you take the opposite position. You’re using situations to fight each other, to propagate a clash of wills, to prove a point to each other. You’re trying to prove he can’t subdue you and he’s trying to prove he’ll not concede leadership to you in your relationship. The relationship has become a proving ground in which there’s no yield. This is costing both of you enormous energy, putting you under strain and tension. Now, you both anticipate each other, watching out for next moves. Even making preparations. Before he pronounces the first letter your tongue has uttered a complete sentence. You anticipate what he’s going to say. You’re now like the predictive text technology on your phone. You already have possible answers.....

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  • My Dear Stubborn Jil

    My dear Jil, I do understand your devastation concerning his choice. You can’t imagine him picking the other lady. I know you’re wondering why he went for her and not you. You are after all “more qualified.” Yes, I do agree you have pedigree and stronger social qualities. You’re intelligent, culturally literate, well-travelled, exposed, even kind… It’s just that you’re stubborn! The problem with stubbornness is that no one wants to tell the stubborn person the truth. What’s the point? The outcome is predictable and people don’t want to waste their emotional energy. Confronting a stubborn person is a waste of energy. Behavioural intransigence often takes on demoniacal quality. And it’s debilitating trying to convince a stubborn person item by item, issue by issue, with more to come tomorrow. And where do you start from? When is it going to stop? Where is it going to end?....

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Can I date a co-worker?

  • Office Romance

    My dear Jil,

    You said there’s this colleague of yours who seems very much interested in you in the office. You’re wondering whether to get involved with him since you both work in the same office. Well let’s first clarify the office issue. Be sure your corporate policy allows for office romance. Especially since he is superordinate to you. He’s your senior in the office. That in itself can lay him open to charges of sexual harassment. But I don’t envisage you going after him with that, though emotions can be vicious when there are disappointments. ....

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  • Friends With Benefits

    My dear Jil,

    You can only eat your cake and have it if you’re a magician. And since you’re no magician it means you’re dedicating yourself to an impossible quest. You may actually be trying hard to fool yourself and that’s not something you should pursue. Self-deception is an act of self-delusion, and facts don’t change because we choose to delude ourselves. I really don’t understand how you can want to have a faithful and committed boyfriend if the scheme is friends with benefits. It’s a contradiction in terms isn’t it? And if you believe you can accomplish it then you must be a magician. ....

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Does "friends with benefits" work?

What are the realities of being a young single mother?

What kind of man should I avoid?

  • Don't Date A Man Without Character

    Dear Jil,

    Thank you for your mail but information management is a crucial issue in any relationship.....

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  • Don't Date A Beelzebub!

    Dear Jil,

    You know that guy’s not good for you despite the rough appeal and sexual magnetism. He somehow reminds me of a bloke who dated a young woman I know. He appealed to parts of her many young men could not get to. (She’s the cerebral type). They could talk! The relationship was sometimes consummatorily proximate and she struggled with it. She struggled with her conscience, her faith, her upbringing. She didn’t want pre-marital sex. Inside her was a line drawn.....

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  • Do Not Choose From False Options

    My dear Jil,

    Sometimes we think we are dealing with options and choices when in fact we’re not. There are false options in life. I want you to look at the “options” you presented: You’re currently dating a guy you said you’re not compatible with. And he wants to marry you ASAP. Why? Because he doesn’t want to lose you. Why? “Too many things at stake.” Yet your differences are so fundamental. You can’t stand many things about him. He’s a focused young man alright, but you’re nonetheless unhappy with him and it’s obvious you don’t love him. The only reason you’re struggling with the thought of marrying him is because you want to marry. This despite the fact that he shushes you up stylishly – essentially puts you down when you talk.....

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  • Three Contexts

    My dear Jil, I think you’re mixing up some things. In choosing a groom it’s right to look at the personal qualities of the person, not just his family. He may come from a wondrous family but if he himself lacks the qualities of a good husband, you’ll have marital issues. And so you have the man, his familial context, which by the way is very important; but then you also have the marital ambiance. Familial context can prove disastrous to a marriage if his mum for example is repressive and he can’t stand as bulwark. You’ll be left to face the force of his mum by yourself if he can’t shield you, stand up for you. It’s going to be you versus his mum if he can’t man up and protect his wife. But if you marry into a wonderful family the fact will be supportive. Will cocoon your love for each other. There are wonderful families. Pray you get a good mother-in-law and good father-in-law. Pray you get a mother-in-law who’ll treat you like her daughter, not one contending for your husband. Or your mother–in-law will become chairman of your local government.
    ....

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  • You Deserve Better

    My dear Jil, come on, you deserve better than this guy, and you know it! You’re dating him because you’ve put yourself in desperate straits – feeling or believing you can’t get any better. And this apart from the embarrassing fact that this guy tried to date two of your friends who turned him down for good reason. You feel you can’t get any better based on an aberrant philosophy.....

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  • Oinks Like A Pig

    My dear Jil, let me tell you a very sad story. I want us to draw a lesson or two. There was this genial old man everyone loved. He was kind, compassionate, generous. He prayed for everyone, related with everyone, reached out to everyone, in love. He was a wonderful father and a wonderful father-in-law to the husbands of his daughters. Old men as you know fall sick every once in a while. That said he minded his health. He was a doctor’s dream. If ill, he took medication as prescribed religiously. He greatly respected his personal physician, put faith in his word. He loved his physician. Only rub was the physician didn’t value him as much as he valued the physician. And he hid it well. He saw the old man as no more than a means of livelihood – a recurrent source of income. And the old man never knew, he being lovingly disposed to everyone. He couldn’t know even if he tried. One day our genial old man complained of abdominal pain. Professionalism demands certain tests be carried out for men that age when they complain of abdominal pain. But a lack of concern impairs medical practice. Instead our doctor chose perfunctoriness. He treated the ailment as no more than a digestion problem. He treated accordingly. When an old man complains of abdominal pain to a doctor there are automatic suspects. They must be ruled out. The family of likely causes need to be screened in order to be ruled out. But our doctor took things casually. He even went pedantic, prescribing fibrous diet. That recommended course of treatment would shock even a first year medical student. Because the old man placed so much faith in the doctor he never realized how dangerous the regimen would prove. The old man died. He died obeying irrelevant dietary rules instead of being treated for cancer. The cancer could have been nipped in the bud if the doctor had exercised a duty of care. The pain and the anger is still there for those who truly loved the old man.....

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Is beauty important in a relationship or marriage?

  • Visual

    My dear Jil,

    If there’s nothing you learn at all, it is the fact that men are visual. Extremely visual! And if Jack can’t change the essential nature of a woman, you can’t change a man’s either. He is visual!....

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  • Without Make-Up

    My dear Jil, of course he has to get used to the idea of you without make up. In marriage he’ll see you without make-up. Every night you’ll wash the make-up off your face, won’t you? So how’s he going to cope? And you’ll do facial scrub. That’s not a good sight to behold for men but it keeps the skin fresh and healthy. It’s only in the movies that women wake up perfectly made-up. Reality is less pleasant. And we’re not even talking about oral hygiene yet, not to talk about other departments of hygiene. The point I’m trying to make is that if your beauty is skin deep the relationship won’t endure. And if his appreciation of you is limited to your beauty then he’s setting himself up for disappointment. He’s got to see you without make-up lest he accuses you of false impression or impersonation. Real relationships are not surface deep. That’s not saying you shouldn’t appear your best. That’s wise and it makes sense. At his age it’s important he’s able to boast about your looks. He wants everyone to know he married a pretty woman. Of course what’s pretty can be pretty relative. But young men like to boast in muted expression about the physical attributes of their girlfriends.....

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Do I need to lose weight to be attractive to my spouse?

  • Plus Size Love

    My dear Jil,

    There’s no gainsaying the fact that you are a full figured woman! That’s what you are! Now you may choose to go on a diet and lose weight but as at this day, you’re a full figured woman. This guy met you full figured not skinny. He saw a full figured woman, toasted a full figured woman, got a “Yes!” from a full figured woman, he’s dating a full-figured-woman, now, that’s a full figured reality if e’er was one! Anyone can figure that out, not so?....

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How do I build my self-worth?

  • Don't depreciate your worth

    My dear Jil, 

    This is my first letter to you. I shall in this and following letters acquaint you with certain perspectives on life. ....

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  • The Talkers

    My dear Jil, in response to your mail, read the following. Some random creativity though, but you’ll get it: She’s a very pretty woman, very striking in appearance – figure-eightive actually.She combines the facial aesthetic of a Somalian with the adipose deposit configuration of a West African. Those features on another human would have generated negative resonance, but she’s converted them into implements of praise. It’s as if the features, which in themselves would have made one un-beautiful, conspired to make her attractive. If you tweak up Iman – give her a dome of a forehead, but then add a contoured Serena Williams body you’d have her. She wears a thin nose, two wide eyes, a wider smile, a bronze skin and a sincere heart. Her voice is thin in places, tending towards an alto. If you listen closer though you’d hear the scratch of vinyl. And when she smiles, she becomes so young. That smile greatly belies her age, halves it in fact, and then removes some. Etiquette demands you don’t disclose a woman’s age so we’ll keep it between us, and leave the brain guessing. But she’s been wisened by the experiences of life, and the suspicions of life, as well as life’s traumatic exactings. So she lives carefully, so as not to be accused of all the sorts people accuse beautiful widows of. And not just widows, divorcees too, as if anyone prays to be a young widow or a divorcee.
     
    She lives in fear of a vicious animal called PeopleWillTalk. She’s thus forced to live in a self-constructed prison, like a prisoner on house arrest with ankle bracelet. Turns out she’s not the only one who lives in fear of this predator PeopleWillTalk. So many people do. And so they can’t be free, can’t live their lives, can’t socialize…all because PeopleWillTalk. The biological name for PeopleWillTalk is AnimusPredatorMaliciousRex. The scientist who gave that name had himself suffered from malicious gossip in the hands of the Talkers. If you marry a rich husband, they will talk. If you marry a struggling guy, they will talk. If he’s younger than you, they will talk. If he’s much older than you, they will talk. If you go on a dinner date, they will talk. If you stay at home, morose, they will talk. If you break up with your boyfriend, they will talk. If you make up with your boyfriend, they will talk. Since whatever you do won’t stop them from talking, isn’t it wiser to just live and get on with your life? Talkers talk. That’s what they do, they gossip. It titillates their insides. They derive secret joy from malice.
     
    If you allow the talkers, aka gossip, to determine your life you will have a miserable existence and suffer in private. Talkers will always talk. And they often begin with, “Did you know that…” That’s the beginning of evil! In actual fact, they know nothing about what they’re about to say! They just want to recruit what others know. They manufacture facts and stories to fill in the huge potholes in their knowledge. “I even heard that…” is not uncommon. And they’re remorseless. A lot of the gossip is motivated by envy and malice. There’s the story of the man who suffered so much in his marriage he almost died. The wife was psychopathically savage. For over a decade, this man bore the pain in silence, and his health deteriorated until he could bear it no more. He was in and out of hospital. The emotional and mental trauma was much. When he finally did manage to creep out of the marriage the Talkers swung into action, “defending” the vicious wife! They victimized the victim, maliciously trading lies. The oppressed man somehow became the villain. All sorts of stories were fabricated – an ingenious blend of two spoonfuls of facts and four tons of lies and imagination. It was propaganda. The amazing thing is, none of the Talkers knew the facts of the marriage, or cared!
     
    Talkers are vicious. They even attack widows, calling some witches who devoured their husbands. They have no sympathy for human condition, lack empathy. Their wares are traded on the stock market of malevolence. A Talker is essentially a talented gossip and publisher with powers of embellishment and embedment. A gossip will turn the facts of a simple friendship into an affair in seconds. A simple lunch becomes a tryst in a motel. The most ironic of these gossip-talkers are the religious ones. How do you combine faith with wickedness! Their religion teaches them to be merciful yet they tear others down with forked tongues. Their religion teaches them to mind their own business, yet they randomly poke-nose into other people’s lives. Their religion teaches them to show mercy, yet they viciously afflict the obviously wounded, mow them down!
     
    One day, a non-talker got to learn the true story about this man’s marriage. She was shocked at the truth. She discovered that the stories out there were the exact opposite of the truth. She was horrified. Meanwhile the reputation of this victim of a man had been so savaged and assailed that society wondered. But for God. There’s always the story of the moment for gossip…the latest heartache, the latest breakup, the latest divorce… Gossips voyeur on human suffering. There’s disdain for human pain and trauma. Until they suffer the same fate. Life has ways of teaching people not to gossip about others, not to vomit malice on reputational assets. And many times these talkers and gossips are only projecting their own pain onto others. They transmit the pain of their marital trauma to others, punishing their partners by punishing the innocent. Proxy war.
     
    The wisdom of life is, be careful what you say about others. And don’t delight in the suffering and affliction of others. Those who delight in the suffering of others soon confront those same demons or cousins. Life loves to teach lessons. If you don’t know someone don’t spread evil stories about that person, manufacturing lies and trauma. If you’ve never been in someone’s shoes, don’t judge. Who knows if the shoes contain spikes and stones? That someone maintains a facade of tranquility doesn’t mean they’re not going through soul cataclysm. And you can’t judge the facts of a troubled marriage until you’ve heard from the other side. Otherwise it’s prejudice. You shouldn’t even be judging others! How does a sinner sit in judgment over fellow sinners? The amount of energy some procure to unearth the traumatic details in the lives of others can run a factory. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? Think about that.
     
    Your mentor, LA
    ....

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  • The Letter

    My dear Jil, thank you for your last mail. It gave me more insight about your person. I know the scars from the past are still there and the past seems to have left an indelible memory. The scars have made you tentative, afraid, sad at times, unsure. They put a shroud of mourning on the beauty of your spirit. But you have a lovely spirit, such simplicity and grace. But who’d ever have known! You’ve cried so much in the past few days and no one will believe you’re even emotional. You said so yourself. Those scars have given you a hardy crust. The depth of your being is buried beneath that crust. The real you is down there somewhere, under that layer of fear, distrust and apprehension. Yet you can’t distrust all men because of what someone did to you in the past. That’s unfair even to you.....

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  • An Appreciation Of Imperfection

    My dear Jil, I did get your mail. Sorry for my late reply. I was travelling. It may sound strange, but I think you ought to appreciate his imperfection rather than just tolerating it. Imperfection is of course not the same as imperfections. Imperfection is a state, the state of man; imperfections are his acts. You’re dealing with a human not a robotic entity. His inherent nature is imperfect. He is imperfect, he’ll never be perfect, can’t be perfect, won’t be perfect. There’s a lot going on causing disequilibrium. He’s growing up; the environment around him is changing. Even you are changing. That’s nature of life, the nature of humans, and the nature of marriage. There is no stasis. All those changes going on will present a challenge of accommodation and adaptation. And then there’s the economic environment, which implies he must accommodate changes. He’s got to adjust. The adjustments will of course create imbalances here and there. It’s where love comes in.....

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Should I remain a virgin?

  • Virgin Mary

    My dear Jil, please help pass this on to Mary, your sister. She wrote me last me week asking for advice. 
    My dear Mary, I don’t get it – why should you apologise for your virginity, or feel ashamed? And why should you apologise for your faith in Christ? That’s your civil right and it’s fundamental. Your faith provides you moral compass. We all need moral compass in life. Life is too wide and long. You’re young. Even old men struggle to find their way through life. Moses didn’t get it right until 80! Had a 40-year hiatus.....

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How can I attract and keep a man?

  • Parameters men use

    My dear Jil,

    I’m glad you found my last mail to you most instructive.....

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  • Dating A Separated Man

    Dear Jil, to be honest with you, you’re in a quandary. Dating a separated man is tricky. It can go either way. There’s a probability it may lead to marriage, a probability; but there’s also the probability he may return to his wife. If you’re pregnant for him and he returns to his wife, you’ll be holding the very short end of a looong stick. You’ll be stuck with a child, have no husband, and you’ll assume all the complications involved in such reality show. If he returns to his wife, you end up being a baby mama; if he thereafter carries on relationship with you, you’re a concubine.....

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  • Love Is Sacrifice

    It’s amazing, but what usually defines a relationship is just one event, only one. There’s an ultimacy to such events, an invisible ultimacy. Life is full of such ultimatenesses. Men are different from women in decision-making. Men rationalize their decision, seek justification for choice AFTER the event. Whereas for women, justification is BEFORE the event. Everything is settled based on that. They hardly second-guess themselves thereafter. Everything is settled. A woman just knows. Men need conviction, even of their emotions and feelings. A man needs to KNOW he took the right decision, or that he got the best deal in the circumstances.....

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How can I get a man to trust me?

  • What Is Most Important To A Man?

    My dear Jil,

    Thank you for your kind words of appreciation on my last correspondence with you.....

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  • Emotional Insincerity

    My dear Jil, I’ve taken time to think about it, you know, just think through. I surmise the most important thing in a relationship is sincerity. It’s the basis of trust. Once you remove sincerity from a relationship everything becomes contrived, everything becomes manipulative. Affection will be withheld with a view. That’s one of the symptoms of a manipulated relationship. The relationship becomes a cat and mouse game. Everything becomes conditional. There can’t be commitments. Each party waits for the commitment of other party before expressing basic affection. No one will want to say “I love you” unless the other party commits to that simple statement of affection. Neither party will be able to say, “I care for you” either, or something as benign as “I like you!” Whoever is generous in the relationship will be short-changed of affection. Someone will be seeking to be in control, which if you really think about it is a measure of insecurity.....

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Does money matter in a relationship?

  • Money Matters

    My dear Jil,

    One thing you can expect from me always is candour – honesty and truth. No syrup, no cream… just candour!....

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Should I have sex before marriage?

  • Don't Date A Beelzebub!

    Dear Jil,

    You know that guy’s not good for you despite the rough appeal and sexual magnetism. He somehow reminds me of a bloke who dated a young woman I know. He appealed to parts of her many young men could not get to. (She’s the cerebral type). They could talk! The relationship was sometimes consummatorily proximate and she struggled with it. She struggled with her conscience, her faith, her upbringing. She didn’t want pre-marital sex. Inside her was a line drawn.....

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  • The Male Perspective On Sex

    My dear Jil, I do appreciate your candour in acknowledging that you sometimes have sexual pressure as a woman. Denial creates its own pressure through false personal standards. Let me give you the male perspective on sex. You’ll find it most useful in relating to the opposite sex. I’m going to give you insight into the inner workings of a man’s mind as regards sex – show you the mechanics. You’ll understand why a guy professing undying love can suddenly drop you after consummation of his lust. You’ll also understand why a man will date a girl for so long, sleeping with her all along but go on to marry his preserved.
    ....

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What do men want in a relationship?

  • Need, Want And Availability

    Dear Jil,

    I hope you don’t believe this gentleman. He’s taking you for granted. He stands you up and texts you the next day that he couldn’t call because his phone had problems. Tell me, is there only one phone in the entire country? Was he marooned on a desert island? Siberia? He had no access to any phone, not even a friend’s phone or the phone of a family member? You really don’t understand men do you? Here’s what I think happened (and don’t let anyone insult your intelligence in the name of love):....

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  • Love Is Sacrifice

    It’s amazing, but what usually defines a relationship is just one event, only one. There’s an ultimacy to such events, an invisible ultimacy. Life is full of such ultimatenesses. Men are different from women in decision-making. Men rationalize their decision, seek justification for choice AFTER the event. Whereas for women, justification is BEFORE the event. Everything is settled based on that. They hardly second-guess themselves thereafter. Everything is settled. A woman just knows. Men need conviction, even of their emotions and feelings. A man needs to KNOW he took the right decision, or that he got the best deal in the circumstances.....

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  • Peggy Said It!

    My dear Jil, do you know Elizabeth Moss? You probably know her as Peggy, Peggy Olson in the Mad Men drama series. In the series she’s the former secretary who ended up as advertising executive, breaking the glass ceiling for women. She made one major mistake – had a child for a married man, eventually giving up the child for adoption. But she didn’t allow the mistake to define her. She somehow pulled through. In her real life though, Elisabeth Moss has also had one or two ups and downs on her own in the relationship department. In her mid-twenties, she married comedian Fred Armisen. The couple ended up separating within a year. More recently, she broke up with her boyfriend, cinematographer Adam Arkapaw. She’s had disappointments. The pair met on the set of Top Of The Lake, for which she won a Golden Globe in 2014. But neither experience has put her off the idea of marriage, she said. “I’m still totally romantic.” In her interview with redonline.co.uk, she made a very interesting observation. When asked about what she’d learned, she said: “One of the biggest lessons I learned is that marriage itself is not the be all and all… An honest, trusting, compatible relationship is actually the most important.” And she’s right. The relationship is the key to a successful marriage. It’s not the other way round. The marriage ought to come as a result of the relationship, not the relationship as a result of the marriage.....

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  • Libido Down

    Dear Jil, this is what I’ve been trying to say to you, to warn you about, to get you to see. You’ve been neglecting your husband’s sexual needs. You’ve not been paying attention to him. And that happens in marriage. You do work, do your family, do church, get all caught up in those things, but then neglect your husband. And not just his sexual needs, but his tactile needs as well. Touch matters to men. Affectionate hugs matter. The sex you have is so perfunctory it doesn’t even count. It’s most times summary sex. No depth of involvement or passion. It’s almost like you’re telling him to get over it. He merely gets to relieve his pressure. He gets no emotional satisfaction. And sex is as emotional as it is physical in marriage. Yes, for men too. Now, he’s not blaming you. He loves you too much. He’s just asking himself whatever happened to his girlfriend. What he’s done in order to cope is adjust himself to less sex in the marriage so he doesn’t feel disappointed. It’s why his sex drive seems low. And he’s been in that state for over three years. He’s afraid. Afraid of being rejected, having been rebuffed persistently. So he lowered his sexual expectation. He did it to preserve his love for you. He knows you love him, and he’s a good man.....

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  • Confidential Information

    Dear Jil, I think it’s good for husband and wife to share, to talk about things – issues and life’s challenges. Marriage makes a burden lighter. Two can share a problem, two can think together, pray together. And when discouragement comes you draw strength from your partner. That’s why marriage is a binary equation. Carrying the load yourself may prove too much for you. Share the burden with your partner. The more you share burdens and issues the closer you become. Both of you are involved in each other’s life.....

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How do I handle loneliness?

How important is trust in a marriage?

What are the qualities of a good wife?

  • The Scent Of A Woman

    My dear Jil,

    Today I want to share with you about the scent of a woman. Oh no, this is not an olfactory exercise in aid of a designer perfume. I am writing you to help you understand your capacities as a woman in the light of your impending nuptials.....

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  • A Tribute To My Wife

    Dear Jil,

    Thank you so much for the congratulatory message on my wedding anniversary. I’m indeed blessed to have met my wife. She’s a gem and almost on a daily basis I thank God for giving her to me. I said “almost on a daily basis” because I’m making allowance for statistical variation, but I’m pretty sure of the average. I do pray YOUR husband has cause to thank God for you daily. You should work towards that. You raised a number of questions about her – her qualities; you want to know what makes her special, why her. You’ll need to provide a big notebook for me to write her qualities out for you.....

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What should I expect if I marry a much older man?

What type of gift should I buy for a man?

  • Buying Him A Birthday Gift

    Dear Jack,

    I’m really sorry I haven’t replied your letter. Just came back from a business trip. Give me a couple of days. In the meantime can you help deliver this letter to Jil? Gracias!....

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How do I identify a deceptive man?

  • Sons of Belial

    My dear Jil, this morning I want to tell you a story. Though allegorized, it is nonetheless a true story. The moral intone makes it a cautionary tale, especially for a girl your age and marital prospect status.

    There was this lovely young lady, about 23. Tall, dark and slenderly… Let’s call her Bisi. She was pure of heart…Lily white… Nice young woman, beautiful… A good girl. She dedicated herself to her Lord and Master Jesus the Christ, and that involved certain decisions. Like the decision that she would save it until marriage. She was a virgin. To use your generational parlance, she was keeping it for her husband. The pressures were there but she kept her word.....

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  • An Education

    My dear Jil, in my humble opinion you took the right decision for your life – you got out of the relationship. That was the only option available and it will hurt a while. You were emotionally invested. The hurt will be on two levels: there’s the hurt of getting out of a relationship. Then there’s the hurt of a postponed nuptial. ....

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  • You Deserve Respect

    My dear Jil, if a man won’t respect you, what are you doing in the relationship? This guy has no respect for you. He’s treating you like dirt, like he’s doing you a favour. You have a “take it or leave it” relationship, like he’s got so many options lined up and you’re just lucky to have him. How can someone you claim is your boyfriend treat you like a disposable? What kind of relationship is that? And you’re only confirming his opinion of you with your attitude to the relationship. You seem resigned. You’ve put yourself in a blackmail position. It’s why this guy has no sensitivity for your feelings. He sleeps with you, treats you like trash, talks anyhow to you, is insolent, crude, and you think you have a relationship. This guy has no regard for you.Let me give you the sad news in advance: he’s not going to marry you! Guys don’t treat women they love and want anyhow, only those they have little or no regard for. If he truly considers you future wife, he won’t treat you like junk. He won’t see you like some item in a computer waste bin. Why don’t you at least try and recover some of your dignity? Or what exactly are you gaining from this relationship? You self-esteem is at an all time low. You’ve lost your confidence. All because you’re afraid of losing the relationship. How can you be afraid of losing a relationship you’ve already lost? There IS no relationship, just sex! And that’s part of the problem. He just sees you as “free sex.” And that’s how he treats you. Now, I understand how you feel having gone that carnally far with him. But you’re hoping against hope he’ll marry you. Guys like this determine well in advance they won’t marry the person they’re sleeping with. As it is, it’s like you’re begging him with sex to marry you. That’s not the case, but that’s how he sees it. It’s why he’s behaving like he’s doing you a favour, why he talks to you anyhow and why he ignores your texts. You’ve given this guy so much power over you, too much power. This relationship is unhealthy.....

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  • CUT YOUR LOSSES

    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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  • Doesn't Make Sense!

    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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  • Money For Love

    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.....

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  • Subscription Cost For Common Sense

    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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How can I tell if a man wants me or only wants kids?

  • Selling Yourself Cheap

    My dear Jil, I’m a little concerned about this relationship with this older gentleman. The age gap is considerable no doubt but that’s not really my concern. It’s him, what he wants. I’m not sure this gentleman wants you, or even loves you. I think he just wants to procreate through you. He has not been able to father children from his previous marriage. He has no offspring, hence you. And that’s the nerve of my concern – that he went for your youth as guarantee of feasibility of biological procreation. And so you’re both approaching the relationship from disparate perspectives. You’re genuinely in love; and his maturity and relative attainment give you security. He’s not in love, he’s looking for kids. It’s why your delay in taking in has given him concern.
    As things stand he seems to have ruled you out as a viable procreative agent. It’s why he ordered you leave his house. And this after three years of being together. He just asked you to leave. I wish you’d never moved into his house in the first place. Kinda devalued your worth. Like they say in Nigeria, “He’s seen you finish!” Now you mean nothing to him. Your desire to continue the relationship is a hopeless endeavor. The bare thread is about to snap. Don’t you find it strange that his desire for marriage seems to have suddenly evaporated? No child, no marriage.....

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  • Get Pregnant So I Marry You

    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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  • Doesn't Make Sense!

    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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Should we marry cause I got pregnant?

  • Compound Fracture

    My dear Jil, waoh! You managed to break every rule in the book on how to have a happy marriage! The genesis was of course the pregnancy out of wedlock; but then you compounded it like a banker compounding interest. You went on to marry a man you’d only known for two months, just to rehabilitate out-of-wedlock pregnancy. That’s a mistake families keep insisting on. And they think it’s the way to hang responsibility for pregnancy on a guy. Matrimony can’t redeem the calendar of pregnancy out of wedlock. And you don’t marry a guy because you got pregnant for him, you marry him because he’ll make a good husband. Now, that may not be a politically correct thing to say, but depression does not respect political correctness. Only God knows how many sorrows and divorces have been generated by forced marriages from pregnancies.....

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  • I Impregnated My Girlfriend

    My dear jack, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are immediately apparent. But some others take nine months to manifest. Yours will take nine months. Impregnating your girlfriend while still in school is the nine month variety of mistake.

    Now, I know you love each other and want to marry. But that wasn’t supposed to be a precipitancy – something sudden. I can imagine what you’re going through now. It’s like suddenly growing up. And yet you’re both in Year Two. I’m glad you manned up. That’s the right thing to do – taking responsibility for your action, being there for your girlfriend. Naturally, both your parents and hers will be disappointed. This wasn’t the plan of both sets of parents. They had already fixed a future date for nuptials. But after your studies. And her parents love you. You practically grew up together. There are many instances of the kind of love you have, people who date from secondary school. So young a love can be powerful. You need to go to her parents and tell them you’re sorry. They know you didn’t exploit her. They understand things happen between a young boy and girl. They would just have wished it’s not their daughter. And these are good parents. Her father is so unassuming; has a solid reputation where things matter. But this puts spotlight on them – the type they’d rather avoid. She’s the daughter of an ambassador. They accepted you and approved of you from day one. It was just assumed. Your parents are family friends.....

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How do I break away from an abusive relationship?

  • Mutually Assured Destruction

    My dear Jil, the heart is not conceptually fashioned from a viscous material. It’s rather like porcelain. It’s why it gets “broken.” That’s the impression conveyed to our understanding when we meet major disappointment. Emotions are rather powerful. When the heart is disappointed it becomes sick. Solomon alluded to this when he made this powerful statement: Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Your heart can’t afford this on again, off again relationship. You’ll do major damage to yourself.....

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  • Words

    My dear Jil, there are texts you shouldn’t read, in fact there are people whose text messages you shouldn’t open. If you know someone doesn’t like you or hates you, why read texts from such! You do yourself harm by opening texts from those who hate you. You already know it will be full of poison. Delete without opening. If you already know someone has nothing good to say to you, don’t open his or her text. Words are powerful. They have the means to lift you up, inspire you. But the corollary is also true. Terrible words can demoralize you, bring you down, ruin your day. Block your ears, block your eyes. There are people you should block on your phone. It’s a private appliance not a public access network.....

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  • Run For Your Life!

    My dear Jil, if you lose your life to this marriage you will have yourself to blame. Truth is not always politically correct. Neither is wisdom. If I were you I’ll repudiate the advice of those religious folk who insist you should stay in this violent marriage and pray. These people are legalists who do not believe in divorce under any circumstance. Until THEIR child is in danger. Then you’ll see them find a loophole in their doctrinal ideology through which they pull their daughter out of danger.They cannot abide by their own legalism once their ward is involved. You’re in a very dangerous marriage. You married an abusive man. Get OUT before you lose your life! Don’t make yourself a religious experiment of the efficacy of prayers to change a violent husband. Once a man has crossed the line of violence once, he’s susceptible to crossing it over and over again. I don’t care if he’s “jazzed” or under the influence of a witch or voodoo. Those are academic questions. Safety first, then theological disputations and interpretations later.....

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  • The Accuser

    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.The reason is because this lady lives in a mode – an accusatory mode. That’s literally her life point of view. It’s her reality, her window into the world. It’s why the accusations are relentless. And the problem goes way back. You can’t live under constant accusation. It will sap your energy, kill your spirit. You won’t survive. Most of the accusation will not even be verbalized. You’ll stand accused as a matter of thought. In other words, her every thought about you will be suspicion, grouse and ill will. How are you going to survive? The greatest mistake you can make is to reinterpret those facts yourself. And so instead of acknowledging simple truths about her, you’ll begin to create justifications. Why is she always dull? “Oh, she’s the melancholic type”, you’d say. Now you’re a psychologist! You’ll do great harm to yourself with that kind of denial. And one day you’ll discover the harm denial can do. Even now your spirit is being dragged down. You’re being subjected to fear. You’re afraid of how she’ll react to even gifts; you’re afraid of offending her. You’re in a relationship governed by fear. There’s nothing you’re ever going to do that will please her. She’s an accuser.....

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  • You Deserve Respect

    My dear Jil, if a man won’t respect you, what are you doing in the relationship? This guy has no respect for you. He’s treating you like dirt, like he’s doing you a favour. You have a “take it or leave it” relationship, like he’s got so many options lined up and you’re just lucky to have him. How can someone you claim is your boyfriend treat you like a disposable? What kind of relationship is that? And you’re only confirming his opinion of you with your attitude to the relationship. You seem resigned. You’ve put yourself in a blackmail position. It’s why this guy has no sensitivity for your feelings. He sleeps with you, treats you like trash, talks anyhow to you, is insolent, crude, and you think you have a relationship. This guy has no regard for you.Let me give you the sad news in advance: he’s not going to marry you! Guys don’t treat women they love and want anyhow, only those they have little or no regard for. If he truly considers you future wife, he won’t treat you like junk. He won’t see you like some item in a computer waste bin. Why don’t you at least try and recover some of your dignity? Or what exactly are you gaining from this relationship? You self-esteem is at an all time low. You’ve lost your confidence. All because you’re afraid of losing the relationship. How can you be afraid of losing a relationship you’ve already lost? There IS no relationship, just sex! And that’s part of the problem. He just sees you as “free sex.” And that’s how he treats you. Now, I understand how you feel having gone that carnally far with him. But you’re hoping against hope he’ll marry you. Guys like this determine well in advance they won’t marry the person they’re sleeping with. As it is, it’s like you’re begging him with sex to marry you. That’s not the case, but that’s how he sees it. It’s why he’s behaving like he’s doing you a favour, why he talks to you anyhow and why he ignores your texts. You’ve given this guy so much power over you, too much power. This relationship is unhealthy.....

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  • Death Becomes Her

    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.....

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  • Subscription Cost For Common Sense

    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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How do I manage sexual desire?

  • Struggling With Human Desires

    [Dear Jack, no, your mum shouldn’t have brought spiritist water for your wife to medicate upon! Surely, you don’t expect your wife to drink such. Would you take substance from an unknown and unapproved source? Your wife has no knowledge of the origin of this “spiritual water”. Neither is she privy to its solutes or composites. Not to talk of its hygiene standard. Even its spiritual provenance requires verification.
    There are two powers in the universe! And how does so-called “spiritual water” assist conception, really? Thought it is faith God responds to! At best these liquids and tokens are “points of contact.” There’s no power in them. And if you have faith why do you need these tokens? There’s not one instance in scriptures for this practice of consumption of “spiritual water” for conception. So what is the practice predicated upon if not scriptures? To what spiritual enclave does the practice belong? You want pregnancy at the expense of your marriage. You want joy at the price of sorrow. Think. You’re a short step away from your wife being labeled a witch. Or why would she not drink, they’ll ask!
    ....

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  • The Seven Deadly Sins

    My dear Jack, I’m sure you’ve heard about The Seven Deadly Sins. They’re the stuff of legend in Hollywood. There’s even a movie with that title, though of a disturbing nature. The movie is about a psychopath. (Why do they always have those psychopaths for these things?) The seven deadly sins are Solomonic actually. They are the seven abominations. Though “The Parson’s Tale” in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as well as artworks like Dante’s Purgatory, help illustrate the sins. If you want to have a successful marriage you have to be mindful of the seven deadly sins.
    ....

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What issues should I be aware of regarding Native Doctors and Shamans?

  • Love and All That Jazz

    Dear Jil, you’re going to run into serious problems with the forces you’re toying with. Not sure you know who or what you’re dealing with. You don’t know Satan. So you want this man to love you and you’ve enlisted the help of Satan. You went to the voodoo priest / juju doctor. You don’t know what you’re doing. Let me tell you how the demonic beings you’re employing operate.....

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How important is sex in a marriage?

  • Sex and A Young Christian Wife, Mary*

    My dear Mary, you’ll break your marriage eventually if you keep pursuing the current sexual policy in your marriage. Of course that’s not what you want but if your marriage breaks, your intention is a moot issue. A lack of intendment is irrelevant if we start playing with fire and end up arsonous. 
    I think you’re binding yourself with religious fetters of iron. You have an ideological misconception of sex in marriage. And your husband is under intense sexual pressure as a result of this misconception. Sex is a big issue for men in marriage, and will be for a young man your husband’s age. There are things men can’t tell women because some of these things are difficult to express. Also because it’s freaky talking about those things as a third person. Your husband can’t speak to you as I’m writing to you. It will sound weird. So I’m going to tell you what’s going on. (Your husband wrote me last week in acute frustration).....

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  • Swiss Army Knife

    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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  • Speed Dating

    My dear Jack, seems to me you’re speed-dating women. No, I’m not talking about the other variety – those events in which you’re given two minutes to consider dating someone. Or is that the date? You can see the conceptual paradox. You can’t achieve a reasonable objective in that context. At best those programmes are about eliminating whom not to date, and such a person must be an obvious misfit. The whole thing seems like guess work on a multiple choice exam paper. You go for such events with the attitude of “Who knows!” rather than “I’m sure to meet someone.” It’s really not that efficient when it comes to qualitative decisioning. The structure favours certain stereotypes – guys and babes who can make their case in two minutes flat. There’s just something rushed about it, something superficial. That’s why I said it’s at best an elimination exercise. You’re at the mercy of the quality of the pool of prospects. But that’s not what I want to talk to you about.....

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What do I do if my parents won't give their blessing for my wedding?

  • My Father Won't Participate In My Wedding

    My dear Jil, you’re in a difficult situation. And to be honest with you I don’t understand your father. He’s holding you vicariously liable for the alleged sins of your mother. He’s punishing your mother by punishing you, by withholding consent to your wedding. It’s a proxy battle he’s waging. He’s fighting his ex wife through you and that doesn’t make sense! They’ve been divorced for how long now… 8 years? But he’s still fighting the battle. Kinda reminds one of those Japanese holdouts in the Pacific Theatre who continued to fight after end of World War II. Either they didn’t realize the war was over, or they held on to dogmatic beliefs.....

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  • Difficult Parents

    My dear Jil, this problem with your dad, I’d say watch it. I’ve seen too many of these kinds of things destroy marriages and your marriage shouldn’t be a casualty. A lot of marriages have been destroyed from unresolved issues with parents. The anger and sense of impotence create bitterness and unhappiness. Bitterness from anger and impotence tends to lash out, at anybody close by. Since your husband is the proximate figure you end up punishing him for stuff he knows nothing about. You have to accept your father is who he is and accept your mother for who she is. You’re not going to change them. They’re way past the age people change. You have to accept them. Now, I understand the pain of being reported all over the place – to aunties, uncles and relatives. I understand the feeling of anger that can result from the disappointment that YOUR parents are the ones doing this to you. They’re spoiling your name all over the place despite the fact you take care of them and continue to do. And despite the fact they never contributed much to your education. You’ve come this far without them. And it’s painful when those aunties pass independent judgment on you and your parents concur. The children of these aunties don’t do half of what you do for their parents, and they know. You give so much care. And so it’s consternating your effort is not appreciated. It’s even rubbished. Instead you’re denigrated and reported all over the place. Like you don’t care for your parents. But think about it, what can these aunties really do to you? The truth is, nothing! What effect, REALLY does all the negative talk have on your career, progression or promotion? Nada! So why worry about what they say. It’s their prerogative to talk, it’s your prerogative to ignore.....

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  • Pancake

    Dear Jack, she isn’t the prettiest of girls but she’s kind. Something about her drew him to her. She is not in his social class either. Very few would be. His father is rich. Very rich. She recognized early on he could date other women – very beautiful women, and yet it was her he chose. He trusts her implicitly. She’s selfless. It was that selflessness that created the trust. Selflessness creates trust. There are no airs about her. She’s as basic as a piece of pancake. No, not American pancake with all its embellishments and retinue of excesses. She’s just a basic person, a good soul. She couldn’t even dress well. Her sartorial taste was terrible and passable in equal measure. She is a friend, a girlfriend and mother all rolled into one. It was to her he turned at the critical juncture of his life. He trusted her with his data and emotions. Not that she totally understands him. But she loves him and cares for him.
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  • Tribal Union

    Dear Jack, inter-tribal marriage shouldn’t be an issue. There are many thriving and successful inter-tribal marriages. You can’t focus on someone’s tribal identity and totally ignore the person’s qualities. She has no control over her tribal identity. And you can’t hold someone responsible for what someone from her tribe did to your uncle thirty years ago. How does that make sense! If we go by that standard who’ll ever qualify to marry anyone in the cultural and historical cauldron your country is. It’s almost like setting up an excuse to permanently bar inter-tribal marriage. That’s not saying tribes don’t have psychological and cultural traits. It’s why they’re called tribe. It’s a cultural and psychological subset. But every tribe has a grouse against the other tribe in your country. Even INTRA-tribally there are issues. Humans just haven’t learnt to live and let live, to get on with each other as subsets. It’s why there’s ennui for inter-tribal marriage.....

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What is the definition of true beauty?

  • Breast Size

    My dear Jil, it’s a self-esteem issue, not a biological issue. You’ve allowed the size of your breasts define your self-esteem and that’s not really healthy. Breast-size is a genetic lottery draw. You had nothing to do with it. Your genes determined the size of your breasts. That genetic scheme manifests cup-sizes, creating a mammalian alphabet system of measurement. And so you have cup-sizes A to D, the D and the like doubling in on themselves to accommodate larger cup sizes like DD.
    Are men attracted to only women with large breasts? Of course not. Men’s tastes are not generic despite media impression. Or women with smaller cup sizes will not be getting married nor have boyfriends. And that’s the point I’m making to you, that you can’t allow a biological marker define your esteem and essence. There’s more to you than your breast-size and if you don’t get that, you’ll be making the same mistake as a trollop. She defines her worth by her physicality. You’re doing the same too, albeit in reverse. In other words, you’re sexually objectivising yourself. Isn’t that a cultural mindset you attack in men?....

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  • Dating A Goddess

    My dear Jack, congratulations, you’re dating a goddess! And you and your family must worship her, do her bidding, or she won’t marry you. Well, that’s her attitude. She’s been cheating on you like someone trying to collect frequent flyer miles on infidelity. First there was the ex, then another guy, then another guy, and then another guy. And you keep begging her to marry you. She threatens either you marry her by a certain date, or she’s going to marry another guy. Shouldn’t that give you concern? Doesn’t that already tell you she’s two-timing you and that she treats guys as multiple choice questions? And now she’s come up with a marriage deadline, forcing you to cancel reasonable preparation for marriage and life. Yet despite blowing your plans and expending your all in order to marry her, she’s still not pleased. You can’t please her.How do you think you’re in a relationship with someone with multiple boyfriends? Which relationship! There’s no trust, there’s no loyalty, there’s no fidelity. So what relationship do you have? And then you beg and beg and beg, then she acquiesces. But not before sauntering off with another guy. You’ve even finagled a side job to earn extra income just to meet her needs. You’re going to kill yourself…and after doing all that, she’s wondering if she even wants to marry you. What have you gotten yourself into? Now when she goes into a tiff, you call your entire village to go beg her. So in marriage will you call the United Nations? And you’ve dragged your parents into it. They have chosen to do your biding like Samson’s parents about Delilah. But in the process you’ve dragged their honour through the mud. This girl is rude to your mum and dad. What a daughter-in-law they’re going to have! You’re going to spread pain and trauma all round.....

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  • Pancake

    Dear Jack, she isn’t the prettiest of girls but she’s kind. Something about her drew him to her. She is not in his social class either. Very few would be. His father is rich. Very rich. She recognized early on he could date other women – very beautiful women, and yet it was her he chose. He trusts her implicitly. She’s selfless. It was that selflessness that created the trust. Selflessness creates trust. There are no airs about her. She’s as basic as a piece of pancake. No, not American pancake with all its embellishments and retinue of excesses. She’s just a basic person, a good soul. She couldn’t even dress well. Her sartorial taste was terrible and passable in equal measure. She is a friend, a girlfriend and mother all rolled into one. It was to her he turned at the critical juncture of his life. He trusted her with his data and emotions. Not that she totally understands him. But she loves him and cares for him.
    ....

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  • She Looks Different Without Make-Up

    My dear Jack, didn’t you know what she looked like without make-up before marriage? If after marriage you’re complaining about what she looks like without make-up, I then wonder about the quality of your courtship. Some women look pretty with or without make-up. Your woman in your estimation does not have that grace is what you’re saying. But that begs the question about the quality of relationship you had and how real you were to each other during courtship. It means you never saw her in unguarded moments. Means you never saw her without that mask. How do you court for a year and all you saw were only made-up versions of your girlfriend? What’s the quality of that courtship? Surely you must have known she went to bed without make-up. So it’s reasonable to assume she has an image sans make-up. And it’s also reasonable to assume she won’t always have make-up on after marriage.
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  • What Is She To You?

    My dear Jack, I think you need to sit down and ask yourself what this woman means to you. It’s something every couple should do – both the man and the woman should ask what they mean to each other. Such an appraisal helps one uncover the true value of a partner. We tend to get lost in all those “husband” and “wife” titular stuff. We use the phrases so much they hardly mean a thing anymore. A “wife” (or “husband”) is after all someone you married. It’s taken as the result of an activity – the taking of an oath. It’s like “Mr. & Mrs.” It’s what you write on an envelope. Simply identifies sexes and marital status, nothing more. It can’t and doesn’t give depth to marriage. In fact, it has no usage inside marriage. In the same vein, “husband and wife” has come to represent co-joined status. If care is not taken it can be devoid of depth.
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  • Speed Dating

    My dear Jack, seems to me you’re speed-dating women. No, I’m not talking about the other variety – those events in which you’re given two minutes to consider dating someone. Or is that the date? You can see the conceptual paradox. You can’t achieve a reasonable objective in that context. At best those programmes are about eliminating whom not to date, and such a person must be an obvious misfit. The whole thing seems like guess work on a multiple choice exam paper. You go for such events with the attitude of “Who knows!” rather than “I’m sure to meet someone.” It’s really not that efficient when it comes to qualitative decisioning. The structure favours certain stereotypes – guys and babes who can make their case in two minutes flat. There’s just something rushed about it, something superficial. That’s why I said it’s at best an elimination exercise. You’re at the mercy of the quality of the pool of prospects. But that’s not what I want to talk to you about.....

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How do I deal with trials?

  • Trial Upon Trial

    My dear Jil, life is full of trials. We all go through our fair share of trials. And yet you’ve been such a brave young woman. You’ve passed through what most can’t imagine or contemplate. You’ve experienced things that defy definition, or even explanation. It’s almost as if you’ve lived three lifetimes judging by the quantum of your experiences. And each challenge life has thrown at you, you’ve somehow punched down, even in utter weakness. Who knew you were so strong! One by one you beat the odds.One by one they faded away. Though it must be said that it sometimes felt like the problems went away to recruit more virulent associates. Explains why a subsequent challenge feels tougher than the preceding. But here you are still standing, still believing, still hopeful, full of faith. You’re so, so courageous! That has got to take inner strength, the type you never knew you had, that nobody knew you had.....

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  • The Talkers

    My dear Jil, in response to your mail, read the following. Some random creativity though, but you’ll get it: She’s a very pretty woman, very striking in appearance – figure-eightive actually.She combines the facial aesthetic of a Somalian with the adipose deposit configuration of a West African. Those features on another human would have generated negative resonance, but she’s converted them into implements of praise. It’s as if the features, which in themselves would have made one un-beautiful, conspired to make her attractive. If you tweak up Iman – give her a dome of a forehead, but then add a contoured Serena Williams body you’d have her. She wears a thin nose, two wide eyes, a wider smile, a bronze skin and a sincere heart. Her voice is thin in places, tending towards an alto. If you listen closer though you’d hear the scratch of vinyl. And when she smiles, she becomes so young. That smile greatly belies her age, halves it in fact, and then removes some. Etiquette demands you don’t disclose a woman’s age so we’ll keep it between us, and leave the brain guessing. But she’s been wisened by the experiences of life, and the suspicions of life, as well as life’s traumatic exactings. So she lives carefully, so as not to be accused of all the sorts people accuse beautiful widows of. And not just widows, divorcees too, as if anyone prays to be a young widow or a divorcee.
     
    She lives in fear of a vicious animal called PeopleWillTalk. She’s thus forced to live in a self-constructed prison, like a prisoner on house arrest with ankle bracelet. Turns out she’s not the only one who lives in fear of this predator PeopleWillTalk. So many people do. And so they can’t be free, can’t live their lives, can’t socialize…all because PeopleWillTalk. The biological name for PeopleWillTalk is AnimusPredatorMaliciousRex. The scientist who gave that name had himself suffered from malicious gossip in the hands of the Talkers. If you marry a rich husband, they will talk. If you marry a struggling guy, they will talk. If he’s younger than you, they will talk. If he’s much older than you, they will talk. If you go on a dinner date, they will talk. If you stay at home, morose, they will talk. If you break up with your boyfriend, they will talk. If you make up with your boyfriend, they will talk. Since whatever you do won’t stop them from talking, isn’t it wiser to just live and get on with your life? Talkers talk. That’s what they do, they gossip. It titillates their insides. They derive secret joy from malice.
     
    If you allow the talkers, aka gossip, to determine your life you will have a miserable existence and suffer in private. Talkers will always talk. And they often begin with, “Did you know that…” That’s the beginning of evil! In actual fact, they know nothing about what they’re about to say! They just want to recruit what others know. They manufacture facts and stories to fill in the huge potholes in their knowledge. “I even heard that…” is not uncommon. And they’re remorseless. A lot of the gossip is motivated by envy and malice. There’s the story of the man who suffered so much in his marriage he almost died. The wife was psychopathically savage. For over a decade, this man bore the pain in silence, and his health deteriorated until he could bear it no more. He was in and out of hospital. The emotional and mental trauma was much. When he finally did manage to creep out of the marriage the Talkers swung into action, “defending” the vicious wife! They victimized the victim, maliciously trading lies. The oppressed man somehow became the villain. All sorts of stories were fabricated – an ingenious blend of two spoonfuls of facts and four tons of lies and imagination. It was propaganda. The amazing thing is, none of the Talkers knew the facts of the marriage, or cared!
     
    Talkers are vicious. They even attack widows, calling some witches who devoured their husbands. They have no sympathy for human condition, lack empathy. Their wares are traded on the stock market of malevolence. A Talker is essentially a talented gossip and publisher with powers of embellishment and embedment. A gossip will turn the facts of a simple friendship into an affair in seconds. A simple lunch becomes a tryst in a motel. The most ironic of these gossip-talkers are the religious ones. How do you combine faith with wickedness! Their religion teaches them to be merciful yet they tear others down with forked tongues. Their religion teaches them to mind their own business, yet they randomly poke-nose into other people’s lives. Their religion teaches them to show mercy, yet they viciously afflict the obviously wounded, mow them down!
     
    One day, a non-talker got to learn the true story about this man’s marriage. She was shocked at the truth. She discovered that the stories out there were the exact opposite of the truth. She was horrified. Meanwhile the reputation of this victim of a man had been so savaged and assailed that society wondered. But for God. There’s always the story of the moment for gossip…the latest heartache, the latest breakup, the latest divorce… Gossips voyeur on human suffering. There’s disdain for human pain and trauma. Until they suffer the same fate. Life has ways of teaching people not to gossip about others, not to vomit malice on reputational assets. And many times these talkers and gossips are only projecting their own pain onto others. They transmit the pain of their marital trauma to others, punishing their partners by punishing the innocent. Proxy war.
     
    The wisdom of life is, be careful what you say about others. And don’t delight in the suffering and affliction of others. Those who delight in the suffering of others soon confront those same demons or cousins. Life loves to teach lessons. If you don’t know someone don’t spread evil stories about that person, manufacturing lies and trauma. If you’ve never been in someone’s shoes, don’t judge. Who knows if the shoes contain spikes and stones? That someone maintains a facade of tranquility doesn’t mean they’re not going through soul cataclysm. And you can’t judge the facts of a troubled marriage until you’ve heard from the other side. Otherwise it’s prejudice. You shouldn’t even be judging others! How does a sinner sit in judgment over fellow sinners? The amount of energy some procure to unearth the traumatic details in the lives of others can run a factory. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? Think about that.
     
    Your mentor, LA
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  • Words

    My dear Jil, there are texts you shouldn’t read, in fact there are people whose text messages you shouldn’t open. If you know someone doesn’t like you or hates you, why read texts from such! You do yourself harm by opening texts from those who hate you. You already know it will be full of poison. Delete without opening. If you already know someone has nothing good to say to you, don’t open his or her text. Words are powerful. They have the means to lift you up, inspire you. But the corollary is also true. Terrible words can demoralize you, bring you down, ruin your day. Block your ears, block your eyes. There are people you should block on your phone. It’s a private appliance not a public access network.....

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  • Difficult Parents

    My dear Jil, this problem with your dad, I’d say watch it. I’ve seen too many of these kinds of things destroy marriages and your marriage shouldn’t be a casualty. A lot of marriages have been destroyed from unresolved issues with parents. The anger and sense of impotence create bitterness and unhappiness. Bitterness from anger and impotence tends to lash out, at anybody close by. Since your husband is the proximate figure you end up punishing him for stuff he knows nothing about. You have to accept your father is who he is and accept your mother for who she is. You’re not going to change them. They’re way past the age people change. You have to accept them. Now, I understand the pain of being reported all over the place – to aunties, uncles and relatives. I understand the feeling of anger that can result from the disappointment that YOUR parents are the ones doing this to you. They’re spoiling your name all over the place despite the fact you take care of them and continue to do. And despite the fact they never contributed much to your education. You’ve come this far without them. And it’s painful when those aunties pass independent judgment on you and your parents concur. The children of these aunties don’t do half of what you do for their parents, and they know. You give so much care. And so it’s consternating your effort is not appreciated. It’s even rubbished. Instead you’re denigrated and reported all over the place. Like you don’t care for your parents. But think about it, what can these aunties really do to you? The truth is, nothing! What effect, REALLY does all the negative talk have on your career, progression or promotion? Nada! So why worry about what they say. It’s their prerogative to talk, it’s your prerogative to ignore.....

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  • Settling Quarrels

    Dear Jack, both you and Jil have to learn to settle your quarrels internally. Resorting to third party adjudication of your matrimonial disputes ought to be a last resort. Really last resort. Every relationship ought to have its own conflict resolution system, or simple fights will lead to break up. It’s why you have to have a review mechanism for disagreements. There’ll always be points of disagreement.....

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  • He Lost His Job!

    My dear Jil, but he’s not a lazy fellow. In fact he’s a very industrious young man. Just got laid off. And that happens. I mean the economy tanked, banks downsized and he got laid off. Could have happened to you. Assuming it did, what would you have expected of him? Start berating you? This is the time to show you love your husband. He’s at his lowest ebb. He just lost his job. You should feel for him. There he was one day everything going right in his life, just got married to the love of his life…then suddenly this. Call it downsizing, rightsizing or whatever sizing is going on…as if it’s some shoe! Fact remains that at the individual level, rightsizing is not shoe fitting. It’s someone’s regular income gone!I would have thought you’d rise to the occasion at this moment, that you’d show support for your husband, encourage him. As a man he’ll be down, depressed. One day he has a job, the next he has none. Downsized. It’s not as if he committed corporate malfeasance or that he got laid off for poor performance. Loss of job will lay any man prostrate. The question of what you’re going to do next Monday automatically arises. Think of it: everyone goes to work, including his wife and he can’t go anywhere. He’ll need a few days to figure things out. And that’s where you come in. You step up to the plate. Marriage is a partnership. It just means both of you have to reprioritize things even as he tries to get his bearing. You have to cut down some expenses. You don’t have a full income, your income is halved. You have to stretch the budget. Your creativity has to rise. Let him admire you for that. It’s at this time of crisis you write your legend as a wife – a loyal, supportive, inspiring and covering wife. It is what you do at this time that will make him indebted to you for life – that you stepped in and covered his shame. So when his fortune returns, and it will, he will remember you as a true and loyal friend, a devoted and supportive wife. A friend is born for adversity. And you of all people ought to be his best friend in the time of crisis. He’s going through a lot, he’s panicking. You’ve got to speak words of faith to him, words of assurance. You’ve got to make him believe in himself. He can’t afford to lose faith in himself. That may lead to a meltdown and it will affect the marriage. He’ll have his moments of doubt, moments of fear, moments of unbelief in self…which is why he has you. You’re officially his encourager-in-chief. You ought to be. That’s what spouses ought to be to each other. You stand to lose the most from his demise, and you stand to gain the most from his recovery. So it’s in your interest to invest everything you’ve got to help him get back up.....

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  • Dont Take Your Life

    My dear Jack, life is tough. It’s the nature of life and only religion has an explanation. Life is brutal in places, rough in places, tough in places, hard in places. It’s populated by savages with primal instinct. And life can seem unfair. Good people don’t always come out on top. Good does not always triumph. Evil people prosper. We’ve had that equation since the days of Cain and Abel. The evil man even asked for immunity. Just as it is now.
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