KITOTO: Two years down the line and I feel like I settled for the wrong guy

Dear Kitoto,

I have been reading your column with a lot of interest, wondering whether to write to you or not, but here I am. I met the father of my child when I was on a rebound from a six month old relationship that had turned sour. Or rather, he grew indifferent, left me desperate. I started drinking, became reckless, and had what I thought would be a one night stand with a handsome man a year younger than him.

I wanted nothing more than sex from him, since he was not what I was looking for in a man. He lived in a servants quarter and was barely making ends meet whereas I was at the top of my career. One thing led to another and we ended up cohabiting, with a child to boot a year later.

He convinced me he loved me and even though I neither loved nor respected his hustle, I chose to take the leap of faith and now, two years, one child down the line, I feel the same way I did when we first met.: That I am settling for much less than I deserve.

I have spoken to him about separation. We have had a sexless relationship for the past year. I have not moved out of the house yet but my question is that is there hope in such a relationship?

Desperate-to-leave

Hi,

I suppose the basic question here is: Can one can marry a person they do not have feelings for or verbalise their love to? As much as feelings for someone are important, these must be driven by informed choices that illustrate the kind of attributes that I admire in a man. Attributes that will compliment mine and help us grow a relationship where children will grow and flourish.

However, what I sense is a level of settled apathy in as far as this relationship is concerned.

The Daily Mail of Thursday, August 6, 2015 carried a story of Andrea Pierce, 44, an office administrator. She states: “Justin and I had been dating for four years when he proposed.

We were walking in a beautiful field when he suddenly dropped to one knee and offered me a sapphire and diamond engagement ring. ‘It should have been the most romantic moment of my life but all I could think was: ‘I wouldn’t have chosen that ring.”

The trouble here was, she was approaching 30 and worried about her biological clock that was ticking loudly.

On the other hand ‘Justin was nice looking, mature and had a good, well-paid job in the property business. Although she didn’t love him, he offered her the last hope of becoming a mother.

Like your man, Justin was a good man and provider. She hoped that the feeling of love would come later, but that never did. Led by frustration of chasing an illusion, she found herself in the hands of another man who as they talked, he made her stomach lurch in a way the husband never did. Right then she knew that she could not stay with Justin.

Her heart was torn. Two weeks later, he moved out. She later confessed “the relationship with the man from Henley petered out.

I feel guilty for the way I’ve treated Justin and regret throwing it all away for a meaningless fling — but I only have myself to blame.” Has the story really changed today?

I have seen relationships today where one partner felt the way you do and things turned out as above; while in others situations the relationship turned out to be the bliss they were looking for as they made a deliberate effort to make the relationship work. I really do not know much to advise on what would make it work for you since I know very little. However, one year with a man should give you enough to work on and see if this is worth pursuing for both of you.

Do not look at him from the sense of previous relationships. Deal with the past and ensure that it does not interfere with how you look at other men. If not, any other relationship you get into could end up being you biggest nightmare particularly if you force anyone for the wrong reasons.

The good thing is that this man has expressed his love to you — unless you doubt him. If you do then seek to address this instead of being a woman on the run.

Dear Philip,

I a 19 year old student in my second year of university. I have been dating a guy in Fourth Year fora few months now and our relationship is on the rocks.

Earlier this year I realised he was having an affair with another woman. I was devastated but quick to forgive after he claimed they only flirted and nothing more. I didn’t bother to question further.

Somewhere in June he stopped showing affection at all. I tried to confront him and all he said was he doesn’t see any problem with that.

Less than a week later he went silent on me. Out of anger I insulted him saying I do not want anything to do with him any more. He tried by explainingthat he did not have a phone and other issues but due to me talking bad he said he respects my decision. I felt guilty for insulting him and quickly sought forgiveness so that we could try and work out the issue.

He said he needs a break..

Its been over a month now and he hasn’t addressed the issue yet. All he says is that he needs more time. I feel like am losing him and am losing my patience. What do I do?

Abigail

Hi,

At your age, dating and still doing college can be a handful. You are still young and still having a lot to do with your college then career. I suggest that first and foremost, you give priority to your career path by focusing on your college work. Relationships come and go and there is nothing you can do about it. Please don’t waste your future for lack of clear priorities.

Another important thing is for you to seek our a mentor who can help you grow in the way you see things, process and communicate your feelings. Relationships are not simple.

Things can really be complicated. The fact is that this man cheated on you.

However, this issue should have been dealt with exhaustively. And because this was not done, there followed several outbursts from your side and his that don’t really help grow a relationship. Extending a cold shoulder or verbal outbursts of anger will not deal with the real issues hurting a relationship.

The reactions I see reveal a level of immaturity in the way the two of you respond to pain and uncomfortable issues in your relationship. I suggest that you give each other time to reconsider if you are really meant to be together. Personally I see that there is a lot that you will need to deal with if you are to grow towards marriage.

Hello Dr Kitoto,

I am reader of your articles on relationships and I have a pressing issue in my marriage that has left me feeling very betrayed and bitter. I am aged 40 and a mother of three.

Could you be available for counselling or recommend me to a counsellor so that I can get help as I am very low and discouraged.

Frustrated Kenyan Woman

Hi,

In relationships, nothing good comes that easily. If we really want to reap the best, we have to be willing to sacrifice and saw the right seeds in the relationship. Secondly, since there are no guarantees in relationships, we have to commit to a daily walk of faith and trust in the investments we are making. This, followed by regular evaluations will help keep the relationship on the right track.

Third, since building a relationship comes with it set of joys and consequences, those involved must be armed with the right tools that will helps support the relationship in moments of pain or conflict. What I sense is a great emotion of regret and pain that has resulted in a feeling of betrayal and bitterness.

Since most of what we go through life can be managed, we need the knowledge on how to deal with self as we walk towards bringing harmony in the areas of contention.

Learn to remain calm and sober minded in such moments. Pain has a way of clouding our hearts, minds, perspective on issues, thinking and expression of displeasure on the same.

You have to manage your pain so that you can be able to address the issues that cause the pain with objectivity. Most crucial is to follow this with the identification of what is casing you greatest stress.

I have passed your email address to our counsellors who will be in touch with you.

Hi Philip,

I am a 25 years old and I have been in a two year relationship. She is now eight months pregnant now, I want to marry her but my parents they disagree on our marriage.

Apparently, women from my girlfriend’s family are not supposed to get married according to our community’s customs. I love this girl, she’s carrying my baby, how should I explain this issue? Will I not break heart when I tell her about it? I’m confused

Eric

Hi,

Let me start by stating that, dealing with in laws and extended family is crucial in extending family ties and friendships that helps build a healthy society. They are indeed a vital part of our lives and all we need is to find the balance on how we need to relate to them.

Discovering our mandate and limitations will help us know what demands we can meet and which ones we can’t. For example, it would be sad to ignore the support ad advice brought by elders. In addition, our support to our aging parents must not only be seen from the lens of this being a burden.

Your problem however is associate with the influence they have allocated themselves in knowing and even approval on who we should marry. Your love for your parents has made you see your in laws from a tribal sense. This is both unfair and unacceptable view. That clan, tribe, or background they come from deserves respect and a chance to be affirmed as part of the people God created and loves. Your approach should be based on two questions; First: “What makes me think that I truly love this lady?” Second: “I’m I willing to stand for what I posses and believe in?” What we value, we will be willing to die for or make sacrifices for.

As for your relationship with your parents, here are some ways we can relate to them as family:

a) Show them that you care about them and what they feel without succumbing to their demands;

b) Determine the kind of support and areas of agreement that is acceptable,

c) Welcome and receive their input and support particularly where it helps build harmony and fellowship between your family and them.

d) In situations where you have to differ, commit to show them respect but firmly expressing your perspective with love;

e) Be practical in the way you show love to them;

f) Remain accountable and not necessarily enslaved to them.

You must remember that your unity will determine how you deal with such intrusions. Since yours have begun that earlier, how you deal with them will set the tone in future.

It really does not matter what decision you make, however, it appears like you have been influenced, this is the doorway they will always use to interfere.

Parents from both sides still remains a necessary part of a young couple’s life together because: they are a point of reference by providing the necessary social support, instruction and fellowship.

Instead of confusion, I suggest that your attitude changes and you show love and respect toward them while still expressing your stand with love on the issues that may cause conflict.

This will improve the way you see each other and value each other as relatives.

I recommend that you develop a real, open and considerate atmosphere of fellowship and communication where you can air your feelings and concerns.

Showing a strong loyalty bond between your spouse and yourself should be your priority. The first aim in all this is to bridge the gap between yourselves and your spouse that could arise as a result of what your parents feel about her. Until both of you are in agreement, it will be hard to sell this decision to your parents.