Matters of the heart

Major heartbreak
Dear Gracey
Im a 24-year-old lady and you know the saying that love is a pleasure which last for a while but the pain it gives lasts forever. I suffered major heartbreak years ago and I have never been in love again. No one seems interested in me and sometimes I just appear so invisible. This makes me feel so lonely and relegates me into a world of me, myself and I. Please help me. - Miss Lonely

Dear Miss Lonely

I dont believe anyone can be invisible to others; it can only be you who is secluding yourself from the rest of the world.

Surviving heartbreak is certainly not easy but if one doesnt fight the pain he/she will obviously end up in a world of his/her own. Dont shut yourself out of everyone, give love a second chance and you will actually see that it is not men out there who do not notice you but it was you who hide from them.

Cheer up, make every heartbreak teach you something about life; let it strengthen your heart for all challenging matters that await you in life. Your Prince Charming is out there looking for you and you certainly do not want him to give up looking for you if you keep hiding. Come out of that shell, smile and say hello to life. – Gracey

Is he too old?

Dear Gracey

Im a 21-year-old girl in a relationship with a 36-year-old man. I just want to know if it is right to marry a man who is 16 years older than me. – Concerned

Dear Concerned

Well, Im sure you have heard them say age is nothing but a number. It doesnt always apply when a relationship involves someone who is below 16 years the legal age of consent in matters to do with sex and relationships.

You are obviously above 16 years and what matters most in this case is your maturity in handling matters of the heart that will be unpacked by your relationship with your man.

The age difference is nothing to worry about as long as you are someone who does not look much into what people say. I can tell you that there is certainly nothing wrong with it but my opinion will definitely not stop some people from talking.

It will certainly be easy for people who have not been in your situation (falling in love with a man 16 years older) before to say a lot of negative things about your relationship and there is nothing you can do to stop them from talking. In fact, it is how strong you remain during all the talk, which will make your relationship survive.

I have a 13-year age difference with my husband but just because we are so perfect for each other I have never felt that big gap. It is how you love, understand, accept and appreciate each other that counts. The bottom line is, we are all different so dont let other people set standards of what is an ideal relationship for you and you will be fine. – Gracey

How can I ever forgive him?

Dear Gracey

Im a woman aged 28 who is married with two kids to a 28-year-old man. Last year when I was pregnant my husband didnt want anything to do with me; he would choose to sleep on a sofa in the dining room and leave me alone in the bedroom. He used to beat me whenever he felt like even though I was pregnant.

He communicated everything he wanted only with our maid. After I gave birth to our child this year I decided to fire the maid but my husband beat me up for doing that. Last month I found out that my husband was cheating on me with a 19-year-old girl she spent nights in hotels with he has never spent a night with me in a hotel for that matter! After all, he has only paid just $70 for my lobola.

Although he has ditched the girl ever since I found out and he buys me expensive gifts, face and body creams I am finding it difficult to forgive him, the issue is that my feelings for him have just disappeared. What can I do? – Family woman

Dear Family woman

Of all circumstances, when a marriage is hit by violence and abuse I consider that the end of the road. Men who are violent and ruthless do not deserve any womans respect and love and I have always advised fellow sisters who fall victim to such heartless men to seek divorce and I know I may surprise many with the advice Im to give you.

Please do try to forgive your husband and give your marriage a second chance. I know what your man did is totally unforgivable and I will understand the anger of any woman who has advised you to have him locked up in jail.

The first advice you need is to learn to keep what you have gone through a secret, at least for this moment. Just any woman will be emotional about this and suggest that you walk out of your marriage, which is something I could have easily said if I was not married myself.

But I have placed myself in your shoes and understood that even though a part of you is still angry at him and insisting that you will never forgive him, I can bet that deep down your heart you love him not just because he is the father of your kids and the man who asked for your hand in marriage out of love but because he is willing to make up for his mistakes.

The fact that he has suddenly started buying you expensive gifts should tell us something. He is a man who has realized his mistakes and willing to make his marriage work. I can assure you that this (making your marriage work) is much more difficult for him than to continue cheating and being abusive.

Your man needs your support at this stage. Try to give him a smile, warm hug and show him you are happy having him back home after work even when the traumas of your past haunts your memory. Help him stop feeling bad and he will continue yearning to keep that smile on your face.

So many times I have heard some men arguing that men cheat because of lots of things their women do wrong. I know it is not all sisters out there who will agree on that but at times Im afraid it is true. I dont want to blame you for the hic ups in your marriage but sometimes it helps assuming you are the bad guy and take all the blame. You will be able to see your own small or big mistakes that contributed to your mans terrible transformation.

Make him feel like a man by respecting him and appreciating him in everything he does for you and the kids that includes working for your family. He needs to know that you count on him, that you admire his hard-work and that the whole family depends on him.

It may be important however to sit down with him first and let him know that the past has been a torture to you because of what he did. Let him know that you have put it behind and you are willing to make your marriage work.

Otherwise all you really need is to be remain humble, risk being labelled a fool by some because of forgiving your man and backward by others for not having him locked for domestic violence. When you feel you need someone to talk to, talk to God in prayer. His answers are not instant but I can tell you that it never means he did not hear you. Wish you all the best and may the Almighty bless your humble heart. – Gracey

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