My boyfriend says one thing, does another

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So, our relationship has always been focused that way. However, some things he does still confuse me, for example while he is separated from his wife, I have heard rumours that he keeps begging her for a reconciliation claiming it is for the children

I have been dating a man for now six years. From the very beginning he told me he wanted to marry me. So, our relationship has always been focused that way. However, some things he does still confuse me, for example while he is separated from his wife, I have heard rumours that he keeps begging her for a reconciliation claiming it is for the children. He has built for me a home where he says we are going to live together yet he has also built her another one which he claims is for the children. Sometimes, he ignores my calls and texts for days but later comes back to me full of apologies. I want a serious relationship. Do you think this one has potential to stabilise?

Jen

Dear Jen,

It is difficult to tell whether this is a potential relationship or not. It is understandable to feel confused when somebody says one thing and does another. To be loved and to love is one of the most important needs of almost every human being. In fact, some writers go ahead to say that human beings are wired to need each other. This means that it is normal to try and ensure that someone loves you or not.

 From what you said above, it feels like you are not sure about the next steps of the relationship. This can be frustrating in itself. One of the ingredients of love is commitment, this can be seen in what someone says and what they do.  It is said that actions speak louder than words and so when actions, thoughts, and words are disconnected, a person lacks congruency.

 They do something because maybe it feels like the right thing to do. In other words, they are reactive. They do or state something on a day for instance but do not realise that as a result of this, each day after this, they need to back up what was done or said.

Usually, when a man says he wants to marry a woman, he will go ahead and do everything it takes to do so unless he is stopped by the woman. Be clear with him about what you want in a relationship, is it friendship or a marriage? Find a separate time when you are both in a good mood and discuss this with your boyfriend.

A relationship should have a goal and a timeline otherwise you might date endlessly. As a person, figure out what you want from this relationship. If you are good with just being friends, then that is great. However, if you want a serious relationship like you mention, let your boyfriend know how you feel about his change of words and try to match his actions and his words too.

Decide if you can still stand the uncertainty of the relationship or move on in case this is not sorted. Having dated for six years, you can tell when your boyfriend means what he says. Remember also that usually, people do not change who they are.

 Remember a relationship involves two people and is reciprocal in nature.

You can also suggest relationship counselling to your boyfriend such that you meet a neutral person who can create an open environment for both of you to open up about the relationship and what you wish to see.


READER ADVICE

Know where you stand

Joan Mukisa. You will not know where you stand with someone who is disconnected from their actions, thoughts and words, and you will know that there is a disconnection issue because you experience a lot of disappointment with them. It comes with the territory. The funny thing is that a person like this actually expects you to buy what they are selling in that moment and will get irritated that you are hesitant or even calling them out on their contrary behaviour or past let downs. The key thing is for you to know where you stand and whether you want to remain in such a relationship.

Do not interfere

Martin Ssebyala. A responsible man has to secure the future for his children and that is exactly what he has done. Sit down with him and ask whether he still loves you. Together, you will be able to come up with a solution to your love conundrum. However, let the man do whatever he wants for his children.

You know the truth

Brenda Akinyi. You know the truth and pretending to be confused will not help you. Deep down, you know that he is married and if you have allowed to be a second wife, then settle down with what he has given you and life will move on smoothly. If this is not what you want, then get out of the relationship and find your happiness with a single man.

Be responisble

Sharifah Riley. You have been dating this man for six years and all this time he has not made a commitment. What makes you think that he will now choose you over his children? I do not know what the two of you have been talking about or agreed on after six years but I am sure you know the truth and what course of action you must take. In this case, you are responsible for your happiness.

Why don’t you leave?

Lulu Alpha. If your desire is to get married, stick to that, get a date and plan in motion. If not, just leave him alone. The times he cannot be found by you is because he is with someone else, probably his Ex. If that house does not have your name on the deed, it is not yours. He keeps you around because you tolerate him and his ways. Walk away while you still can.

He is married

Phoebe Miriam. How can you insist that you are in love with a married man? Please move on and find a single man to love you. That man loves the mother of his children and he is doing the right thing by securing their future.

Set guidelines

Phoebe Miriam. For any relationship to thrive, communication is key and when this breaks down, then know that there is a problem. For example, why are you listening to rumours and taking them as the gospel truth? The best thing you can do is to talk to him and let him know how his actions are hurting you. Together, find a solution and want to make the relationship work, then set some guidelines.

Evelyn is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation

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