Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Thursday, 23 February 2012


One of the greatest dishonesty a lot of us are guilty of is the lie we tell to protect our interest, especially where that interest is not necessarily harmful to your partner; and it is usually in the area of Our relationship vis-a-vis our friends. 

A typical example is when your partner tells you they are not comfortable with your friendship with a particular person so try and keep a good distance. You know this person in question, and you know there is nothing going on for your partner to fear; yet in order not to rock the boat, you agree to whatever they say just to make them feel ok, only for you to lie to them about your true whereabouts sometime later so you can hang out with this other person.

It is dishonesty no matter how you see it and another form of cheating, Yea, I know it is hard for you to accept it. It's ok. 

A lot of us have got the 'you-can’t-talk-to-that-person' order on you. Most often we look at the fact that there is nothing going on therefore the restriction might not be necessary and therefore we disregard it.

A lot of relationships are suffering because of people who cannot either stand specific friends of their partners or people who choose to ignore their partners' concerns about some specific friends.

And sometimes we see one of the partners trying to minimize the impart or justifying the friendship they might have with someone their partner is not comfortable with, and yet choose to blow that of their partner's ties out of proportion.  "Oh but everyone knows Dave is my little Kitty, he is harmless...  But that ugly gold digger around you? She must go!!!!"

We have all at one point or the other been in that situation, where either we are the ones giving the restraining orders or we are the ones taking the orders; and It is one of the most upsetting and bitter situations for any couple in a relationship to face. Yet it is a clear, visible and very 'popular' drama topic in relationships. Some couples fight over that, some take it to the 'other person', others walk away, others get embittered and start calling some old ghosts they know will effectively haunt their partners and probably bring them in line...though most often, drives them farther out of line.

So what do you do when your partner wants you to pull away from a specific friend? 

A likely Solution.

Let your partner give you five distinct and reasonable reasons why they are not comfortable with this other person in your life. ‘It is just a feeling’ is not good enough a reason and you need to let them know that.

Give them five distinct and reasonable reasons why you want to hold on to that friendship. Be sure you do not elicit their jealousy and provoke them by making loose comments like, 'I enjoy their company' or 'they are cute' or 'they make me happy and feel good about myself.'

Ask your partner if they would like to meet this person. Sometimes it might help your partner see the person in a better light or make them confirm their suspicion; after all men understand their own body language just as women also do.

If your partner insists at all cost that you wean yourself from that person, you must look at the friendship you have with that person and decide how you want it to die… if they are people you cannot simply wean yourself from (Colleague, church member, next door neighbor or family friend) be bold and tell them the truth (How your partner feels) But in being bold and honest about it, do not crucify your partner. Something like this might help, ‘Oh Charlie right now, I am under 24/7 surveillance plus curfew… Osimesi is making some funny comments here and there. And I don’t want any drama… you know you girls/guys are funny…. Oh Charlie I can’t go with you today, Osimesi says I gallivant a lot… especially with that fair guy/lady…so Charlie, looks like they bore you small. He see sey you wan cross am.. She see sey you dey want take me from am. Charlie, Osimesi is coming over so you might want to get going…(make them stay like 10mins after they come around or 30 mins., if they are from afar and they intend to stay the whole day. (Harsh I know))

But any smart guy/girl will get the clue. 

And as a guy, you must be bold to let that particular female friend know your girlfriend is not comfortable with her constant presence in your house and their occasional naps and sleep overs and their hijacking of a portion of your life.

However, if they are persons you can easily walk away from and not break their hearts, you can gradually pull away; reduce the phone calls, cut or avoid the constant visits and companionship.

I know, it is not easy… Why would you lose a friend because of your partner’s jealousy or feeling…which brings me to my final point.

Weigh the value of the friendship you have with this person and the value of your relationship and choose one. If your partner puts you on the spot, you must make a choice or your relationship will suffer. 
I cannot tell you what will happen if you choose to disobey your partner. But I can tell you one thing; it will embolden you to disregard many other things they might tell you in the future, or it might even be the effect of your lack of regard for their feelings and views… One day they will just leave without a reason, so you can follow after your friend… the one you might not even want to date.

A lot of people say they will not lose a friend because of their relationships; for sure, I won’t do that. But there is always a critical time you must choose between a friend and your partner, and if you know the road map for your life, you will know who to choose. You can choose a friend if you have no future with your partner; but who will choose a friend over a partner you have a future with?

I have seen many good people who lost equally good people because of friends. I do understand the story of the two of you and how far back you both go… but if you can’t convince someone who came into your life a couple of months ago to accept someone who is just like a part of your life, then you are to be held responsible. I believe the average partner is reasonable and know what demands to make and what demands not to make... I don't think they will want you to lose all your friends...Usually it is Just the one or two they have issues with.

Some kinds of people your partner is likely going to tell you to avoid:
The guy or lady you recently met who is being overly too good to you
Your ex
Someone who has always been hitting on you
Someone who covertly or overtly disrespect or hate your partner
Someone who contacts you a lot too often
Anybody whose name you call your partner by

Ultimately whatever happens between your partner, you and your friends is what you do when you start dating.

When you start dating: 

1 let your friends know you are now in a stable relationship so things will never be the same; things as in everything. Everything will be moderated and your response rate will slow down because you will need a lot of clearance before you can proceed. You can't now get up and do as you please; you must tell the prospective better half...because you won't be amused if they proceed without your clearance.

2. Remind yourself constantly that you are in a relationship and try reducing your appetite for the things of ‘friends’. Start being inward looking, as in you and your partner first before all others. When you do this, your friends will wince; but then remember friends always fight for the friendship first before they consider what makes you truly happy.

3. Let your partner know and meet all potential trouble makers in terms of close friend who won’t leave that easily. Get your partner to like them from day one when love is strong and they will do anything for you. If you introduce difficult characters when the relationship is in full gear, your partner can make a lot more daring interventions they couldn't have made at the beginning of the relationship.

4. Do not encourage any act of rebellion from your friends vis-à-vis what you really want to achieve in your relationship. People of the opposite sex can really rebel and frustrate you; either they will completely abandon you, so in your loneliness you compromise or they will pretend your partner does not exist and frustrate them out. You need to be strong

Always be ready to choose between your partner and friends. Do not let that decision put you in the middle. Always have it at the back of your mind who you really want in your life… and it must be one person…so always look out for the reasons why that person must be the choice.

PG Sebastian
All Rights Reserved 2012

Saturday, 4 February 2012


“Girl you better have a story to tell me for keeping me here for this long” Pearl jumped at Adelaide as the latter took her seat next to her best friend at Fiesta Royale’s soothing restaurant. 

‘I am so so sorry hun, blame it on Accra traffic.” Adelaide said feeling terrible for keeping her friend waiting. There was no traffic and that lie did not feel right in her mouth; she could use a mouth wash there and then…some lies stink.

“Well you better be because I’ve been sitting here looking all like a hooker and no freakin’ dude is even giving me a look. Mmtsseww. And why are they sitting in pairs?" Pearl asked, referring to the funny pairings… two elderly looking white men with two young feminine looking black guys sitting on two different tables. There was that passion in their body language. Two ‘couples’
“I was coming to ask that when I entered” Adelaide hushed, “but as a gifted person, I instantly sensed the surge of gay energy. My dear, they won’t hit on you even if you strip…you are outta their league.”

“Talking about hitting” Pearl said, “So this guy won’t let me be”
“Ooh lala baby girl, you been busy.” Adelaide said with a thick voice. “Is he cute? I mean has he got the radio voice and all that. I mean… you know… he has to be cute enough to be an alternative government you know.”
“You pervert” Pearl chided her friend.
“Just saying; hey, I am the good friend here.”
“Well you are not, and this guy is not making me enjoy being a woman.”
“No you mean he is making you enjoy being a woman” Adelaide mocked her.
“I mean, he is haunting me”
“Oh sweetie, it can’t be that bad…you making it look gory. It’s just a cute helpless kitty looking for a home…open up open up…let the damn bastard in” Adelaide insisted all the while looking at the direction of the buffet table.
“You are so full of crap at times you know” Pearl said almost annoyed.
“Well you can’t blame me; I have not had breakfast and lunch so I am cranky and crappy. So while we think about your prince charming with the features of Johnny Bravo, what are we eating?”
“It’s a buffet” Pearl responded quietly.
“Ah I love buffets. Ok so let's go get the food before these gays get to it first.”
“You are mean. Be nice to them. It’s their sexual orientation”
“Oh puleezze, with all these goodies in women? Are you serious?” Adelaide said getting up and heading towards  the table where almost all that could be imagined as food was set.
“Ok end of Gay talk” Pearl said fearing the ‘couples’ might over hear them.
“Sure, let’s have a hit talk. But first let’s get eating. Am staaarrrrving”

“That is what I am talking about. Gosh I love buffets.” Adelaide said, getting busy with the ladle.
“Sure you do. You need to watch what you eat”
“Because you are a lady, Adelaide.”
“Seriously? In case you haven’t notice, and why would you, you are endowed everywhere, everywhere as in bebiara bebiara. I weight 50kg; the same size as a bag of Rice. That is not cool. Allow me!”
“I hear you.”
“Thank you. And why are you not picking that?”
“I don’t know what it is”
“Pick it damn it, it’s food, Pearl, it is food,”

“Why are you picking that?”
“Its food and it won’t kill. If you take a scoop or carry the entire table the bill is still the same. Pick that one. I wanna taste it”
“Why don’t you pick it.”
“Cus I want it on your plate Pearl.”
“What is that?”
“It's fish Ade; I thought you did catering when you were at the polytechnic?
“Oh that; well it was for the grades... to get me into the Uni. I want that fish”
“ pick it”
“Baby, I just did. So tell me about the hit story.”

“Yes so I met this guy through work; he is one of our clients. He has cash, I mean cash.”
“One of those guys who are so rich they won’t eat overnight money?” Adelaide enquired further.
“So why are you complaining? You should be in church sitting at the front pew giving fat offerings”

Pearl gave Adelaide the look.

“Oh I get it, Robert. So yea… but…”
“No buts. I am in a relationship Ade”
“I know girl and much as I am a digger for money, I don’t think I can watch your fine butt cheat on Robert. It’s a no no”
“Exactly. And it is not that I would want to do it even if I was single; this guy is just not it”
“Ok now you are crazy”
“No because he has a kid with a different woman and he is dating another woman. He tells me they are having issues cus the girl is using a trade secret to blackmail him to stay”
“Crap.” Adelaide swore, “I know what he means by trade secret, trust me it’s a hoax; either he wants more sex less commitment or someone who gives more sex for less demands…or whatever. Go on my dear”

“Well and he is doing everything he can to get me. I had to turn down an iPad, I turned down an LED TV, and I turned down a vacation to UK. I mean… He wants to do it all”

“Give me his number. I can fight. And God knows he won’t struggle to convince me.”

“Silly girl. He is there after work to see me. He is there at my house over the weekends and my mum is so so not amused.  So when the pressure got to its peak, I told Robert.”
 “What? You what?”
“Yes, I did”
“Are you serious?”
“Yea, I did. God knows the number of Girls who hit on him and he tells me. I thought I should also let him know this. I felt it was the right thing to do. Besides, my boyfriend is not a dumb guy and it’s a matter of time before he found out I was hiding something.”
“True. spookier than an FBI Agent” Adelaide observed.
“And I know this hitter won’t mind making himself visible just to piss Robert off and create a rift between me and him. He would exploit it to his advantage.”

“And what did Robert say?”
“He interrogated me as usual; his background, our level of acquaintance, what my contribution has been to his pestering me and all his FBI things.”
“Well he just told me to be careful”
“Gosh I love your boy. If you leave him today, I will date him. I don’t know how he does it.”
“I know right.”
“He seem to have a grip on himself; not that thumb sucking monkey I once dated”
“I know. So he asked me how often this guy calls me”
“I told him as many times in a day as he could find his phone. That did not go well with him since I am always telling him how busy I was and why I couldn’t talk. He asked what we talk about. And I told him he does most of the talking.”

“Well his advice was pretty simple and straight to the point. When he calls, do not pick up ; you are at work and you are busy. You can choose to say you are picking it out of respect, but the price of that respect will be your sleepless nights, his constant pestering and your relationship which will eventually suffer.”
“True” Adelaide said listening intently but not losing sight of the full plate in front of her.

“I told him, I tried that and he kept calling with different numbers. He said when I pick up and I get to find it is him, I should tell him I will call him back because I am in a meeting or something; after that I should save the number under him name. Soon the calls will go down because he can’t call me with all the numbers in the world.”
“Smart guy. Trust me. I could use a guy like that.”
And he said, if he shows up in the office, I should just pick files and start working on them; get busy with work. If it is after work, I must tell him I have some deadlines to meet. Luckily my mum is not comfortable with him so I can use some hostility from her when he shows up at home.”
“Your mum?”
“Girl that will be too much. That woman will eat up his persistent behind.”
“He also told me to refuse any offer or gift no matter what the intention is and whatever gift it might be”
“Well…” Adelaide had her disapproval in that area.
“Yea I know right; cus I really wanted that iPad so bad… that came after his advice. Cus I was sooo going to take it.
“Yea. And that would have been his entrance to Jerusalem”
“As in?”
“Duh, he would have had something to hold on to. He would want to install apps on it for you…soon only God knows what he would want to install and where…”

“True… and since I know what he wants, any gift will only weaken my position and make me feel indebted to him in one form or the other.”
“Yea… and those are good gifts an African man won’t give for free. Even when they give you a lift, it's good enough for them to ask for sex in return”

“Can you imagine. And he told me to tell him I really appreciate all that attention and niceness, but it cannot work out between me and him and it had nothing to do with the fact that I was seeing someone else. He said I needed to be honest with him. Maybe picking his calls and giving him the chance to give me all the time is sending the wrong signals. Being firm, brief and straight to the point might work out.”

“And it is true cus, deep down every man has got his pride and ego to protect.”

“Yea… So I started not picking his calls. And true, he started calling me with strange numbers which I kept adding to his name till there was no number to call with.”

“Did he ever come to your office?”
“Well I missed a couple of his calls so I guess he was around; but well that was after work and I was not in the mood to entertain him.’
“Be nice to the poor man, what is that”
“No, I called Robert by his name once.”
“Ouch! That must have been ugly.”
“It was. He pretended he did not hear it. The next thing I heard, lemme call you back. He called back the following day. I did not need a rocket scientist to tell me that was it.”

“So Yesterday I had a long chat with the guy. He was not amused. He insisted it was because of Robert that was why I was treating him like some trash and that some ladies would jump at it.”

“The balls!” Adelaide spat the words out. “But coming to think of it, I might jump at it…for the money”

Well I insisted it had nothing to do with Robert. He was hurt but had to accept it. And I realized I had played a long, and he told me that.

“You did!”

You know, the day he sent me home the first time, I thought I was being polite and I introduced him to my mum, He got it wrong. I kept hinting on my craze about Flat screen TVs and iPads and all that. He said they were not things he wanted to give me to entice me, but it was because he knew I wanted them. I felt so bad.

“Serves you right.”

“No seriously Ade, I felt bad. He told me how he would call and there would be call waiting but I would quickly call back.”

“You were doing that? And you don't return any of my calls? Girl you are a ho!”
“Yea and sometimes I would be with Robert on the line, but I would cut him off and flash this guy to call me. So well I guess I was sending the wrong signals. He was surprised I was talking about being busy at work and how I needed some space to work. As far as he was concern I enjoyed his conversations. I made him feel he was welcomed, according to him.”
“You poor bastard. You led the man on.”
“I know right. But it was out of sheer respect. I had no intention of leading him on”
“Yea Akuapim women and your politeness.”

“So do you think it was the right thing I did by telling Robert? I mean, I enjoyed talking to the guy and all that. He is fun to be with and addictive to talk to. Aside all his cash and everything he is a gentleman”  

"A gentleman as in the one with a kid with one lady, staying with another and hitting on another? Well I might need a dictionary to check for the new definition of gentlemanliness. Where is my iPad?"

“A guy who does not respect another lady’s right to be with a man of her choice has no respect for the woman. Such a man will think G-string is not for you…he will think for you… and a woman who does that to a man is in the same category. To love someone truly is to let them be. That is the Love of GOD”
“I am preaching Sister Pearl. Lawharmercy!"

It was good you told Robert; he would have found out or suspected, or your silence might have caused you to start lying and being secretive. That is a deviation to the road that touches on trust’s bad nerve. Girl, that road is not for you, trust me you don’t have the ribs for it.

“Now that you have told him about this major hit and you have acted on his advice, trust me when you tell him to sleep he will sleep and believe you will do well on your own. Men want to feel in charge and once you give them that impression that they are in charge, you can go balling!
I know you got an hour grilling. But that saved you weeks of policing, quarreling and misunderstanding because of an inexplicable text or gift or presence at a place you weren’t supposed to be. Take the damn slap now and save yourself the grill later on.

Look, you and Robert are few steps away from Marriage, don’t throw years of bonding away for some stranger. You have no evidence he has ever cheated on you; if he did, it would be with me and by close observation I know I am clean, so he is clean. Don’t give all that up for that sucker.

Your family likes him, you like him, your siblings like him. You are a champion in his family don’t throw that away. Much as I love money, and after wasting that Minister’s money, I can tell you without an iota of doubt, money is not everything.

 People marry and get all manner of wahala and they can’t join the dots. Don’t make a good man ever say “hmmm” or "Don’t worry it is all in the hands of God." Never. God? No, I would rather fall in the hands of Man.

And I like how Robert handled it. A man like that is worthy of respect. Some fool wouldda just gone wild or cold and started asking silly questions. He did not just listen to your predicament; he actually advised you like a brother on how to handle it. That is man worth waking up with for the rest of your life if you ask me. I mean you can always come home to him.

“That’s why you need a wise guy like Robert…”
“Well since he is taken, I am casting my lot with my Priest. Oh yea, I will deflower him even if it means I need to become a nun.”

I also think you did the right thing. Obviously this guy was over and above what you could handle; and you took it right home and told the most important person in your life. Difficult, but it was certainly a wise choice. I mean even if he acted up, you know you would have done the right thing.

My problem is the cash; you couldda taken them all and given them to me. Give me his number.


“What can I say? So, are we going to watch the movie?”
“Yup! Girl, I knew I could count on you…Mad as you are…
Oh yea… mad women have times they come home….

P.G. Sebastian