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Read Letter

Regret Upon Regret

My dear Jil, one of the most painful things in life is when a young man or woman seeks counsel on a life issue, is given sound advice but then decides to follow the contrary; only to write a few years later with regrets for not following the advice. But the damage is done. A young man or woman who is wise in his or her own eyes and so refuses to take counsel and tow the path of wisdom is a painful episode to watch.

Two years ago you wrote me about this gentleman. I did what I’d ordinarily not do. I specifically told you not to marry him. This was based on the facts presented. He was irresponsible, had no appreciation of the issues of life. Ordinarily I will insist you take responsibility for your matrimonial decision and not foster it on me. But there was something in your mail that alarmed me. I felt you were about to take a horrible decision. There are things in life a young person cannot see. There are visuals that can only come with the benefit of life experience. I have seen life. I wanted to save you future headache and trauma. That was why I told you to get out of the relationship. But you decided you knew better. And now here we are. Having followed the counsel of your will you’re now enduring what I sought to prevent you from experiencing – the pain of a bad marriage.
When I wrote you, you challenged my analysis, asserted he cares about you and treats you well. Now you know different. Your response to my advice betrayed a poor understanding of life and men. But then you thought you knew. Obviously you have no inkling about the motivation of the male species in heat. Because this man has no sense of responsibility the relationship was fantastic as long as he got sex without commitment. The moment responsibility was introduced into the mix he went looking for a fresh girl. Now you have a daughter for him he has completely changed. He even claims to be in love with two women now – you and an unspecified. He asks how’s that his fault. How can you blame him for winning flesh lottery in essence! These things were quite clear from the mail you sent. The trajectory of the relationship was obvious. But you couldn’t see it. And pride blinded you. You made the classic mistake of the man who thinks he knows better than everyone else; or the woman who believes she can overcome facts with native wisdom and guile, believes she knows how to control men. Such a woman will willy-nilly plunge into a ruinous relationship believing she can change a man. She imagines she has unusual powers, including the power of conversion. Your mail is thus sad for me to read.
This gentleman has fulfilled my fears for you. Now he comes home drunk. He comes home in the early hours of the morning. And he has another woman. He makes one wonder why a girl like you would fall for such an irresponsible nonentity. But I think I understand. He did the things you fantasized about. He’s short on responsibility but long on toasting. He spoke words – about eternal commitment, your specialness, your beauty, how he’s dying to get inside you, what he won’t give to have you to himself… But only you knew he was lying, and yet you gobbled up those honeycombed words like a famished soul. You overwrote common-sense and believed a lie. You knew it was all a lie. Sweet lies. And now you have a nine month old baby for him you’ve now realised he was never going to be a husband, not to talk of a daddy. He’s just a sperm donor. You’re asking for my help, but I’m wondering, what exactly do you want me to do?! I mean, what can I do? I can’t reverse time.
You can’t go through life impervious to correction and counsel. You’ll lose opportunities in life. Why ask for counsel when you know you won’t listen?! And now you’re threatening divorce after just one year of marriage. Your options are stark aren’t they? Your generation believes it invented life, that experience doesn’t matter, and that the benefit of age doesn’t count. That’s a mistake. There’s that adage about the shiny wardrobe of a young man not being a match for the rag-filled wardrobe of the aged. Not having benefited from past experiences you will rush into making the very mistakes of the generation before you.
You’re not going to improve this man’s sense of responsibility. There are hopeless assignments in life. You shouldn’t undertake them. Some people were brought up irresponsible, it’s all they ever knew. They were over-indulged as kids and became irresponsible adults. Some parents never realise the damage they have caused until years down the line, when the child becomes a problem to everyone including the parents. Such spoilt individuals don’t come to a sense of remorse until they’ve lost valuable relationships. It’s then they realise things won’t work right for them without behaviour modification. But old habits die hard. People are usually afraid to tell such people the truth. Those who do regret taking up the venture. It’s not worth it. There’s incorrigibility – overwhelming befuddling incorrigibility. What makes it bad is they always believe they’re smarter than everyone else. And for some time they will get away with things. Everyone will acquiesce. But what that does is that it reinforces bad behaviour. At some point however they become another person’s problem. That is the case here. This guy has become your problem. Even if you leave him he’ll remain the father of your child. And he’s going to be a problem not just for you but also for your child. He’s her father forever.
The options you have are stark like I said. You’ll find the options are not easy. Divorce is not always what it’s cranked up to be. Staying is not going to be easy either. I could of course refrain myself from giving you further advice, after all you don’t listen. You’re wise in your own eyes. And to the extent you’re staking your life on your unproven wisdom I’d say you’re being reckless. This guy is going to end up impregnating another girl. And he’s not going to assume responsibility for that child either. He’s commitment averse. Not sure he even cares. Yet marriage is responsibility. There are duties that go with marriage – the taking care of family, the being there for the other person, the listening and paying attention, being financially responsible, being prudent with resources… These are serious obligations.
No girl should pledge her life to an irresponsible man. There’s always a price to pay, and it often results in bitterness. Once a child is involved it’ll never end. Even if you divorce there’s still the fact your daughter will someday get married. He has a right to be at his daughter’s wedding. You shouldn’t expect him to contribute to the wedding though. But someone has to give out the girl. He knows he has a proprietary role and he’s going to leverage it. Sometimes such people manage to ingratiate themselves back into the life of their child after years of absence. They show up from nowhere and end up causing a second round of trauma. You have to face the realities of your situation. You can’t start lamenting in regret. What should be your next course of action? How are you going to take care of your baby? Those are the questions you should be concerned with.
This guy will drag you down, waste your life. If you’re not careful you’ll spend the next two decades of your life trying to solve him. Only to realise you can’t solve him. No one can solve a human, only God can. Short of a Damascus experience I’m not sure much will change. You have to start imagining life without his contribution. You have to start thinking of the future. Your primary focus should be your daughter. How are you going to take care of her without his input? He’s not a responsible individual. If I were you I wouldn’t rely on this gentleman for anything. Trying to make him play the role of a dad will be worse than extracting a tooth.
You have already made one mistake. Don’t compound it with another one. I’d therefore ask that you watch your emotions, if you know what I mean. At least until things are sorted out in your head. That’s all the advice I have to give. I wish you all the best.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder |
You can’t go through life impervious to correction and counsel. You’ll lose opportunities in life. Click To Tweet
Tags : Responsibility, cheating, Regret

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