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Confessions: Help! My marriage is on its deathbed

Readers Lounge By Simon and Boke
We are in totally different worlds when it comes to the way we reason (Photo: Shutterstock)

I am a Master's degree holder and married to a businessman who only has a college diploma. This December we celebrated our eight anniversary. I love this man but of late I find myself really enjoying the company of men who have similar or more educational qualifications. I find him stale and we are in totally different worlds when it comes to the way we reason. This is affecting our marriage as I am finding it difficult to submit to him and I think he is also starting to feel the difference in the way I respond to him. I love him only that I am having difficulties understanding and reasoning with him. How can I solve this problem?

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{Phyllis}

What the readers say:

It is possible that this man too must be regretting all that he saw in you as he was marrying you. I have a few questions though; were you at the same education level when you got married? Had you both agreed to advance your education? Did you have any love-feelings before you began this union? Were you hanging around these “good reasoning” men before? Marriage has nothing to do with educational level and achievement! It’s all about maturity and wisdom!

[Ouma Ragumo – Sifuyo]

It is rather normal for women to want security, social and economic, from their husbands. They always want to feel subdued so that they feel safe. When they suspect that they are better than their husbands, they lose that sense of security. Meanwhile, all these are in the mind. Look at your husband from the other side of the road and see if he is not worth being the father to your children. Look at how he is committed to your marriage and how he treats you and you will know that it is not the papers that make a husband but the human being in the man.

[Tasma Saka]

Marriage is a beautiful and sacrosanct institution that shouldn’t be compared to academic qualifications. Kindly shed off your academic pride/papers and concentrate on building your marriage. That road you want to follow is the genesis of infidelity.

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{A.N}

I am happy because I have not heard you complain about unfaithfulness or irresponsibility. Help your husband make fortune out of the business. You can as well convince him to further/advance his education so that in the end both of you will have a “good reasoning ability”

[Machogu Kihuro]

Boke says:

Dear Phyllis,

Congratulations for all the efforts you are making in order to improve yourself. However, this growth should not be at the expense of your precious family.

Growth is one of the characteristics of living things. It is necessary for each one of us to know that we are making progress in the right direction. So this is not just about how it makes a partner feel but how the individual feels. A relationship gives an avenue to the individuals to constantly encourage each other to improve. I do not know how much of this you have done. A good marriage or relationship automatically makes the spouses cheerleaders for each other. Be an encourager and see how it goes.

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You must understand that some people are self-motivated and driven while others need to be encouraged. Find where your husband falls and act accordingly.

The other people you are getting attracted to have been cheered on and encouraged to get to where they are, you too can work magic with your husband.

While it is a good thing for both individuals in a relationship to endeavour to add value on themselves, this does not mean that partners should take an identical path. Being different is beautiful.

I do not think it is necessary for your husband to get a degree and Master’s if academics is not his thing. Appreciate his progress in business. For example you can encourage him to diversify or expand in his area of interest. He does not have to do what you are doing to make you feel good. Allow him shine in his own way as you cheer him on the loudest.

Hilda Boke has a background in counselling psychology

Simon says:

Dear Phyllis

Your situation is rather unique and requires a lot of internal reflection to address and have a clear way forward. First, I want to take you back eight years ago when you met this man and decided that he would be the man in your life. I am sure that at the time, you were in love with him, mesmerized by him, you adored him and even probably thought that the sun rises and sets in his eyes. Back then it did not matter what qualifications he held, you got along very well and nobody was better company than him.

Eight years down the line, you find him stale, enjoy the company of people of your calibre and find it difficult to submit to him etc. This seems somewhat odd bearing in mind that at one time his qualifications did not matter. I would not be surprised and strongly believe that you may have acquired at least your master’s degree in the last eight years. If so, then he must have supported you through that and this is how you chose to repay him? The company you keep is only as good as you perceive it to be and I know that he can be just as good as the others if you gave him a chance and stopped looking down on him.

Essentially, it is all about the kind of person he is and what he means to you rather than what qualifications he holds. Remember, the company out there is only good because it is new and different but generally all people are the same. Try and see him in a different light and give him the respect he deserves. He may not have a Master’s degree but he is your husband. The man that loves you, that supports you, that adores you and that chose to settle down with you. He is your man and you can find ways of igniting that fire that is just about to die out.

Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor

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