My girlfriend forces me to apologise even when I haven’t wronged her


A young man with an expression of frustration.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Try and listen to the unspoken words behind any body language that could be presented. 
  • Also, seek to discern if there is any presenting need that is not being addressed.

Hello Pastor Kitoto, 

Thanks for the great advice you offer to us. I’d love you to help me figure out something. I’m 23, and soon, I will be turning 24. I just completed my college studies.

I have a girlfriend with whom I met in college and have been dating for three years now. I love her, but I have one problem: each time she is at fault, she gets mad at me instead of apologising. I go to the extent of making peace with her even when I’m not the one at fault.

It’s now frustrating me as I thought she’d outgrow the habit, but that doesn’t seem to be a possibility now. I didn’t know it’d be enough reason to part ways with her. I’m a cool guy, and I hate arguments. What should I do?

Hi,

I am glad that this column has been helpful to you and thank you for the kind words. We take your comments seriously. The team here is delighted to serve you and add value to your life. 

As I have said in earlier posts, relationships are about two imperfect people seeking a perfect relationship. When we become aware of this fact, we will give each other the space to fail, be challenged, and grow.

However, in general, the truth is that we all know that no one is perfect, but we still expect people to behave perfectly. 

The other part of relationships is the need to understand that change is possible. Therefore, having a thriving relationship can be hard work. This means that you will need to put effort into investing in little but significant things that can improve how you relate—for example, contacting each other regularly, treating each other with respect, confronting issues in a realistic and yet humane manner, and treating others the way you would like to be treated. 

I have realised that no matter what type of relationship you are in, the need to treat people with respect, be unswerving in your commitment, exercise truthfulness that shows care, and having open and honest confessions in non-threatening environments help spur positive growth. 

That said, it may be essential to consider and evaluate a few issues. First, how could her upbringing influence how she perceives correction? Maybe she could be rebelling what would evoke bad memories from her past.

Second, your approach could motivate her to have a mental block against whatever suggestions you may have.

Third, her personality could be a hindrance to the way she deals with conflict. Dealing with conflict is more than just the identification of the issue that needs to be resolved. It also involves the attitude towards conflict resolution. 

Dealing with difficult people can be frustrating, infuriating, and at times worrisome. You need to find out whether your partner is irrational, or if there are things from the past or the present that make her act defensively. Try and listen to the unspoken words behind any body language that could be presented. 

Also, seek to discern if there is any presenting need that is not being addressed. Find out if there are people who could be influencing her to act that way. Finally, look for ways to deal with your frustrations and stress so that it does not interfere with your ability to resolve conflicts.

The following are critical points you need to understand:

  • Anger, in itself is not evil. However, you need to know how to manage your anger and quell it while expressing your feelings in love.
  • Be discerning and maintain boundaries.
  • Learn to separate facts from your feelings about the issues at hand. Also, distinguish between the person and the topic being discussed. If you do not take care, it is easy to look at your partner through the lens of your pain and frustration.
  • Choose your words with care. Don’t use words that could escalate the issue or cause her to block you out. 
  • Seek to be civil by allowing each other time to speak. I realise that she does not apologise when she is wrong. You may need to be firm in your demand for her to see why an apology is a critical and part of a healing process.

My final take is that if she chooses not to change and accept correction, it could lead to further disappointment. Later, it may result in a lack of fulfilment, and that could quickly kill the relationship.

Instead of waiting to get into a marriage where you will have cold wars because you are this cool guy who abhors fights, decide if this is the girl you want to marry.

My partner is indifferent to me 

Hello Pastor Kitoto, 

I’m 24 years old. I have been in a relationship for six years now, and it has been a challenging experience for me. My partner never seems interested in the relationship in the sense that she doesn’t call, or desire to engage in a conversation with me.

She is also never interested in getting intimate but claims she loves me while her actions imply otherwise. I am now at a point where I feel that I have been patient enough, and I want to move on. What would you advise me to do?Thanks. 

Hi,

If indeed your evaluation of your relationship situation is as accurate as you have stated here, I would advise that you learn to trust your feelings. You have said that she doesn’t call, engage in a conversation, and is never interested in getting intimate but claims that she loves you.

This summarises her feelings towards you. I could say that these words reveal several things about her perspective on you. 

First, you are not important to her. If she cannot engage in a conversation with you, yet she claims to love you, then there is a severe disconnect between the two of you. 

Second, you are not the object of her love. She is in love with something else other than you. A healthy relationship should provide a foundation for all that happens as a couple seek to build their life together.

Therefore, if you are not her priority, it is most likely that your friendship hardly exists and, therefore, no intimacy in the future.

Most marriage counsellors agree on the fact that a strong connection between spouses is healthy for the future of the relationship and, if possible, the children.

Spouses who prioritise their partners will have a thriving relationship that will last a lifetime. Do remember that when you get married, you will not just be sharing a room. You will be partners and lovers for life.

My final thought is that you need to define what your lady means to you. 

My girlfriend has a child. Should I marry her?

Hi Pastor Kitoto,

My name is John, and I’m 25 . I’ve been dating for one year now. My woman, who happens to be my age mate too, already had a daughter with another man before I met her. The daughter is three years. I admit that she already confessed to me that she has a child and that she no longer communicates with her former boyfriend and even changed her phone number. I’m really in love with her, I love the daughter too, and I want to marry her. Please advise. 

Hi,

First, I commend her for her openness from the start, and for letting you know that she is a mother. Knowing that she had a child helped you make an informed choice.

It’s because getting into a relationship that could lead to marriage with her could have been complicated if she hid the truth from you.

Also, going on to marry her would mean that you are instantly becoming a father. Understanding what this will mean for you is key.

You will have to understand that the responsibility of parenthood will start from the moment you exchange marriage vows with her.

Further, other duties of providing direction in discipline, upkeep and education of the little girl will fall squarely on you. With every blessing of a child follows the challenges associated with how differently the two of you perceive parenting.

As a result, the two of you will need to agree on the way discipline will be instilled and how parenting will be carried out. 

Second, I also commend you for embracing her together with her daughter. At the age of three, if things go well between her mother and you, she might have the privilege of growing up in a beautiful family.

Children are not only fun but also tough to bring up. This girl will look at you as her father. However, certain legal issues will require to be handled if this little girl is going to be legally your daughter. I suggest that the two of you talk about this and seek some legal counsel. 

Third, it is encouraging that she has no intimate connection with her former boyfriend, who happens to be the father of the child. As much as this is necessary for the growth of your friendship, this man is still the biological father of the child.

However, I am not sure of the level of involvement that was there since birth with his daughter. 

Whatever the case, you need to know her background well so that nothing comes later as a surprise. For example, was this lady married and later divorced or separated? Was the baby born to two people who were dating? This history is important. 

Also, there are some associated issues you will need to deal with if you choose to marry her:

  • First, there is a need to be ready to deal with fears that are associated with a possible return of the father of the girl into her life.
  • Second, ask yourself if you are willing to give the child the priority she deserves. 
  • Third, later in marriage, ask yourself whether you will treat all the children you will have with this woman without discrimination. 
  • Fourth, you should be aware that her top priority may, in most times, be her daughter. After all, she is just three years old. 

Send your relationship questions to DN2Parenting@ke.nationmedia.com 
 

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