The Statue Shall Fall

Depending on how long it lasted, quality of interaction and connection, how much or what you invested in it, the end of a relationship can be and is often devastating.

If you have been through one, you are familiar with that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, feelings of inadequacy, betrayal and rejection all welling up inside you like a tormentor’s flame. Looking back to what you shared, there are so many reminders about the person: what the person meant to you, the happy moments and all the plans you had for the future. By the way, I could be wrong but I think that it does not matter whether you are the one who called off the relationship or the other party did – the bottom line is that it always brings up a feeling of loss. The person you loved and cared for is ‘no more’, and somehow you must find a way to move on. It is called a break-up. I have been through one or two; my friends have been through them too….

So you want to move away from the past but these considerations and the uncertainty about what the future holds stand before you there like a statue. You know how statues mostly stand, somewhere with this imposing presence, you have no choice but notice them, right? Yeah, that way, except that the statue is not there for all to see, it is more vivid in your mind. Even those friends who tell you how much of a jerk she/he is do not quite grasp the magnitude of what is going on within. Only you know how imposing the presence is and how everything seems insurmountable – especially in the initial days of the break-up. However, we all know that we cannot be in this state forever; somehow, the ‘statue’ must fall.  One has to do whatever it takes to get out of the situation and move on with life.

One of my girlfriends who was working in Asia was in a long distance relationship with this dude for God-knows-how-long – well, long enough for her to contemplate leaving her job so that she could move and be with him in Africa – it was what they both wanted. She informed her boss that she would not renew her contract and in a few months time, she would be joining her boyfriend. However, this was not to be because the guy called her up one day and told her, very casually, that he was no longer keen on it. It took her months to get over the rejection and she told me that when it happened, “I felt like I was bursting at the seams.” The guy would not answer her calls and he did not tell her what the issue was. Eventually, she moved on, it took a while but the statue fell.

Then there is another buddy, this dude is a hopeless romantic. I was updated about everything including when he took her to meet his mum. When they broke up, it took me by surprise. She had decided she wanted to date someone else; according to him, it was from the blues. Was he devastated? Yes, very – to the extent that he told me “you know Fridah, even if I fell into a pit, I would not pray that God delivers me from the pit; instead, I would ask Him to make her come back”. He was deeply hurting. This one took long to heal – there was probably some divine intervention – but the statue fell. That’s not all, he later met another chic, dated and they got married. They have an addition in the family – as in a kid 🙂 (who is brooding?!)

I read somewhere that although it is good and healthy to mourn the loss of the relationship, one needs to ensure that there is a balance between how long the relationship lasted and how long you take to mourn. For example, you cannot take one year to mourn the loss of a relationship which lasted two months. No matter how great getting into the cookie jar was or how much they made you feel wanted – here, you do not mourn, you just move on and if you meet a new mate tomorrow, just date them, no one will say you are on the rebound he he he, just kidding! But you get the point. It is true, some break-ups hurt like hell but surely, everything must come with proportion.

So maybe you or a loved one is going through this and sometimes, it feels like the emotions will not let up, you have probably tried everything including begging her/him to come back and they won’t and it has dawned on you that they are keen to loosen their grip on the relationship. Dust yourself up, you will be pleased to know a time will come, when you will reflect, not see or feel the statue for it will have disintegrated.

Have a statue free week! 🙂

By Fridah

Dilemma

It is not always that Project 44 receives e-mails from people asking for advice. We are not counselors and we admit that our ‘expertise’ is limited. Often times, we have shared our experiences and also written about general issues that afflict relationships. Very recently, we received an email which read:

I have read some of your posts on relationships on Project 44.

Now I have an issue that a friend is dealing with and she has asked for my assistance but whatever I tell her seems to fall on deaf ears. Maybe you can assist her and at the same time help others who read your blog and are going through the same thing.

She is married but her husband seems to have these strings of women. Most of them do not know that he is married. He has a public profile and has been using women as a platform to raise money. I know at least 5 of them who think he will marry them as that is what he has been promising. He actually started dating another friend of mine and I put a stop to it before things went too far. She too didn’t know that he is a married man.


About a week ago my friend got a phone call from some two women telling her that they have been dating her husband and they just wanted to let her know since they found out he is a married man and wanted her to know what kind of man he is. She is the breadwinner in the family as the man does not work but makes keeps up appearances so that to outsiders, he appears wealthy and as if he runs various businesses though whatever little he has is from his wife.

How would you assist in such a case? She has thought about divorce but does not seem to want to go ahead with it because she has a 18-month old baby.

Admittedly, this is a weighty matter and a lot is at stake here. We welcome you to weigh in bearing in mind that this is a real situation so let’s aim for sanity. We also recognize that at the end of the day, the lady in question will have to make the decision not necessarily based on what will be said here, but based on her relationship, her situation and what she wants her life to look like.

Have your say.

Project 44

That Silly Line

We have all been (or at least most us) in those relationship that are neither stagnating nor going anywhere. A reader of this great blog of ours (but do we say?) was in a relationship for about one year or slightly more. He, an established man in his education, career and single life and she, established in her education, career and love of life. (Now don’t take the love of life to mean that she was partying around, painting the town red and hanging from  bar stools – it just means that she loves life, loves herself and knows that all will be well). Now, when I say that Adam was well established in his single life, this evidenced itself in how the relationship came to fizzle out – somehow they reached the crossroads and based on what I know about Eve, she knew which path she wanted to follow. That would be the path of commitment. For Adam, his feet froze at the crossroads and suffice to say that even if the feet had been thawed out, he still wouldn’t have been inclined to move towards the path that Eve’s feet wanted to.

Now, I have written here before that I think there is no need to force commitment down someone’s throat if that is not where they intend to go in life. Admittedly, there are those who are not inclined towards commitment but some day they meet someone who rocks their world or something changes in the lives and their minds, and they decide to commit. That said, we need to appreciate that there are those who want to tie the knot and everything that comes with that territory (kids and all) and this is where it is important for Eve and Adam to be clear about what they have in mind when they get into a relationship. If I want commitment but I am in relationship with someone who is wishy-washy about long term commitment or his idea of commitment is nothing close to what I think it should be then I am most likely going to get screwed – and not in a nice way!!

Back to the real topic….

This Eve and Adam’s relationship withered away and in the end, she called it quits. As she had gotten so frustrated with being in a relationship where she was trying to get on the same page with a partner who was not really keen on the same thing, she wanted her space and she cut off all communication with Adam. A few months down the line after the break-up, Adam began sending her messages telling her “I miss you”; in the messages, he told her that he couldn’t believe that she was not with him and there was a chance for them to make something out of what they had. In fact, thanks to these man-made short messages á la phone, Adam expressed much more about what he felt about not having Eve around than he had about having Eve around whilst they still had the relationship.

Now, I have been a recipient of these “I miss you” messages myself. The truth is that when someone we liked enough to be in a relationship with sends us such messages, it is possible to interpret them to mean a lot of things. I know – they are just three words but trust me, they can mean a lot! I thought about these interpretations and came up with some conclusions:

  • “I miss you” is most often not a code for “I want you back”. Many of us may fall for the thought that “I miss you” means that the ex wants you back. Now, think about the flip-side; however much this person may have hurt you or however much you may have been let down, you do miss the person. I mean, you liked them, spent time with them and may have even shared a bed, floor, etc ;). But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them back. It just points to the fact that they feel the absence of you and your being in their lives. It was ‘something’ they had, now they don’t.
  • If the “I miss you” messages are backed with an effort to makes things right, then they may count for something. You have something to look at more than just messages on your phone. When I say efforts, I mean EFFORTS – not just building castles in the air with words but some solid action. This would for example mean being prepared to look at what ailed the relationship and taking steps to taking things forward in a way that actually sustains that relationship for both parties in it. If all the effort the other party is making is from the comfort of whatever piece of furniture they have rested their backside on, then they are just that – messages.
  • “I miss you” messages that are just worth their face value stop you (and the other party) from moving on with your lives. Unabashedly, they can give you a false sense of hope and you continue to cling on to the idea of what could be. This means that you are unlikely to be in the heart-space and mind-space to move on, to getting used to not being in a relationship with this person and to look forward to what else life may bring – or to just being.
  • If you “shared” a bed, floor, or whatever other location, “I miss you” could mean that s/he misses just that – dipping into the cookie jar or smoking the cigar. You don’t need us to tell you that going back to satisfy the itch will probably not translate into getting the relationship back on the burner. Enough said.

If “I miss you” (I know it may sound like music to your relationship ego) doesn’t translate into a solid action for a relationship you want, I suggest that you let them do the missing away from your life. Gather yourself and move on with life. It is beautiful.

Have your say.

By Joyce

Press Play and Decode

You’ve heard of the phrase read between the lines and frankly, you have probably spoken between the lines yourself!

Project 44 invites you to “Press Play and Decode”! In this game, a member writes a line that Adam or Eve usually says and the next person has to decode what it really means and then adds a line to be decoded by the next reader. Please remember to state whether it is an Adam and Eve line.

Project 44 will start the game off and we hope you enjoy.

Adam: That is an interesting dress/interesting hair style
What he really means: You  do not look good. Well, how is he supposed tell you that you seem like you worked too hard to look hot?

Adam: Let us talk about it later.

What he really means is…..