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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.

Clearly the problem is not your girlfriend. By your own account she’s a wonderful person, someone any sensible man would want. You’re going to lose her because of her tribal identity? What exactly do you want her to do about her tribe? It’s what it is! If we scale things up a little would you like someone to condemn you for your racial identity despite your sterling qualities? How can you rave against racial discrimination but enforce tribal discrimination? The problem with inter-tribal liaison is many times not the parties themselves but the prejudice of third parties. If you do find something terrible in this lady I can understand. But to lose what’s good for you to someone’s prejudice? And you’re working totally from anecdotes. You don’t have factual data on the issues in question. Even if you do it’s narrow data. How many marriages in your tribe succeeded solely based on tribal identity? Give statistics.

The advantage of intra-tribal marriage of course is common cultural philosophy and psychological profile. Beyond that there’s no other advantage. And that advantage is wiped off if the other party is disagreeable. If you marry someone from your tribe who gives you no peace what benefit common cultural origin? If someone from another tribe makes you happy but the lady from your tribe makes you unhappy what advantage tribal unison? When it comes to picking a spouse, we’re individuals first before our tribal identity. If you’re a terrible individual, that’s who you are even if you’re from a “wonderful” tribe. You’re still who you are! And who marries tribe? You marry an individual. If the individual is terrible you have a terrible spouse, tribal or no tribal identity. We are who we are. As individuals we have been conditioned by sociological, economic, psychological, cultural and political factors.

This prejudice against your lady’s tribe has nothing to do with her. It’s so obvious. It’s a prejudice carried by someone in your family based on another person’s experience, someone you hardly even know. And you don’t know the full story. All you have is somebody’s colouration, which at best is hearsay. What makes for successful inter-tribal marriage is first of all the qualities of the individuals not the tribal identity. The desire and ability of the couple to mesh and forge a union goes a long way in determining their marital success. I’m sure you know there are terrible marriages in your tribe, just as there are good ones. Prejudice defies scientific rigour. What’s amazing is how someone can formulate a philosophy about an entire tribe based on interaction with just one individual. Those with working inter-tribal unions are very accommodative of the other person’s cultural conditioning, or they buy into it. Many times however those inter-tribal marriages succeed because they agree to be regulated by neutral or higher code. For some that code is the Bible (or some other religious tome). And yet for others secular humanism. If you lose this wonderful lady to the prejudicial disposition of your family, you’ll have regrets. You’ll always be thinking back to what could have been. If you ditch her I hope you find her equivalence. It may be hard. Why can’t you for once stand up for what you believe and help to educate these people with the success of your marriage? You forget most of these prejudices were bred in the cauldron of internecine conflict that consumed your nation even before you were born!

If you insist on judging her by the cultural rules of yesteryears, have the nobility to be consistent. Allow the same rules to govern your life. You should throw away your mobile phone and log around a rotary phone for instance. You have to live in the 1960s. What if her parents also reject you on the basis of your tribe, would you consider that fair? You better concentrate on the most important things in marriage – peace and joy! A young man can’t easily appreciate those spiritual quantities until he’s married the wrong person and for all the wrong reasons. Tribal identity CANNOT be the basis of your union. It has to be your individual qualities. Now, if you’re from the same tribe all well and good. But if you’re going to go ahead with her despite these prejudices, you’ll have to be strong. You have to protect her. Something as basic as deliberate late conception will be attributed to witchcraft from her tribal enclave. If your mum dreams she’s being chased by a rat it will be attributed to her tribal identity. Even if she chased a rat during the day! Such is the power of prejudice. And we’re not yet talking about naming the child that is even yet to be conceived! Your peace and happiness should be paramount concern when choosing a spouse. You won’t do well without marital peace as a man. Men don’t do well without peace. Your health will suffer.

You need to sit down with your parents and explain to them this lady makes you happy, gives you peace in your heart and mind. Many times in these circumstances there’s another lady being put up for consideration by the family. In other words, your mum’s happiness is the issue, not yours. And she may want to forge a marital union with her friend’s family. You can’t be rude during this discussion with your parents. You honour your father and mother despite divergence of opinion. Given the facts, your parents at the end of the day want your happiness, at least their version of it. It’s why their own prescription. But you don’t abdicate responsibility for your marital choice to prejudices and biases. You’re the one who’ll suffer from bad choice. We’ve spoken about this tribal issue before. Go to http://jacknjillive.com/2014/07/inter-tribal-marriage/

I do wish you backbone.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

You don’t abdicate responsibility for your marital choice to prejudices and biases. Click To Tweet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

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

Dear Jack, it’s important you discern the spirit of someone you’re considering dating. Rather than just being moved by superficial realities. What’s on the surface is being projected. The nice dress, makeup, the affectations, the sexiness…all those are projections. Those projections won’t give you a true picture of somebody, just an impression. Projections are independent of character. Projections won’t give you insight into the spirit or real nature of someone. A devious person can wear fitted skirt and look attractive. The prettiness of the skirt is not the true knowledge of the person. And anyway mass media has sold us an imagery of a cosmopolitan woman. You’ve been programmed by reality TV. That someone looks fine, dresses fine can’t tell you the character of the person. You have to discover that. The character is independent of the dressing. The dress is mere fashion, an artistic endeavour. So you may find yourself appreciating a dress rather than evaluating the character of the model you’re considering dating.
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Dear Jil, I do understand how you feel. Not being approached by any male can make one feel underappreciated. I think you need to change one or two things. Let’s try that and see the result. You see, I’ve always been intrigued by one particular statement of Solomon: “He that hath friends must show himself friendly.” It’s a very powerful and loaded statement. The depth is not that obvious. The statement posits two things. First, if you want friends you have to have a friendly disposition. That’s attitudinal. Second, if you want to have friends you must be proactive. Friendship is thus conditional.
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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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Dear Jil, first, you don’t generalise about men. (Men shouldn’t generalise women too!) The statement, “All sparrows are black” has to be a presumptive fallacy since we can’t say we’ve come across all sparrows. It’s why we don’t generalise about the sexes. You can only talk about the men you know, or been told about. Even that is hearsay. Second, you don’t bring the spirit of gender unionism into your marriage. It’s not a “Men versus Women” thing. Third, other men are not your concern really. Just your husband. Marriage is very proprietary, narrow and custom. And so what you need to concern yourself with is your husband, not other people’s husbands. They’re not your worry. If others say their husbands are crazy but you know yours is sane, you don’t import non-existent insanity into your marriage. And so I understand your concern about men in general but men, in general, are not your concern. You’re not God.
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My dear Jack, you can’t marry on another person’s timetable. You marry when you know you’re ready. The problem you have is that you’re dating someone four years older than you. That has its own pressure. To be sure, she’s also under pressure from her family. They want her to marry fast. What she’s simply done is transfer the pressure to you, but you’re nowhere near ready.
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Dear Jil, surely you can see these plans are asinine. I mean, how does it make it sense?! You’re dating a guy who lives abroad and hardly comes to town – may be once a year. So you don’t see him much. You face the typical challenge of long distance relationship. However much you do Facetime it’s never like being together. But instead of talking marriage, this man is talking about making you a baby mama. Why would you want to be baby mama instead of wife? And according to him you’ll have to stay here for two years after you’ve had the baby. You can’t travel to stay with him immediately. This allegedly is to ensure you don’t do menial job when you travel to meet him in UK! I’m lost and confused over this logic. So you stay two years apart so you don’t do menial job in the UK. Don’t get it, what’s the link?
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My dear Jack, you shouldn’t be careless with your marriage. Your wife is at an emotional inflection point and you’re not even aware. That’s careless. Yes, I know you’re working so hard to take care of the family but if you lose the family, what’s the point? If you keep going this way you’re going to get blindsided by life. You’re setting yourself up for a nasty surprise. I know you love her but you’re not paying attention to those things we spoke about.
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My dear Jil, it’s important you distinguish between love and sentimental expression of love. The two are not the same and if you don’t distinguish them you may break your marriage. A man may deeply and sincerely love you but may be poor at sentimental expression. That he is lacking in the sentimental department doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you, he just needs to work on that. Of course, your feelings are legitimate, a man ought to express his love and appreciation to his wife. But you can’t say a man who works so hard to take care of you doesn’t love you. That will be unfair.
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