KNOWING WHEN TO GIVE

It has always been difficult for me to ask people for help and money is one of the most difficult thing for me to demand from anyone because l don’t know what the other person is going through financially.

People may see this attitude as pride or arrogance but it’s none of it. I only don’t wish to be a burden.

I can share my problems with you but l won’t ever ask you for help. It’s up to those who wish to help me, to willingly do so.

I’ve been told by a few people to ask for help when l need it because some will not help, unless they are asked to despite them knowing your problems. Well l haven’t still found my voice to ask, till date.

This brings to mind, my experience with my partner. Throughout our relationship, l didn’t request for favours from him except for his time but he frequently asked me for things which l obliged whenever l can.

He comes to my home for meals, always wanting me to pamper him and assist him with his business but he couldn’t spend his own penny on me.

In fairness to him, l never directly asked him for any favour. He knows me for that, moreover l saw him as a stingy fellow. He won’t chip in anything voluntarily not even buy me a birthday present.

He said he doesn’t give unless he is asked to give but he can take when he is given.

Funny! He expects me to demand for a birthday gift from him before he buys me one, how silly!

Anyway, I was so hard up at a point that l lamented to him, not request and all he did was to listen to my lamentation and nod his head in sympathy.

knowing l was dead broke, he still ate my food that day and drank my herbal tea without helping with a penny.

This was a very comfortable man, who took from me but couldn’t help me when l needed his help.

Believe me, l was not feeling entitled to his help but l felt kindness begets kindness.

He would brag about helping his ex girlfriend pay her tuition fee while he literally watched me bleed in pain and couldn’t buy me a plaster to seal up my wound.

You may blame me for not asking him directly for his help or looking up to him for help.

I felt as a human being and a romantic partner, he saw what l was going through and he knew l was in dire need of help. He should have at least said something kind. Not just stand by and watch me suffer when he had more than enough to help me with.

Well he doesn’t help unless he is asked to, was his rhethoric and forever excuse.

He probably wasn’t in love with me but that is not the issue here.

My point is, we should know when to assist our partners, even when they don’t ask.

Some people like me, don’t know how to make demands. So when you see your partner struggling, please help them if you can afford to since it is not an everyday thing and you know they are not with you for what they can get. Moreover they are willing to help you too when you’re in need.

Don’t wait for them to ask before you know when to give. If you don’t have, make it clear to them you know what they are going through and are willing to help if you had the opportunity to do so.

That means you’re a caring partner, who knows what to do at the appropriate time and it will also show you’re aware of their pain even though you’re not told directly.

Knowing you’re willing to help, may just be enough.

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TO DIVORCE OR NOT

I was asked an incredible question this past week and it made me feel uncomfortable. A woman asked me, if she should divorce her husband or not. She said, it is hard for her to reach a decision on her own. So l should help her out.

In the first place, nobody asked her to get married. She should also not expect anyone to tell her to get a divorce.

It’s obvious she is confused and torn between ending her marriage or staying put but she can’t just walk up to me because we her friends and expect me to help her end her marriage.

I know she is looking for someone to point her in the right direction but she seems to be going about it the wrong way.

Anyway l won’t be the one to encourage her to divorce her spouse. l honestly don’t know what problem she has with her partner and she won’t give details. She only said, she is tired of him.

It’s sometimes difficult to walk out of a marriage. It takes guts to simply walk away and not look back.

Nevertheless, this is a decision nobody can take for you because only you know where the shoe pinches. Aside that, it’s your life and your problem.

So don’t put such a heavy burden on your family and friends shoulders by asking them to decide whether you should stay or end your marriage over your marital issues.

You will hate them forever if they advised you to divorce your spouse and you did but regretted it later.

I really won’t advice anyone to suggest divorce for a marriage you’re not personally involved.

It is risky advising anyone to leave their spouse even though they asked for your advice as a family or friend. Be diplomatic with your response or point them to the direction of a skilled therapist.

Don’t be the fall guy and don’t allow empathy to overwhelm you. It’s not in anyone’s place to breakup a marriage. Truly “what God has joined together let no man put asunder”

A SOLID FOUNDATION

For a marriage to last long and be enjoyable, I believe a rock solid foundation is a contributing factor.

I’ve counseled quite a number of couples and l’ve seen so much in marriages, to have reached this conclusion.

In counseling, l found out that some people wobbled and fumbled into marriages with no strong foundation and they fell apart within few years.

Others were lucky to maintain stability in their homes, despite a wobbly foundation but it took them a lot of perseverance.

A solid marriage foundation, starts with friendship, progresses to a relationship then to marriage. It is effectively nourished with a good communication skill and no assumptions.

Such relationship has to be built on genuine love, trust, sincerity and kindness with no sinister motive, like marrying for money, class, caste, sex, status and every other wrong reasons.

The truth is, you can not completely know your spouse no matter how long you’ve been married but you can tolerate each other to a large extent if your marriage was built on a solid ground. 

It doesn’t mean you will not get into arguments or get mad at each other but your fights may not easily lead to a break up because you understand each other reasonably well.

I know there are no guarantees in life and people with strong relationship foundation can also falter but the rate of divorce is relatively smaller in this group compared to those who were built on a wobbly ground and this is exactly my point.

Even if you decide to break up, there will be less tension because you were once friends.

This is the 21st century, know what you’re doing, when choosing your spouse. Don’t add sentiments to it and don’t look the other way when something is clearly wrong. Don’t be overwhelmed by your emotions.

If you observe something is wrong, deal with it before tying the knot and don’t imagine every thing will naturally fall into place when you get married. They mostly don’t and you may end up regretting your decision for the rest of your life.

No one is perfect and no marriage is also perfect but you can at least marry your friend, someone you have alot in common with and together you can build a solid marriage.

LOST AND FOUND

A young father of two, left home for work one morning and he didn’t return home as usual after the day’s work.

His phone was switched off and all attempt to reach him was futile.

After a frantic search for a month, he was presumed dead by his family. Only his wife thought he was still alive because his body was not found.

Well the father of two, eventually resurfaced after eight months when he ran out of money.

He reached out to a close friend for financial assistant and confessed to him that he was tired of his marriage and he didn’t want any family drama. So he pulled the disappearing act to get his wife, off his back.

Angry with his friend disappearing stunt, he told everyone involved and that was how they all knew he delibrately ran away from home.

Why do that, I commented when l was told. Why put your family and friends in agony? Why not just ask for a divorce and work things out amicably or go tough to reach a divorce settlement. That is still better than running away.

Only a coward or a mean spirited fellow will do that. Without thinking of his parents, kids and friends he ran away without a trace leaving them to grief for his death when he is alive.

As a friend, I will probably not have anything to do with such a person again. Even as a family, trust will forever be thrown out of the window.

Not matter how difficult things may be, face your challenges instead of running away. The problem we are running away from, will be there waiting for us when we come back.

It’s like drowning yourself in alcohol to forget your problem. When the effect of the drink disappears, the problem will still be staring at you in the face wearing suit and tie.

Let’s not continue to sweep our problems under the carpet, hoping it will go away. Challenges don’t have wings, they can’t fly away. Stay and resolve it or learn to live with it, if it can’t be resolved. At least you know you tried your best.

AWAKENED LOVE

I once fell in love with someone, who woke up a torrent of love and emotions in me without the intention of truly loving me.

I wasn’t really into him at the beginning. I only saw him as someone I could relate with intellectually.

Getting close to him, I found out he was funny, neat, polished and intelligent, absolutely my kind of man. That excited me, especially with him keeping up with my playful side.

When the window of opportunity came, he pursued me relentlessly and I gave in. Falling hopelessly in love with him.

In my mind, l thought it was a match made in heaven.

He did set my soul on fire and my love for him burnt wild.

Suddenly and without any warning, he began to drift away. He didn’t share any intimacy with me, except a few stolen kisses and he became too busy to see me. Cranky and impatient with me.

After a while, I figured it was a game to him because he had no excuse for his actions and his disappearing act.

I truly felt like a lab experiment with the way he treated me. It was as if he was testing me, to know my reactions to his overtures and when he got his answers he started misbehaving.

Instinctively, I knew he had a sinister motive. So I broke it off, instead of accomodating his endless excuses and lies.

How cruel of him, I thought. Why would anyone relentlessly chase a man or a woman, you don’t want.

Why would you tease someone for no reason and awaken their love, when you have no intention of loving them.

How do they look at themselves in the mirror? I wondered.

Well, it is history now. Though I came out of it hurt, I also learnt a lesson.

I just hope, people who awaken others love with evil intentions, will quit doing this.

It is cruel to make someone love you and you neglect them.

What you don’t want to eat, don’t taste it. Don’t even smell it.

THE BEST PLACE TO BE

I promised myself a few years back not to argue with anyone, no matter how desperate I want to prove a point. Well I am still actively making efforts to keep to it.

So when a lady friend told me the best place for a woman to be, is in a beautiful marriage. I kept calm and listened to her. Only voicing my opinion when she finished.

She said, she is honestly tired of coming in and out of relationships. She wished, she was married.

She needed stability in her romantic life and marriage is the only answer.

l wondered what gave her the impression that she won’t also come in and out of marriage as she did in her relationships.

I totally believe in marriage but the world does not start and end with it. Moreover, you have to love and have confidence in yourself before you seek love from others.

No one can give you happiness or stability except yourself. Happiness and self worth comes within.

This will in turn, give you the strength to unconditionally love another and be appreciated.

Desperate as she is for a romantic stability, she will one day rush into marriage, get hurt and rush out.

l’ve done my bit as a counselor, by advising her to take a step back. Restrategise and reappraise her relationship goals. Change her taste in men since the ones she has been dating are not working for her.

While doing that, she should stop thinking marriage is the only way to get romantic stability or the beginning and the end of life.

I also told her not to define herself by her relationship success or failure. Above all, she should find happiness and fulfillment within before attempting marriage.

SHE COMES FIRST

I had a conversation with a middle aged man, who told me his wife is a wonderful woman and no other woman comes before her. She is first he said, yet he has strings of girlfriends.

He comes home very late everyday with little or no time to spend with his so called wonderful wife.

Hardly ever available for family outings and most of his free time is spent with girlfriends in guest houses and hotel bars.

He loves his beer and his countless women, still he claims his wife comes first.

What the hoops is he talking about, I queried. His actions apparently contradicts his words. To me, his wife obviously comes last.

No man or woman will consider their spouse first and spend most of their time with other people, unless it is work related.

They will be happy to spend their free time with their spouse, not lock themselves up in a hotel room with girlfriends or boyfriends.

When l asked him why he has numerous girlfriends despite having a lovely wife. He said, (generalising is first line of response) one woman can not satisfy a man and he will always have his flings but he will not bring another woman into his matrimonial home.

He won’t ever divorce his wife nor marry a second wife. That in his mind, makes his wife to be the first.

Everything he said to me, made me to conclude is a selfish man. Who is only concerned about himself and his needs.

He has no love or respect for any woman, not even for his wonderful wife. Whom he says, is sweet and caring.

I told him, he is a chronic flirt. He is eating his cake and having it because his wife permitted him. She probably kept a blind eye to his philandering for peace sake.

I won’t agree to spend the rest of my life with such a cheat. A man that will rather spend his time with other women and keep me only as his first lady, has no place in my life.

It is wrong to put your partner first with words and treat them last with your actions. If he or she comes first in your life, show them in words and in your actions.

NOT A VICTIM

Each time my heart is broken or someone let me down, l cry like a baby and feel like a victim of a monumental injustice.

One minute l was celebrating victory over my excessive emotions and sentiments. The next, l started crying like a baby.

Yesterday, l was deeply hurt by those l call friends and those l loved. l cried myself to sleep last night but woke up this morning to ask myself these questions, “when will you take a firm grip of your emotions” “When will you stop completely trusting people and stop adding sentiments to all issues”

l always consider myself a strong woman, in the face of adversity but when the chips are down, l drop like a jelly and cry my eyes out.

lt’s human to feel pain when you’re hurt but to wallow in self pity, is detrimental to one’s health.

So how long will l allow my so call oppressors to win? How long will l continue to cry and see myself as a victim each time the ball drops on my lap.

Enough! l told myself this morning but l’ve heard me say that too many times. I’m only praying now and working through the ropes to really stand firmly on “enough” and push forward.

l’ve refused to tag myself a victim and not give anyone the satisfaction of making me cry again. I am not a victim but a victor.

WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO OFFER?

My niece said, she will not date a man that has nothing to offer her. She has to know what he is bringing to the table before she can agree to a relationship.

She does not want a man that will take from her and not give anything in return.

Take from her, does not mean only love and intimacy. She mentioned her time, respect, Kindness, fidelity, loyalty, including her prayers and many more.

She does not want to be the only one making all the sacrifices. He also has to be seen as been active and involved in the relationship.

I quite agree with her, not because she is my niece. She made some salient points that l found valid.

Some people are actually looking for help not a real relationship and that is their primary motive for going into a union.

They just want to take and take without giving anything in return, even the non physical things. This is not about a man or a woman, it is both.

If a man cannot offer you a gift, he should be able to offer you kindness. If he cannot be loyal to you then he should be faithful and so forth.

Something has just got to give. It is important to know your proposed partner is ready to make sacrifices and he or she is sincere about it. This will give you an idea of what to expect.

If you’re willing to pray for his wellbeing, he should also be willing to say a prayer for you. Aside that, if you give her your time, she should also do the same too. Not becoming too busy to spend her time with you.

We should not fool ourselves at the altar of love. Playing nice to a carefree partner is simply naive.

Love is give and take, it should be so for equity sake.

So what have you got to offer your partner?

MY BIRTHDAY! MY DAY!

Today is my birthday and I’m thankful for the gift of life. God has granted me the grace to reach this age and that’s wonderful. I’m here, still living and waxing strong. Enjoying my life and generally at peace within me.

I am really big on birthdays but I don’t celebrate it anymore with parties like I use to do in the past. I’ve made it a reflective period for me since the last five years.

I take stock of what I’ve done in 365 days. Make changes where necessary and move on to my next birthday but today seems different, I feel like partying and generally having fun.

I have mentioned it severally on my blog that I am overly emotional and I allowed sentiments to run my life which makes me appear very naive. One thing, I have achieved between my last birthday and today, is taking charge of my emotions.

I was an emotional wreck before now. I loved blindly, put others always before me. Yet they take me for granted and throw my love back at my face. Except for few who truly appreciate my love and support.

Always bending backwards to please people, especially my partner. Loving hopelessly and helplessly.

Well things are different now, although I am a work in progress. Still emotional but refined and more in control than I have ever been in the past and it has given me so much relieve and made my life less stressful.

This is enough reason for me to celebrate, put on my shoes and dance a liberating dance to mark my birthday.

Please join me in celebrating a well deserved birthday and a more fulfilling life ahead.