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Dear Jil, sometimes the people we’re considering for relationship or marriage are inadequate for us. It can be financial inadequacy, or mental inadequacy, or spiritual inadequacy, or cultural inadequacy…or motivational inadequacy, or emotional inadequacy, or expression inadequacy…The inadequacy is why we’re not satisfied, why all the person does can never be enough. The challenge many times is there’s nothing the inadequate person can do. He’s given to the limit of not just his ability, but also his capability. What inadequacy says in effect is that people may actually not be ABLE to change. Emotional configurations for example are not easy to alter. It’s why Hillary Clinton seems to struggle with likeability. Personality configurations are not easy to alter. It’s who we are. Better to assume the man in front of you is what you’ll marry rather than hoping he’ll change. If he’s emotionally inadequate you can’t change alter him. You’ll always be wishing he can just do something! If he’s emotionally inadequate he may not understand cuddle. He may even TRY! But doing it as a duty is not the same as natural expression. However much he tries if it doesn’t come naturally to him you’ll always feel you’re lacking something. And then you’ll grow frustrated with him, and he can’t understand. Just can’t understand! He’ll try to mechanically compensate, put in his best in other areas but you won’t feel it because it’s not natural.

Take another inadequacy – drive. Some people just don’t have drive. Behavioural psychologists are divided as to whether such is the result of nature or nurture. But the fact remains some people just don’t have drive. If your boyfriend has no drive you’ll be over-reaching expecting him to take the lead in certain things. And you’ll have false expectations in terms of finance and business. An entrepreneur has to have drive. An entrepreneur has to want to get things done, and timeously. And entrepreneur is not afraid of bargaining, or afraid of confrontations. A man without drive can hardly be an entrepreneur. And so if you date a man without drive don’t expect him to be pushful in business, or anything. It’s when we have expectations contrary to the nature and logic of whom we date that frustrations come. Then there are those who are culturally inadequate. Many times that’s a nurture deficiency but there are naturals. A culturally inadequate person may of course try. Some things can be learned. But he won’t be like a natural. Travels and readings will solve some of the issues of cultural inadequacy but you’ve got to temper your expectations.

Those radical personality transformations you want in a man are only in movies. I’m just reiterating what I’ve told you before: You marry the man in front of you not the man you want him to be. That’s wrong-headed expectation. If you take this approach then any improvements is extraordinary gain. But if you don’t face the reality in front of you you’ll frustrate both yourself and the poor guy. Truth is, some things are feasible in marriage, some things are not. A lot of who we are has to do with our social contexts and opportunities. As well as genes. We react to parentage one way or the other. Some react against, and some conform to model. The son of an irresponsible man may loath irresponsibility so much he’s driven to success. But another son may just adopt the irresponsible attitude of his dad and become irresponsible. There are fathers who specialize in impregnation of women. They have kids all over town with no thought of how to bring the children up, no plans whatsoever. They expect life to even out. Some even expect the women to take care of them. A child can react against this, or adopt such a father as role model. If the child adopts such a father as role model it will be expecting too much of him to be a responsible husband. I’m just saying know whom you’re marrying.

Don’t go into a relationship knowing someone is a certain way and imagine you can change the person. Truth is, no one can change anyone except God. Even God struggles with us. Or he’ll have to turn us into robots. Even when we know the right thing to do we choose not to. Better to marry what you want rather than hoping to convert someone after marriage. That’s presumptuous. Don’t go into all those convolutions of going into marriage with the aim of converting someone after marriage. What if he doesn’t want to be converted? Don’t forget he has freewill. If you know someone is emotionally inadequate for you, you have a determination to make as to whether you can to live with it. If you date such a person don’t complain he doesn’t send I love you texts during working hours. You already knew he has emotional inadequacy and you chose to date him. If only we learn to come to terms with what is in front of us, rather than wishing for what cannot be! Now, I’m not saying people don’t change or can’t change. But it’s their prerogative. But when it comes to relationship it’s safer to assume people won’t change. Can you live with the man right in front of you is the question you should ask yourself. If you can’t live with him and his inadequacies don’t marry him.


Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Expectation, Frustration

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