You know the awkwardness of the hesitant reply to .. ‘how is so & so’ when mr so and so has left the building.
If you are anything like me, it’s usually followed by a few awkward facial expressions, silence, a ‘hmm?’ and ‘about that’ in that reflex American accent I love to adopt in cringe situations.
No woman dreams of having a divided home. As much as men are perceived to be the ‘head of the home’ we as women are the makers of said home. Being preventative whilst being solutionists, we will do everything in our power to eventually rectify a situation wether we are in the wrong or right when we see our family structure under attack. (*most of the time after a colourful display of emotions*).
We fight hard and we love hard in our own ways. But sometimes it’s not enough. Love is one thing, compatibility is another, trust is something else entirely and communication is everything. These things affect the everyday life and when they are strained, it can be extremely draining and exhausting to function in tension. I feel that when you know- you just really know regardless of how many people say try & try some more. When you know- you know, you can push past it, pray for it, hope for the best but it will literally be a revolving door that keeps hitting you in the face. Quite recently I chose to stop playing with said door and walk away.
Was it hard? Yes obviously. As sad as it is life goes on and I don’t want to feed you the typical ‘bad baby dad’ storyline because there are always 2 people in a relationship. I’m definitely far from perfect but what I do want to touch on are some of the things that have stopped myself and other people from ending relationships that they know they are not supposed to be in.
(Please re read the last line about 10 times. I’m not on ‘team break up for no reason’- and this post doesn’t apply to marriage- thats a whole different playing field. I’m not saying if you are having issues then break up – this post if for people that ‘know’ they need to exit but are struggling to find the strength.)
Fear & Failure
This is one of the biggest things that stop people from reaching their full potential in every area of life. Fear of what will happen to you if you leave, fear of struggle, fear of not finding anyone else because you have his child/children, how will you manage, what will people say, you’ll be another statistic. Then failure. I felt like I had failed my role as a woman failed, failed at being a mother in the sense of providing and protecting the family unit especially for my son. I put that pressure on myself because I am coming from a background where divorce is a trend with negative experience of step parents.
Other people’s opinions
It’s ridiculously hard to have to defend your position to outsiders who feel you can ‘work it out.’ Especially when everyone thinks he’s a ‘nice guy’ & you are the ‘hot head.’ I’ll always preach the message that knowing someone as a friend or even just casually is a different type of relationship with a lighter level of expectancy and because of that, there are sides that not everyone is privy to. A friend in passing ‘is not that deep’. When you are someone’s partner, its not just an extension of friendship, it’s also different status that holds a different expectation. There are no other 14 boyfriends or girlfriends to make up for things in the relationship that are not being received or respected. You see a different side that no one else will ever see so ladies please do take the ‘nice guy comments with a pinch of salt and paracetamol because it can give you headache if you allow it.
All men are the same
Also I must say I believe the African culture is very accepting of ‘babying’ men. As long as a man has a job and decent money a woman is supposed to put up with everything he does and be patient because ‘all men are babies’ ‘all men are the same’ it really rattles me. What do you mean? I honestly see freckles of truths in some of the things these aunties have to say, but these are the same women who will dress up, wear lipstick to your wedding, dance with you at the front—-but when you are crying your eyes out they will tell you ‘I told you so, they are all the same’ it’s -so confusing.
I would just really like to encourage someone, it is not by force, neither is it your full time job to grow a man. Yes you can grow with a man, yes you may influence him and he may change as a result -vice versa, but ladies you do not ‘have to’, ‘by force’, ‘do or die’ be a life guard to someone who can’t swim. Does that make sense?
Some women are gifted in such things. I honestly believe some have a special anointing to just stay and stay. But my name isn’t Patience or Endurance as my friends and I like to jokingly say. And that’s really really ok. There are times I have doubted myself in different relationships, told myself I didn’t know what I was talking about, that I was evidently asking for too much, I wasn’t reasonable and I should just not expect much because I won’t get it. But isssaaaaa lieeeee. Take all advice with caution even your friends, because some of you think you have great friends when really.. need I say more. Wisdom does not always come with age and people with experience do not always learn. Whatever decision is made- you will be facing it by yourself, not with the advice and comment givers. So do what you want to do and bare the consequences knowing that you made the right choice or that you will learn from it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the image of ‘staying together’ for the benefit of others, so life can be easier, so your kids can have 2 parents in one house. If you are going to be with someone at least be happy and content with them. A lot of women see it as a sacrifice for the kids but that type of household will become your worst nightmare because your unhappiness will teach and influence your children in ways you wouldn’t even imagine. It’s not fair on either party if it’s not the relationship deserved or desired.
We make up so many excuses up at times we are so accepting of treatment that is undeserved all in the name of love. Memories, future plans, present dealings it’s difficult to say bye to everything and go back to the drawing board or in some cases, throw the drawing board in the damn bin. I do believe in a perfect love from God but I also know 2 humans trying to portray said love to each other isn’t so perfect.
Sometimes you need time apart.
Sometimes you need to work on it properly
Sometimes you realise you are not compatible
Sometimes you need to walk away.
Don’t hold on to the fear that if you let go life will pass you by. No love. That’s the fear talking.
All in all I’ve learnt to focus less on the outside noise that the world projects as it can take its toll. I’ve learnt to stop comparing myself to other people’s situations and not to care as much and focus on my own peace. I’ve learnt to not waste my time speaking from a defensive position, I know that I am not a failure and my ability to share does not make me appear weak. I’m learning to let go and let God- it’s a nice saying but the reality is so daunting yet rewarding. My communication is still a work in progress lol but where there is life there is hope. Don’t settle.
Please share with anyone you feel needs to hear this!