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Tag Archives: Peace

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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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Dear Jack, a marriage can quickly become stale as a couple “settles down.” Anything stale and mouldy can’t be good. As with bread so is marriage. Yes, the courtship stage is over but it’s important to keep the momentum in marriage, even if it’s not exactly same quality. Life can be terribly busy but you have to create special occasions. You have to enjoy yourselves as a couple. Life will never end. It just keeps going and it will outlast you. You can’t overtake life. So sometimes, it’s best to get off the bus as a couple, get away from the chores of life and enjoy yourselves. The responsibilities of life never end. You have to create space to be a couple. It can be anything from going to the movies, to going for a drink together, to going to an informal party or hosting one.
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My dear Jil, you’re not going to have everything you want in a man, any more than you can be everything a man wants. The man who is EVERYTHING you want has to be someone you made. In which case you’re divinity. Man is the sum total of his genetic ancestry, nurture, knowledge, environment, cultural and spiritual influences. It’s hard to therefore, imagine that a man will be 100% of your requirement. You have no influence on any of those factors. By the time you arrived on the scene the man was already “formed.” Every other modification is now voluntary. And so we marry those who are largely what we want, not everything we’d desired. Or we’ll never marry. That man you want doesn’t exist and can’t exist. You’ll have to create him yourself. And you have to be afraid of creating such a man for yourself considering flaws in your judgment, character and make up. That means whatever you create must necessarily be a flawed individual. You’re flawed in your thinking.
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Dear Jil, I want you to be sensitive in your marriage. It’s the seeming lack of sensitivity that is causing the problems you have in your marriage. Of course, you’re not a selfish person. Forgive your husband for saying that in anger. He ought to have been careful about what he said. He’s going through some tough time in his business. You need to be sensitive about that. To his credit, he’s still meeting all the obligations at home, though he sometimes strains himself. Of course, he knows you’ve been a solid partner, picking up the slacks, doing your bit quietly. He knows you’re understanding, fundamentally. And that’s good.
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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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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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My dear Jil, rape is a very traumatic experience. It is so traumatic it can terrify a marriage years down the line. Women have been known to die from rape. It’s because it’s beyond physical. It’s a violation of the sacred. Rape is so vicious it can shred the fabric of a soul, alter the balance of life energy. It kills something inside. Rape is not just one more incident in society. At the retail level it is the scarring of someone’s life. Our society ought to take rape much more seriously than we do. There’s a cultural shrugging of shoulders about rape. It’s locker room talk in boys’ circle, as if it’s some weekend discussion about Chelsea and Arsenal. Some young men in fact revel in the fact of rape. Which is really sad. Witness how some boys boast about raping a girl. Our tolerance of such banter and disposition is the cultural equivalence of conditioning boys for rape. There are boys boasting about rape in secondary school, boasting they assaulted girls during school socials. And for some boys it’s a sorority ritual. Which makes you begin to ponder the fundamentals of our society. And now we have livestreaming of rape. If only the law allows castration. Then there are those sickos who rape kids – eight-, nine-year olds. Some even babies. Surely such people are deranged. A nine-year old can’t know how to interpret rape. She’ll malfunction.
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My dear Jil, take it that you have just one decision to make, not a flurry of decisions. And it’s important you rightly frame the question. Sometimes, we make a mistake in framing the marriage question.

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My dear Jil, this is the story I was writing:

“He fumbled the key on the lock, prised it open and stepped into the house. As soon as he stepped in he could feel the atmospheric difference. The house felt cool. He interrogated the coolness. The difference was marked. His head told him the house felt cool because he was stepping in from the glare of a sun about to go home. The problem was, there was light in the sitting room. The sun managed to filter through the slits of the venetian blinds. So it wasn’t the absence of harsh sunlight that accounted for the shade in the house. Something else seemed responsible. Continue reading

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