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Tuesday, June 8

Tips to Reverse a Sacramental Sentence: A Guy's Perspective

I recently talked to one of my guy friends, who we'll call Malik, about another friend who was experiencing marital turmoil. We'll call her Tasha.

My friend's marriage, which could be characterized as a sacramental sentence, was collapsing. She had grown distant from her man. They no longer enjoyed spending time together--in and outside the bedroom. They argued every few days and engaged only in necessary conversation. It's almost like they had simply become roommates.

I explained to Malik that the problems started before the marriage. My friend and her man experienced communication roadblocks even before the engagement, and indication to most that an actual wedding was probably something that needed to be delayed until they could work out their issues. But they continued on with their plans to wed only to find themselves at the exact same place years later, unable to communicate.

Tasha has prayed, reached out for counseling, talked to other married couples and sought out help from her pastor. But not much has changed, arguably because she alone has expended effort to make things right. My friend has spent quite a bit of energy crying herself to sleep, feeling void of options and wondering what would become of her marriage. Recently, however, I noticed that her emotions have morphed, transplanting her from that place of desolation to another one that more resembles indifference.

I appreciate my friend's confidence in talking to me about her situation, and I try to be as objective and unbiased in my responses as possible. But, at the end of the day, she's my girl, and I love her, and I sometimes sympathize with her.

Malik, however, doesn't have a clue who she is, and as he listened to me explain Tasha's situation, he offered up a few pieces of advice to help her get back on track.

1. She needs to get her own life. Malik argued that when most women in relationships don't have a life of their own (invest in themselves, explore their interests, or work to advance their careers), they tend to obsess over their relationships which can lead to hypersensitivity. He mentioned that some of things bothering my friend would likely lose their significance once she focused on and entertained herself. Her man would also notice the shift in her energy, which might motivate him to reconnect with her.

2. She needs to become a better friend. Tasha and her husband have lost intimacy, and a big part of intimacy is honest and non-judgmental friendship. And a big part of friendship is understanding each other's world. Malik argues that real friendship should be the most important measure of a relationship's vitality. He also says that most men want their women to relate to them. So, whether her man's interest is sports, politics, music or cars, Tasha should use his interest as a gateway to engage with him.

3. She needs to know that she can't change him. Tasha's man will only change if he wants to, and he will only cooperate in the relationship if he wants to. So, no matter what tactics Tasha uses to strengthen her marriage, they won't be completely effective unless her husband chooses to receive them.

When it's all said and done, a marriage can only work if both people involved are actively participating. Tasha can't do this alone. And neither can her man. So, I'll relay the advice to her, hoping she finds some success in its application. But if she doesn't, there's always another way to free her goddess.

1 comment:

donna b. said...

they sound as if they've outgrown each other.....or....he's just not that into her, and possibly...never was.

I agree with Malik on points #1 and #3.

Especially #1. If she should happen to shift gears, and direct her energy into her own interests, he may come around because men do not like to be ignored....but...if he does'nt....he's not into her....IMO