Saturday, 9 October 2010


You have been going out for several months (or years) and yet the relationship just does not seem to be able to graduating to the next level.
Relationship counselors and psychologists say that when women get into a relationship, they often view the man in their life as the “ultimate husband” so it comes as a shock when this so-called husband material suddenly bolts from the relationshiop with no explanation.
Many of our female respondents wondered why the men they think are theirs for life would desert them “without notice”. Asked what they think happened, many said, “He just walked out on me. He never told me how I wronged him.”
“It is never a one-day decision,” says Caroline Mbuthia, a psychologist. It is a scenario “one can see coming”, or to put it in her words, it is a situation that can be pre-empted depending on how a woman manages the relationship from the early stages.
But just why do men bolt out of a relationship that was seemingly headed to the ultimate goal Marriage? It could be men-related or women-related reasons, at least according to literature on relationships and interviews by Saturday Magazine.
The ghost of old love
One school of thought argues that it not necessarily true that men leave women because of what they (women) have done or not done.
They do not leave as a response to a woman’s characteristics or qualities but because of the fulfilment of their own inner needs, conflicts and dreams.
According to Dr Brenda Shoshanna, a psychologist and relationship expert in the US, some men are caged in a past love and forget the reality of present-day relationship.
“They idealise an old love and try to find such a personality in the new person and when it does not come through, they feel they haven’t got the right person,” Dr Shoshanna writes.
Men tend to do “comparative studies” especially when gauging a new woman’s positive qualities and if not handled well, it can lead to disappointment as it is rare to get “ copy and paste” characteristics from two different people.
Being taken advantage of
Dr Shoshanna hypothesises that men leave when they feel overly exploited. During the early stages, women are showered with gifts, affection and substantial resources spent to make her happy without necessarily expecting reciprocation.
But how long can this go on, especially if there is no reciprocation either directly or in kind? Men’s patience easily wears off when a woman makes him feel his sole purpose in life is to serve her.
The age old adage that there is not really free lunch can thinly apply here. If your ask your man for occasional favours, ensure you show your utmost appreciation and return the favour when he least expects it.
It need not be conscious to him that you are paying him back. An article in The Guardian, a top Nigerian paper, last week said a man wants to be with a woman who brings something better to his life, not take away his time, energy, resources and emotional “stability.”
A woman should not appear “too needy”, the article noted, by focusing too much on the relationship as the source of her happiness.
The reality is that no man and no relationship can or should be everything to you.
“You shouldn’t have to sacrifice all your time and energy on a man. The point is, he won’t respect you for being desperate. At least no “mature man” wants you to look upto him for everything,” writes the publication.
You are out to change him
No man will ever be comfortable with conditional love. Any attempt to play “monkey games” so that he has no option but to commit to you, is a sure way for him to disappear.
Writing in The Guardian, Kemi Amushan says people are motivated by things they want, not by things others want. “If you want a man to change, you have to try to show him how it will benefit him and him alone, not you or your relationship,” he writes.
Men can be arm-twisted to take up something, including a wife, but eventually it will not hold. “We see it all the time. A man finds himself in an awkward relationship position and yields to the situation.
But eventually, he will go for the person he has chosen himself,” the newspaper wrote. This fixing can also be through change of awful habits such as ogling, smoking or heavy drinking.
Men have had to check certain habits in order to be accommodated by a woman but as Amushan writes, a man has to have his own reasons to change.
It is foolhardy for a woman to get herself pregnant, for instance, so that a man can marry her. Men fear committing themselves when they are not ready for it.
The best this kind of man will do when he realises the women is trying to manipulate him is to just walk away in due course.
Your love is ‘a prison cell’
Many people call it personal space. And the more modernised people become, the more they need their own space to do things.
Police marking your man is a sure a way to create stress and tension in his faculties.
Now when stress reaches a certain point, it blows off. For tension, it breaks. Love is not meant to be strenuous. Part of this is nagging like when he comes home late after work or asking him for money when he is most broke.
Or if you are the type that whines every time he wants to go out with his friends or do things on his own.
The space you squeeze out of him such that he cannot go or do something without your approval will eventually frustrate him.
Men have egos and one expression of this ego is to do things when and how he wants them. However , this does not mean you should keep quiet when he does things that are equally causing stress to you.
Writing in Ezine, an online publication, Rusell Jackson says stress builds up when everything in the relationship is about “your demands”. “If his eyes fall accidentally on a girl who is walking by and you start grilling him about infidelity and threaten that you will leave, it won’t be long before he feels like a prisoner around you,” she writes. And the dream of every prisoner is to leave prison and enjoy life out there.
Lost Feelings of attraction
This would just go verbatim as Amushan puts it in The Guardian “Love is important to a man.
But experiencing those addicting and exciting feelings of connection and attraction with the woman he loves are just as important.
Because when a man feels attraction and love, working out the little problems is a piece of cake. When he stops feeling that connection, he forgets why he is with you in the first place. The relationship will start to feel like hard “work” to him.
A man wants to do fun and enjoyable things together not talk to know it’s working) sometimes, a man will say he cares about you, or maybe even loves you, but he’ll admit he’s not “in love” with you.
Most of the time, women do not know the difference between loving you and being in love with you. When it reaches this point, the relationship is better dead.
If you’ve ever heard that from your man, it’s a symptom that he’s not feeling that gut-level attraction for you, despite having affectionate feelings for you.
The only thing he wants to do with you is perhaps have sex not make love with you. Creating that gut-level attraction and sharing that attraction is one of the most powerful and important keys to giving a man his own reason for wanting to be with you, no matter what.
It is not just about physical attraction but the emotional and intellectual attraction that comes from a deeper, more subconscious place.
His first love just knocked in
This has nothing to do with another woman. Or even a former lover. Many times, some people tend to become obsessed with things they are passionate about.
Not all men treat a relationship as their most important thing in life.
So when something comes up that he feels requires more of his attention than anything else, and you are there demanding for attention as well, he may easily move away from you rather than be persuaded to ditch his other passion.
Haven’t we heard of men who spend all their day working or doing business? Playing games or gambling, sports or spend time drinking with friends? Back to what we said about a man thinking critically about what the woman brings in his life, he will just move away if he believes he is enriching himself more at a personal level by engaging in something other than yourself.
He just realised you lie to him
A friend of mine once told me about an encounter with a mother-in-law.
It wasn’t a bad one but it was shocking. The middle aged lady embraced him and profusely thanked him for all he had done for the family (the wife’s). “The cow has doubled its production.
We are now enjoying clean rain water and we are happy that Nyambura (the wife’s younger sister) can now concentrate on her studies without worrying about fees. We do not know how we can appreciate your help,” the old lady told him loudly.
The truth of the matter is that the guy never knew that his wife was secretly catering for all her family’s financial needs. The quarrel that followed later led to a separation.
Unlike women, men find it hard to forgive and forget. Some of the things you ought not to lie to him about ( if at all you ever need to lie in the first place) are the existence of a child before you met him, status of your earlier relationship, financial obligations you have for your family, a chronic illness that is likely to have financial implications once you are together, and what you exactly do to earn a living.
The moment he knows you have all along lied to him about any of these, cracks will emerge and he could just walk away without a backward glance.

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