A Conversation From Years Gone By
There comes a time when a relationship that was thought to be progressing on the right path suddenly grinds to a screening halt, with all its tires torn up and rendered unmovable. Well, I can say I was in that kind of situation, many years ago.
When it happened, everyone thought I was going to struggle to cope; are you Ok, George? Oh PG, no shaking, it will be well. Everyone was on my case, including those I didn’t consider to be friends. Truth is, I was totally ok; it was only a relationship, not my life. Well, the transition was sudden, I admit. You go to sleep dating and you woke up single… No PDAs, no long calls and all; the whole bouquet of what you would expect me to throw out there when I am in a relationship, was gone.
It was a deafening silence for many people around me. For me, however, it was a milestone, and moving on was my next preoccupation. I remember my boss calling me a couple of times to ask me if I was coping well. Heck, few friends and clients even wanted to set me up with close associates.
Then one day, I was about my regular life unfoldings when this woman, about 10 years older, cornered me and got into a lengthy conversation that changed how I saw mate selection and the strategic planning and considerations that should go in.
That, I guess, influenced my thinking when it came to mate selection.
I would like to share the crux of that conversation (well it was a mini counseling session if you will) with you, hoping it will set you thinking on what to look out for when making That Big Decision on who to move in with in the next phase of your life. Let me say that it may not apply wholly to everyone, and might not be your standard, but in my experience, it is true enough to be a Grade A truth…
“George! How are you?” She said with a smile, yet a show of concern on her face.
“Please I am doing well,” I replied cordially. I knew she was going to join the droves of humans singing the vertiginous litany of you will be fine, it is well, it is her loss… Gosh, it was beginning to get to me. The Sympathy was probably affecting me than the event itself, but still, we move, Kankpe!
“I heard you recently broke up with your woman.” Aaahhh I said it. That seemed a little intrusive since I was not on that level with this individual. But this is Ghana, and those were the days where everyone was in everyone’s business as a sign of concern. Mechanical solidarity
Yes, please. I indulged with a calm smile.
‘Don’t worry,” She comforted. “It is not your loss, it is her loss.” She said, rather surprisingly. Not that I had considered the thought that a relationship ending was the end of life, but hearing that from her was comforting in a strange way. I did not think she thought that highly of me.
“Accra is big,” She began to break it down. “And the nature of the job you do means you will never lack a pot to choose from. But consider these when you get back into the love market again.”
A Woman you can always come back home to
The Job you do exposes you to a lot of women. From your clients to your industry colleagues, you will always meet that one woman you would want to spend a little bit of time with when you are out there. Some will present themselves to be intellectually superior, emotionally mature, and stable, and physically attractive. Some will be more caring than what you are used to, supportive, resourceful, and everything that gives you optimum satisfaction in a woman. Make sure that the woman you will end up with as your wife, will be all that and more. That is the only way you can see past every distraction in front of you and go back to her.
Many men are stuck out there; they can’t look past the distractions that come their way, not because they are weak men, but are overwhelmed. These men chose suboptimal women. For whatever reasons, they were myopic in their choice, failing to see there will be growth, progress, and exposure as the journey in this life. They made a comfortable choice that suited their needs at the time, failing to factor in their own personal ambitions and hopes. Now they are big men, stuck with women who won’t grow along with them, who will shun every form of help you want to offer, comfortable in their mediocrity and mundaneness.
So they are stuck out there…And without the discipline to accept the fact that it was a choice they made and therefore need to live with the consequences, they are punishing their women for the choices they made themselves.
Don’t settle easily. Choose right.
A woman you can share your fears and concerns with
There are a lot of men who have fears and are looking for women they can share with. They are looking for women who will not be all over the place about their poor sexual situation, but rather help them find a solution together. You are a man, and you know what it feels like to be scared and anxious and having to carry it all alone because our culture says men do not be vulnerable, complain or cry. But are you saying that if you had a woman who understood you, and made you feel safe around her, you would not share your fears with her? Your financial fears, your career fears, your fears concerning your children; even your fears that you could be falling for another woman? And when, God forbid, the worse happens, are you sure you wouldn’t want a woman who can understand what led that mistake and help you overcome it and restore the sanctity of your marriage?
Do not settle for a woman you are scared to open up to; a woman you are scared to share your deepest fears, angst, and trepidations with. This life is scary, and if you end up with someone you are scared to share your fears on this life’s journey with, you are going to be stressed needlessly; first the fear of the things of life, the fear of opening up to your partner, and the frustrations of both fears.
A woman you can always remember is equally good when you feel tempted out there
Temptations will come, which I am sure you are familiar with. Ladies will tempt you with food, service, sex, social connections, intellect, money. Yes, there are a growing number of women who are also using money to entice men. So, you will be tempted on all sides. Ensure that the woman you have in your life, blows your mind when it comes to sex so that even when another woman makes sexual overtures, you can remember all the good times you two share in the comfort of your marriage, and tell her point black, you can’t offer anything new.
Ensure your woman is serviceable, can put a decent meal on the table for you and the kids, and is not a financial burden on you. Luckily, you live alone, and from what I hear, your cooking and housekeeping is an envy to many. So, I can be certain a woman enticing you with food and other cheap things is not a deal maker. But do not get it wrong, after marriage, no matter how capable you may be, it is expected that your partner supports you. You cannot say because you can cook and clean, you should end up with a lazy woman who cannot do any of these. If you can afford the service of third parties, that is awesome. But someone has to make sure food is available and ensure the home is running. In the same way, while a woman earns good money, she will still expect that the man provides at home so she when it matters, can supports.
Roles are not cast in stones and depending on your own arrangements, you can choose who does what. That is entirely up to you; do not allow any culture or family member to discomfort you on what makes your marriage work. However, regardless of the roles you ascribe to yourselves, each of you should individually have what it takes to make the home run before one party begins to feel everything is left on them. That is a quick way to build resentment at home.
Do not choose a woman because she is a cleaning company or a restaurant chef, but a decent ability to deliver the basics of these matters, the same way she won’t choose you because you are a millionaire, but based on your ability to decently provide at home. And when I talk about cleanliness, I don’t mean, just removing dirt; I mean how the home is arranged, how children are dressed, how they carry themselves, choice of interior décor, and exterior appearance of the home are all a part. When I talk about cooking, I just don’t mean tasty food, but well balanced and healthy meals. So, look deeper and choose.
A woman you can grow with and be happy to show off
There are a lot of beautiful, qualified, and well to do women in Accra. For your age and level, we can say they are good for you. But where will they be in 10 years’ time? Some will be at the same place. They will get comfortable, end their education with their first degree, settle in rented houses, feel comfortable spending money on things that have no value, drag you down the dark rabbit hole of extravagance. These women will not see the bigger picture, but rebel in order to keep themselves on a road of mediocrity, vice, and madness.
Some of these women, you already know, and you can make a mental note about where they are now, and go look for them in 10 years’ time; you will return my stone. I know.
When I look at you, I see an ambitious young man who is hungry to be great. You need a woman who sees nothing short of this dream of yours; a woman who believes in that dream so much so that you don’t need to convince them and remind them every day what the dream is. She knows because she identifies with it. You do not need a woman who is everything you are looking for in a woman except the agreement on your aspiration. A partner who does not believe in your life’s journey is a partner who will overtly or covertly resent, sabotage, or resist your progress. In the world of women, too many of us are married to men who are covertly undermining us.
Your woman may not be on the same trajectory as you as far as life’s dreams matter, but she should be someone who can look at you and honestly tell you that while she is pursuing a different dream, she still believes in your dreams, and will support you when you need it.
Yes, we can’t all have that one rib that fits perfectly, but so long as your soul and spirit do not reject that rib, even if it is not a perfect fit, you are good to go. She might be different but in a complementary way, rather than an opposing way.
Whether the two of you see things the same and follow similar dreams or not, you should be able to point to her with pride knowing that she is growing with you, she is achieving with you, and together you are taking on the world.
You don’t want to appear at corporate events with a side chic because your wife got off the train at the last station, and can’t be reached, or doesn’t want to be reached. Sweetheart, go, I will be home. Baby go, you know you and your people speak a different language I don’t understand; mine is the everyday life language. Baby, I don’t feel like dressing up and going with you. Some will be willing to go with you to face the world, but they don’t get it that they need to appear in a particular manner. How do you show up with a woman who easily gets offended even when all you are doing is to help her conduct herself in a way that commands the respect she deserves among your peers?
A woman who can keep you in check
Many men find jewels in women, but the women are weak to take these men on to ensure they become the very best of themselves. You need a woman who is aggressive in ensuring that you are growing, encouraging you to go for the world, helping you in the process, and calling you out if you are going in the wrong way, or showing up wrong. You need a woman you can point to in the future and be unashamed about the fact that you would be nothing but for her. You need a woman who can challenge your stubborn ways so you do not become a danger to yourself.
One day you will be so set in your ways that your path is right, and everyone may agree with you, except the one who goes to bed and wakes up with you….that one person who knows you are not fooling anyone but yourself – your woman. She sees beyond the hype, and everything hidden beyond the façade to tell you this is more than you can carry, this is more than you are ready for, break this down, go for this at this time, make these concessions, let this go, take this path. Only the one who knows you inside out can help you make these sensitive decisions. Your wife, so choose right.
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A woman who is your friend.
See, life is not always lovey dovey. You won’t always miss a heartbeat when you see her, neither will you always feel the butterflies when she is around. Yet, life must go on. The only way that will be possible is when you are friends. At least you won’t be upset when you two go for days without sex. When she tells you she is not in the mood for it, you will understand, because that is what friends do...we understand each other.
Your friend can be honest and candid with you; you don’t get that a lot from lovers. We are all emotional and very edited in our thinking and speaking. Your friend can take a joke, sarcasm, and quickly hit you up after a fight because they don’t have time for petty quarrels when there is gossip to gist about. You can fart in front of your friend, go for a day without bathing and basically be your basal self before them and not feel judged. We all act properly with our lovers…and how long can you keep that up in marriage? Only a friend allows you to be yourself around them.
Your friend shares a lot of similar stuff with you. That is how friendships even start to begin with. No one is friends with people they don’t have things in common with. From the same language to shared experiences, friendships endure. So, choose a friend so that everything we have talked about will be easier to achieve.
Read Also Is Premarital Counseling Necessary?
Pray… it matters
Add prayers to your search; too many people are evil with a cloak of light, pretending to be God sent. For these, you will need Divine help in figuring them out. But Prayer is just an augmentation; the real job is for you to be intentional, deliberate, and rational in choosing. After you have done all there is to do, you commit the blind spots and the unknown to God.
Many people do the reverse; they close their eyes to the obvious and try to figure out things that are beyond them. They play God; forgiving when they need to walk away, listening to other people when they need to open their eyes and judge things for what they are. They get it all messed up and end up in all sorts of entanglements. No.
Know what is in your remit to work on, and know what is beyond you and therefore a subject of prayer.
Take care of yourself, and keep faith alive, you will be fine.
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