Make or break; safeguarding a relationship

It is 8:15pm as I write this. I had tea and a chapati for supper then took a motorbike to Nakumatt where I bought a 250ml strawberry yoghurt. I bet you don’t really need to know that, but I am prone to digress, for it takes a while for a story to develop. 

This will be my last night in Bungoma and I am not looking forward to sleeping early because last night all I heard was the sound of someone snoring like a truck.

I sat up in bed from 1:44am to 3:45am reading Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie. The snoring ceased at 4:20am and by then I could not go back to sleep.

What’s more important in a relationship? 

A lady asked me this particular question at the restaurant where I was having my tea for supper. She’d joined her friend, someone called Milly, yes, she said “Milly with a y sio e!” They were sharing about a friend who seemed to make wrong decisions thinking she was doing the right thing. This friend was struggling to save the trust they’d built with a certain guy and her actions seemed to generate the unexpected results.

They turned to me, “what do you think? Like, don’t you think she should forget him, I mean if you don’t trust each other why stay together?”

“No, but why would you walk away without sorting out your problems, Milly,imagine leaving a guy and constantly wondering why things went wrong, si utarudi kwa ex yako kila time,” added Fannie. They went on for a while as I stuffed my face with chapati hoping for a clear exit because they did not need my opinion.

It is true that when a couple openly express their views and emotions, it fosters an understanding that with time builds on trust. On the other hand I have seen couples who in their need to be open and be true, drift apart. It’s not that they did not love and cherish one another, but in their communication, they managed to push their partner away rather than draw them closer.

When such situations arise, three things could happen and if I could dig into some psych understanding, these are; fight, flight, freeze. Let’s call them the 3 F’s.

The disconnect in how they communicate and express themselves can lead to a fight, or it can make one to opt out of the relationship either emotionally or physically and finally it can stagnate the relationship, where the couple cannot grow psychologically or emotionally and it’s a constant case of ‘it’s complicated.’

Milly and Frannie went on debating on who was right and which action was best so much so that they did not see me make an exit. If they did then they did not mind my absence as much as they minded my presence, but between you and I, the friend they were talking about was Fannie. 

So, Fannie, if you are reading this, I hope I spelled your nickname as it should be. I also hope that you look within to understand your actions, were they initiated as reactions or to support what you wanted? I am no preacher of love. I however love writing and reading romance novels. I am also not a guru, if I were, I’d be having a show on “Love,here’s what I did” on TV. All I know as I type this is that inasmuch as we speak the truth, and strive for openness in any relationship, there’s also the need to safeguard trust in how we pay attention and focus on how we express ourselves and the effect it has on the other person.

A friend was once given the silent treatment for six months because he told his expectant wife “unakula nyingi sana.” She said, her decision had nothing to do with hormones but when he told her that she almost went to the kitchen gorged the baby out of her womb and inserted into his stomach. She felt as though she was the only one who was involved in conception. 

Now that I think about it, I reckon she might have thrown everything at him had her hormones been involved, but hormones or not Fannie, words can slice and sink deeper than claws. 

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