It so happens that I care deeply about people's emotional well-being. I hate to see people suffer in relationships that are supposed to fill their hearts with joy. So I have been counseling a few of my friends who experience the occasional emotional roller-coaster. In preparation for this year's 'Joy Bridal Fair' the organizers asked me to go public and advise a few people who have sent SOS messages to the station – seeking answers for their emotional problems. As usual, I obliged, dishing out soothing pieces of practical advice. That, apparently, makes me Ghana's only 'Agony Uncle'… another feather in my cup, I guess! The following is published in the 2009 'Joy Bridal Fair' brochure. Enjoy…
GIRLFRIEND'S TEXT MESSAGES
Dear Ato Kwamena,
I have realized that my girlfriend has not been faithful to me. She receives love messages from four other different guys. I have confronted her several times but she always denies having any relationship with these men. I asked for a separation till further notice and she got annoyed. What should I do about her?
- Hunk of a man
Please, you are jumping to silly, hasty conclusions. If your girlfriend is as beautiful as my wife, she'll always be admired by men – and they will keep proposing love to her, sometimes with text messages. That's the opportunity cost of being with a pretty chick. Live with it – and with her. It's a competitive world, my friend, and so it's up to you to make sure that you win the contest for this woman's heart. The fact that she doesn't want a separation is sufficient proof that you are miles ahead of your competitors. So cheer up and do your best to assure her that she's better off placing her heart in your hands. A good starting point is for you to stop reading her text messages. That's childish!
MY HUSBAND WANTS A DIVORCE
Dear Ato Kwamena,
My husband is always talking about divorce. It seems like he wants to divorce me but we have been married for only six months. I don't want a divorce. What should I do?
- Ewura Efua, East Legon
Please, give him what he wants. Otherwise, the story of your marriage will not end in “happy ever after”. Obviously, he's not the guy for you and having been married for just six months, starting over with someone else might not be so difficult. Just kick him out, tell him to get a life and move on with yours.
VISITOR FROM THE PAST
My husband and I have been happily married for ten years. Recently he received a call from a former girlfriend and he has called her back on two different occasions. I am not comfortable with this. Please help me take a decision
You are over-reacting. After all, he's called back just two times. All my exes (there are just about five of them) are still my friends. I call them every once in a while to find out how they are doing and we meet occasionally for a drink or two. Your husband's ex is not his enemy and I will advise that you try to make her your friend as well. She can give you some great tips to improve your relationship with this guy. To start off, ask your husband to bring her home for dinner.
SHE'S ALL OVER THE PLACE
My fiancée is always going out with other men. If I don't call her, she won't call me. Even last night she lied to me that she was attending an all night. I love her very much and want to marry her. What should I do?
- Desperate Fiancé, Accra
How do you know she lied? She did go for an all-night! Your problem is that you don't know where. The fact that she fails to call doesn't mean she is not in love. Maybe, she doesn't even have “flashing units”. Get her some credit and see if she'd call you. My gut feeling is that you love her but you don't trust her. That means you can't marry her. It's that simple. If this is the woman you really want to marry, you must start trusting her – even if you don't know where she attends all-night.
We are in deep financial crisis but when I try to discuss it with him he says it will be okay. Meanwhile our kids are out of school, our electricity supply has been cut and we are always hungry. What should I do?
- Hitched and Broke
I wish I knew how you got into this crisis. Life is tough, my friend. The economy is in such bad shape that it's now called “ecomini”. But it shouldn't be this bad if either of you is employed. Much as I admire your guy's optimism that the crisis will end, I think you should find a way get him to spell out how things are going to get okay. He just can't wish your situation into “okayhood”. The first thing to do is to get some food to eat. You can't think on an empty stomach, you know. Get a trusted friend to help you out with a few cups of rice and other ingredients.
MADLY IN LOVE
I started dating my wife when we were in Senior High School. I married her because she got pregnant by another man and I didn't want her disgraced. Now she is pregnant again! By that same man! I love my wife but her unending affair with this man is beginning to bother me.
- Troubled Husband
Her affair is now “beginning” to bother you? That means you are not bothered yet? Geez! I can see you love your wife more than Joseph loved Mary. Even Joseph was bothered – and angry – when his wife-to-be was impregnated by another Man. Keep on with this girl if you think she's going to give birth to the next messiah!
SHE'S OUT OF SHAPE
When I married my wife she was very slim and cute. You know what I mean? I know I have a bit of a pot-belly now but now after only two children she has no waist at all. For better for worse, for slimmer, for fatter and all that but I want to divorce her and marry a younger and slimmer woman.
And you think the “younger and slimmer” woman will be happy with your pot-belly? I am thinking it's your pot-belly that chased your wife's waist away. And don't tell me you don't know how? I will suggest that the two of you sign up with a gym and make time to work out together. Trust me, sweating together is so romantic – not just in the bedroom. So work out as a couple, get a six-pack and your wife's waist will return. She will get “slim and cute” again and the two of you will live happily ever after – in shape, of course!
HE WANTS NO BABY
We have been married for three years and I recently found out that I was pregnant. My husband is not happy about the pregnancy because he said I was the one who wanted to get pregnant. He has stopped caring for me. What do I do?
- Pregnant, Deserted and Frustrated
You married a jerk! But then, I guess you know that already. Do what my mum did and dig deep into your heart. You will find the strength to start taking care of yourself and the sweet angel you are about to bring into the world. You will put this idiot to shame – like most abandoned, rejected women do. I'd say a prayer for you.
Credit: Ato Kwamena Dadzie