A weak, jelly back man...

Dear Counsellor,

I have known this guy for over five years. We've split before as there were issues such as trust and entanglement on his side. We have reunited a year now and how I anticipated things to take off between us, seems like a continuation of the past.

It feels like the past is resurfacing and there is no commitment from his side. Feelings aren't always fact, but the "team" spirit I am looking for and aspects of building a solid relationship are very slow. I am stable financially and he is not, plus he is dealing with his kids by himself.

I have been pouring out and hoping that he will love me in my love language and we will become one. I get that he either hasn't lived out his youth days and probably wants to stunt. The decisions made re his finances aren't always the best at times. His decisions can be more towards short-term gratification instead of long term.

I have outlined my intentions and my actions are consistent but he is inconsistent and really can't seem to be the "man" in the relationship. It just feels like pulling teeth and the lack of accountability is killing everything.

You're feeling disappointed and frustrated because your partner hasn't changed in the way you've desired. Well, it's understandable that you would feel frustrated. You've invested time, effort, and resources into making the relationship work. But do not facilitate despair though. The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones". So, choose to disarm any despair.

For some men, a financially successful woman can be intimidating. Especially so if money is a significant challenge for that man. For ladies to remember: Even good men have an ego. Men desperately want to be seen as heroes, even if they physically can't be. And note too: Men who feel marginalised will either implode into silence and obscurity, or they'll explode into abusive behaviour, even toward themselves. Of course, I'm not saying this is your partner's situation for sure.

But if he's struggling to take care of his children, he may not be in the state of mind or the financial position to take on a romantic relationship. He'll likely need to feel settled and self-sustained before he's truly available.

My advice:

Disarm your frustration and any despair: Don't internalise any negativity about the situation. And here's a daily exercise you can do to help lift your spirit and protect your heart — find five things about your life to be grateful for at the end of each day. Verbalise them. Be consistent with this exercise and you'll feel renewed confidence.

Remain objective: You've shown maturity in giving the relationship another shot. Realise that disappointments only make space for new appointments. If this doesn't work out, you're available for something better. You've at least tested the situation, measured it, and found the truth. If he's not ready to settle down, that's his prerogative.

Consider getting help: I am a proponent of counselling and getting further advice. Consider booking sessions with a reputable counsellor, or visit with a reputable pastor or a mature friend. Plan to go individually and consider also going together.

Be decisive: Making a relationship work well can be challenging. It often requires sacrifices, commitment and oftentimes forgiveness. That said, if you find that the relationship isn't working out, then it's not working out. Be confident, make an informed decision, and then stick to it.

As challenging as finding love can be, the truth is, when the waiting and the work are all done, and true love is found, we'll realise that it was absolutely worth it. I pray that both of you will find your way to true happiness and absolute success. Counselling sessions can be booked with me at www.counsellorscouch.com.

Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com.

Christopher BRODBER

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