Family vs relationship

“I don’t want you interacting with so and so”

To what extent should family members go when it comes to determining who you should relate with? Is it protection or are they just controlling?

From childhood our parents have always determined who we should befriend depending on how they feel about them. In most cases they do not care about your feelings.

This situation spills over to when one is an adult and starts engaging in romantic relationships. You will agree that most people always hide their partners and keep their relationship secret away from the scrutiny of other family members because they are afraid of their opinion.

However,they will have to face the “family committee” eventually. The most crucial stage of any relationship is when one officially introduces their partner to the family and kinsmen. This has never been a walk in the park. The family will make their judgements on whether the marriage will proceed or go separate ways.

Even if you survive and you are given greenlight to continue, you are not safe. In most African traditions, the son is always given a portion of the family land to settle in and that is where meddling and sometimes sabotage of the marriage begins.

This makes me wonder should family just stick to giving guidance and advice and let one make the decision of who they should interact with?

When one becomes an adult and starts a family, should family retreat from interfering until a situation where there presence and guidance is needed?


Do we really move on?

We are all familiar with the feelings that come with parting ways with someone we wanted to spend a lifetime with. The emotional turmoil experienced can’t be described.We eventually reach a place we can describe as healing but do we really “unlove” them completely?

What if we never forget about them the way we would want to? What if our lives change forever? We can’t deny the fact that they will always influence our future choices in one way or another especially when it comes to subsequent relationships.

We have witnessed people who separated for years getting back together no matter how nasty the break up. This scenerio has me wonder, what is that force that kept them from drifting away for good? Is there something about romantic relationships that we have yet to discover? In some instances people have continued to have secret affairs with their ex partners.

We can’t deny that sometimes we experience jealousy that comes with finding out your ex is doing good with someone else despite the fact that you yourself already moved on. Some may argue that it’s the memories they shared that binds them together but according to my understanding you can have better memories with someone else but still have your Ex in mind. What is that aspect of your previous relationship you can’t let go?

That awkward feeling you experience when you find yourself in the same place with someone you dated is unexplainable. One will be so anxious and uncomfortable the entire time for no reason. Most people prefer to maintain physical distance even if it means relocating to somewhere far as long as they never cross paths.

Whether we like it or not, we will always have a soft spot for someone we once had a romantic relationship with even though sometimes we mask it with hatred depending on what transpired. Fragments of love we once had for them will live in our hearts whether we like it or not.

Abruptly leaving a relationship is a bad idea,heal first

The main reason for leaving a relationship is to be happy and find peace of mind but do you know deciding to end it abruptly may cause more harm? Some end up choosing to go back to lessen the agony that comes with leaving a relationship prematurely.

Dettaching from people we once cared about and loved is one emotional roller coaster that often may lead to depression and severe emotional pain. Saddest thing about the pain that comes from heartbreak is that there is no pain killer that can help numb the pain. I have always wondered why scientists have not come up with a capsule to help relieve the pain, am sure they will make a kill from the sell since many people are suffering in silence .

There are many reasons that may force one to chose leaving a relationship. Little known to many some parents are very toxic and will often find ways to cause pain to their children. Am sure this explains that distant uncle or aunt you have always wondered why they don’t associate with their parents. In other scenerios we have very controlling friends that won’t let you be and will always find ways to frustrate you. Lastly, romantic relationship which is a major cause of emotional suffering especially when you have lots of good memories.

Learning how to handle the situation they put you through is a game changer. Emotional distancing yourself from their actions is a skill that can only save you. Over a period of time what used to upset you nolonger bother you at all. When you find yourself no longer yelling, questioning or getting upset by things that would often trigger you, you are ready to leave. That is where you now apply the physical distance. Walking away at this stage will be much easier because you took time to heal first.

What many do not know is forgiving yourself is easier than expecting an apology that may never come from someone else. We always get into relationships voluntarily and understanding that you somehow contributed to what is happening to you is important. what do I mean? Actions by other people do not affect as much as from those we chose to be close to us. For instance insults from a mere friend will not hurt as that from your partner. Accepting that you contributed to your suffering by chosing them will make it easier to move on.

Overall emotional dettachment may take some time but it is good to be smart about it. You don’t want to find yourself questioning if you made the right decision leaving. There is a saying ” A good dancer knows when to leave the stage.”

You are not insane: you are a victim of gaslighting

Image of a man in distress

Many people experience emotional abuse on a daily basis and the saddest part is most of them are not aware. The perpetrators are often people close and trusted by the victims. The most common type of emotional abuse in many relationships is ‘gaslighting’. How well do you understand gaslighting? Do you even know what it is? Well, this is a situation where gaslighter or perpetrator distorts reality and make their victim question their judgement of the situation at hand.

This form of emotional abuse is common in abusive relationships which may include controlling friendships, romantic relationship and even among family members. some of the common words used by the perpetrator include “I’m sorry you think that I hurt you” or “You’re crazy and other people think so, too” among many others.I know by now you are wondering what the pepetrator plans to achieve from using this technique of emotional abuse. well, power over the victim is what they desire.

How does gaslighting work? Some of their tactics consists of discrediting you by spreading rumours about you to others, belittling your thoughts and feelings by insinuating you are over reacting or you are too sensitive, blame shifting making you believe you are the main reason they behaved the way they did, they pretend to care about you while telling others you seem emotionally unstable, lying about what actually happened even if you have proof and they often change subject when confronted eventually making the victim second-guess the importance of what they were trying to talk about.

Being able to spot you are being gaslighted is hard but there are signs that can help you know that what you are going through is not right. If you find yourself doubting your feelings and reality,afraid to express yourself because you are not sure about your judgement of what happened or you are nolonger confident and often apologize over everything you do then you are being gaslighted. Other signs include feeling trapped and isolated, struggling to make decisions on your own and confusion because you don’t know what to believe.

In most cases this form of emotional abuse makes the victim feel powerless and inferior. Other effects consists of loss of self- esteem, uncertainty of ones mental stability, confusion, dependency on the perpetrator and the victim starts to question the validity of their own thoughts.

It is very difficult to overcome this kind of abuse because most of the time the victims are not aware of what is going on. There are ways of dealing with the situation so as to be in control. Making sure you save evidence by keeping journals or saving text messages will reassure you that what you are talking about is true. Setting boundaries such that you make it clear what you accept in the relationship and what you don’t is another way of curbing the situation. Finally, you can just end the toxic relationship to avoid further damage on your mental health. Consult a doctor if you feel overwhelmed since it often takes a tall on ones daily relations and decision making.

You are just but a back up plan

We always feel the desire to be loved by those we love and often don’t get the same energy back. Could it be you are just a plan B or you are too ambitious in your expectations.

People love differently but sometimes it is so obvious you are not that important to them as you would want to be. Even though some people are poor in expressing how they actually feel, that should never be an excuse for inducing anxiety on your partner.

The conflicting emotions you are feeling are indicators you are not satisfied with what you are getting from your partner. Your mind is always wondering why can’t he/she just give me the little attention I need and frequently a thought pops in your mind to just move on but your heart won’t let you leave in peace.

Let me tell you for free, if they love you your soul will know automatically. That girl who always texts you when they are in need, does not care about you. You are just a person they run to when they can’t get what they want from their actual boyfriend’s. For how long will you be a hero saving someone’s lover? They only entertain you when they are not in good terms with their boyfriend. Wake up!

Baby girl you have been made to believe he doesn’t like calls and chatting, You are always the first to text. Trust me he texts his girl every time and calls more often than he can control himself. As for you your message has been ignored since morning because he is too “busy”. I don’t know what other red flag you are waiting for before you realize you are just a back up if not a fling.

I know you are asking yourself how will I know if I fall under the plan B category, well just trust your instincts. If the energy does not feel right, you have your answer. You are never the first to know about their achievements if not their plans. Communication with them will always feel forced and often you are the one speaking while they just respond but will not put effort to mantain the conversation.

Now that you know you are not first choice, what can you do about it? Well, some will choose to stay and fight for the first spot. The question is, do you have the energy to break all the barriers before you? Are you careful enough not to destroy yourself in the process? What if you never get there?

Advice I would give myself is, why waste your time and energy breaking a wall while there is a door? There is someone out there waiting to have you and make you the centre of their universe. Defend yourself.

Words a man would use when he loves you

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we can’t tell if he loves you. Being uncertain will always bring about insecurities and we would always strive to find out if they actually feel the same way. The fact that you are thinking about it stems from you loving them already and would like to know if you mean something to him.

This article will focus on words commonly used by men in love. This will serve as a pointer towards knowing if you are ‘the one’ or you are expecting love from someone who does not even have feelings for you.

8 words he would use if he loves you

1. I love you

These are very powerful words in any relationship, whether you are starting off or you have been dating for a while, a man who loves you will always say these words. He might not say it right away probably because he is afraid of scaring you or he is contemplating the right time to say it but either way if he loves you he will eventually say it. It is a major red flag if he never says those words at all. One very important thing to note is, does he personalize the words? For example unapendwa( you are loved) and nakupenda( I love you) are two different things. Personalization of the words will indicate that that is what he actually feels about you and not general words.

2. How are you feeling

This shows that he cares about you and he is interested to know how you are doing. He is curious about what you are thinking and would love to know more about you. Sometimes you note that in the beginning of the relationship he would ask and then he eventually stops, well, you might me the problem. The response you give influences if he will ask again or drop it. For example you reply by saying “am good” Everytime he asks with time he will stop because it’s not yielding the results he anticipated.

3. I am on my way

When a man loves you, he will always feel the urge to come to your rescue. You tell him you are not doing fine or you have a problem he will always find a way to help you out even if it means dropping what he was doing and coming over to help you. In some scenerios maybe he is not able to come over but he will ensure that he gives you a solution or compensate as soon as he can. For example your car broke down and you call him, he will come over to take care of the situation or send someone over if he can’t make it himself.

4. Talk to me

Communication is a very important component in any relationship and him taking time to communicate with you signifies that he enjoys talking to you and would love to bond. If he calls you often it means he enjoys listening to you and it makes him happy just talking to you. You might not have anything important to talk about but those small boring details of your day interest him then he actually loves you.

5. I want to make you happy

Men would naturally strive to see the one they love happy, we have seen some sacrifice the little they have just to make her happy. He would always look for ways to ensure that you are happy because they are happier when she is happy. The effort they put into this is what signifies that they value and love you. For example buying gifts for her or even giving her financial support to ensure that she does not struggle.

6. We, Us

This words signifies that he is including you in his plans and you are a team. A man who truly loves you will always strive to make you parts of his plans and when talking about them he will use the words “we” or “us” rather than “I”. For example “I want us to move to a new house” and not “I want to move to a new house”. Being keen on the words he uses while making his plans will inform you of your position in his life.

7. She is my girlfriend/ wife

If he puts a label on your relationship then you are safe, he loves you. Never ever make assumptions that just because you do things what a boyfriend girlfriend do he is your boyfriend. It is very important to hear him say that and get the words straight from his mouth. There are instances where she makes an assumption that he is her boyfriend without him saying and when it comes to a situation where she tries to hold him accountable, he is like ” who said am your boyfriend?”

8. I need to see you

A man who loves you will always want to spend time with you. He will always strive and yarn to be close to you whether it is over at his house on going out on a nature walk or a date. It is a red flag if he never asks you to visit him or only asks for your presence when it’s convenient for him. He might be busy but trust me someone who loves you will fit you into their schedule. No one is ever too busy to see the one they care about.

It is important to note that he might not use the exact words but something close to that. There are some situations where he may find it hard to express himself probably because of previous experiences but that should never be an excuse. Don’t forget that he is also human and he is not perfect. What are your thoughts?

Speak up no one is a mind reader

It is so annoying to lose contact with people we were attached to simply because they never pointed out what they actually needed. There is nothing as hard as figuring out what you might have done to lose them.

Your relationship or marriage is in the verge of collapsing just because you don’t say what you actually feel or want. Constant fights with your partner has become a norm and trust me one person is clueless of what is actually happening. Men have been victims for a very long time. We put too much pressure on them to figure out what the lady wants or else there will be no peace. Come on, he is not a mind reader if you want something just ask.

You feel wronged by a friend, instead of holding grudges why not talk about it? Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding. Why harbor hate over something that can be solved? True friendships are hard to come by now days treasure it. People make mistakes and should be given a chance to redeem themselves especially if they were not aware they wronged you.

Family is very important but since we nolonger take time to talk about issues that led to conflicts we ghost each other. No one is perfect, your parents may have unknowingly done something that made you unhappy but since you don’t want to talk about it the bond is broken. You will hear someone say they hate their mother because of what she did to them while they were young. Come to think of it, she may not remember that or even know the impact her actions had on you. It will not cost you anything to talk to her about it.

Neighbors nolonger live in harmony because hatred has build up over time. Your clueless neighbor is wondering why you nolonger say hello when you meet reason being you heard they gossiped about you. Why not approach them and get facts it will bring closure on what really transpired.

Communication is key in everything we do. Once in a while we are bound to make mistakes whether knowingly or unknowingly. Learning to speak up will save us the trouble of hating people we love and holding grudges over minor issues. Carrying a heavy heart is one of the hardest burden to carry.

Your relationship is okay too much expectations is killing it

When you encounter someone new and you instantly like them, our minds will automatically think of how it would feel like to be in a relationship with them. we already have a predetermined visualization of how we expect them to behave and treat us. But have you ever taken a moment and thought of how we put too much expectations into a relationship and when the reality hits us we are in shock.

Why can’t people just go with the flow? Live one moment at a time without overburdening someone with standards we already set for ourselves. You will hear someone say “I only date men with money” sister wait, who told you he is willing to give it to you? You go ahead and find a guy who has already worked hard for his money then you start getting mad if he doesn’t give it to you when you want. He doesn’t owe you anything, it’s your expectations driving you nuts.

Relationships are meant to be fun and enjoyable but since we cannot drop too much expectations, we end up constantly fighting and feeling miserable. Ask yourself how it would be if we let people love us the best way they know how. Just have a blank mind and rewrite what you want in that relationship based on your experiences with your current boyfriend or girlfriend.

All relationships are different and it should never be compared. Just because your friend received a car for a birthday gift from the partner and you only got a dinner date, it does not mean you are not valued. Comparing relationship is what leads to too much expectations and consequently draining the life out of a relationship that was once healthy and promising.

We all have a life, different goals, targets and plans for our lives. The fact that we are dating does not give you the audacity to bring my life to a standstill. Our goals may not align but we can let each other grow without having to breath down each other’s neck over issues that may not make sense. I missed your call because I was at work chasing my career and that is something you already knew but since you cannot understand that, we end up arguing because according to you that should not have happened.

Knowing what to expect from a relationship is good but too much of something is poisonous. Let’s just live life and enjoy every bit because tomorrow is not promised. Get into relationships with an open mind and curve out what we want. Too much expectations is what is ruining your relationship and if care is not taken sooner or later there will be nothing left to salvage.

Dealing with grief and loss

We encounter grief and loss at various stages of our existence. This can be from divorce, loss of a loved one, breakup in a relationship, loss of a job or simply moving from a place you called home to another.

So, what is grief? It is a natural reaction to loss that makes one feel numb and unable to carry out their daily activities. It is personal and the level of grief depends on the importance of the issue or person lost.

Physical and emotional symptoms of grief

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Sadness
  • Shock
  • Guilt
  • Anger

We often think that grief is emotional but it has physical effects on your body. They include:

  • Fatigue. The emotional effects of grief is taking a tall on your body and you constantly feel tired without an apparent reason.
  • Nausea. Taking anything will make you feel nauseated and will tend to avoid taking anything.
  • Lowered immunity. When you don’t take good care of your body because you are not eating well, your immunity will be compromised.
  • Weight loss or weight gain. This comes because of the fact that you don’t eat well but in some cases one may eat too much because of stress
  • Aches and pains.general body aches and pains such as headache because you are not in a position to take good care of yourself.
  • Insomnia. This symptom is common among many people undergoing grief. They find it hard to fall asleep and end up being sleep deprived.

The five stages of grief

One may not necessarily go through all this stages or even in that order. But this are the known stages of grief;

Denial. In this stage you can’t believe that it actually happened to you.

Anger. You become so angry and ask yourself why that is happening to you. You want answers of why and who is responsible.

Bargaining. You ask for the pain to go away in exchange you will do something else. You would rather do something else than feel the pain you are feeling at the moment

Depression. The pain is not going away and you just feel too sad to do anything at all. You just want to lie down and do nothing.

Acceptance. You finally acknowledge what happened and you feel better about yourself.

5 ways to deal with grief and loss

  1. Acknowledge your pain. Being in denial will only make the situation worse and slow the healing process. Some people choose to numb the pain and this gives them the illusion that they are okay and healed but sooner or later they are bound to break down. Acknowledging the pain is the first step of healing.
  2. Be aware that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions. By knowing this you avoid feeling worse when something triggers you and you feel like you have not made any progress in your healing process.
  3. Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you. People are different and when it comes to grieving process everyone deals with it differently. Some cry uncontrollably while others barely cry at all but deal with pain in other ways and may seem not affected. Just because your is that way it doesn’t mean you are not strong enough.
  4. Seek out support from people who care about you. Having a support system is very important in the grieving process. This will ensure that you don’t feel alone and aggravate the situation.
  5. Take good care of yourself physically. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and wallowing in the pain take a walk, do what makes you happy, exercise and strive to eat healthy foods. Not doing anything at all will only make the situation worse as you would feel useless.

Toxicity: 8 Signs you are in a toxic relationship

Relationships are meant to be enjoyable and fun but in a situation where you find out you don’t find joy or constantly under stress, then there is a problem.
They say ‘love is blind’ but when you become aware of your environment and understand the Dynamics of a healthy relationship, it is not that hard to spot an abnormality.

This article will point out a few common pointers of a toxic relationship.

8 signs you are in a toxic relationship

1. Constant suspicion and mistrust

It is normal to experience jealousy in a relationship but it becomes a problem when it gets to the extreme. This can stem from the fact that your partner is a ‘serial cheater’ so one is constantly worrying that he/she is cheating consequently leading to mistrust.

2. Poor communication

Good communication is the connerstone of any relationship. Couples should be able to speak freely about any issue without fear. In a toxic relationship one is always careful and would often avoid difficult issues because their partner will not take it well.

3. Controlling behaviors

They would always want to know where you are or what you are doing at all times. It may seem romantic at first but it gets to a point you nolonger do anything without seeking permission. Victims always end up being prisoners to a toxic individual.

4. Ignoring your needs

Everyone has needs whether emotional, physical or financial. In a toxic relationship, you will find that your needs are not given any attention as it is deemed irrelevant. For example you would wish to go for a vacation but he suggests you go to his/her friends for a party because that is what they need.

5. Low self esteem

This often arises from the fact that your partner is constantly critizing everything about you. From your mode of dressing, body shape or even your opinions and thoughts.

6. Constant conflicts

Conflicts are common in relationships but in a situation where you just cannot seem to talk about anything without arguing even just what to eat for lunch, that is unhealthy. You are never on the same page on anything.

7. Disrespect

This can range from shouting at you when in public to ridiculing you in private. Respect is very important in a relationship as it determines how your partner will treat you. Without respect they can even slap you in front of your friends without an apparent reason.

8. Physical abuse

No matter the situation physical abuse is never to be tolerated in any relationship. The abuse usually starts small and then escalate to thorough beatings that sometimes lead to death. If your partner can afford to physically assault you then that is not a healthy relationship.

It should be noted that when someone finds such issues in a relationship they should discuss it with there partner and find a solution but in a situation that nothing is changing just walk away.