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My dear Jack, I was very worried about what your girlfriend told me you said. You said you’ll never forgive her. All because she reported you to a third party. And to think she did so because she wanted to get you help. You were in a dire situation. There’s the morality of that: how do you punish someone trying to help you? You were in trouble. She didn’t know what to do having exhausted herself. I thought it’s such people you would stick to. She’s your true friend. A true friend is born for adversity. Fake friends run away in adversity. Yes, she made a mistake in form but the substance remains germane. She meant well for you.

It becomes troubling when we pass your statement through the prism of religion. It becomes most troubling. How can a sinner refuse to forgive a sinner? How can a sinner seeking the grace of absolution be unforgiving? That’s a terrible spirit to have – the spirit of unforgiveness. It’s actually a horrible spirit. You cannot go through life constipated with unforgiveness. It’s bile. It will spill over into other areas of your life, colourate your mortal existence. If you don’t want to forgive others how can you expect forgiveness from others? It’s so Mario Puzzo’s The Godfather I, II, III. Those movies are cautionary tales about a rigid framework of unforgiveness. And so she’s rightly worried about a boyfriend who won’t forgive. You should be worried too. In actual fact she’s the one who should be wary of you. Whatever she did to offend you pales in comparison to your spirit of unforgiveness. And the fact you actually said it to her should worry anybody. I’m trying to imagine the vindictive venom-laced declaration – I’ll never forgive you!

You can’t go through life carrying unforgiveness in the ventricles of your heart. That’s a heavy burden for the soul. You’re going to become mean and vindictive. And you’ll be dangerous with power. The thought of an unforgiving man with political power is scary. Means you’re going to go after all your enemies – real and perceived, with vengeance. Don’t forget this is your girlfriend we’re talking about – the one you’ve been with for the past three years, who’s stood by you in your travails, and they’re still ongoing. Be worried about the condition of your heart; be worried about calcified unforgiving substance blocking your arterial corridors.

I have corrected her – told her men don’t like being reported to third parties, especially family members, more so when she was specifically instructed not to do so. Men like to keep their secrets secret. Men consider the spilling of a secret by a partner betrayal. It’s that serious. But while we take judicial notice of that fact she genuinely thought she was helping you. The issues were beyond her. That you will throw away the years of her sacrifice and love because of one simple mistake has to be troubling. So what’s going to happen in marriage? Whoever you marry is going to make mistakes, offend you. Are you then going to throw her out, seek divorce, because of one simple mistake that’s really nothing?

A casual resort to extremities is something we ought to be wary about. Couples shouldn’t go to extremes on minor issues. They ought to avoid saying extreme things to each other in a quarrel. What happens is that pride takes over. You take on the hue of an omnipotent demi god whose declaration cannot be edited. Those declarations are now like the law of the ancient Medes which cannot be changed. That’s a stupid convention by the way, and as history has taught it can lead to terrible manipulation and miscarriage of justice. It can lead to loss of life. That much we learnt from Daniel.

You can have a quarrel with your girlfriend. Boys and girls do that every once too often. But to say you’ll never forgive her?! That’s scary. What if it’s the other way round?  Suppose she had said she could never forgive you for all those mistakes you made at the beginning of the relationship? Or do you now assume you have attained perfection and can’t ever make mistakes? That your partner doesn’t point out your mistakes doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It just means she has an absorbent capacity. It’s called a relationship. It’s why we make mistakes, offer sincere apologies and expect the other party to forgive us. If we don’t expect forgiveness from our partner when we err, there’ll be no need for relationship. And this is nothing really. Do you really want to lose this girl over such a teeny weeny thing? I can tell you upfront your regret will be greater in the medium to longer term. She will have regrets only in the short term. Because of her quality, exemplified by the way she’s stood by you, you’ll have serious regrets if you lose her. This is immature stuff you’re peddling. You ought to ponder life, seek wisdom and pray for good judgment.

How many women do you imagine will endure what this lady has endured with you? You think every woman will? You think this lady is easily interchangeable? When you study the facts of human life you’ll realise the miracle of a good match. The odds are stacked against it. You’ve found a good woman and you want to fling her away with the sling of pride?

I’ll advise you call her. Tell her how painful what she did was, how you hated it. But then tell her she means the world to you and you don’t want to lose what you both have. If you tell her that, expect even greater loyalty from her. You guys should be able to talk things through. You ought to make it a habit to talk things through when you have disagreements, rather than threatening each other with extremities. Jaw-jaw many times prevents war-war in marriage. Discuss your issues. You don’t need to say mean things to each other. The tone of disagreement must assume continuity of relationship. Tone matters in marital communication. Saying the right things with an offensive tone will be considered adversarial in marriage.

Be humble. We all need to be humble. We should avoid making declarations like an African potentate with power to inflict evil and radically alter people’s lives. She’s sent you texts asking for forgiveness. She’s sent you mails. She’s called you. Yet you’re acting like a vindictive African deity, a wooden god without emotional capacity. You shouldn’t do that. Unless you want to transmute into he that must be worshipped in fear and trepidation lest wrath falls. It is instances like this that brings us to ourselves, shows us ourselves, what we are, what we’ve become. And we change every day. But we ought to modulate our transformation. You don’t want to lose a good person in your life. You don’t want to lose a good partner to pride. Just call her. Forget your pride. Or you can send her a text. A “Hi” should open up a conversation. I’m sure she’s waiting for your text. Do that okay?

And you need to learn how to handle pressure. You shouldn’t take things out on those who love you. You have to learn to handle pressure. Deflate it. Sometimes a stroll round the office block before going home works wonders.

Write me soon, okay.

Your mentor, LA

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© Leke Alder |

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Tags : Pride, Forgiveness

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