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Read Letter

You Broke His Heart

Dear Jil,

You’re in a tough situation right now. I know you’ve begged him and all that, and your family even got involved. But a man feels deeply hurt and betrayed in such circumstances. Put yourself in his shoes.

It’s just a few months to your wedding. You got involved with another man. I think there are bigger issues at play here, and I surmise this problem or a variant would still have arisen down the line. My reasoning is simple: you don’t reasonably know you, what you want. You haven’t resolved you. Now you’re confronted with a strange you, the one you never knew. I’m sure if anyone had told you a few months ago that this would happen you would have argued.

Perhaps you’re rushing into marriage. Or let me rephrase that: the circumstances of life are shepherding you into early matrimony. You hardly know yourself or what you want in life. You’re young! Holistically your fiancé is the right man for you, so your head tells you. Yet your heart is drawn to this other guy. And so your head and your heart are dueling it out. That’s the source of your confusion.

I know you’re not a bad person. You arrived at this shore carried by the waves of life’s momentum. You dated your fiancé in school assuming marriage, came out of school, landed in youth service corp and next, marriage! You’re in marriage as the next item progression scenario. The kids will automatically follow. You’re an unresolved fiancé, and soon to be wife and mother – two overwhelming life roles you’re internally unprepared for. Marriage is not child’s play. Forget all the romanticised illusions, marriage is where the rubber meets the road. If you don’t know yourself or know what you want, you’re going to wreak havoc in many lives, including yours! It’s a matter of years. Your husband’s life will be collateral damage.

Marriage is not a hundred meter dash, or competition. There are no prizes for who gets married first! The school environment is a very, very far cry from reality. A school environment is sheltered. It’s made for studies! In school, you depended on the financial grace of your parents. In the real world, you pay your way through. Managing the transition between campus life and the real world is a challenge for many. And rushing into a marriage only compounds the challenges. And this is not saying you can’t marry right after school. Many do. Some fail, some succeed. But I’d advise you to resolve yourself first. The wedding is not the marriage! The real world is full of responsibilities and obligations. Succeeding at life requires an awful lot!

Marriage is not for girls, it is for women. It requires emotional maturity and supportive capability. Let me paint your scenario: Young girl, hardly a woman meets young boy, hardly a man in school. Self-unresolved, they make an irrevocable commitment to a marriage timetable, this commitment being made in la la land. It all sounds romantic – the “I married my college sweetheart right out of college” kind of story. There’s only one problem: they exited campus into another world – a very harsh world without Disneyland features. Girl meets an interesting alternative and flirts with it. He stirs up parts of her she never knew existed. But there are irrevocable commitments, those commitments being made stronger because both families are involved. The father is already acting Father-in-Law. Mum is acting Mother-in-Law. Diplomatic missions are being traded. Mothers are bonding, fathers are bonding. Meanwhile girl is confused to everyone’s ignorance. She feels guilty about her feelings, becomes tortured, yet she keeps returning to her new source of excitement.

Meanwhile her betrothed is planning interior decoration of their soon to be home. He just part-paid for furniture. Girl’s life is now a Woody Allen movie. It’s full of illogicalities and emotional complexities. Feelings become justifications. She keeps her dalliance hidden from her betrothed and this makes her feel guiltier. Yet she enjoys the secret attention. Secret amplifies feelings – didn’t Solomon speak of the sweetness of stolen melon? She’s under pressure from several fronts: her conscience, the innocence of her fiancé, her secret sin, her mother’s marriage plans, her father’s values, the family honour, the niceness of her mother-in-law-to-be, the fatherliness of her father-in-law-to-be, the false hopes being created, the spending of her fiancé, the fear of consequences. (If she’s not under terrible pressure everyone should be worried! Everyone should fear!) She doesn’t know where to turn, how to handle her new feelings; thinks she can wing it until the temptation goes too far. Then the family spectacle begins – ruptured relationship, confusion, incomprehensibility, shattered nice girl image, family disgrace… And then bitterness sets in for the boy. He forms a philosophy of women. God help the next woman! And the girl becomes a parable, a tale that is told; and with each retelling, a hypocritical aunty adds embellishment.

My take is that your priority is not the saving of face through cobbled resolution. I think your first priority is resolution of self. Who are you? What do you really want in life? What do you believe in? What are your dreams? What are your hopes? What type of life do you want? What values do you subscribe to? What should you be afraid of about yourself? What tendencies need control? What are you struggling with? What is important to you? What don’t you want? There’s nothing like a honest self appraisal. And you can’t do it until you get in touch with your inner being! She’s the only one who knows you.

This episode though circumstantial has shown you a bit about yourself. It’s also humbling. We must never think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. I do pray that everything works out for good for you.

Go on self pilgrimage.

Your mentor, LA


©Leke Alder 2013



Tags : Life, Marriage, Damage

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