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Read Letter

Non Platonic Platonic

My dear Jack, sorry I couldn’t reply your mail earlier. You know how busy my schedule can be.

If you go back to that movie we spoke about, you’ll see how clueless men can be. There was a clip in the movie in which the man’s wife and his girlfriend had a discussion about the feasibility of the love triangle. Every man who watched it imagined the women agreed to keep the trilateral relationship, but every woman who watched it said the other woman was red-carded. Same clip, different understandings. And of course the women were right. Shows you how clueless men can be. I make bold to say we’re the weak link in the chain of our relationships. We’re the more susceptible. We can’t see a trailer gunning for us from three meters away. A woman can read the driver’s impulse ten miles off, especially if it’s a female driver. You have to respect a woman’s intuition. If you’re smart you’ll realise your woman is your protector. Yes, of course some women over do it. There’s a very thin line between protectionism and insecurity.

People have various intentions. Many times those intentions are draped in volumes of subterfuge. It’s only when the chips are down that the truth becomes apparent. And sometimes it’s too late, the damage is done. What you don’t want is another woman stepping in between you and your woman. The impostor will never abide by civil limits. She’s going to go territorial. She’s going to stake a claim. Don’t ask me why. Your great grandfather couldn’t figure women out, your grandfather couldn’t, your dad couldn’t, how do you expect me to know! I’m trying my best here. Ok, jokes apart, I’m just saying there are things we’re precluded from seeing as men because we’re not wired to see those things. We’re not wired to understand sophisticated subterfuge for example. But women are naturally wired to see it.

I’m not sure it’s wise to invite another woman to your home without running it by your wife first, however well-intentioned you may be. If you do and she’s not comfortable with the idea she may be seeing what you can’t see – a free radical. Being smart as a man entails admitting you’re not smart in certain areas your wife is. The woman is the spiritual protector of the man. We’re too naive. And our system is easily compromised. One word of flattery, one “innocent” invitational touch, one proprietary personalisation of affection, one bat of the eyelid, and we’re gone. As in gone! Some of these things are natural to women. But there are women who weaponise those capacities for strategic outcomes. God help you if a woman guns for you. You’re not as strong as you think. You’ll need the intelligence of another woman to parry the attack. You neither know the nature of the attack, nor understand the weapons being deployed… They’re armour piercing.

There has to be a balance somewhere concerning this friendship with your colleague at work and the protection of your marriage. If your wife thinks your colleague is not being innocent she’s probably not. Don’t forget you’re more exposed to your colleague during the week than your wife. You spend at least nine hours every day with her. She’s your constant visual. In trying to find some congruence with her you’re bound to start considering some details about her. You may for instance notice she’s actually pretty. No one can find the balance for you. You have to find it yourself. I’m not sure it’s wise to go home singing the praise of the virtues of your female colleague at work. There’s something called discretion.

I think you ought to let your colleague know you love your wife unstintingly, that your affection for her is non negotiable. She seems to be probing for cracks in your marriage. When she finds that crack she’s going to pile in. She likes you obviously. Not saying that was her intention from the start, but she probably grew to like you. And who knows if that was her intention from the start. You can’t know as a man. Remember we’re poor at sophisticated subterfuge. You need to ensure your wife is respected by your colleagues. Don’t turn your domestic issues into a sport at work. Be careful about the information you volunteer about your wife. She shouldn’t be an item on your office agenda or gossip fodder. If you must talk about your wife praise her to your colleagues, let them see what you saw in her. Make them appreciate her value. The more you rubbish your wife at work in the name of silliness the more you create cracks for amorous adventurists to explore. Let everyone know where you stand concerning your wife. She’s your best friend, your confidante, your lover, your care giver, your comfort, your joy… You can’t do without her. Even if you and your wife have your issues she’s still who she is conceptually. Every other person is a wannabe. And if you have a fantastic wife the thought of replacing her should be presented as an arduous task. Though it won’t stop a determined woman from trying. I’m just saying you’ve got to be smarter and not assume stuff that are contrary to intuition. Wasn’t it Solomon who said kindness makes a man attractive?

You need to find out if there’s an agenda. That’s the critical question. Do the facts point to an agenda? If they do don’t be a fool by giving benefit of doubt. Face facts. Or by the time you wake up damage would have been done. And the intuition need not come from your wife. It can come from another colleague. Women know how to read these things. Of course when your other colleague first hints you you’re going to feel flattered. The interest of women flatters men. You’ll probably not accept it. In fact you may now be intentional about getting close to her. At that point you’re testing the edges, treading the shallow end. You’re going to get lured into the deep and a shark will snack on you.

I’m just saying be wise. Don’t counteract intelligence if you have poor skills in a particular field. And you lack skill in this field I can assure you. You’re young and inexperienced. You will see things better fifteen, twenty years from now. In your thirties you’re too young for life. You’ll understand soon enough. When it comes to relationship kind acts are not always innocent. Platonic friendship is not always innocent either. There may be nothing platonic about “platonic.” And I’m not sure it’s wise trying to hook up with your old girlfriend either. There may be residual feelings in there. You never can tell. I’m not sure your wife will be thrilled either. To a woman you’re acting all so foolish innocently. But you won’t see it as foolishness. You can’t.

Whatever you do don’t engender insecurity in your wife. That can grow into a monster that will consume your lives and the marriage. That thing that you have, that beautiful marriage, cherish it. It’s a rare and wonderful thing. There are many marriages, but not everyone is beautiful. Some are what God had in mind when he was trying to conceptualise hell. Because you’ve never known marital trauma you have no basis for proper appreciation of a wonderful marriage. It’s why you’re taking yours for granted. All you’ve ever known is a beautiful marriage. You don’t need to go to hell to appreciate heaven however. Be smart, ok? Not everyone survives marital hell. Certainly don’t create one for yourself, even if inadvertently.

Marriage is a long journey. It was designed to be. It’s full of adventure, full of challenges… Most times the challenges and difficulties are external to the marriage. You need to learn to interact with external factors with wisdom. This colleague of yours is external to your marriage. She’s an external factor. Be wise in dealing with her.

As for the other issues, you guys can sort them out. They’re minor stuff. The beauty of marriage is the power of two. Sort them out together. Enjoy the adventure. Not everything must be farmed out. There are solutions both of you must come up with.

Sort out this colleague and you’ll see things will improve at home. Talk later.

Your mentor, LA.

© Leke Alder |

You have to respect a woman’s intuition. Click To Tweet You don’t want another woman stepping in between you and your woman. Click To Tweet If you must talk about your wife praise her to your colleagues, let them see what you saw in her. Click To Tweet Platonic friendship is not always innocent. There may be nothing platonic about “platonic.” Click To Tweet
Tags : Family, How women think, Sincerity, the other woman, marriage philosophy, platonic, platonic friendship, unplatonic platonic

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