What you need to know:
- True love may force you to make certain decisions and sacrifices that will be painful to both of you.
- Relationships should not be negatively influenced by an ethnic or selfish agenda advanced by one partner or associates of that partner.
Hello Pastor Kitoto,
I'm 26 and my girlfriend is 22. We are both students in the same institution and have been together for 11 months. I care about her a lot.
We speak about our future a lot whenever we are together. But some of my friends and relative are against our relationship because she is from a different tribe. She is from Central Kenya while I am from Western Kenya.
The people who are against our relationship claim that women from her tribe are gold-diggers and that she might turn out to be a different person completely if I married her. I care for her deeply and I don't want to lose her but at the same time, I can't ignore the advice of people around me. She is very important to me. Please help.
It is delightful to read that you love your girlfriend and that your commitment was long-term. However, love demands not just commitment but also responsible behaviour. True love may force you to make certain decisions and sacrifices that will be painful to both of you.
In your acts of indifference, you are communicating a clear message. All this may arise from your indecision on what you think is best for you. This is what gives your detractors the edge to interfere or meddle in your love journey. Right now, it is these friends and associates that seem to test your resolve and love for each other.
I can break the issues you have raised into two key parts. First is the tribal factor and how it is affecting how you process issues that arise in your relationship. Second is how the influence of friends is impacting your relationship.
From the onset, relationships should not be negatively influenced by an ethnic or selfish agenda advanced by one partner or associates of that partner. Anyone playing the tribal card to negatively influence a relationship is slow in understanding how our world has become so interconnected.
God created us in His image, and we can’t hate those he loves. Negative ethnicity has a way of evoking passions, causing tension, strife and even break up of relationships. For your friends to negatively influence your decision to be with this lady and cause distance between the two of you based on tribe or any other thing is yours to decide based on what you interrogate to be the truth.
The qualities espoused by a great marriage partner include aspects such as respect, trustworthiness, disclosure and honest dialogue on sticky issues, and the resolution of pending issues promptly. As such, your relationship can only endure such difficult moments if both of you embrace a persevering attitude towards each other.
What is evident is your attitude and how it is being influenced by the negative talk that could be based on untruths that would pit one tribe against another. If not well managed, close associates of either partner in a relationship can spoil things because of their varied perspective on the relationship. In my opinion, relationships thrive on the diversity of their peoples, ideas, and the resources they bring. The idea is to complement each other and not fight each other.
Finally, you must realise that outsiders could influence the direction of a relationship positively or negatively. To live a fulfilling life, choose what makes perfect sense and adds value when it comes to taking advice from others.
Do not forget the vested interests of those who surround you. Shifting through what we see and hear with wisdom and making good choices takes courage and discernment.
Lasting relationships are those that commit to values like tolerance and endurance. Although there is nothing like a perfect relationship, many people get duped into thinking that what they see is not what should be.
Most spouses end up living with regret for lack of discernment and the will to say “No” to certain influences, habits and interferences that come early during dating.
This could be the moment you could just save yourself from living in a toxic environment that could hurt you in the future.
Take a stand
You may need to ask yourself the following when it comes to associating with those outside your relationship: For example, what kind of friends and close associates do you have? Are they constant facilitators of a negative environment around you? I think that embracing negativity no matter its source is one way of inviting toxic feelings towards each other.
When this happens, you will experience a lot of tension and stress as a result of such interference? If that is restricting how you express yourself to each other, then you may need to question such friends or associations? A safe relationship will make the two of you feel secure to express your authentic selves.
There is a part of you that feel dispirited by the way your girlfriend speaks about your girlfriend. Your girlfriend is being demeaned for belonging to another tribe thereby causing the rift between the two of you.
My take is unless you take a stand for what you believe to be the right thing for you, things may never change.
When you continue to allow your friends to invalidate your feelings for her, the truth is that they think that your feelings do not matter. If you let them, they will continue to override what you desire.
They are manipulating your position on the issue of tribe. If you want to save this relationship, your feelings must remain valid even when they have to be criticized. You must decide what you desire and value about this relationship. Your indecision will only complicate matters.
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