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Read Letter

Character Matters

My dear Jil, you could have solved this whole thing with just three words – “I am sorry!” If you had said those words right after you discovered he was upset, and really meant it, you wouldn’t be at this impasse. And we can say “I’m sorry” and not mean it, you know, say it as something that’s meant to be said, just so we say we placated our partner. But it comes across very wrongly.

Saying “I’m sorry” when you don’t mean it is almost an insult to intelligence. It’s like fobbing things, blunting the edge. We don’t really mean it, we just want to placate anger. It’s even worse trying to pretend nothing ever happened, or that it’s not serious when indeed we know it’s such a serious thing. And we can tell it’s serious matter by the anger expressed by our partner or the measure of pain in his voice as he vents his feelings. And it gets worse trying to imagine you can use feminine wiles to placate him. Again you’re insulting him. It looks like something planned out like you knew how he’d feel but you’re confident you can always pacify him. Just rub his back or smile and tell him you’re sorry without being sorry! But obviously, that’s not working now is it? And it can’t work. It’s insulting. You’re taking him for granted, taking his intelligence for granted.

When we say sorry for what we have done we ought to mean it. “I am sorry” shouldn’t just be words. There has to be genuineness. Without genuine remorse “Sorry” comes across very wrongly. And sometimes we need to say sorry repeatedly. A lot depends on the gravity of the offence. After a quiet period send him a note you’re truly sorry. Depending on the degree of pain inflicted it can take some time to pacify anger. More so when what you did was very deliberate. You knew what the outcome would be but you went ahead and did it anyway. All you thought about was you, your interest. And all that dishonesty and insincerity about the whole transaction… It’s angering. Portrays you as “smart.” And we can get too smart for ourselves and score an own goal. That’s what you did. You scored an own goal. Such “smartness” is often based on a set of assumptions – that the guy won’t consider leaving the relationship for example. Or that no matter what you do, you can always wangle your way out. That’s taking someone for granted.

You’re not going to have an honest, committed and sincere relationship playing all these games. You’re working against yourself. If you want a long lasting relationship you must be ready to drop all the “smartness.” It’s not smart. You’re mistaking dishonesty and insincerity for “smartness.” People do that. But what this does is, it erodes trust. People won’t trust you. There can’t be trust without sincerity and honesty. You have a problem with sincerity and honesty Jil. You can’t even express sincere emotions. You must hedge it somehow, explain it away. You don’t want to be vulnerable. It’s all about control. You want to control your partner so you manipulate affection, make sure you hold back. Which is okay depending on the kind of relationship you want, one that is a game. Which means both of you won’t really trust each other. You’ll second-guess each other, calculate each other’s moves.

Ironically, you want a fully committed and honest and sincere relationship. How is it going to work given your methods? And then you lie by inventing scenarios in your head you want the other person to believe about a state of facts he’s part of. Your alternative narrative bears no semblance to plain reading of facts. Why don’t you drop all this stuff and just be sincere and honest in your relationship? Of course, it might be hard for you having practiced all this other stuff for so long but look where it got you. In life, you can’t eat your cake and have it. A cake doesn’t have double life. And all it does is overshadow your other qualities including your looks. Minus all the constant calculation and trying to be in control and all the self-centeredness, there are wonderful things about you. You can be nice and kind. The only problem is, given your outlook to life it makes people doubt the sincerity of your kindness.

For you, there’s a very thin line separating genuine expression of affection from calculated talk. Can you really afford to lose this guy is a question you ought to ask yourself. And you already know if you do someone else will snatch him fast. So why risk it? This is what you’re going to do: send him a long and sincere text telling him you’re sorry for what you did. The text can’t be short because it will appear terse and uncaring – just something to do, not something you genuinely feel. Tell him you were wrong and that you didn’t mean to hurt him. (Please don’t tell him you didn’t do the stuff on purpose. That’s an insult). Don’t try and parry the truth. Perhaps when he reads your text he will begin to pipe down, regret some of his planned actions. A lot depends on you, what you want. Do you want control of your partner or do you want a relationship?

You also need to drop the self-centeredness. It’s a learned trait it can be unlearned. It’s not about you in a relationship; it’s about two of you. If it’s all about you there can be no relationship. That conceptually defeats the idea of relationship. A relationship is two people, not one person. And all the self-centred stuff is actually insecurity. You won’t see it that way but it is! Of course, it never occurs to you that the other party can also choose to be self-centred. If he is, where then is the possibility of a good relationship? For a relationship to be very successful, there must be selflessness on both sides. There must be caring from both sides too. Both of you must care for and watch out for each other.

Again I ask you, what matters to you, control or relationship? If you want relationship, show you care. Call your boyfriend and find out about his wellbeing once every while. Yes, he’s the man but it shouldn’t always be him asking about you and doing stuff to please you. At some point, he’s going to get emotionally tired from constantly giving out and not getting. And he’s going to resent the control and deployment of “intellect” against him at some point. It’s manipulation after all. One day he’s just going to surprise you with the lovely news he’s quitting. In fact, you’ll start sensing him withdrawing. Unfortunately, you’re going to try and manipulate him when you sense that withdrawal, which will only make him distrust you more. Honesty matters in a relationship. Sincerity matters. There can be no trust otherwise. Would you trust someone who constantly lies to you, whose word you can’t vouch for? I’m putting things starkly. In other words, it all boils down to character. It all boils down to values. Character determines the character of a relationship. So what are you going to do? Continue on the ruinous path, or change course? It’s up to you!

Your mentor, LA

You’re not going to have an honest, committed and sincere relationship playing all these games. Click To Tweet
Tags : abuse, expressiveness, Value, How men think, Trust, Character, Genuine love, Sincerity, Emotional, Considerations, Manipulation

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