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Letter to Jil

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My dear Jil, thank you for your mail. In your mail you stated your fiancé doesn’t want you to work after marriage. Indeed if he has his way you’d stop working right now. You’re getting married in two to three months. Well, finance is a major thing in marriage. Without finance a marriage comes under enormous pressure. There’ll be tempers, fuses will blow. Couples become miserable when there’s no money to spend. A lack of money brings things into very sharp focus in a marriage. It generates clarity fast. All the lovey dovey stuff take back seat immediately. You don’t get lovey dovey when there’s lack. You aim for survival. And we all have thresholds of what we can cope with. Some have low thresholds, some have high thresholds. People can turn nasty when there’s no money available in a marriage. The fundamentals must at least be taken care of – things like food and rent.

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My dear Jil, faith sounds like a very big and very deep word. And so I’m going to try and break it down for you in very practical terms. Simply put there ought to be simple trust in a relationship. By this I don’t mean the big things we tend to focus on, things like sexual and emotional faithfulness. I’m talking about the day to day relationship. I’m talking about believing in the love of someone. That’s simple trust. It’s not evidence based. It requires no proof. You just know someone loves you, genuinely, from the heart. And you reciprocate that love genuinely and wholeheartedly. That’s simple trust.

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My dear Jil, you need to be careful about mounting pressure on a guy to marry you. Once a guy starts saying, “You’re too good for me”… “I am unworthy of your love”… “I believe you’ll be happier without me”… It’s a civil way of saying I want to break with you. Sometimes it’s, “I am going through a lot right now”… Or “Things are quite difficult for me right now and I don’t want you to suffer with me”… These are not good signs. They’re polite rejections. If you persist the guy will cut off, not reply your texts, or calls, or mails. What he’s saying is, “Didn’t you get the message?”

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My dear Jil, from the content of your mail I think there are two major things you need to focus on: ambience and attractiveness. If you get those two things right your marriage should be okay. Let me break them down.

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Dear Jack, can you deliver this letter to Jil?

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My dear Jil, I’m so sorry for the state of your marriage. It’s rather unfortunate that things have turned out this way. It’s one of those mistakes in life, and you already acknowledged you made a huge mistake. You made a mistake marrying him. And now it’s become an abusive relationship. He’s taken to battering you. That takes the issue to another level entirely.

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My dear Jil, I think a relationship loses something when there are so many calculations involved. I think it loses sincerity. The relationship becomes very much like a politician governing by opinion polls. Before he does anything he checks the polls. You can’t provide courageous leadership depending on poll numbers. That of course is not saying government should be insensitive. But courage in leadership entails doing what’s right not reading the tea leaves of popular opinion. The people soon come around when what is right is done.

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My dear Jil, it was raining cats and dogs in Lagos. You don’t want to be on the road when the weather is that angry over Lagos. The roads were flooded, as usual. We’re told the flood has something to do with the level of Lagos, that Lagos is below sea level, or something like that. It is on such occasions cars test their mettle. Those who can’t cut it gulp a cocktail of water mixed with Lagos detritus. They naturally choke. The water can rise up to the window level of a sedan. Jeeps of course have it easier. It’s one of the reasons Nigerians love four-wheel drives. It’s based on environmental impact assessment. Cars with over fanciful electronics suffer. Lagos floods tame such prideful dispositions. Such cars are too sissy for Lagos flood. Car companies ought to test their cars in Lagos conditions. Continue reading

My dear Jil, seems you want to eat your cake and have it. Keeping two lives on hold allows you to have it both ways while claiming you’re trying to choose. Flip the coin the other way and see how it works. What if a guy while dating you decides he now wants to decide between you and his ex, but the ex was not in the picture when you started your relationship. How will that feel? But that’s exactly what you’re trying to do to your boyfriend. Continue reading

My dear Jil, initials are not enough. By initials I mean the things you did to attract each other, the state of the relationship when you met, leading up to marriage. You must realise there are two eras in a relationship. There’s the premarital state and the post-marital state. The rules that govern them differ. Continue reading

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