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Read Letter

Clash In The Head

My dear Jil, he’s a chipmunk! That’s what he is! You know about chipmunks? They have an interesting quality. They have three-day memories. They can’t remember much beyond three days. So when they store food and don’t retrieve it before three days, they begin to scurry about searching for where they kept the food, desperately.

In the same vein, this guy seems to have a short-term memory. He has forgotten all your sacrifices. To put it crudely, he used you! You fed him in school, clothed him, even bought the shirt he wore to his job interview. And now, he has the job and he quickly forgets you. He’s a big boy now, with a new girlfriend in tow. I’m afraid you’ll have to bite the bullet on this one. I know it’s painful but this is not the kind of guy you should want to marry. And I know it’s difficult given all the years of investment but he’s who he is and character matters in marriage.

We concentrate too much on personality in the choice of marriage partner and not enough on character. It’s character that counts. The function of personality is likeness – the liking of someone. It works with physical look. The two combine. It’s about attraction. But once attraction is done, character kicks in and if there’s a major deficiency in character, it’s only going to create a conflict in you. Your head will start clashing with your heart. You know how you like someone you shouldn’t want? That’s likable personality, attraction clashing with character. And when it comes to marriage, character wins in the end, not personality. If he’s selfish and self-centered, his personality can’t redeem the marriage. He will keep causing you pain. You’ll like him but he’ll keep doing hurtful stuff, keep on being conceited and inconsiderate. You won’t know what to do. And so when he does something based on his personality, like telling you how beautiful you are, you lose your head, get hopeful. But then the next minute he takes all you have and blows it on selfish purchase and you realise the compliment was to get money off you.

This clash of personality and character has messed many people up. It creates confusion. Liking someone who has no character brings pain. The only thing you can do, what you should have done is walk away. His self-centeredness will keep haunting your happiness. And he’s still going to hurt the new girl. They’re still in toasting phase. He’s turning on the charm – the likability factor. The character deficiency will soon manifest. A relationship in which one party is extremely focused on self will only bring sadness and hurt to the other party. That’s what selfishness does. You’ve been forbearing all these years. Youthful love covered up chronic character deficiency. But then it’s manifested. I can’t imagine how your parents would feel. They took this guy in as their own son. They were parents to him. There was the general understanding you were going to marry. They took him in because of you.

As tough as it is for you, in some way you should be happy and relieved he went away. It’s not a loss. You would have paid a price with your life. It’s akin to that case of the guy who apparently had two girlfriends and borrowed money from one to marry the other. Said it was for a business transaction. The girl that was duped should go to church and have a thanksgiving. Imagine being married to such a guy! So sometimes the things we consider pain in our lives, like a broken relationship with a wrong person are actually blessings in disguise. Of course it’s going to hurt nonetheless. There’s a lot of investment in there – you invested time, hope, faith and emotions. As well as finance. And yourself. But better not to marry an inconsiderate selfish guy. He’ll make plans with no thought of you whatsoever. All he’ll think about is himself. And it’s going to spill over to fatherhood. If you marry such a guy, you’re going to raise the children alone. With help from your family. He’ll never be in the marriage. He’ll just be gallivanting all over town, imagining himself a bachelor still. He’ll come home at ungodly hours, rue any sense of responsibility to you and his family. You can’t ask him where he’s been. He’ll take exception or just tell you he hung out with friends.

Some have been known to relocate their family abroad without any plans for their upkeep or settlement whatsoever. They only planned for themselves. And usually guys like this are the ones who boast in contrived agony about the school fees for the kids even though they put nothing down. The wife pays the bills. They engender bitterness in children. The children know what’s going down, know it’s mum doing all the lifting, not just the heavy lifting. These are men who as kids were not brought up to be responsible. They were acculturated to live off women. Oh, they know all the bars, have all the smooth talk, know how to toast women, but there’s no sense of responsibility whatsoever.

Personality and looks cannot sustain a marriage. It is character that does. Let him go and let it go. The burden is now the other woman’s. She’ll soon realise she doesn’t have a husband; she has a man, even a boy! A good, responsible and appreciative man will come. Stop crying. You want a man who thoroughly appreciates having a responsible woman like you. You want a guy who can’t believe his luck he has you, who appreciates your hard work, your contribution and affection. It’s not wise to cast pearl before swine. The swine will turn around and rend you to pieces. Swine don’t appreciate pearls, don’t know what it is!

Sometimes in relationships we want to “help” someone, to save someone. Yet you cannot save anyone. You’ll only court grief. Your motherly instinct may want to do all that saving and nurturing; only you’re not dealing with a teenager. You’re dealing with an adult. It would never have worked. There are relationships whose trajectory obviously point to pain, disillusionment and disappointment. Have the wisdom to get out of such. And when you won’t and circumstances aid you, accept and be grateful.

The thing about a bad marriage is that it weighs heavily on the spirit. The burden ages people, puts a furrow on the forehead. It’s why you have to make the right choice in a marriage partner. It’s psychological health. There’s a limit to the weight the soul can carry. A soul is not a heavy duty vehicle. The weight of a sad marriage is heavy. The soul wasn’t designed to carry sorrow for a prolonged period of time.

Since you’re such a generous and sacrificial person you’ll be happiest being married to a generous and liberal soul. You’ll carry a heavy burden married to a selfish individual. Insensitivity accompanies selfishness. If you marry someone who cares only about himself where does your care come from? From where will you get succour? Who do you turn to? Put him behind you. Move on with your life. It may be difficult at first but the weather soon clears. The rain will stop, the sun will rise. You’ve got your whole life in front of you. Accept he’s history – something to look back on, not something to look forward to. The man to look forward to is ahead of you. Your ex will soon come to appreciate your accommodating nature. Without that nature and its forbearance the relationship would never have been. He’ll wish he had stayed with you, come to realise it was your nature that absorbed his excesses. Hope for the best. The good man will come.

May you meet a tender, loving, caring, appreciative and wonderful gentleman – a very responsible man. Stop crying, ok?

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

For related letters, search for YOU DESERVE RESPECT, YOU DESERVE BETTER at

We concentrate too much on personality in the choice of marriage partner and not enough on character. It’s character that counts. Click To Tweet
Tags : How men think, Personality, Choosing, Appreciation

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