What you need to know:
Generally, unresolved conflict can make a couple grow apart and escalate the conflict.
To confront the suspected boyfriend was unethical and wrong.
Whether or not you should marry her is dependent on you.
Dear Pastor Kitoto,
I am 30, and the woman in my life is 33, but that’s not the issue. We dated for more than a year, and we were headed for marriage. However, at some point, we differed when I threatened a guy who I suspected was making advances on her. He reported me to the police, and the case injured my reputation and hers as well. I was a well-known government officer, and she worked for an international NGO. That was the basis of our differences. She was very bitter with me. She felt I had let her down and brought shame to her.
She blamed me for not addressing my discomfort with her, and instead, I went to cause chaos out there. I apologised, but she refused to accept it. Our relationship changed from that time and eventually ended. Or so I thought. I still helped her write her master’s thesis. It was during this time that she met her ex-boyfriend and conceived.
She gave birth to a baby boy, but he later died in a road accident. As fate would have it, she lost her job as well. I helped her relocate back to her rural home, where I was warmly received. She even introduced me as her husband. She occasionally asks me for help, and I have always come through for her.
I still have the proposal ring with me and even built a house in our rural home as soon as I decided she was going to be my wife. But now she has another man’s child. Gauging from her communication, she still hopes I will marry her one day. I have mixed feelings about it. Do you think I should go ahead and propose to her? I have always been ready for marriage.
The conflict that arises from suspicions concerning behaviours of one partners or arising from our perception of one another in a relationship is expected. It is the way we handle and process such information that matters. What’s important is to get the facts right and that both parties are civil in confronting the issues. However, obtaining facts does not necessarily lead to a resolution.
She was right to feel that you unclothed her before her friends, the community she was a part of and other people she knew. She was the one that needed to be confronted with the facts of the case at hand and not the alleged boyfriend. To confront the suspected boyfriend was unethical and wrong.
I am not sure why you chose to go this route and not face your girlfriend with your concerns. Great relationships are based on trustworthiness and good communication. I believe issues escalated because the proper protocol was not followed. Your apology should be followed by a commitment to show respect in the future. Her hesitation is understandable, considering the circumstances.
I am not sure whether to attribute the re-establishing of the relationship with her former boyfriend to the conflict with of you had. Generally, unresolved conflict can make a couple grow apart and escalate the conflict. When this happens, it can open the door to associations that could end up compromising the relationship. The ex-boyfriend could have provided a shoulder for her to cry on.
- Whether or not you should marry her is dependent on you. Beyond the feelings you have for her, you need to make your choice based on several issues: First, do you trust her? After all that has happened, you need to ensure that you are getting back to her for the right reasons. The way you have you dealt with the past is key to re-establishing faithfulness. Second, what values do you share that unite you together?
I have received four marriage proposals
I am at that age when I have to think about getting married. Four men have proposed to me so far. I have not dated any of them, so it is safe to assume I don’t know any of them.
I met and interacted with the four men during my studies in different universities and proceeded to work with them at one point or the other in different places. All along, they have also had other girlfriends besides me whom they are still dating to date, and they all have children with these girlfriends. Why they are not settling down with these women that each one of them has sired a child with and instead proposing to me is a joke I can’t understand.
However, I have finally met the man that I want to settle down with, but he has not proposed yet. Each of these other men has asked me to hear them out, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Should I proceed to talk with each one of them and tell them “No” or ignore and proceed with my marriage plans to this guy that I met last should he propose? Honestly, I have no feelings for the other four guys.
I believe that you could marry any of these four men or any other man for that matter. However, you need to be knowledgeable about what it takes to make a great relationship. It is interesting you already have doubts about these guys’ dating styles and commitment to the women they have children with. That is an excellent evaluation that is needed when dating someone. Who are they? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are their core values in life? All this is important in determining one’s character and way of looking at life.
I understand your frustration and disappointment in the way they see you. I guess from their perspective, you could be just another target for a baby, and soon they will be off. If you follow your evaluation of why they seem to want you while they are still with these other ladies, you will not think twice on whether you need to let them go. I would say, move one and build for yourself a relationship worth pushing towards marriage.
As far as this new man in your life is concerned, you may need to walk with care and make noble decisions that you will not regret. Don’t rush into a decision to marry someone to prove a point. Live by your values and choose someone because they love you for who you are.
Concerning your choice, it should be based on the following: First, look at their character: what is the integrity of the person you want to marry? Second, look for values: what does the person you wish to marry stand for in life? Third, consider their personality: are they of a character that will clash yours all the time? They must be a kind of people that respect you and love you for who you are.
What does it take to be a marriage counsellor?
I have implemented the tips you share about marriage in your column, and they worked for me. I would like to have a copy of the marriage book you have written. My dream is to become a marriage counsellor. Please tell me where to begin. Thanks in advance and God bless you.
Thank you for your compliments. You desire to grow in the area of counselling is noble. Basics to counselling may not require any classroom study. Most of our grandparents, parents, aunties, and uncles made excellent counsellors, although they may never have received any formal education.
Here are a few tips about what it takes to become a good counsellor:
1. It would help if you were a good listener. You need to understand people’s verbal and nonverbal messages.
2. Practice empathy. This is the ability to perceive other people’s experiences and learning to help them clarify their feelings.
3. Value authentic communication.
Honest and trustworthy communication is essential in helping people. Also, many colleges offer counselling training. If this is your calling, look for one. I wish you all the best.
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