The Star (Nairobi)

12 January 2013

Kenya: Lies Women Tell Themselves

column

You have been single for the past five years, so when you finally get into a relationship, you will do anything to hold on to that man. You now that men who actually call you back after the third date are hard to come by. Furthermore, only a select few among those will introduce you to his friends as his girlfriend, if he will introduce you at all. Therefore, most women will cling to a man despite his numerous shortcomings and will tell themselves whatever it takes to feel at peace with their decision. You may feel better but it doesn't change the fact that it is a lie and this is why:

1. He will change.

How many times have you heard this? If that is your reasoning, kindly slap yourself across the cheek and let that serve as a wake-up call. There is a reason as to why the saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks is considered a wise saying. If a man is thirty and his dressing still reminds you of a teen who has no idea where his waistline is, he won't suddenly realise those days are behind him. If he drinks till 1am, the time won't change just because he moved in with you. It goes without saying that your mama's boy won't stop consulting his mother before every decision including those that are meant to be private. You either love your man as he is or find another man who already has the qualities in your checklist. If not, abandon all hope of ever changing a man.

2. It was a one-time thing

You caught your man cheating and he repeatedly apologised claiming that it will never ever (just for emphasis) happen again so you decided to give him a second chance. The only thing he regrets is getting caught and nothing more. Not unless he was drugged, he knew exactly what he was doing. Chances are he will do it again, but this time he will be extra careful not to get caught. Sometimes it is a more serious situation as Alice Muteti explains, "We had been married for a year when during an argument, my husband hit me. He immediately rushed to my side and seemed to be shocked by his actions as I was. Obviously, I forgave him and for the next five years, he did not raise his hand at me. Then he snapped and he hit me again. His reaction was the same as the previous time and I forgave him. But it soon became a habit that whenever we fought, he would turn it physical. It was only after I found myself admitted in hospital with a broken arm that I left him." If a man so much as raises his hand at you, leave alone hit you, you should leave. When you stay, it shows your lack of self respect and makes the man think that if he could do it again without consequence, he can certainly do it again.

3. I am different

It is said that the past does not dictate the future. This is true, but a man's history speaks of his character. He has never been in a monogamous relationship, he changes women more often than he can remember and refers to all his female 'friends' as sweethearts. What makes you think you are different? Unless he makes a serious declaration to you that he has made mistakes in the past but he now wants to settle down with you, you have no business claiming to be 'The One'.

4. He listens and understands

One week hardly passes by without you arguing over the same issue and each time you tell yourself that he gets what made you upset. You deceive yourself into thinking that he has finally learnt his lesson. But he soon forgets it and you are back to square one. Men can't truly understand women and it's that simple. They won't get why it is that women need to talk for hours on end about their feelings or why it is important to cuddle after sex. So you can either choose to keep on arguing or admit that you are too different to always be in sync and live life without sweating the petty stuff.

5. Once I'm pregnant

He will stay with me or he will marry me or such other nonsense. There is no delicate way to say this, but this has to be the highest form of stupidity. A baby will not make a man love you; it will result in the exact opposite. The man will hate you for trapping him, that is if he decides to stay. Today, most men support their children without any commitment to the mother and some won't even acknowledge the child. Love cannot be forced or manipulated. If you find yourself having such thoughts kindly consider seeing a psychologist because you have a problem.

6. I will give him time to propose.

"We had been dating for ten years and not once had he hinted on marriage," Nancy, a 39-year-old accountant confessed, "So I figured if I could claim to be an empowered woman, I could also propose. Of course he was shocked and for a moment I thought he would say no. But he did say yes and we have been happily married for the past 11 years. He was a bit embarrassed by the fact that it was I who proposed probably because of his ego. "I am not telling you to propose, that is reserved for the brave at heart (in case of rejection) or if you are 100 per cent sure he shall accept and his pride shall let you live in peace. All I am saying is this: if you are expecting your relationship to lead to matrimony, you have every right to ask whether marriage is in the cards. That way you shall know your standing and act accordingly.

7. Nothing but the truth.

Do you sincerely think that your man is always honest with you? Sure, he took a vow and obviously he claims to tell you everything, but c'mon you don't actually believe that? People lie and yes that includes women. It could be a little issue which he intentionally omits because he knows you will over react or it will hurt you. Regardless of his reason, it is still a lie. The sooner you stop expecting him to be a saint and realise you are dealing with a human being whom by definition is flawed, the better. After all, you are no angel yourself. Did you tell him all that you did in college? (You know what I am talking about.)

8. He loves me.

This should not be confused with the misguided thought of 'I am different'. Here, the man could be a gentleman and has never strayed a day in his life. Despite his semblance to 'Prince Charming' and all his romantic gestures, the man has never told you that he loves you. You cannot afford to make assumptions with men and it is always advised to be straight forward when it comes to matters of the heart. Simon Karanja, a 28 -year -old IT specialist had this to say, "My previous girlfriend made the mistake of asking how many children we would have. I thought we were just having a good time and besides, I don't want children. Women can be delusional." Do not assume.

9. They are all wrong.

All of your friends say he is not the man for you, you think they are jealous. Your family does not approve, you claim they don't want to see you happy. His colleagues warn you that he is not a good guy, you ignore them. When the whole world is against one man, it is not a matter to be taken lightly or cast aside. Prevention is better than cure.

10. Other women.

Men are visual beings and they are bound to notice the woman with the low cut top or revealing dress. Should you be upset if he stares? Yes. Should you tell him you are upset? Yes. Should you yell at him and walk away? No. He will notice other women and probably even have fantasies that do not involve you. But remember of all those women, he choose you.

Therefore, let us do ourselves a favour and deal with men as they are and not as we would want them to be.

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