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Read Letter

Three Contexts

My dear Jil, I think you’re mixing up some things. In choosing a groom it’s right to look at the personal qualities of the person, not just his family. He may come from a wondrous family but if he himself lacks the qualities of a good husband, you’ll have marital issues. And so you have the man, his familial context, which by the way is very important; but then you also have the marital ambiance. Familial context can prove disastrous to a marriage if his mum for example is repressive and he can’t stand as bulwark. You’ll be left to face the force of his mum by yourself if he can’t shield you, stand up for you. It’s going to be you versus his mum if he can’t man up and protect his wife. But if you marry into a wonderful family the fact will be supportive. Will cocoon your love for each other. There are wonderful families. Pray you get a good mother-in-law and good father-in-law. Pray you get a mother-in-law who’ll treat you like her daughter, not one contending for your husband. Or your mother–in-law will become chairman of your local government.

That’s as per familial context. But then there’s the intimate context of the marriage itself. If he has wonderful qualities but is insecure, he’ll be controlling and you won’t have personal peace. He’ll keep monitoring you, snooping into your phone, demanding a report of your daily schedule. Every man you talk to will come under suspicion, and things may get out of hand. Such things tend to grow worse, especially when times are tough economically. He’ll become paranoid. And so yes, he may have all those wonderful personal qualities, and for those you love him… But without your personal peace in the intimate context of the marriage, you won’t have a wonderful marriage. So don’t mix things up. Don’t confuse personal qualities with intimate context or familial context. These three things occupy different spheres but together serve as matrix for your union. The question you need to ask yourself is, can you abide those insecurities of his?

Let me illustrate by turning things around. Let’s flip the situation and look at things from his perspective. Suppose you’re generous, a good cook, a wonderful dresser, beautiful and all that, but highly temperamental. You have wonderful qualities no doubt, which the guy fell in love with. There’s something about you he deeply loves. Now, suppose you also have a wonderful dad and a loving mum. Your parents provide the familial context for the marital union. They create a supportive structure. However there’s also the intimacy context of the relationship, and it’s your temperament that will define it. He won’t be able to handle that temperament despite all your wonderful qualities and those of your parents. That temperament of yours will destroy his personal peace in the relationship. Men can’t psychologically handle temperament. It’s an unpredictable volcano and men want emotional evenness. Now, he loves you because of all those other qualities. And he loves you because of your parents. But those two contexts can’t hold a marriage alone. The intimacy context is critical. If those other contexts are okay but the intimacy context is terrible you won’t have a good marriage. And so when you say you love him, it’s the wonderful qualities in him you love sans that insecurity of his. But that insecurity is defining. It defines the relationship and the quality of your personal happiness. If he’s so insecure you’ll feel like being trailed on the streets; and that’s not good for personal health. Even in those movies on television nobody feels good being followed.

I’m just saying you can’t be happy in the relationship because his insecurity is affecting your personal peace. And personal peace is critical in a relationship. Without that peace your health will be decimated. Without personal peace in marriage you’ll dread going home after work. And so on top of every other consideration you’ve got to ask yourself, will I have personal peace in this marriage? If there’s no peace in the marriage those wonderful qualities of his will have no room for expression. It’s why I worry about relationships in which there’s constant fight. That’s not something you should get used to. Constant fights are highly indicative of future tense and absence of personal peace. And you have your warning. You can’t complain there are fights in the marriage. It’s just present continuous. And don’t marry someone you’re incompatible with just because someone begged on his behalf. Remember you bear your cross alone. You live alone with him. Those begging you will not be in the marriage. You don’t use your life to please others when it comes to marriage. You don’t marry to please people. Your happiness ought to be prime consideration when you’re considering a marital union. Before considering others, at least consider yourself before going into a marital union. If you’re not going to be happy in marriage you shouldn’t go into it even if the world pleads on his behalf. I keep telling you the opposite of happiness is not unhappiness when it comes to marriage; it’s depression. And I pray you don’t walk willy-nilly into depression. You don’t want depression!

Marriage alters your life, whether you like it or not. Marriage is a life processor. A wise person sees danger ahead and makes a detour. A fool plods on into danger. And you’ve seen the future. It clearly does not bode well for your personal peace. Why then go into such a marriage. Yes, he’s begging he’ll change. But you don’t marry a promissory note, you marry facts. What facts are staring you in the face right now? Can you live with those facts? Those questions must be answered and only by you.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : choosing a spouse, before marriage

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