What you need to know:
- The first step to healing is the recognition and acknowledgment of the extent to which your actions have caused pain in the relationship.
- But if you are still doing the same things that made her lock you out, then she may not be willing to forgive you and take you back.
Hello Pastor Kitoto,
I am a secondary schoolteacher. I am in my mid-thirties. Several years ago, I met a woman at the training institute I was working for. My previous relationship had ended painfully, with my girlfriend of many years, whom I had met at university, leaving me. This new relationship was therefore comforting. A year later, we were blessed with a lovely baby girl and our love grew even stronger. Unfortunately, in the same year, my contract with my employer ended. Forced to support the three of us, my wife’s salary could barely sustain us. Fortunately, I got a part-time lecturing job, but the pay was little and was often delayed.
During my joblessness, my wife kept encouraging me not to give up. I later got a better-paying job and our lives improved. Three months later, I got an even better-paying job. I was even able to financially assist her family back in their rural home. But even as we supported each other, we had conflict. For instance, I drank alcohol, a habit she hated. As for me, I was not happy with how she related with househelps, even though she was the one in charge of that docket. When I tried to intervene, she accused me of having affairs with them.
This unfair accusation angered me more and I started drinking more and going home late. Also, every time we had a quarrel, she turned violent, forcing me to seek the intervention of our landlord and his wife. I was eventually hired by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and posted to a school outside Nairobi. I reported early at the request of the headteacher, so I was to be paid by the board until my TSC documentation was completed. The money I got from the school board was insufficient, but I held on. That December, I travelled home for the holidays.
My wife and I had a serious disagreement that almost turned violent. It was so bad that our daughter started to cry. Eventually, I walked out and went to drink. The following day, I left for my work station. I thought it was the best way to avoid a physical confrontation, more so in front of our daughter. In January, I received my appointment letter from TSC. The school’s board stopped paying me but my salary from TSC delayed too. Rent for the Nairobi house was in arrears, but since the landlord’s wife was a teacher, she understood the delayed payment.
Unfortunately, my wife kept insisting that I had money but did not want to provide for the family. I tried to explain the situation to her but she did not believe me. Based on this and past issues, I decided to end the relationship. She pleaded with me not to leave her and promised to reform. I gave in. Now that I had a secure job, I felt stable.
After getting my first salary and the arrears, I sent her the outstanding rent, only for her to move out without my knowledge. This is when I started having affairs and drinking even more. In the same year, I was interdicted on certain allegations. The following year, one of the women I had a relationship with gave birth and I was posted to another station.
All the women I have had a relationship with tell me that I should be with my daughter. They see an attachment that is difficult to break.
They even ask me to reconcile with the mother of my daughter. I have asked her to forgive me, all in vain. I seek forgiveness more because of the guilt I feel rather than in the interests of reconciliation, though.
She has also denied me access to our daughter and has said she will only allow me to see her if I have a court order. At one point she even sent back the money I sent her for our daughter’s upkeep. Her family hates me too.
Just so you know, I once dated a woman who used to cheat on me — she openly told me that she is repaying me for what I once did to my wife.
After coming back to my senses, I requested God to forgive me and I am sure he has. How do I re-establish a relationship with my daughter’s mother, and therefore my daughter, out of court?
There are many reasons your wife may have closed her heart to you. Two things stand out: the drinking that she resented and the fact that she did not trust you around other women.
These are issues that produce insecurities and fear in a relationship. As a result, the feeling of mistrust is heightened.
With such irresponsible behaviour on your part, other insecurities in areas such as money pop up. You have to remember that she stood by you when you were not employed, supporting you faithfully.
Then when you got a secure job, you decided to lead your life however you wanted in disregard to how she felt.
The first step to healing is the recognition and acknowledgment of the extent to which your actions have caused pain in the relationship.
You must be willing to deal with this for yourself, and then for the relationship. You cannot change unless you see the need for it.
Then seek to repair the broken relationship by verbalising your shortcomings to her. Let her know that you realise that you caused her pain.
Even if this relationship does not work after you seek her forgiveness, the verbalisation of your feelings will bring you freedom.
There is nothing that you can do to force her to forgive you; neither is there anything you can do to force her to ask your forgiveness (we cannot rule out the fact that you were also a victim of some of her actions).
It is entirely up to her to accept your request for forgiveness and ask for your forgiveness too.
But if you are still doing the same things that made her lock you out, then she may not be willing to forgive you and take you back.
It is good that you say that you are seeking her forgiveness for what it is worth, rather than a reunion.
This is significant since you are not seeking this for selfish gain. A lot of time has passed since, and a lot has happened in her life that could make your intention easier or harder.
Take time to pray for yourself and your estranged family. Make wise choices to live an honest and productive life.
Make the choice to be the one who blesses others rather than just using them.
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