Start Better Afresh

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Leah (not her real name) shared her story on my Twitter Platform some months back when I invited her to facilitate. It was #WhenSinglesgather and she shared how she fell in love at her early twenties to someone her parents would not approve of. But damn it she was in love, expecting a child and nothing could change that…. she had a heart to heart talk with her ‘bobo’ and decided to elope.

She started facing reality when she eloped, her guy started abusing her after the birth of the first child but she was determined to win the love of her man back. She felt the man must be misbehaving because of the pressure of being a father.
The abuse however didn’t stop and she didn’t leave. She had the second child in the midst of abuse. It got to a time that she knew that if she didn’t leave the relationship she would die; after all it is mere co-habitation.

That was how she walked away with two kids in other to stay alive. The first thought would be who will marry her with two kids?
Today she has a new child who is one year plus, got married to the father of the child about three years ago. Her husband happened to be a handsome man who has never been married before. Great things have happened to her, she wrote a book to chronicle her story, which became an Amazon Best Seller; all just because she dared to START BETTER AFRESH.

Ayo, my good friend is a Public Speaker, he met Ebun and they started a beautiful relationship. They both loved the Lord and believe in sexual purity. They of course represent a power couple because they form a formidable team. Few months into their relationship, they wanted to be sure if they would eventually head to the altar. They went for a genotype test. The result of the test shattered their hearts. It showed that they are both AS and they know the implications. They wouldn’t want to have children that will constantly be in pain, children with sickle cell anaemia.

Ayo had the faith that his own genotype could change if he believes and trust God enough; after all he had seen it happen to one of his friends. Ebun however had lost hope on all that, she still loves Ayo but couldn’t go through the risk. One of the most difficult things to do for Ayo was to let her go. Not too long Ebun met another amazing man who happens to be AA, she liked him and told Ayo about the new found man. Ayo gave her his blessings. She got married early this year.

We were so concerned for Ayo, we knew he was happy for Ebun but we also knew he was hurting terribly for not marrying Ebun. I made it a point of duty to keep him in my prayers.
Today, Ayo is engaged to a great woman who shares similar vision with him. They will be walking down the aisle soon; this is because he decided to START AFRESH BETTER.

Now let me share some points with you if you resonate with any of the story above or if you need to start afresh better in any area of your life. Have you been through divorce or know anyone who did? This piece is a good read for him or her.

1. Acknowledge that the previous relationship ended.

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2. Do not blame yourself for whatever was beyond your control in the previous relationship. Sometimes we lose something-good to get something-great.

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3. Cry if that will make you better. Don’t bottle your emotions. Find someone trust-worthy who you can talk to, to make you feel better. Tears are therapeutic; sometimes it is what you need at the moment to get going.

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4. Determine not to make your life come to a standstill all just because your relationship ended.

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5. Glean all the lessons possible from previous relationship. Learn from the mistakes you made (if you made any) so you won’t repeat them in future.

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6. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you committed and forgive your ex if he or she has hurt you in anyway. He/she may have taken advantage of you in the past; you need to forgive before you can start better afresh.

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7. Give yourself time to heal. In case your ex hurt you, you have to grow up emotionally to an extent that you won’t feel bitterness when you remember him or her, until then you are yet to heal. See; don’t be in hurry to start off another relationship when you are still in pains of the past relationship. This will only bring further pains to your new relationship.

This is what I mean. You will unconsciously do transfer aggression to your new partner of the wounds you are still suffering from. This of course will be an unfair treatment on your new partner because he/she will be suffering from injury caused to you by your ex.

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8. Seek closure. If it takes too long for you to heal totally from the hurt of the previous relationship, I suggest you seek the help of a professional relationship counsellor. It is okay to mourn a sweet relationship turned sour but if after six months you still hurt so badly as if the hurt is fresh….please seek help as urgent as possible.

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9. Get a relationship vision board.
This is a pictorial representation of your dream relationship. Cut out pictures of couples you admire from magazines and internet and paste them on your vision board or cardboard and paste them on the wall of your room where you can always see them.

You can cut out pictures of couples on honeymoon, vacation, date nights and paste them on your vision board where you can always see them. See them, believe them and command them into reality.

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10. Get a relationship Affirmation.
Affirmations are powerful. Words are powerful and they can create great things out of nothing.
Write out what you desire for your relationship.
Below is an example of Affirmation written by a client after the session she had with me:
Affirmation:
This month I attract my better half
A man who loves me just as Christ loves the church
I attract a faithful man, a man who loves God and is ready to work for and with Him. I attract a man whose genotype is AA, who is patient with me and corrects me in love;
a man who is very much in love with me.
He is filled with my love. I attract a man who finds me attractive than any other lady in the world. He cares for me; he stays successful in every area of life.
We are building a great home together. Together we are fruitful and give birth to wonderful kids. I attract a man who is hard working, who motivates me, support my dreams and career. I attract a man who values my opinion even as we build our home together. I attract a man who never raises his hands to hit me or abuse me verbally. This and many more happen to me naturally and with ease. Amen!

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As a man, you can edit it and coin it to suit you. You need to be consistent with reciting the affirmation and believe it strongly.

11. Always improve yourself.
I mean go for self improvement. Don’t remain the way you were when your old relationship ended and expect to attract someone better than your ex with the same old you. Grow yourself, build yourself and stretch yourself.

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Challenge yourself to a better you. Would you be attracted to you if you were someone of the opposite sex? Always ask yourself that.

Lastly: Dress for a new beginning.

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Dress like a Princess if you want to attract the Prince. Stop dressing like your past relationship. You can start better afresh, you can start NOW. Yes you can!

Divorce?…Not Me!

ImageIt is so disheartening to see how great marriages we envy crash these days like a house of cards. Divorce has now become a cancer eating deep into the fabrics of beautiful homes and one begins to wonder if there is hope for the institution of marriage. Without any doubt there is still hope for the great institution of marriage but one of the ways to tackle the divorce issue is to identify some of the causes of seemingly irreparable damage in marriages which leads to divorces a lot of times.

 

  Now let me share with you a few reasons why marriages fail… 

INFIDELITY: – It is not easy to bear the betrayal and hurt of a cheating spouse. It takes a broken and healed soul to forgive a spouse who indulges in extra marital affairs. The union may not last if one of the spouses is an unrepentant cheat who cannot stop having illicit affairs, though he/she may beg for forgiveness each time he/she is caught with someone else. It is even more heartbreaking if the cheat is indulging in a same sex (gay) relationship. The betrayed partner in most cases may never recover from the shock and thus the relationship may collapse like a house of cards. 

A marriage may come to an end if there is a NO SEX situation. This could be as a result of a spouse being obsessed with pornography and masturbation so he/she no longer derives pleasure in real sex, thus he/she commits EMOTIONAL INFIDELITY because all the emotions that such a person is supposed to bestow on his/her spouse is being invested on addictive behaviors like pornography, drinking, womanizing, gambling, masturbation and more. In this kind of situation, the betrayed spouse may go through EMOTIONAL NEGLECT which will cause the couple to drift apart emotionally, though they may still share the same bed. At this point, they are no longer soul mates but mere bed mates.

POOR COMMUNICATION make couples disconnect with time and this may sometimes be because of LONG SEPARATION. Some great couples have lost their homes as a result of distance created in pursuit of jobs/career/contracts that keep them away from each other for too long. In some cases communication breakdown is a result of misunderstanding, immaturity, different backgrounds (upbringing and culture), irreconcilable differences, refusing to offer forgiveness for a wrong committed or choosing not to overlook a character flaw.

FINANCIAL CONFLICT can end a relationship easily. In the economy we are in today, it is not even enough for the man only to be gainfully employed, his wife must have what she is bringing to the table no matter how little, that is when she is a good helpmeet. If a woman’s financial needs cannot be met by her husband for a long time without a ray of hope of when things will change for better, she may leave the man without a blink of an eye. 

A relationship that is devoid of AFFECTION and APPRECIATION will end up in frustration. Human beings are created to stay around those who appreciate and celebrate them even for the little things they do. When this is lacking at home, they tend to seek it somewhere else and hover over anyone that cares to feed them with it.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/ABUSE ends a marriage quickly. It is even advisable that the abused partner seek urgent help lest the marriage ends his/her life. Abuse is a terrible thing to experience because it deprives the victim of joy, comfort and happiness and in return inflicts untold pain (emotional and physical) on him/her. 

When people with low self-esteem or unhealthy values get married to each other, there is a temptation for them to want to compete with one another instead of complete each other, so untamed EGO, PRIDE, AND INSUBORDINATION towards one another will erode the beauty of companionship and partnership in marriage. The competition between them becomes unhealthy and could cause divorce if not checked on time.

 

Divorce can be a thing of the past in our society if we CHANGE OUR VIEW ABOUT MARRIAGE: Couples need to learn to view themselves as imperfect souls coming from different cultural backgrounds with different upbringing, so they must learn to exercise patience, perseverance and tolerance by accommodating and managing each other’s uniqueness and peculiarities. Forgiveness is golden and must be imbibed by couples who wish to stay together forever. 

We also need to imbibe MORALS, VALUES AND VIRTUES: Each home must have these and must stay true to them. They guide one’s steps even when faced with sexual temptations.

Sometimes what we need is PROFESSIONAL HELP: Couples need to know that the same way they tell a medical doctor about their ailments is the same way they need to talk to a marriage counselor about their marital issues, especially when things seem to be going out of hand.

Don’t joke with TIME OUT WITH ONE ANOTHER: Marital vows are strong and binding. We should not just say our marital vows with our lips alone, we should recite them with our heart and re-visit them regularly to check whether we are still standing by them. Couples should always take time out despite their busy schedules to get away and spend time together without the kids. They should assess each other to know whether they are better lovers or whether they have drifted apart to become just friends.

Above all, we must NEVER LEAVE GOD OUT OF THE EQUATION: Marriage is a three cord between God, man and his wife. Just the same way you cannot operate a device well without consulting the manufacturer’s manual, we need God’s manual on marriage to make our marriage work. We must be ready to obey His precepts concerning marriage since marriage is His divine idea.

Do you need a listening ear? Reach out to me on BBM: 29E55A9A

Caught pants down

Richards rolled over to the other side of the bed, touching his wife lightly on her arm. She has just returned from the ‘ladies’ and seems to have resumed her sleep. It’s just 2.00am and Richards seems not to be sleeping. Rose placed her other hand on his arm, signifying she’s still much awake. ‘Not yet asleep?’ he asked her. ‘I am about to doze off’I can’t sleep, am disturbed’, he replied. ‘Disturbed?’ she turned to face her husband of five years, a man she has come to love and adore. ‘Yes baby, there’s something I need to tell you….’ Both were silent for a while; before Rose decided to speak up ‘Is it about another woman?’ ‘Yes dear’… ’is the woman Linda?’ she asked trying to clear her suspicion. ‘Yes’, he sighed. ‘Did you sleep with her?’ There was another silence before he summoned up courage to talk. ‘Yes I did’. ‘Oh my God’, she sighed….

Tears refuse to come as she quickly sat up on the bed…’am so sorry dear, I know I have messed up but I really need you to help me out…it’s a temptation…I need you to help me come out of this mess..I need you…’ Richards broke down in tears. His wife couldn’t help this time but to cry too. She saw it coming. She suspected the early morning and late night calls from this so called Linda but her husband had always re-assured her that they were nothing to the calls. She had not met the girl but her spirit had always told her the girl had a mission. Only that she did not pray about it.  Oh God, how she had missed it, Richards was every woman’s dream, handsome, outspoken, social, independent and successful entrepreneur…why on earth could this happen to her.

‘Baby please, I need you to help me out of this mess’, Richards cried out again holding his wife. Rose pushed him away. She has been hurt…her heart broken and yes the marriage covenant has been tampered with. Where on earth did she miss it; Rose pondered. She had never denied him sex and even if she has to due to tiredness or any other reason, she had always made it up for him with an appointment. And yes, they were both virgins when they married, so he has been her first and vice versa. Why did he go for another woman? Oh God, and her family, friends and colleagues hold him in high esteem. Why did he let her down so shamefully?  She has to make up her mind on what to do; it is either she throw him the towel by walking out of the marriage or forgives him. How on earth can she ever forgive him after warning him of that same lady?

She stood from up from the bed, not knowing what to do next. Richards reached out again to her, as it was almost 3.00am in the morning. She was about to push away his hand again but before she could do that Richards was already on his knees pleading. ‘For love of God Rose, please don’t leave me, if you do I am finished’. The words were too heavy for her but the hurt was also too painful. She let down the tears…words are not adequate to express her hurt. Both of them have always been great advocate of unconditional love, their lives have been a model to lots of youths around them, so how will these people feel if she walks out of her marriage. And does she really want a divorce? Oh God… she had thought her husband was different and that he will never cheat on her but just few years into their marriage…he failed her.

Richards rose to his feet and embrace his wife. ‘you are the only woman I want to be with…I let down my guard and fell flat…it was a temptation and I fell for it…my conscience won’t let me be because you have been very faithful…please help me get back to my feet dear and I promise you that it will never happen again.’

Rose held on to him tightly as if her life depends on it….but the tears kept flowing because she couldn’t yet come to terms with the fact that he betrayed her trust…

Infidelity destroys trust…It breaks home…It shatters heart and bruises one’s emotions. It however can be forgiven.  That it can be forgiven is not a justification for it.  Why would you on a good day want to sleep with another man/woman other than your spouse? Marriage vows are sacred and must be treated as such. It is not a sin to be tempted but where we err is when we fall for the temptation.

Richard took a big step by confessing to his covenant partner that he had missed it. He took the right step…he did not wait for his spouse to discover it….he has a conscience that is not yet sealed. He felt so bad about the situation he found himself and he opened up to his woman. No matter how bad he may feel; the fact remains that he messed up big time.

Rose has a justification to divorce him because he breached the marriage contract (vow) by committing adultery, but divorce is not the solution. Richards pleaded…he has cried out for help….this is the first time he had ever done that… he deserves to be forgiven and given another chance. He may however need to go for counseling or talk to spiritual mentors who he is accountable to. He will need to work hard to earn his wife’s trust again. Infidelity is a serious crime in marriage and its consequences may be very bad depending on how well it is handled. Don’t just believe it can never happen to you, rather be accountable and open with your spouse. Let your spouse watch your back and do not let down your guard. Don’t be unnecessarily close to someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse. Once you are having strong feelings for someone other than your spouse, seek help on time. Your ability to control your emotions shows that you are matured. Don’t be a prey to the enemy. Don’t hurt your spouse; don’t pull down the lovely home you have built with your hands. Don’t subject your kids to untold heartache. “Drink waters out of your own cistern (of a pure marriage relationship), and fresh running waters out of your own well”– Holy Bible

 

When the past comes knocking…

Quinn and Kate had just returned from their honeymoon and were both resting on the bed when Kate’s phone buzzed. ‘Ssssh who could that be’, she muttered and picked her phone to answer the call not interested in the caller’s identity. ‘It’s me Princess’ she could hear her mother’s voice clearly. Not willing to wake up her prince charming, she un-wrapped Quinn’s arms from her body and tiptoed into the bathroom. ‘What is it mum, am still basking in the fragrance of my honeymoon and…’ Her mum did not allow her to finish her statement as there was a matter of urgency that needed her attention. ‘It’s your son Richard, he has been sick since you left for honeymoon and we have been taking care of him, the case however got worse few hours ago when he lost consciousness, he is on his way to the theater as the doctor said the only way to save his life is to carry out a surgery on him immediately’. Kate held her breath, she couldn’t believe what she just heard, she left her five years old son, hale and healthy before her wedding which was followed by her honeymoon. ‘God…Richard must not die, I will die if he does because I went through a lot when his father denied his pregnancy and I singlehandedly took care of him till now’, Kate soliloquized as tears rush down her eyes. And to make matter worse, she never told her spouse, Quinn anything about Richard her son, she tactically hid him so as not to lose Quinn. He had loved and cared for her so much that she didn’t want to lose him because of her son. She was hoping that after their honeymoon, she would be able to ask him for forgiveness and then tell him. All of a sudden, she remembered Quinn must have felt her absence beside him; she turned back to return to the bedroom only to see her spouse Quinn, some meters away from her.

‘Who is Richard?’ he asked looking at her with great confusion. ‘Am so sorry baby, I was hoping to explain everything about him to you after the honeymoon, I didn’t want to lose you because of him,’ Kate said as she knelt down before him weeping profusely. ‘And what makes you think that you will not lose me now?’ he asked with disappointment written all over him. ‘I might as well not know a whole lot of things about you if you could hide the fact that you have a five year old son I have never heard about despite our one and half year of courtship’, he concluded.

No man/woman wants to be kept in the dark as regards his/her spouse. No one wants to be treated as a fool and no one wants his/her intelligence to be played upon. You owe your spouse the responsibility of disclosing any information about your past that needed to be known. Never let it be heard from a third party when you get married or few days/hours to your wedding, it kills trust. No sin is too big to be forgiven; no past is too ugly to be forgotten.  Pour out your heart, stop hiding your wound, let the wound heal. There are some past you may say are inconsequential, but there are some that leave scars, never joke with them. If you hide details of your past from your spouse so as not to lose him/her, what is the assurance that you will keep him/her after marriage when the bubble burst?

We all love our spouses to be sincere, honest and transparent. Openness does the magic in sealing trust in relationships. From the Holy Book, we learnt that, Ruth did not disguise her ‘Moab’ identity to fit it among the Jews. She was transparent and showed that despite her “unwelcomed” identity, she was ready to embrace The God of the Israelites and that endeared Boaz’s heart to her. If you hide things from your spouse-to-be now, you’ll keep hiding things from him/her when you both get married and that is detrimental to your marriage. Great couples don’t hide secrets, they share secrets.

Being open with your spouse helps him/her to watch your back and keep praying for you. You only hide what you are not healed from, you share testimonies of what you are healed from despite its scar; so if there is a past you need healing for, please get help, seek good counselors and advisers. We may not be the cause of what happened to us in the past but we are responsible for how we handle our reaction to it.

When you make mistake and keep hiding it from your spouse, you need to tell lies and compromise some things to keep ‘the covering’ going; the more you do this, the farther you drift from your spouse and the weaker your relationship becomes until you can no longer hold it together and then your cup gets full and overflows for everyone to see. Allow your spouse to cover your nakedness now because he/she has been anointed and called to do so; “they were both naked and not ashamed”… (The Holy Bible).  Don’t wait until your dirty linen is washed in the public. ‘I don’t want him to know I was once married; I don’t want him to know I was once a sex worker; I don’t want her to know I have a child out of wedlock with another woman…” All these secrets and more break up marriages and create unhappy homes when the truth is later revealed to the other partner. Save yourself from future unhappiness, embarrassment and heartaches. Tell him/her all s/he needs to know before you walk down the aisle. If s/he loves you enough…s/he will not leave you despite your past or mistake and s/he will be able to walk through with you in any circumstance you are in life. If s/he decides to leave you for being honest about your past or mistake, it means you deserve someone better, someone like Boaz to Ruth who will love you despite your past or mistake. It is better said now than later when it will be too late to bear.