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Read Letter

I Can’t Stand Him But…

Dear Jil, my problem is that you can’t even stand this guy. You’re not attracted to him, so how are you going to do it? You can’t stand the thought of him touching you…how exactly then are you going to consummate the marriage? The only reason you’re considering marrying this gentleman is because he’s succeeding. He’s going to be a made-man. You want him because he’s responsible, kind, and hardworking…but you can’t stand him physically. And you don’t love him. How do you want to marry a man you’re not attracted to and don’t love? Not that you can’t, but these things have consequences.Marriage is too proximate and too intimate for lack of affection and love. It’s for the same reason you shouldn’t go into marriage with a man you don’t trust. Marriage assumes trust. How can you be intimately exposed to a man you don’t trust? All your emotions are out there, all your secrets, everything! You take the whole man, not a quarter or half. The whole man! You can’t carve out a man to marry parts you like. If you can’t marry the whole man, don’t go into the marriage. How are you going to deal with repugnant parts? You can’t marry attributes either. You marry a man. You can’t marry dependability. You marry the man, the full man. If his physical characteristics are a problem for you, then don’t do it. You can’t wish them away. You can’t say “I like his executive capacities” but don’t want his looks. How are you going to separate them? He can’t wear a mask! He’s who he is – a total man. He’s spirit, soul and body, a tripartite being. You marry all three.

Lust can come in many forms. It can be material lust, or physical lust, or even lust for attributes like character. What I see is you lusting after what this man has and can offer, you don’t want the man. You want the stability he’ll provide, the fact he’s hardworking, an executive…but you really don’t like him. That marriage won’t last. Even if it lasts, it’s a matter of time before you start treating him like some pesky irritant. And when you do that, you’re going to hurt him, badly. He’s going to feel used. He can’t understand. The other option is to put up appearances and endure. So you endure the sex and everything about him…which means you’ll suffer. And you won’t be able to tell the truth about how you truly feel about him. You can’t view a man as some utility. For the same reason, men shouldn’t view women in utilitarian terms. Imagine being successful and coming to the realisation that the only reason your husband endures you is because of your money. You won’t like that, would you? You’ll feel used. And you’ll know he’s going to cheat on you. He doesn’t want you. In fact, such money induced exploitative marriages are dangerous, unless you’ve not been watching Crime Channel.

Along the way, there’ll be that temptation to relieve yourself of the burden of such a marriage, to seek some solution outside. As these things go, demand always attracts supply, somehow. It’s how infidelity commences. Yet society will view the marriage as perfect. And that’s because your feelings are not evident. A large number of divorces out there are the result of marriages that should never have taken place. But it is this kind of reasoning, this kind of “smartness” that produces those divorces – the utilitarian logic. It boils down to someone who doesn’t want someone, marrying the said someone for selfish comfort…and it soon escalates. Being irritated by your spouse can easily turn to despite. Escalation to hatred can be a matter of time. Now, you can’t imagine a husband and a wife hating each other yet living together, but there are many cases. Happens. Such couples are even known to bear children together yet they hate each other, can’t stand each other. Utility marriage.

Jil, you know what you want in a man. Why don’t you rather pursue that, than being opportunistic with the wrong man? This man is a “what”, not a “who” to you. You just want to use him to attain comfort. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know. Let’s take things the other way. Suppose this guy is rich but a violent wife abuser, would you still want him? Of course not! Why? Because that money can’t mitigate the psychological trauma he’ll unleash into your life. No good person will ask you to go into marriage with a violent wife abuser, unless there’s greed involved. If you determinedly go for such a man, society may not be too sympathetic unless it’s extreme violence. They’ll say you knew! You need to ask yourself if you’re not being greedy for the fruits of this man’s industry considering you don’t want him.

Right now, the euphoria of the gifts he’s buying you is encouraging greed and blindness. Yet you may be building your jail. When you’re locked up in the marriage, then you’ll realize you’ve outsmarted yourself, that you mortgaged your happiness. Happiness matters in marriage. A great deal. You can’t do without happiness. The opposite is depression. And time soon reveals you did short-term thinking going into the marriage. The thing about these things is, you’ll be on your own in the marriage. No one can appreciate your pain. All those friends egging you on to go into a loveless marriage just for comfort, they won’t be in the marriage with you. When the pain starts all they’ll offer you is “Sorry!” Then they’ll tell you to endure. But why should marriage be endurance? You don’t want to marry a rich wicked man. That’s marrying sadism. The marriage will be a subjugation exercise. He’ll oppress you with that wickedness. Then you’ll realize how wickedness is employed as a tool of sadism. He’ll neglect you. It’s not as if you have a spare life, so you can’t afford to gamble with the one you have. Don’t go on a marital suicide mission. Don’t be reckless with your life and happiness.

Of course there are those telling you love and attraction don’t matter, to just focus on the money. But you have to be careful whom you take advice from. Not all advisers are well-intentioned. Some are channeling their pain and anger, their marital woes buried under powdery foundation, their tears mascaradized. If you can’t stand a man, why would you then want to sit and lie with him in marriage? Think. Just think. Before you plunge into an unthought-through marital union. The other name for that is future crisis.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

For related letters, search for Mary Physical Attraction Matters, Marry Someone You Love, at

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Tags : Utility, Love, Lust, Marriage

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