A letter from a broken man

Dear Nana, 
I am an avid follower of your blog. I like your photography but I love your words even more. Your wisdom has blessed and kept me sane on a number of occasions and right at this time in my life, I think I am cracking from all the emotional and psychological pressure I am under. I don’t want to be counted among the African or black fathers who were not there for their children so I am hanging in there but it is tough.

To put it simply, I feel used. I am married to the first girl I ever fell in love with. We attended the same school, same church and she was my world and I was hers. Even though we attended two different colleges, we managed to make time to see each other as often as we could. We didn’t have Skype and Facetime but we both did our best to stay in touch.

I love my wife deeply. Two years after we got married, we decided it was time to have kids. Today, we have four. Our oldest are identical twins and partners in crime, aged 10. Our third child is 7 and our last one, 3. I love my children. They are such a blessing.

I’m sure you’re wondering why a man who claims to love his wife and children be having problems? Well,  I think I have reason to believe that my wife married me not because she was head over heels in love with me; but because she sat down and coldly made a calculated choice. I was a good choice: Responsible, healthy, God fearing, and fun. 

Nana, I don’t know if I am making myself any clearer but you see, when we got married, we couldn’t take our eyes off each other. Sex was passionate and fulfilling. My wife isn’t the kind who comes up with the “I have a headache” excuses but sex, since we start having children, feels like a chore she has to perform. Something to get out of the way so she can pay attention to the more important stuff: her children.  

For the past 10 years, it’s been impossible to have my wife to myself. We can plan to go to the movies or go on a vacation but the truth is, the moment we step out of the door, she gets anxious and worried about the safety of her children.  We will be in the middle of a movie at the cinema and you will notice she’s lost concentration. Probably wondering if one of the kids had done their homework or taking their medicine. So yes, I have managed to have her to myself a few times but this is only in body. Her mind is always on the more important stuff: Not me.

Nana, can you relate? Do you think I should grow up and just perform my responsibilities? Am I a whiner? Are there any responsible men out there who can relate? I feel, my wife, as adorable as she is, was raised to be a super mum but a lousy wife. If I leave her, my children will never forgive me because she really is a wonderful mother to them but they have no idea how miserable I feel.

So when the children leave home and start living their own lives, will she finally make me a priority or will she turn her attention on her grand children?
For how long can I live like this? I have no intention of cheating but I feel really vulnerable when I meet ladies who seem to take a genuine interest in me.  Honestly, I am not having an affair or anything. I can’t bring myself to it but don’t you think it might be better if I get a divorce but fully support her and the children? At least then, it takes away the hypocrisy. It was never me she wanted. She wanted kids and someone who will help her raise them. Now she has the kids, and I will help raise them but at least, can I get my life back? 

Nana, I feel really sad sending you this email because this is the first time I have written or said anything bad about my wife. She’s a good woman; and an even better mother. Far better than the mother I had but I am hurting. I am hurting because I grew up unwanted and pretty much rejected and was hoping that in marriage, I will find someone who will genuinely love and care about me, for once. The wife I had before we had children is gone. She made me feel wanted. Today, I feel as unwanted as I used to feel in childhood.  My children are really blessed with a great mum but it doesn’t make the pain of feeling unwanted any less painful.

Nana, can you help???


Anonymous

9 comments:

renamo 3 December 2013 at 22:09  

I think the author of this letter needs to have a serious talk to his wife about how he is feeling. If that doesn't work he should consider marriage counseling but i also think that he needs counseling for himself to resolve the emotional issues that he has from his childhood background.

renamo 3 December 2013 at 22:16  

The author of this letter needs to have a serious talk with his wife about how he is feeling abandoned by her. Marriage counseling should also be considered.I also think it would be a good idea if he went to counseling to help him resolve the emotional issues he has from his childhood background.

Abby K 4 December 2013 at 09:14  

Nana Kofi my heart broke as I read this. I BELIEVE there is a lot of hope for this marriage. I definitely understand what he is saying and how he feels he needs attention. I think he needs to talk to his wife and be very candid. He sounds like he does love his wife but he just needs quality time. They should sit down with a GOOD counselor if they are open to that. They should also read marriage help books. His love language sounds like quality time and it seems that isn’t being fulfilled by his wife and his love tank is empty or running very low. She probably isn’t even aware or is so consumed with their kids. This happens in a lot of marriages but at least he is seeking help. He should also try to figure out how he can assist his wife to make her life easier. My pastor just finished a marriage series and one of his poignant points was for men: Make love all day - this means women are very complicated and you need to constantly be showing us love. It could be helping with the dishes, trying not to upset us, helping put the kids to bed, sending a text during the day and saying I am thinking about you. And for the women it was: Make love anyway - It doesn’t matter how tired, pissed off, stressed etc. - give your man what he wants. I honestly believe this marriage is more than salvageable and they just need to make a commitment to work on it. God is beyond able to work it out. I am posting some articles that have ministered to me. He can take as much or as little of them that speak to him.

http://drkellyflanagan.com/2012/03/02/marriage-is-for-losers/

http://jamesrusselllingerfelt.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/beautiful-advice-from-a-divorced-man-after-16-years-of-marriage/

http://www.touchinglives.org/multimedia/video-broadcasts/?showVid=339

Abby K 4 December 2013 at 09:15  

Also wanted to share this:

60 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE ROCK!

1. PRAY TOGETHER ALWAYS
2. READ THE SCRIPTURES TOGETHER ALWAYS
3. Go on regular date nights
4. Hide notes in secret places
5. Go to bed at the same time
6. Listen to music together-share ear-buds
7. Buy him gifts he will love
8. Revitalize the romance with intimate dates
9. Wear shirts that tell the world you love your spouse
10. Praise your spouse to other people
11. Read a marriage devotional
12. Sleep in his t-shirts
13. Renew your vows privately with whispers and memories
14. Renew them publicly with cake and bubbly
15. Go away together at least once a year


For Women Only
16. Hang pictures of the two of you around your house
17. Make his favorite dessert
18. Make sex a priority
19. Spend time apart occasionally
20. Learn to enjoy something he loves
21. Surprise each other
22. Meet him at the door
23. Text each other from across the room
24. Set reminders on your phone to remember him/her throughout the week
25. Call him right now and tell him you appreciate him

For Men Only
26. Leave work on time and come home early
27. Engage every day in meaningful conversation
28. Compliment each other
29. Take one day a month to make your spouse your total focus
30. Argue fair: avoid these words “you always” and “you never”
31. Kiss every day
32. Find tangible ways to serve your mate without complaining
33. Forgive quickly
34. Be honest.
35. Get on the same page: plan your budget together
36. Look your best as often as you can
37. Guard your marriage
38. Laugh together
39. When you are together-BE TOGETHER (take a break from phones, technology, etc)
40. Tell her she’s pretty, especially when she’s not feeling it

Both
41. Make each other breakfast in bed
42. Do her chores for her
44. Get a couple’s massage or host your own privately
44. Dance together-soft music (both of you alone) or rocking music with the kids
45. Exercise together- hikes, bike riding, etc
46. Choose not to be annoyed by an irritating behavior/disappointment from your spouse
47. Thank your spouse often even for the least reason or gesture
48. Lay in bed together and stare into each other eyes, without talking
49. Learn something new together-take an art class, cooking lessons, etc
50. Leave a sweet comment on the Facebook wall
51. Support each other’s goals
52. Bring her flowers/gifts (even when she says they are too expensive)
53. Wear something your spouse loves
54. Share furniture-sit in his lap
55. Fight for your marriage
56. Make a point to eat dinner together most days of the week.
57. Never let your spouse feel like they come second place to your career or any other thing.
58. Talk about your dreams and aspirations. Be supportive of each other and dream big together!
59. Maintain a united front as your motto: Meaning- “Me and you against the world.
60. Speak well of your spouse.

Wilhelm Hesse 4 December 2013 at 09:51  

This guy should also consider being a father to his children. He should think about spending time with his family and not just his wife. If he did not want kids himself, he would not have four of them.

Spending time with the family will open doors to other types of happiness and if he shows support to his wife in raising THEIR kids, she might also worry about pleasing him.

The kids are very young and its only normal for their mother to worry about them especially at their ages.

He should also find creative ways of getting her in mood. He should help around the house, assist her in ways he can to relieve the stress. Because if she is tired and does not want to disappoint him then she will just lay there and let him do his thing.

A divorce is not the answer.

Wilhelm Hesse 4 December 2013 at 09:53  

This guy should also consider being a father to his children. He should think about spending time with his family and not just his wife. If he did not want kids himself, he would not have four of them.

Spending time with the family will open doors to other types of happiness and if he shows support to his wife in raising THEIR kids, she might also worry about pleasing him.

The kids are very young and its only normal for their mother to worry about them especially at their ages.

He should also find creative ways of getting her in mood. He should help around the house, assist her in ways he can to relieve the stress. Because if she is tired and does not want to disappoint him then she will just lay there and let him do his thing.

A divorce is not the answer.

Anonymous 4 December 2013 at 10:17  

Its very sad reading this post but all the same, seeking help is the first step. From all indications this man loves his wife. Talking to her about how he feels will help. There's is no need concluding she made a calculated choice marrying him, women are complicated and her attention towards the kids is only as a result of her becoming a mother. He should not give up, no matter what the support you may give as a father when divorced, can never make up for the connection and love they will feel when the marriage is intact. Go for counselling and never leavr God out.

Anonymous 4 December 2013 at 15:52  

How about getting a girlfriend on the side? how come nobody said that? everyone is a saint?

Robert Tachie-Menson 13 March 2014 at 19:25  
This comment has been removed by the author.

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