Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Friday, 26 April 2013


I am a very practical person and I look at many things from a practical perspective. I believe that we must look at our relationships with a good deal of pragmatism and through a rolled-up-sleeve attitude. No pain no gain. Nothing in any relationship or marriage grows on a tree and dealing with another person is not a simple matter that gets done lying in a couch day dreaming and wearing big titles like necklaces.

Nature abhors vacuum. A man or woman must make sure that they fill their partner’s life till there is no place for another person. People say you must give your partner space or they will grow tired of you. I have also found out on the other side of the situation, where someone is giving a partner space, and the partner in question is taking it that their partner is detached and does not seem concerned again. In a situation like this, no doubt, we must act reasonably. Not too much gap and not too much close-marking.

The only problem is how do we define what is reasonably close? Remember John’s idea of wanting Becky to be close, is the Becky’s impression of John attempting to tie her to himself. Again Regina’s impression of George giving her space is for George not to call during working hours but to text as many times as he could. The perception of space differ from individual to individual and therefore the best way around it is to discuss it. HOW DO YOU WANT US TO RELATE? TELL ME. How many calls a day is too much, for instance. Discuss everything that is a contention. Most often, after hearing people out, I realise all they need to do is to talk to their partners and end the discontinuousness in their relationship. Talk to them.

Now let me come back to the essence of what this article is about. All I am saying is that, if you do not position yourself in a strategic way, you might have all the titles in the world as far as your partner is concerned but someone else would be making much impact in their lives. I would rather I am accused of being around too much than not being around at all and not knowing what is going on.

Everybody thought the woman with the alabaster box was pushing the boundaries, but the one benefitting from it (Jesus) asked them, ‘Which one of you criticizing her has done even an inch of what she is doing?’ The woman took an unrestrained step knowing what was in it for her. What is in it for you and what steps have you taken about it? He is not just a man in your life; he is your husband and a better half! What are you doing to make him yours? What are you doing to keep him forever? She is not one of your many female acquaintances; she is your wife, your better half. What are you doing to make her look at you only and not another man regardless of what this other man brings to the table? People will tell you, “wo kyer3bi di3” But you know what that man or woman is worth to you and what you must do to keep them. Some of the decisions will even seem stupid in your own eyes, but if you know what you have, you will be willing to do the unthinkable to keep it.

There was a time Jesus was informed that His family was out there seeking audience with him. He looked startled and asked the people around who His family was. He told them, his family was not the one that sits at home bragging about a family member who is doing wonders in the country side, healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out demons….His family was not that family that once in a while, when it suits them, will visit and send him a post card that read, ‘we miss you JC, but don’t stress yourself too much. With love from us in sunny Galilee J’. That was not his family. His family was made up of the people around, those who were being heckled together with him; those He starved with and slept under the open skies in the dead of the winter night with. His family was made up of the people He broke bread with and fellowshipped with. Not some fancy clothed and title wearing folks.

So as you read this, do you think you have a true family in your partner? When was the last time you had any meaningful conversation with them about their jobs or their health or their passion. When was the last time you took it upon yourself to call their family members to check up on them without being told to? When was the last time you had to stop everything that meant something to you so you could fulfill an obligation that meant something to them?

I bet they are even your friends online, but you only visit their profile to see the particular person who keeps commenting on or liking their status updates, and then fight them over it. You only comment on their mistakes and statuses that are not appropriate.  I bet your partner has a calling on his or her life, and as sad as it may be, you were the first person to talk them out of it. You were the first person to ridicule them and belittle the dream. Yes you may have your reasons…good reasons really. But Jesus’ family also had theirs, except it still did not change the reality – others had taken up the role of a family and they met all His needs as far as a family was concerned.

How interested are you in the totality of his or her life. Today if your partner was to talk to someone you do not know and they are to be honest about it, would you be seen as someone who is so interested in their business? Do not just look at it from a very limited perspective; pick the issues one after the other and see your degree of interest in them. How interested are you in their spiritual life, in their academic life, in their finances, in their social activities and the myriads of areas you can be interested. How involved are you?

If someone can make your partner laugh more them you make them, make them feel safer and secure about themselves more than you do for them and make them look forward to each day, dressing and getting ready for the day knowing that someone will compliment them, give them a reason to believe in something, then you have lost and that person has won. Yes you may be the Mister or the Mrs, but your partner lives and breathe because of someone else. Someone else gives them a reason to continue to press on with their dream, vision, education, spiritual life and many more. You may have a title and a body, someone has the rest.

You have lost it if you are not the name that comes up often when your partner has to make a decision. You are lost if they have to call someone when they have work related issues, spiritual issues, financial issues, emotional issues or simple issues of guidance.

Like I said, you can have your reasons, that may seem so plausible your partner may even applaud you, but in the final analysis, no reason will suffice; were you there or you left your place for someone else. Do you think that those with failing marriages did not have reasons? They did, only those reasons could not fly.

Nature abhors vacuum, we are not meant to be alone. Do not let your partner drift away; no, do not let them out of your sight.

Be indispensable and do not care what they say. I have not heard people leave their partners because they were always available and around…it is the other way round. 

You can share this with a friend.

PG Sebastian