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All Letters

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My dear Jack, there is such a thing as sad truth and you’ve stepped into one. We step into sad truth when we ignore wisdom. Then when calamity comes, wisdom sticks out her tongue. I did warn you not to go into marriage without a job, a source of livelihood or income. Now you see why. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

My dear Jil, when you’ve been on your own for so long, relationships can be difficult. Clearly, you can fend for yourself and you’ve been fending for yourself. You can take care of yourself. Being an executive, you’re used to funding your own travels, buying things for yourself, even taking care of others. So on a material basis, you really don’t need a man. Yet here you are wanting marriage. Means there’s something more you want. You’re also used to keeping your own time. You go to the gym according to your schedule, go to the salon on your schedule. You do social calls without need of informing anyone. You don’t have to give an excuse or render an explanation. So you’re pretty much independent and very independent-minded. Continue reading

Jack, the first thing is to make sure you marry the right woman. See all those rules governing wonderful marriages… They don’t work with the wrong partner. Your expectations will be unrealistic if you have the wrong partner. Expected reactions will not tally with desire. And the right partner is first and foremost, someone who genuinely loves you, someone who cares about you. The wrong partner on the other hand is someone who just wants to marry. You’re just a vehicular pod. Love is a great motivator in marriage. It makes many things happen, encourages the taking of initiative. Continue reading

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! Continue reading

Dear Jack, the thing is, everyone has an idea of how he or she wants to be loved. That determines a lot of things in marriage. When you don’t love according to prescribed desire, every other expression of love goes unappreciated. For example, if your woman loves texts and conversations, without those texts she may not feel fully loved by you. And unfortunately, in a relationship feelings are facts. They take on the character of events. That doesn’t mean you’re not putting in your best effort to love her. But there’s effort and there’s appreciation of effort. Continue reading

Dear Jil, I really don’t blame your parents for insisting your boyfriend must have a job before marriage. You may not understand because your experience of life is little. And your knowledge of men is limited. But your parents know, and they’re actually trying to protect you though you may not see it. The makeup of men is radically different from that of women. Both sexes react to lack differently. I’ll talk to you in a bit about that, but truth is you don’t even know how you will react when there’s acute lack. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

My dear Jil, you have to be careful about a self-centered attitude in a relationship. It has consequences. The problem many times is that people who exercise this trait are so used to it they’re not even self-aware. They’re used to getting away with intolerable behavior. That is until the pliant boyfriend says he’s had enough. Then like Esau they begin to cry to have the man back. They begin to beg for what was theirs. Unbearable behavior cannot be your operating system. You will lose the relationship, even in marriage. Selfishness inoculates against sensitivity. Continue reading

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