I am married and we have a good relationship with my husband. Part of this is because we are the direct opposite of each other so there is really usually not much friction maybe also because he is 46 and I am 32. The only problem lies in our personalities which are so different. He is more of an introvert preferring most of the time to read things while I am social and outgoing. He doesn’t refuse for me to go out with friends but he acts different for a few days and sometimes makes funny comments. He doesn’t drink nor dance and prefers to spend time at home. I’m not sure for how long this can go on because I am not happy with him even though I love him very much. I am already getting tempted to seek happiness from somewhere else. Please help.
Lydia, this situation is potentially dangerous if you are already considering getting happiness from elsewhere. It is a good thing that you love him but your age difference is not so much to warrant such differences in character and interests so I think something is just not right with your relationship. If he makes some strange comments when you go out with your friends then he is not as OK as he purports to be. He may just be trying hard not to come out as insecure but he may actually be. Giving him his space is obviously the right thing to do but he ought to give you your fair share of space too. However, he may be feeling insecure about you hanging around younger men. I think with your age difference, any man would so it is paramount that you assure him that he is the only man for you.
However, I am convinced that you are headed in the wrong direction by having thoughts about seeking happiness elsewhere. This is potentially tragic and may not be in anyone’s best interest. Generally, in life, you don’t always get what you want but you should always try and make the best of what you have. There is an old adage that if you ask life for an orange and it hands you a lemon, make lemonade out of it. Try and make the best of and settle for what you have. It may not be what you always wanted or the perfect situation but at least you have a man who cares about you.
The thing about insecurity in a relationship is that if you sense or realise that your partner is insecure about certain things, it is always best to have a candid discussion around that and move to settle their fears. Sometimes in relationships, the only thing people need is to know that the other person cares and is also sensitive to their feelings. Perhaps you could try and get him to go out but to a place where he would feel comfortable. Or get him to meet your friends and perhaps his insecurities may be addressed. Reach out and try to get a common point at which you could find things to do together.
Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor
Lydia, you have not mentioned how long you have been married, but why are you complaining at this point? There is so much to read between the lines. What you are not saying seems to be so loud. There is a feeling that you are not being tempted to seek happiness with someone else as you are claiming but you are actually seeing someone else. Your reaching out for help now is stemming from a feeling of guilt and, somehow, you are hoping your actions would be validated.
For a marriage to succeed or for the couple to be happy, the partners do not need to have the same personalities or temperaments. You do not need to be identical. It would be so boring. What is key is for the partners to agree on their values or rather their value system.
This man loves you and he is even aware of your differences and he is trying to accommodate yours by giving you the freedom to go out and have fun. In the process, you have met someone or people who you are constantly comparing to your husband, which puts unnecessary pressure on your marriage. What are you doing from your side to accommodate him?
Being different is a blessing. Please remember being an extrovert is not just about going out. How long will the going out and dancing last? It is a matter of time before age catches up with and you no longer find it interesting. Is it really worth it to lose your family?
Being an introvert, on the other hand, is not a crime that one should be accused of. Learn how to harness and celebrate your differences. I would encourage you to tone down on the clubbing and, together, look for a middle ground that would be favourable to you both.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology
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