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Read Letter

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.

And I’m troubled he never made any attempt to meet your parents despite having means to travel out and meet them. That’s what any man his age should do – seek the consent of your parents and give them assurances of his care. He ought to meet your parents. It’s an honour your parents deserve. You’re not a bastard. When you allow a man to pick you so cheap he’ll treat you so cheap. It’s why things like dowry were instituted. It’s to validate worth. Meeting your parents will put some constraint on him regarding how he treats you. Family has that effect. Even if he didn’t ask you to leave his house now, he would still have asked you at some point in the future. You see, your worth would still have evaporated once you produced those kids he wants. He has no need of you again. He’s achieved his goal. He has his kids. He wants kids, not you.

Ask yourself a salient truth: Would your marriage to this man subsist if you can’t produce children? Obviously no! And you shouldn’t delude yourself however comforting and warm a lie can be. Your worth as a wife ought not to be dependent on your procreative capacity; has nothing to do with bearing children. That gentleman who married Hannah – Prophet Sam’s mum, Elkanah loved her all the same, kids or not. Marry a man who values you for you, not because of kids. Kids are blessings, not the definition of marriage. There’s always a 50% chance a marriage may not produce children. That’s a risk every man signs up for. We pray for children, but with or without them a marriage subsists. Ought to. Note that some even insist on particular gender: if you don’t produce a boy you haven’t given birth to children! SMH! It’s why I advise you marry your friend. That friendship, that affinity of soul, it sustains relationship. My fear is that this man has laid into you a fear of inability to procreate. That in itself can affect future reproduction. Perhaps God has been blocking your womb to prevent you from turning your life into a casualty.

Being a live-in lover is not marriage I’m afraid. No one can be held to any commitment. Marriage remains tenaciously old-fashioned even with all our deconstruction. And what’s the rush! You’re young! You’re only 23. Why the desperation to marry? You need to ask yourself why you fell prone to this kind of scheme. It might be your desire for security. And how mistaken you are putting your hope in man, your trust in a creature. The only unfailing comfort is God. If you put your trust in man you’re bound to be disappointed. And this gentleman is already teaching you the lesson of life. Move out of his house. Sometimes we’re so desperate for what we miss in our family structure we hunger for similitude. What you truly want you’re not going to get in this gentleman. It only appears so for now. If he wants to marry you let him respect you, and let him honour your parents. His proper appreciation of your worth is determined by the kind of respect he has for you. He’s preying on your desperation and innocence, capitalizing on your inexperience.

Listen to your mum. Her plan is better. She wants you to come over to America and do your masters. The only reason you’d rather proceed to Youth Service now is because you’re afraid of being away from this man. You know the relationship will not survive you being out of town. That he’ll find your replacement fast. You want to sacrifice your future to meet his procreation schedule. Any older man that wants to marry a much younger woman has to come to terms with the consequent realities. It’s why much older men end up sponsoring their young brides to school. They short-circuited their lives through marriage.

The truth however is that the problem is not this gentleman, the problem is your insecurity. You’ve got to find worth in yourself. If you don’t value yourself the world has a way of reciprocating your self-devaluation. One day you’ll grow up and realize this gentleman’s offers are nothing but Esau’s mess of pottage. You’ll discover that all those things he has that are tripping you now, at some point you’ll be able to afford them. It’s a matter of time. If you’re ready to work hard and be faithful with opportunities you’ll succeed. Don’t sell yourself cheap. Right now, you’re doing so on many levels. Please pack out of this gentleman’s house and go home. Go to America and do your masters as your mum suggests. Who knows, there may be a gentleman out there waiting for you. But you won’t know if you don’t go, would you! May you meet a fine and worthy gentleman.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Worth, Children, live in lover

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