I'm very worried about our long-distance relationship

Depressed man

I can't afford child upkeep but I want to see my child 

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • It is important for both of you to know where you actually stand in either person’s life.
  • How do we rate the performance of our relationship? The deeper the disclosure, the better the intimacy between the two of you.

I have been in a relationship for nine years now. We had a baby girl who's now six years. The problem is, we can't stay together as a couple because my wife is working in Nairobi and I work in Migori. We usually communicate regularly but whenever I ask her to come and visit me, the trouble begins. Please advise.

Hi,

It is important for you to do several things so that you can determine the way forward. Do remember that nine years in a relationship that has been blessed with one child is significant.

However, let me give you three questions that will help you interrogate this relationship so that both of you can be in the light concerning the status of the relationship.

First, how would both of you define this relationship? It is important for both of you to know where you actually stand in either person’s life. This will determine whether you appear on the priority ladder or list. Who are you in her life? Maybe you are just a friend. 

Second, how do we rate the performance of our relationship? The deeper the disclosure, the better the intimacy between the two of you. Long-distance relationships have their own challenges. How do partners keep a deep connection even when they are hundreds of miles away from each other?

The longer it takes before you see each other leaves the relationship in a state where we can do without each other. If you consider yourselves a married couple, how is the relationship, parenting or even sexual intimacy experience?

The jobs we do, the friends we have and the networks we have created can influence our decision-making process. You need to understand her from this point of view. Although she could truly be in love with you, do not underestimate the grip that her fears could have on her.

What will she do about all the networks she has created for herself? Do remember that she is able to do all things by herself. Now, she has to give up all that independence and network of career, friends and emotional support to be more present in your life. For ladies, this is a big deal.

So, your relationship has to offer something more than she is going to lose if she is going to quickly make the decision to move. If the performance of the relationship is below average, then really, she lacks this compelling force. In essence, what will motivate her to abandon her life in Nairobi and come to Migori? 

Third, have you created an inviting environment that would attract her to move? In fact, the issue here is whether or not she is able to visit Migori because she misses that home environment. This environment may include things like the ability to feel useful and productive in Migori as she is in Nairobi.

She must feel secure enough that when she breaks her associations in Nairobi, she will not regret the move. What assurances does she have of you that you have her best interests at heart and that all will work out well?

She must be assured of how she will survive this new and yet very different environment. Nairobi and Migori are miles apart in many things. How she views herself in this new space will impact the way she processes such a move. 

My girlfriend had an affair with a colleague but she says it’s over

Hello Pastor Kitoto,

I have been friends with a female colleague for the last three years. Our friendship has grown to the extent that we are planning on going back to school together. It has been tested severally, but we have weathered the storms together. We are now considering marriage, although she insists it should come when she is ready, and I agree with her. 

Recently, I learnt that she had an affair with another married colleague. She insists that it is over, but this is after witnessing a confrontation between the two.

My question is: should I leave her for betraying my trust? Is it a weakness to be ready to forgive someone you love, or do you think they might take advantage of my love for them in the future? How should I handle this situation? 

Hi,

Three years of being in a steady and growing relationship is enough time to learn the kind of relationship both parties are in. It is apparent that the two of you have agreed on two things.

First is that the relationship is leading to marriage. Second, the two of you are going back to school together. My hope is that the two of you are aware of what qualifies one as marriageable.

What is it that you are looking for in this person? We all know that two people cannot walk together unless they agree on the direction they need to go. Agreement on a vision for the marriage, values and goals is important in deciding about marriage. 

It is also necessary for the two of you to think about your careers. Therefore, finishing school and/or college is part of your plans. It gets more stressful when you mix things up in a relationship. Having a career will most likely help bring a certain semblance of achievement.

It is always valuable to have priorities- to know what should come first. When you learn to attend to the priority issues first, it helps bring stability to one’s development.

However, growing relationships are built on lasting values that ensure maturity and fulfilment are achieved. The current betrayal is testimony to the fact that although our relationships will be tested, personal responsibility is key.

If indeed she gave in to another man while you were dating, there is need to sit together and talk about it. For her to just assure you that it is over with the affair is not enough. Her departure from that connection can only be authenticated by the current choices she is making.

Her life now should show that she has moved on. As for you, forgiveness is a choice you have to make. You have to realise that forgiveness is not necessarily a guarantee that she will never repeat the same mistake.

Forgiveness is more of a statement of affirmation that you will not let the bad things she did against you stand in the way of your love for her. In addition, forgiveness does not necessarily mean that trust is suddenly restored and that things are automatically going back to normal.

The truth is, yes, forgiveness is a decision to never hold the grudge against the person who wronged you. The rebuilding of trust will determine how strong the union will be after the betrayal is forgiven.

Send your relationship questions to [email protected] 

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