My dear Jil, you shouldn’t get careless with your marriage. There are people who want what you have.
First, you have to be careful about not being available to your husband. That’s not really wise. He has needs – physical and emotional, and you’re the only legitimate fulfilment agency. As an entrepreneur, he particularly needs your moral and emotional support. He needs you for this journey called life. He needs your partnership. It’s important he feels he has you by his side, that he can count on you and your advice. He needs your consultations too.
You have to understand the emotional make-up of men. It’s unlike that of women. Some will debate it but men are actually emotionally needful of women. It’s why they constantly turn to women for succour. Which is why there’s recourse to another woman when the legitimate channel of succour proves sclerotic. There’s an auto search for an alternative. It’s why you shouldn’t leave a gap in your marriage or get careless. There’s someone out there seeking to provide what you fail to provide. And it need not be a girlfriend. It can be his sister, his cousin, his mother, or a close friend who acts as safety deposit box of his fears, musings and aspirations. It’s not wise to leave an emotional or physical gap unfilled in marriage. Not all affairs begin with intendment. The search for emotional comfort and companionship can sometimes develop into an affair. Men are known to go for available and interested comfort.
You’ve got to be available, open and interested concerning his needs. It’s marriage. Don’t be careless. If you keep rebuffing him or he senses nuances of unwillingness in you, he’ll NATURALLY seek an alternative channel of fulfilment. He NEEDS those things. He needs your emotional and physical supply. I’m being real with you. Don’t mind those who downplay these things. They’re not real. I’m deconstructing a man’s psyche for you.
There’s also the question of his fantasy. Can be sexual, sensual or conceptual. Every man grew up with one. They’re variegated. Conceptual fantasy for a man can be in the order of rather imagining his wife a girlfriend, which takes him back to those days. The image is not that of a woman so settled in marriage; it’s routinised and boring. That’s the place of lingerie and all what not. And it refutes the tyranny of physical appendages like hair net, shower cap and tightly knotted scarves that resemble emergency bandages. How are you going to be attractive to your husband being constant in hair net and shower cap? What’s with the wrappers that resemble wardrobe approximation of a village scene in a Nollywood movie? In a situation where he leaves for work before you and comes back from work after you’ve changed into “official house wear”, it means his constant imagery of you is shower cap and hairnet. Men are moved by imagery. Men feed on imagery. It’s why many men don’t care whether the hair is attachment or native growth. As long as the picture fits the concept of the girl in their fantasy, they just fall in love with it.
I get the fact you got angry with him because another woman sent him a text saying she misses him. I get it. It’s legitimate anger. But you’ve not solved the problem by merely confronting him. And you can’t control the woman. It’s her phone. She can text whatever she likes to whoever she likes. Yes, he could have blocked her but it didn’t start with him going after her. She confided her difficulties in him and he offered counsel, which invariably led to civic intimate texts as such things often do. It’s condemnable but the fact remains that your husband likes the idea of someone saying she misses him. When last did you fulfil that need? It’s an emotional need. Nature abhors a vacuum. When you leave that kind of hole in your marriage, an exploitative huntress will go after the opportunity. He is a game and a potential prey. Text and WhatsApp have made romance easier. You don’t always have to have a voice call. There are all those emojis. When last did you send him a heart emoticon or a kiss?
You missed a wonderful opportunity this Valentine. You failed to titillate his imagination, failed to make him feel wanted. (Now, how you interpret that is up to you). But there he was wishing for all those things, and love was in the air, with beautiful women all around him and he had to make do with what he doesn’t have! You’re being careless! The only restraint therefore is his personal discipline, and he’s tried so far. Don’t starve him of what you can easily provide for him. Don’t be presumptuous. There are opportunistic women out there and they can sense a lonesome prey thirty miles off. Why give such women opportunity? Why don’t you take care of your husband? Why live in a bubble?
Of course when this kind of thing is discussed, the natural riposte is, Why only him? What about me? But “whataboutism” doesn’t solve marital problems. It’s an accusatory system that admits wrong but instead of taking corrective steps points the finger at the other party – what about him? “Whataboutism” does not plug holes in a marriage. It creates an impasse – “What about him” challenging “What about her”.
You’ve got to accord him respect. (He must respect you too). Disrespecting him and talking anyhow to him is not wise. Especially as his fortune improves. There’s a woman out there who’s ready to give him the respect you refuse to give him. There’s always somebody out there. Stop treating him anyhow. Those who treat their spouse anyhow often imagine their marriages can’t be breached, that they have their partner locked up. That may end up being a fantasy. And some are so insulting because they imagine the man can never leave. Just as some men imagine the woman can’t leave too and so feel they can do whatever they like. They soon learn.
There a point beyond which you shouldn’t push your partner. You’ll lose him or her. There’s always an alternative to you. Some don’t just have the courage to take that route, until pushed. When you push a man so much that staying with you is too much trauma, he’ll be forced by life to consider the previously unimaginable for his salvation.
A good marriage doesn’t just happen. You work hard at a marriage. It takes effort. On both sides. Stop presenting a careless version of yourself to your husband. Stop looking uncaring and dishevelled. Men are moved by imagery. Of course there are exceptions to any rule. But you don’t seem to have married an exception. You married a natural man. Natural laws apply. And you have to be careful about being so mindful of marriage you forget to be mindful of the man. It’s easy to get into the routine of keeping a home to the utter neglect of the man. Same with children. The man ceases to exist, just the children. By the same token he ought to be careful about being so caught up in his ambition he neglects your needs. That’s equally careless.
The reason I’m asking you to quickly plug all these holes is because your marriage is young and a pattern is being established. If you don’t make corrections now the pattern will become normative. That then becomes the culture of your marriage. For example if you make it a habit to give each other a peck in the morning, that soon becomes an established pattern in your marriage. When the peck is not forthcoming, something feels amiss. But if you don’t establish that as a pattern, even though both of you crave that kind of vision nothing will be amiss though you feel and know something is actually amiss. And it is little, little habits that make and define a marriage. It’s the little things that determine the colouration of relationship.
Don’t establish a culture of non-communication until you both get back home in the evening. Maintain communication all through the day. Forward things to each other – jokes, interesting stuff, video clips… Those things are all over. Send emojis, send selfies… Keep the conversation going. It’s called relationship.
Don’t be careless. Yes, a woman’s physical beauty is no guarantee of fealty but at least it provides an alternative view from distraction for the man. Take care of your physical looks. Don’t forget everyone is looking their best at his place of work. And there’s proximity and constant interaction. In other words, someone looking nice is constantly in his face. Which was why I advised him to keep your picture on his desk and use it as a wallpaper for his phone so he constantly “sees” you. If you look hard and long enough you’re bound to see something, even what’s not there. It’s why some relationships can only work within a context like the office. Take it out of that context and the relationship falters. Why? Because there’s no constancy of imagery again, no constant interaction. Many times the main attraction for the man is the sin, not really the other woman. She’s just a variable provisioned by circumstances. Don’t leave room for such.
The sum total of what I’m saying is, don’t be careless with your marriage.
Your mentor, LA
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