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Before you move in with him…

Posted by Administrator on April 5, 2012

Moving in with your partner is a big step in a relationship. The need to cohabit is motivated by various reasons.

Couples commonly cohabit as a precursor to the walk down the aisle. Then there are those who choose to move in together as a cost cutting measure or for purposes of convenience.

With the soaring rates of divorce, others abandon the idea of marriage altogether and settle for living together as a permanent alternative to tying the knot.

Before you pack your bags and pick out two sets of keys, it is important to find out whether both of you are on the same page regarding the status of your relationship.

Even more important is to consider whether you are moving in together for the same reasons.

“It will save both of you hurt and disappointment in the future,” says Milka Ndanu. Milka made this mistake when she moved in with her boyfriend three years ago.

Then a 21-year-old college student and living in a hostel room which she shared with three other girls, a lifetime commitment was the last thing on her mind.

She thought of his apartment as a more comfortable place where she could live before she graduated and got a place of her own.

He, on the other hand, was looking for a wife. “We ended up having an ugly break-up and he still feels that he was taken advantage of,” she says.

Know each other

Deciding to move in with your love interest during the initial honeymoon phase of a relationship is unwise.

This is because people tend to show only their best side at this time.

The fact that he loves you as much as you love him doesn’t guarantee that living together will be smooth sailing.

You need to know your partner fairly well before taking the plunge.

You may be spending a lot of time with your love interest but this isn’t the same as living together.

By moving in with your significant other, you will be sharing your life with him, not just the living space, so you should be well aware of his character traits, his annoying habits, his fighting style and how he reacts when he gets angry.

This information is essential in deciding whether you can live with him or not.

While making this decision, keep in mind that you aren’t perfect either and you have unpleasant traits which he will also put up with.

This means that you must be prepared to compromise.

Talk about money

Talking about money with a love interest may sound unromantic and unnecessary.

But finances are an integral part of our lives and if talk about them is overlooked before cohabiting, money issues are bound to surface later.

When 29-year-old Fiona Imunde and her boyfriend decided to move in together, their relationship had reached what she describes as a point of no return and they were ready to take the next step.

“I spent most days in his house and paying rent for two houses wasn’t making sense,” she recalls.

He was earning more than twice her salary and she thus assumed that he would pay the rent and foot most of the bills.

However, he had different financial goals from hers and was saving most of his earnings.

He thus expected her to contribute an equal amount towards the expenses, a fact that had her spending beyond her means and with little to fall back on when their relationship failed.

A couple has the option of either merging their finances or managing their money separately after moving in together.

Merging all your finances with someone you aren’t legally married to is however risky since you will have no legal protection should the relationship break down.

Neutral home

“Despite the fact that I was contributing equally to the household, he still acted territorial and he had a problem with sharing space,” Fiona says.

When they settled on moving in together, she was the one that packed up, sold most of her furniture and moved into his house.

She thought this was the most sensible thing to do, considering the fact that his house was much bigger and that he was the man in the relationship.

But whenever they had an argument, he would remind her that she was in his house and when their relationship began to crumble, he would occasionally kick her out.

“It is safer to look for a new place that is neutral to move in together to avoid this tug of war,” she advises.

Finding a new place also gives both of you the benefit of making joint decisions regarding furniture and décor.

This way, each of you is able to add a personal touch to your home.

The future

Whichever reason you choose to move in together, it is important to have an honest and open discussion about the future.

Be clear about whether or not marriage is on the cards for the two of you in the foreseeable or unforeseeable future.

If you are moving in together with the aim of eventually getting married, agree on a time line for this so that both of you will have clear expectations.

What the experts think

A lot of couples who choose to cohabit do so with the hope of strengthening their relationship.

Ezekiel Ngobia a counseling psychologist with the Kenya Institute of Professional Counseling, is however of the view that simply living under the same roof with a love interest isn’t sufficient to strengthen a relationship.

“A couple needs to make a continuous conscious effort towards this even after moving in together,” he says.

A couple that decides to cohabit as a prelude to marriage risks getting comfortable with this arrangement and delaying marriage or doing away with the idea of getting married altogether.

On the flip side, a couple might cohabit with no direct intention of getting married but end up marrying majorly because they already live together and have acquired joint possessions, which is an unhealthy foundation for marriage.

According to Ngobia, a marriage vow of permanence is quite different from the commitment of living together.

While cohabiting basically tests compatibility and the possibility of marriage, marriage builds on this compatibility.

“Marriage puts across to your love interest that you will be there for them all the time while cohabiting communicates that you will be there as long as the relationship works for you,” he adds.

Cohabiting may communicate that you are not confident in the success of your relationship and it lacks a clear sense of commitment thus raising the risks of breaking up or unfaithfulness. Instead of advancing a relationship, it ends up sabotaging it.

Cohabiting may seem like an easier option in comparison to marriage because break ups do not involve those long drawn out legal tussles.

Ngobia however warns that in the event of a break-up of a cohabiting couple, the emotional pain and devastation experienced is similar to that of a divorcing couple, only worse because the couple didn’t have the benefit of enjoying a marriage

Source: DAILY NATION

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Are Black Men Afraid of Successful Women?

Posted by Administrator on March 21, 2012

The “men are intimidated by successful women” story is always touted as a reason many women are single. I didn’t believe it at all until it sort of happened to me recently. I’m in my early 20s, not discouraged but shocked. What’s your experience and take on this? –T.D.

The truth about partnering is that the more educated you are, which increases your likelihood of success, the more likely you also are to have a spouse. Don’t believe the hype. There are many men in the dating marketplace who see themselves as a will-be Barack Obama, and they are looking for a could-be Michelle Obama type who can alternately support and even lead as they go through this thing called life.

But women aren’t often told this, and as such, there’s a big fear that our professional accomplishments will come at the expense of having a partner. Last week I spoke to a ladies-only room in Washington, D.C., at the National Black Law Students Association. My fellow panelists and I addressed issues ranging from getting ahead in a career and maintaining a healthy work-life balance to, of course, finding a mate.

The students breezed through the first two topics, passively scribbling notes on their BlackBerrys and iPads, but it was the subject of dating and mating that got the high-powered room’s full attention and took up most of the program. You could practically see the thought bubbles above every young woman’s head, wondering about the myth you and too many other women have heard, and even bought into, about men being intimidated by a successful woman.

Smart men — the only kind you want as a partner — know the advantage of having a power player by their side. After the panel, I struck up a conversation with a man in the lobby, also a lawyer, who was newly married and happily bragging about his wife’s professional successes. He told me he had been the breadwinner in their relationship until she opened up a catering company that was currently making more money than he was earning. Thinking back to the panel I’d just finished, I asked, “Are you bothered by that?”

He didn’t let me down. After he looked at me blankly, trying to determine if I was serious, he exclaimed in a thick Southern accent, “Hell, no! When she’s winning, I’m winning!” Lucky for you, I’ve encountered many, many men who think like he does.

Of course, not all men are this enlightened yet. (And not all successful women know what it takes to be a desirable partner. We’ll get to that further down.) There are those who are genuinely insecure with their place in the world and can’t stand to see anyone, much less their women, doing better than they are. But they will never tell you that. You can spot them quickly, though. They tend to cling wholeheartedly to the idea of tradition, are often overwhelmingly sexist and are masters at minimizing your accomplishments.

Their core problem isn’t with a woman’s success or anyone else’s; it’s with them. Don’t bother trying to change him, accommodate him and play small to make him feel big. As soon as you identify this type of man properly, call it a wrap and don’t look back.

I find that some successful women assume that any man who isn’t interested in them must be the type of man I just described. “He’s intimidated by my success!” has become a go-to scapegoat to make women feel better about themselves while they lick the wounds of rejection. It’s also a way for women to avoid taking stock of how they played a role in the untimely demise of a relationship. Sometimes he’s just not, or is no longer, interested, and it has nothing to do with your success and everything to do with you being clueless about how to make a relationship work.

Sometimes a guy stops calling or offers up a “you’re too busy” as an excuse to stop dating or end a relationship because the successful woman he was seeking acted as if her salary or degrees were stand-ins for things that actually matter to him, such as attentiveness, spending time together and support.

The complaints I’ve heard from secure men about successful women are rarely about a woman’s actual job but about her inability to spend quality time; to turn off the critical, demanding “work mode” persona; and to know how to make a man feel that he’s needed or appreciated. Some guys might bail because they’re intimidated by your success, but more lose interest because they don’t like coming in second to a woman’s job and being treated less like her man and more like the help.

Good luck!

Source: THE ROOT

Posted in Sex and Relationships | 2 Comments »

Thirteen Things Men Are too Embarrassed to Tell You

Posted by Administrator on December 21, 2011

It can be awkward being a man. We have these things that we think and feel. Things that aren’t politically correct to say, but matter to us — here are thirteen of them. 

1.That stuff about the stomach and the heart are pretty much true.

It’s primal. It’s hard to explain. On the one hand, we don’t expect you to be Betty Crocker, at home with an apron on making coq au vin. On the other, having a partner who can cook delicious food, and is willing to do so, creates tremendous feelings of connection and well-being. A man has few defenses for a woman who cooks.

2. We’d like to talk about sex early, because it is important to us, but don’t really know how.

Imagine how this 3rd date conversation would go. “I want to talk about your libido. I have a high energy libido, and I’ve been with women who didn’t and the lack of compatibility in this area was a big issue. How would you describe your libido?” You would likely be shocked, and there’s a great chance you would end the date right there. It’s important to us, and we want to discuss it, but we’re afraid you’ll think we’re creepy.

3. Who you are is way more important to us than what you do.

This is REALLY embarrassing. But when you talk about your greatest accomplishments – your master’s degree, your new position of power at your company, your latest business deal – we’re happy for you, but those aren’t the kinds of things that make us say, “We have to be with this woman.” We tend to value your personality traits way more than your professional accolades. Are you kind, loving, happy and supportive? Are you fun to be around? Will you be nice to our parents? These are the issues that make us fall in love, not professional acumen.

4. We worry that you’re only interested in one thing.

You say, “How funny. We women are worried that you men are only interested in one thing.” Of course, for women the worry is sex. For men the worry is money. Everyone is worried about something. We’ve had so many married friends start to feel like walking wallets. It’s one of our worst nightmares.

5. If you’ll give us some space, we’ll slay dragons for you. 

It is a scene so common as to be a truism – the man cave. Books have been written explaining why men need a private retreat, but whatever the reason, it is a fact. Your man needs a place he can go think, be by himself, and nurse his wounds. It’s no reflection on you.  Recent movies have made it more acceptable for him to ask for his private space, but it can still be embarrassing for us to say, “I need to go be alone.” If you can find it in your heart to embrace our need for space, we’ll know that you understand us, and we will, literally, throw our body in front of a moving train to protect you. 

6. We get so many mixed signals that it is hard to know how to act sometimes.

At work you’re my equal, certainly. On a date, you want me to make all the plans and take charge. In the home, you want primacy over the look and feel. That leaves things like travel, money, and the bedroom, to name a few. In the many situations a couple must experience together, it’s difficult to accurately guess how we should act. Over time, of course, we can figure it out, but it’s tough to always get things just right. 

7. It isn’t the “fear of commitment.” It’s the fear of turning into the hen-pecked wimp that we’ve seen our friends turn into.

Men have a reputation for being scared of commitment. For some guys, that’s earned, but for most the name is misleading. We’re not scared of being with one person for a lifetime. We’re scared the relationship morphing into something we don’t recognize. We’re scared of losing the things (and activities) we love to the person we love. 

8. It’s pretty tough always being the one that has to initiate.

Oh, we act like it doesn’t matter. But that’s because we don’t have a choice. From the day a young man becomes self-aware, he knows that if he isn’t willing to go out and chase, take the initiative and risk being told to “drop dead” he isn’t going to find the relationship he wants. Sure, women can take the initiative or they can choose to be passive and be asked out, but we have no real choice in the matter. For all our bravado, sometimes that’s a bitter pill to swallow.

9.We’re men. We FIX stuff, okay? Sitting around listening over and over to problems without helping you solve them makes us feel like we’re slacking.

We’ve all absorbed enough Oprah to know that women don’t feel heard in many relationships. She feels that she’s sharing her challenges in order to seek support and all we do is say, “Here’s how you fix that.” This has come to be seen by women as improper and even cold. But hold on, to a man trying to help brainstorm a solution is the highest gift we can give. Rather than sit and nod and say, “Ain’t it awful,” we want to help you make the problem go away. We build things. We solve problems. That’s what we do well. It’s hard to understand how you’re not interested in a solution to the issue bothering you so much.

10.We need our buddies. It may look like we’re just drinking beer, but we’re building emotional connections.

Different people show love in different ways. Women get together with their friends and socialize. They talk about their lives and provide support and love. Men are different. We get together and do things. We play hoops. We fish. We play video games and, yes, we drink beer and watch sports. These are vital bonding experiences, and how we keep our friendships strong. We need these other men, and in a culture that encourages rugged independence, we can be a little shy in admitting it.

11.We are passionate about things that are meaningless to you. Cars. Sports clubs. Computer Platforms. You don’t have to love these things, but if you belittle them it starts to add up.

Fantasy football has become a favorite punching bag for people who want to make fun of men. It’s the ultimate nerdy endeavor with guys spending hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours picking “teams” that play in “leagues” that only exist on the CBS Sports website. Maybe that’s silly. Maybe his love for 1960’s motorcycles is silly. Maybe the way he loves Apple products is silly. Men need harmless pastimes where the stakes are low to blow off the steam of lives where everything is high stakes – our job, our home life, our children, and our money. You can make fun of our little pastimes. Sometimes we’re a little ashamed of them, but if you make a habit of denigrating us for having these relief values it can do serious damage to our relationship goodwill.

12.We’re simpler than you, but we’re sensitive about the things that matter to us.

Most men seem to have a simpler set of needs than most women, yet at the end of the day the things that matter to us REALLY matter. Being accepted for who we are – big deal. Showing affection and being loving – big deal. Being appreciated for the sacrifices we make – big deal. The list can vary from man to man but it’s vital to our emotional health. To make matters more complicated, it can be difficult to ask for the things we need because we’ve been taught to be impassive and to express no weakness. Not an ideal situation.

13.We need you to be happy.

Have you heard this one: Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl ‘Will you marry me?’ The girl said, ‘no.’ And the guy lived happily ever after riding motorcycles, fishing hunting and playing golf. The fact is this IS a fairy tale because men live longer and are far happier in loving relationships. We know this intrinsically, and despite the challenges of finding a relationship and making it work, we want it as much as you do.
Via http://www.divinecaroline.com/22065/121114-seven-things-men-too-embarrassed/2#ixzz1hBo2i7TT

Posted in Sex and Relationships | 1 Comment »

Relationships: Knowing what you want

Posted by Administrator on September 9, 2011

(THITU KARIBA) Earlier today, I saw a comment where a young lady suggested that all men were monkeys and there are no real men left in the world and that women were dating monkeys. I had to laugh because I totally got what she was saying even though I disagreed.  There are times when you find a man who behaves more like a Neanderthal than anything else. It’s all about power, ego, control and dominion, especially where women are concerned. They love to show who is wearing the pants, who is boss and stick their horns out.  The thing I got to understand is that it cuts across into the church.  I cannot tell you the many times I see a Christian man  let the world know who the man of the house is, how when he gets home his wife must do this or that. Having an ego trip in front of God and all.

Personally, this is not my idea of the kind of man I would like to be in a relationship with. It would seem to make him feel more like a man, I would have to stay down very often.  I wonder what happens to a man after he marries.  Does he suddenly forget how to cook or make a bed or a cup of tea? When and where do they teach or lie to them that you are less of a man if you did any of the above?  Okay, yes, there are the traditions and customs that were taught to our men and that is well and good.  However, today things are different.  We don’t need hunters, we have supermarkets, women go to work, own houses and are even the bosses, should men not celebrate that instead of making sure that when she gets home you show her who the boss is?  What we need to look for are not traditional men but Christian men.

Christ loved the Church!  So much so, that he lay his life down for it.  Never once did I see Christ having a power trip,

or putting down the woman in his presence to make himself feel more like a king. He restored the woman’s power to her, he called her daughter, he talked to her when no one else would, he saved her life and let everyone know that they were sinners just like her. Where is that man who lives to be like Christ?  King of Kings, a Lord yet never once waking up to the woman when he got in and reminding her he was the head and just to prove it, ordering her around  to make tea and  cook this or that and moreover telling everyone how when he roars she jumps. What is that all about?  If you watch the animal planet or national geographic, you get to see just what I mean, but it’s just sad when man, the superior, has to result to the same.

As women it is important to know what we want in a man, list it down and take it before God. Ask for a man who does not mind cooking once in a while or being considerate enough to wash the dishes when you are away on business.  Better yet, one who will not mind making himself a cup of tea and not have to wake you up to do it.  Even better, one who is willing to make you one while he is at it.  I know that the world would have you believe that you need to settle for this idea that the world has said a man is.  It’s not true.  God told me himself that he wants a man to treat his daughter the way he does and did through Christ. Christ went against protocol and the rules and laws man had put up to love the woman. Christ was a real man.

Ladies, disregard all you were told a man is and look at the example of the man Christ is and ask yourself what kind of man you like.  Know what you want in a man; if you do not know what, then how can you pick one? How can you know whether to say yes or No when he asks?  How then can you know which is the man and which is the monkey in your eyes? Do not get me wrong, some women like the roaring lion.  Some are very okay with the laws and traditions and customs set up by our forefathers and there is nothing wrong with that. They got just what they wanted.  What is wrong is when a woman settles for a man she does not want and then calls him an animal and claims there are no real men left in the world. Have you looked? Do you know what a real man is? Do you have any idea what you want?  If you did, you would not be dating anything less than the best for you, anything less than your real man.  Many times we like to blame the men, but you see they are just being who they were raised to be.   If you do not like or want a man raised a certain way figure out what kind of man you do want and like and when he comes around, pick him.

Posted in Features, Sex and Relationships | 2 Comments »

Sharing tasks to keep the passion burning

Posted by Administrator on April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011 – I am sick and tired of the popular notion that marriages are not working. The whole gospel that most marriages are on the rocks is wrong, and I’m starting to think the problem with those who believe and propagate this notion is the company they keep.

Not that I dispute the many challenges facing the family institution but I choose to disagree with the defeatist gospel that most love relationships are pathetic. It is sad that we are sending a message of doom to the Youth.

Around me a good number of relationships are working. In my family, among my friends, in church and even in the office there are quite a large number of people who are making it. People who talk well about their spouses are in constant touch, and from what I see converse pleasantly with those they love. People who value their spouses take time to be home early with their families, do things together and share their lives totally – including finances.

Not that they are immune to challenges but these people have appreciated the difficulties affecting the family institution and have decided to make their relationships work. They have purposed to sacrifice for it.

Last Sunday, I sat in a meeting of such devoted people. Here there was general agreement that in this challenging world one thing keeping the passion burning is constantly doing things together.

Interestingly, each of the 50 or so couples had something they enjoy doing together that keeps them close.

From cooking, washing clothes, general cleaning, feeding the kids and shopping to playing games, singing, going swimming, taking a walk, showering and trying out new recipes.

For me the most creative of them was this couple that dates each other in turns monthly.

I personally love trying out new recipes with my wife and our endless chats.

The sharing of tasks and hobbies is a perfect way of connecting with our spouses.  It has a way of helping us focus on each other and shed barriers that so easily separate us.

This is when we unmask, get real and possibly deal with any issues. Doing something together will definitely cause you to get closer!

Do something together this week and reignite the passion!

Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/lifestyle/4/5886-Sharing-tasks-keep-the-passion-burning.html

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Office romance: Convenience or career suicide?

Posted by Administrator on April 2, 2011

We spend the better part of our waking hours at our places of work. More often than not, our colleagues are our closest friends, confidantes and supporters in times of difficulty.

Places of work therefore offer fertile opportunities for romantic relationships to cross the limits and become thriving and intimate.

But how workable are they?

A Pandora’s Box

That new, lovely and well-appointed marketing girl that you cannot stop thinking about could be leaving some higher authority in knots as well. Or that tall, dark and handsome new guy in accounts with all the cool moves?

He may make your girlfriends green with envy and turn them against you. Unless you can establish that there is no possibility of conflict (which is challenging), it could be the one move you may live to regret.

For Jeremy, a freelance marketer, office romance yielded a wife but at a price. He used to work at a leading Internet Service provider. For him, workplace affairs were always a no-no. But that was until Jackline joined the company.

“Jackie had the kind of looks that you just could not ignore if you are normal. Every man in the office was drooling over her,” he reminisces.

“Very quickly, I knew she would be the subject of an intense scramble. The man who could get her would be the office First Among Equals. I got the headstart every man in the office craved when Jackline was assigned under my immediate watch. Tuning her was not easy with all the men circling around her like vultures. But in the end, I got my way and we started dating.”

While Jeremy paraded his new love for the entire office to appreciate his hunting qualities, the Managing Director was anything but impressed.

All along, he had his eyes set on Jackline as well but he had not yet found the opportunity to strike. Being the MD, and married, he had to be subtle in his approach. When word went round that Jeremy and Jackline were dating, he revealed his hand.

“He called me into his office and asked whether it was true that we were dating,” says Jeremy. “He rambled on about office romance being unethical and distracting and said he would be reassigning Jackie. Of course by then, it was too late. Jackie and I continued to see each other.”

“The MD did make romantic attempts towards Jackie but she refused his advances. That is when the war against me started. He put me under immense pressure, harassed me all the time and in the end, I had to leave the company. Jackie had to follow me soon after as the boss pursued her seriously after I left. Our affair cost us our jobs but Jackie and I are today happily married. It was worth it but with jobs hard to come by, I would never recommend office romance to anybody because of all the attendant drama,” Jeremy says.

Dirty Linen

Every time you open your heart to somebody, you also give them an opportunity to know you extremely well. Unless you are Angel Gabriel, you definitely have your dark spots, yes…we all do.

Your mother may be a tigress who sends your dad ducking for cover every time she sneezes. Or how you once abused drugs. Or did a jail term for stealing the neighbour’s chicken.

Or how you were forced to walk around high school with all the panties and petticoats you had stolen from fellow girls…There is always the risk that your best kept secrets could end up being whispered around the office corridors – sometimes with grave or very embarrassing consequences. Achieng was so humiliated she had to leave the country to save face.

“Hell hath no fury like a man scorned,” she recollects the experience that changed her life.

“Abuga got me a job in his company and we dated for a while. But he was not that interesting and when I met Alex, I did not have to think twice about leaving Abuga for him. He was everything a woman wants in a man and even though I was indebted to Abuga for getting me a job and we were all working in the same company, I felt I had to take the risk.”

But the risk was perhaps too huge in the end. Abuga had, during his better times with Achieng, secretly photographed her while she was sleeping nude and to get his own back at her, he posted the photos on the Internet.

“The whole office was scandalised beyond belief. I could no longer look my friends or family in the face and I had to get away to recover. I swore never to yield to office romance no matter how tempting.”

Prisoner

Nothing changes people more than love. Nothing demands more from people than love. When the office joker gets hitched to the girl three desks away, his humour evaporates faster than petrol. This is because of the ‘unofficial’ requirement that we behave in a particular way around our spouses.

Office romance is limiting, tiring and may end up making you the office bore who nobody wants to be around.

Tom was always making everybody melt away in laughter at the plant where he works in Thika. When his humour suddenly evaporated, it did not take long for Joshua – his colleague and friend – to find out why. He had become romantically involved with the deputy supervisor.

Alice, Tom’s new love, was a strict girl who had a serious approach to life and Tom was at pains to try and conform.

“Tom tried to sacrifice his natural personality to fit in with Alice’s demeanour,” Joshua confides. “But because of the hypocrisy involved, he could not keep it up and soon they were having problems. They could just not cope. Alice left to continue with her studies and Tom came back to his old self. Had they not worked together, maybe it would have worked out for them.”

Time Bomb

Nothing ends up with more pain than a love affair gone awry. You have never seen a more bitter and emotional war than a love affair that ends in an ugly way.

And because leopards will never lose their spots, if a guy is a womanizer, he may still be tempted to have an affair in that same office. That leads to a nasty war between the involved colleagues.

And while you may survive it, it may leave you in an undesirable position in the workplace. Or she may have an affair with some bigger boss reducing you to suffering helplessly because you may need the job too much to attempt a redress.

Charo, a civil servant in Mombasa, sports a scar that hides the story of a bungled romantic adventure. He previously worked in Kilifi. While there, he started a secret affair with two female co-workers. To add to the twist, the two women were both married. Mwalimu – one of the women’s husbands, finding his wife a much changed animal, did his investigations and soon discovered what was going on.

Realising that Charo was also seeing his friend’s wife, Mwalimu had somebody take photos of Charo with the two women in compromised situations.

Armed with the pictures, the two men confronted Charo and gave him a thorough beating. Thereafter, he was transferred to Mombasa.

“We found out about this through friends in Kilifi,” a colleague of Charo’s in Mombasa discloses. “When he joined us, he was very docile. And never talks much in the office. We really wanted to know what was going on with him, you know. He must have learned his lesson because he keeps to himself and hardly talks to anyone.”

Too Close For Comfort

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or so the saying goes. There are couples who manage working together fairly well but they would probably advise you against office relationships. Romance thrives on catching up, sharing experiences and finding interesting stuff to discuss.

This is next to impossible if you are constantly bumping into each other all the time, you commute together to work and so on. At the end of the day, you might find yourself wishing you had the day to yourself and your friends and other colleagues and only met your better half at the end of the day.

Authority

A man is the head of the family even though this is no longer as clear as it was traditionally. A man’s level of domestic importance is maintained by behaving in a certain way and being seen to be in charge of situations. This may be difficult to uphold especially in high pressure office situations.

You can imagine a man who receives a dressing down for poor performance in front of his partner. Or a scenario where the woman outperforms her man month after month and she shoots up the ranks while he remains rooted at the bottom..what do you think the woman would think of her man? Many things none of which would be positive or helpful.

Stacia and Kevin got married while still at the university. After graduating, they both joined an insurance company where Kevin’s father had established himself as one of the country’s most successful salesman. In that industry, you take time to get your foothold. Once that had happened, the capabilities of the two started to manifest itself.

“Stacia is the dream salesperson,” the agency manager at their office says.

“Her target making, communication and desire are out of this world. She is presently one of the top agents in the country. Kevin is not poor. But he is no comparison to Stacia. In fact, none of my staff can match her productivity. When this couple started working here, they were always together. Now they hardly talk to each other in the office. You can imagine what damage this is doing to their relationship when they are out of the office. You can see that as Stacia enjoys her rise to the top, Kevin is becoming increasingly resentful towards her. Kevin is feeling so challenged by his wife’s success that he is now actively looking for a job elsewhere. That’s the only way they will keep their marriage intact,” the boss offers.

Office romance offers the inducement of accessibility and convenience in the initial stages. But if you consider the advantages and the disadvantages, you will definitely give such affairs short shrift.

If you are already in the deep end of one, then you need to work extra hard to make it work seamlessly knowing that eventually, one of you has to leave the company. But if you are considering one, then please think again unless all you want is a transient good time. Nine out of 10 times, they don’t work.

People need their space to be free around their friends and colleagues. This is hardly possible when you have your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend watching you all the time. There may be no hanky panky going on but you ncan never quite relax around them and interact normally with other colleagues – both male and female- and this is not healthy, says Jeremy.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/saturday/Office+romance+Convenience+or+career+suicide+/-/1216/1137190/-/u1wckpz/-/index.html

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Are you dating your way into debt?

Posted by Administrator on April 2, 2011

Human beings are social animals and relationships and dating are known to bring us untold joy. However, for most men – and women, this is not always the case.

While some relationships may bring with them untold heartache, others have a way of ensuring that they leave your bank account cleaned-out when all is over. And worse is when such relationships last forever because that assures you a lifetime of salary advances and utility loans.

But is it possible for you to tell when your relationships are financially unhealthy for you? The answer is yes. Here are some tell-tale signs that you could be dating your way into debt!

You build the foundation of your relationships on money: You’re dating your way into debt if you believe that you have to splurge and overspend on your first date to impress your date.

You probably hire a better car or spend more on dinner that you would normally spend on a whole week’s budget, just to impress.

A first date is an important foundation of any relationship and maintaining appearances after an overly expensive first date might be difficult or impossible.  Work on your self-esteem issues and confidently lead your conversations to interesting topics to ensure that they do not always drift to how much you earn.

You think that showering her with gifts will get her to fall in love with you: You’re dating your way into debt if you feel the need to buy her affection.

Gifts reassure your girl that you’ve been thinking about her, but getting too generous too soon will only get her to like you for all the wrong reasons. If you have a tendency to buy your dates cell-phones, iPods and laptops within one month of the relationship, you’re definitely working your way into a financial crisis.

She is low and you have to break the bank to raise her spirits: Retail therapy works well for women; it only takes a new pair of shoes and a lovely blouse to get our spirits up.

However, if the damage from her feel-good shopping sprees are being footed by you then you’re definitely dating your way into broke-ville.

Try some inexpensive ways to cheer your girl up – something that does not always involve you swiping your credit card – like a funny movie or a reassuring talk about how you will always have her back.

If this doesn’t work and she has to shop her blue days away, you’re definitely dealing with a shopaholic who doesn’t care about your bank balance –   get her some counselling – which you will find is cheaper than shopping – or run as fast as you can.

She has very expensive taste; and you’re funding it: Who doesn’t like foreign cuisine? Maybe not always the taste of it, but just the way it is served, and the beautiful restaurants in which it is served.

However, most people know to tame their culinary curiosities until their wallets can afford it. Not for your girl though, she loves Chinese, Thai, Ethiopian and Indian and has you spending the equivalent of her rent cash on dinner outings. You’re going to need a relationship finance loan to sustain this relationship.

She always has a money emergency and only you can bail her out: One month she has to go for a family meeting in the village, but since it was so sudden, she doesn’t have the money for it. The next month her cheque has delayed in clearing and her rent is overdue.

Then later on, her power bill has come at the wrong time and she risks having it disconnected…. The list of fairly legitimate excuses is endless because she has figured out perfect ways to milk the notes out of you. I hope you have yourself a cash-cow because your job alone will not sustain this one.

Her best- friend’s boyfriend bought her this and that: If you feel like you have to keep up with all her friends and their boyfriends, you’re definitely gearing yourself for a lifetime of trying to make the ends meet.

You probably have a huge ego and your girl knows it; so she uses the “my best friend’s boyfriend did…” line to get you to buy her stuff. You may love being the best, but at this rate, the only thing you’ll be the best at is borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/saturday/Are+you+dating+your+way+into+debt/-/1216/1137192/-/o4wo3jz/-/index.html

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She cheats on me, but I still love her

Posted by Administrator on January 3, 2011

Hello Mr Philip Kitoto,
I don’t know whether I’m addressing this to the right person, but since the invitation to write in indicates that Mr Philip Kitoto leads the guidance and counselling team, I know my concerns will reach you.
First of all, let me congratulate you and your team for the very interesting and, sometimes, heartbreaking stories you run in the newspaper. My Mondays are now much, much better.
As my name suggests, I am not a Kenyan national, but a Dutch, even though I’m married to a Kenyan. I came to the country in October 1995, when I landed a job in the horticultural sector, running a flower farm in Naivasha.
I met my wife four years later (in October 1999) and it was love at first sight. I knew immediately that I was going to marry her, and so, two years later (in July 2001) we got married. Our daughter was born a year later in April 2002.
Life in Naivasha was quite okay, although the job was a bit stressful and tiresome, what with working seven long days a week!
However, I was fortunate enough to get some shares in the company, thus, for me, the long hours weren’t that dreary because I knew they added to my financial kitty. The salary was not that much, but it was enough to give us a comfortable life.
In October 2006, our second born, a son, added to the joy of our family, and everyone seemed happy for us. To many of our friends, we were (and still are) the perfect couple, living the perfect marriage.
Soon after the boy was born, there was an interest from abroad for the takeover of the company, and this suited me very well since I knew the monies involved would guarantee our daughter a good start in primary school.
I have always been against sending our children to boarding school, and I had started the search for a reputable day school for our daughter. Since Naivasha did not have good institutions, and since the company had already attracted the eyes of an international investor, we moved to Nairobi in 2007, where, I believed, were better school choices.
During our stay in Naivasha, we never had any serious problems in our marriage. I am not saying things were perfect. They could have been better, but the on-job pressure was too much.
In the first six months of our stay in Nairobi, everything went quite okay. I had decided to start another (smaller) farm closer to where we lived, and this kept me busy.
However, after the six months, things started to go wrong, even though I did not realise this initially. It started with my wife going, every second Sunday, to a ‘Women’s League’. At first, she was away between 2 o’clock and 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but soon graduated to between 2 o’clock and the next morning.
Later, I got to know she had started a relationship with a guy from this ‘Women’s League’. Her sisters also got wind of this affair, and made sure it was terminated immediately.
But, a few months later, she started another relationship with another man. The partying and going out went from bad to worse, and, soon, she was away every weekend.
By September 2008, she was almost uncontrollable. I was very disturbed by this turn of things, especially after I managed to locate her after a weekend of partying during which she did not sleep at home. She had left on a Saturday, and I found her in bed with her boyfriend in South B the following day.
I called her parents to discuss the whole situation because I wanted to save the marriage and give our children the perfect family and a better upbringing than my own.
Our daughter was six years then, and the son two. And they have gone through hell since then. A month after I caught her in bed with another man, my wife transferred Sh100,000 to her boyfriend’s bank account. As if that was not enough, I found pictures of him and my wife in my own bed. She had maintained contact with him through e-mail and telephone.
Today, my wife does not spend any time with the children or me. She hardly talks to me, and, most of the time, yells to both the kids and I.
After a bad 2009, I hoped 2010 would be better, but I was wrong. She spend the whole of last year partying every weekend and not telling me where she was going or when she would be back home. She consistently came back in the wee hours of the morning.
I have talked to her so many times, but every discussion bears the same result. I do the talking while she does the listening. After that, nothing changes. I have really tried to keep our marriage intact, but things have become so difficult and unbearable.
I don’t know what to do. My energy is spent. And it is not that I am scared to seek a divorce, but that I know very well that this will not solve my problems.
I also know that this situation cannot continue much longer, and I have always hoped that she would change and become, again, the woman/mother that I love. I love and care about her so much, and she knows that. And I know she is taking advantage of this fact to do whatever she wants.
I can’t understand how she cannot care about her own children. For the last two years, it feels very much like I am a single parent. Fortunately, we are financially well of and I am self-employed, otherwise I would definitely have lost my job and became financially ruined. That said, I can’t concentrate on my work, and always make a lot of mistakes, which cost me a lot of money.
Mentally, I am completely finished. I don’t know what to do any more and am seriously stressed. I know for a fact that I have not been a good parent to my children of late since I keep thinking about the situation.
I don’t have any friends any more because I have distanced myself from them to concentrate on the issues at home and to be with the children.
After all is said and done, I agree with the statement of purpose at the bottom of this page; the family unit in Kenya is a shambles. Nearly all the people I know have problems. Not a single marriage seems to be in order.
I think this has a lot to do with the technological age were are living in. The whole Internet and mobile telephone craze seems to be more like a curse then a blessing.
Your words of wisdom would be appreciated, and thank you.
Marco van Sandijk.

Hi Marco,

When I received your mail, I read through it several times, and I still couldn’t believe my eyes. I must say you have really tried your best to keep your marriage together.

I can also sense a lot of disappointment in your words. As you mentioned, your children need support and motherly care, which is currently unavailable.

However, I encourage you, first, to remain a loving dad to those children. Your children should not be left to suffer because of the wilful mistakes of the parents. They have already been through a lot, with the mother away at moments when they would need her most.

Second, you have done your best in seeking a solution to your marital issues. Although this has not produced the desired result, you have continued to hope that your wife will change. You have gone to the extent of involving your in-laws. However, you are at a desperate moment in this journey. My worry is what these events could end up doing to you and the children in the long run. How much can they endure?

Having said that, I must say that there is something desperately wrong with your wife. No right-thinking spouse would regularly leave her children to go for personal enjoyment. Her actions speak of a desperate woman that needs urgent help. If this help has to succeed, then the root of her problem must be dealt with.

I suggest a professional counsellor, for I am of the opinion that her problem started way before you moved to Nairobi. The truth is that you were not aware of it. It may be associated with you being away for long hours at the farm. Whatever the case, I encourage you to remain focused, first on the children, then on how you can find a good professional family counsellor for your wife.

You still have an opportunity to help her. I cannot fail to understate that the battle you have is not easy, and I pray that you get the courage and strength to fight for her restoration, even if the marriage never ends up working. At this rate, if left on her own, she will soon crumble emotionally.

Addictions vary, but, in general, they are defined as a strong emotional and/or psychological dependence on a substance, such as alcohol, sex, pornography, food, gambling or drugs, that has progressed beyond voluntary control. One thing that is clear is that your wife suffers from sexual addiction.

Whole family affected

And when a spouse is a sexual addict, it’s not just her mental and emotional health that is affected, but the health and well-being of the whole family as well. I am not an expert of addiction, but there are plenty of resources out there from where you can seek out help.

There is a way addicts take their spouses hostage. They somehow decide the overall health of the relationship: how they will live their lives, and who their friends will be, all at the expense of other people’s feelings.

When a person struggles with an addiction, more often than not, they don’t even realize they have a problem. For example, your wife’s addiction has impaired her judgment — as well as created a conflict — because of her behavioural patterns.

Even if she does not change now, you, as her partner, are the closest friend who needs to heal, so that you can bring about change that will start within yourself.

All the best Marco, all the best. Hang on there buddy, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Again, all the best, and keep an eye on those kids.

Source: Daily NATION

Posted in Sex and Relationships | Comments Off on She cheats on me, but I still love her

No sex, Thank You

Posted by Administrator on December 4, 2010

There are some women who love men but are happy to be in a sexless marriage. Photo/FILE

There are some women who love men but are happy to be in a sexless marriage. Photo/FILE

Imagine being a man in his prime, married to a beautiful, intelligent woman.

To outsiders, your marriage is picture perfect, but there is just one little thing out of place – it is almost sexless.

Not because you do not love each other, not because you do not find each other sexually attractive, neither of you is gay, not because there is anything physically wrong with either of you, but because she finds the sexual act off-putting.

On top of that, you married her knowing fully well that she does not like to get deeply intimate – on your first date, she came out clean and told you that going all the nine yards is not her favourite pastime, but you thought this state of affairs could be corrected and went ahead and swore in front of man and God that you would be faithful to her, and only death would do part the two of you.

Mariam* 27, has been married for one year to a man she loves dearly, but one she has to really push herself to get intimate with.

She is beautiful, bubbly and effortlessly commands attention both for her beauty and brains.

Watching her with her husband, it is obvious that they are deeply in love with each other but when she tells her story, you start wondering whether the ‘in-love” bit is just a façade.

Arrangements

You wonder whether, instead of agreeing to get married, she should have just looked for a gay man to be her best friend or husband. After all, apparently, now there are couples who are making such living arrangements.

Talking to her, I kept thinking to myself, “friendship from a man is all she seems to be comfortable with so why did she get married?”

According to *Mariam, sex is overrated. It and it should not be the reason why two people get together.

“My situation is nothing to do with my husband who I love dearly,” she says without flinching. “I have never really been one to like that kind of intimacy with any man and I told him about it before we got married.”

It is almost surreal listening to her discuss her sex life, or lack of it, as if she is discussing the current price of potatoes.

She is almost detached; she obviously does not think there is anything wrong with how she looks at intimacy – she has never liked it, period. The phrase ‘she does not know what she is missing’ does not count.

*Miriam only has sex once a month, twice if she is pushed. When she has it, she has to be drunk to be able to go through with it.

She does not cuddle with her husband – she sleeps at the furthest end of their bed, while he takes the other extreme end. She will not sleep naked, or wear sexy underwear in bed.

“Sometimes we will do it, but I would almost forget that it happened because I was so drunk.”

Is she not worried that there will be such a time that her husband will not be able to wait for his monthly portions and venture out there?

“Well, then I would feel betrayed. It is not like I duped him – he married me knowing fully well that I’m not crazy about it and could well do without any of that kind of intimacy in my marriage.” She explains clinically.

“I find that kind of intimacy sweaty, it messes my hair, and I usually cannot wait for it to be over.” So is her husband okay with her obvious lack of interest? “I have never really asked but he never complains, so I assume he is fine with the situation.”

I could not get the husband to comment, but speaking to other men, it left me believing that Mariam’s husband is either a very special kind of man or he is getting his groove on elsewhere on the sly.

All the men I asked to comment on the issue categorically stated that they could not date, let alone marry, such a woman.

“What would be the point of our relationship?” “I have enough sisters and platonic friends, I do not need another in my life.”

“That man is definitely cheating on her – no normal man would be content in that kind of relationship.”

“Maybe he does not like that kind of intimacy either, so they would be a perfect match.”

Who would blame the men for those sentiments – one of the biggest tests whether any relationship will survive is whether the two people are sexually compatible

*Mariam is not frigid, however. Once in a while, some feelings would stir within her, but when it gets to the act itself, she recoils – hence the need to get intoxicated prior to the act.

I presented *Mariam’s case to John Gacheru, a psychotherapist with Amani Counseling Centre and Training Institute.

“There is definitely a big psychological problem there.” He stated immediately.

“There are a number of possibilities to this woman’s problem; could there be a history of sexual abuse, something that happened to her in her childhood that she has probably buried in her subconscious?

She could also be suffering from Low Sexual Desire (LSD) which can be easily rectified by some drugs.

Scared

She could also be having a misconception of what sexuality is all about – did she, when she was very young and innocent, witness a sexual act that scared her, or did she have parents who kept repeating to her that sex is bad?

A lot of women, especially, suffer from the latter, the inner parental voice that keeps reprimanding them even in their adulthood and marriage.

She could also have vaginismus, a condition that affects a woman’s ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration, including insertion of tampons, and the penetration involved in gynecological examinations.

This is the result of a conditioned reflex of the pubococcygeus muscle, which is sometimes referred to as the “PC muscle”. The reflex causes the muscles in the vagina to tense suddenly, which makes any kind of vaginal penetration painful or impossible.”

Whatever *Mariam’s problem is, Gacheru’s recommendation is therapy, therapy, therapy! “She has probably been missing out on stuff because of something that could be sorted out if only she could seek help.

The bottom line is, if her husband is physically okay, and not already cheating on her, a point will come when he will start feeling that he is being denied his conjugal rights.

If she wants to save her marriage, she needs to convince her husband that she enjoys being with him in and out of bed.

She needs to start enjoying being with her husband that way, and although a lot of times women have sex just to please the man, there must be, for any marriage to be sustainable, times when it is not just sex, but making love.”

One would also need to find out whether there is a problem on the man’s part because intimacy in marriage goes well beyond just having sex.

How the man approaches the whole issue and how he handles his partner are all very crucial when it comes to how a woman reacts. Some men are simply too rough…it’s all about them and never about the other person,” adds Gicheru.

Mariam and her husband need to talk to a therapist in order to get to the bottom of the problem.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/saturday/No%20sex%20thankyou/-/1216/1065900/-/eu5l7d/-/index.html

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He cheated? Here’s not what to do

Posted by Administrator on November 10, 2010

By Lilian Kithia

I once stumbled upon a book on the internet titled, ‘My husband’s affair became the best thing that ever happened to me’ and at first it seemed to me like its author was in denial of the adverse effects that her husband’s infidelity could have had on her.

But as I read the book and begun to see how her life had gradually changed since the moment she stopped blaming herself for her man’s philandering ways, I realised one thing, an obvious tragedy does not necessarily mean the end of the world- or the end of a marriage for that matter.

However, while Anne Bercht, the author of the aforementioned book may have found new meaning in life after being betrayed by her better half, this is not always the case with every affair.

As a matter of fact, we have all at least met women who can recount the details of their husband’s affairs that happened more than twenty years ago, like they happened yesterday.

But though it may be hard to forgive and forget and like Ms. Bercht, turn your man’s affair into the best thing that ever happened to you, how do you ensure that you do not forever look at it as the worst thing that ever happened to you?

Here are some pointers;

Don’t take it out on the other woman: It is your husband you are in a relationship with, and the other woman owes you no explanations. Truth is; she probably doesn’t even know that your man is married, and if she does, she clearly doesn’t care. So don’t call her and try to give her a piece of your mind since nothing will be achieved this way. Talk it out with your man instead.

Don’t try to make sense out of nonsense: When you confront your spouse, one of these two things is likely to happen; he will either be forthcoming and remorseful or distant and rude. Whichever way it pans, be wary because distant and rude means that he is not sorry and could do it again, while his remorse could be a decoy. Do not try to excuse his actions or the way he responds to your confrontation. Remember that rationalising your cheating spouse’s behavior or sympathising with him is pointless.

Resist the urge to try and make him love you: Many women blame themselves for their partner’s infidelities. They wonder what it is they could have done better to ensure that the man remained in love with only them. Resist the urge to do this. Don’t cut your hair or break a bank getting a make-over. At least not for him. His actions are not your fault.

Re-evaluate yourself. Has this happened to you before? Are you a bad-boy magnet? Do you give off the wrong kind of vibe that makes it hard for a man to respect you? Are you too afraid of losing your man that you let him get away with dis­­­­­­­­­­­­­­respecting you? Answering these questions will ensure you don’t get hurt again.

Be patient: Give yourself time and permission to mourn. Something has been stolen from you. You can never get it back. Something has been lost forever. The most important promise, a vow, has been broken. Don’t fight the feeling to cry or binge. Give yourself time to mourn and you will soon get over it.

Move on: Whether with your husband or not, you need to move on after the affair. Sadly, this is where most women get stuck. Don’t spend the rest of your life recounting the affair to everyone who cares to listen. It is necessary for you to move forward with life and love. Remember that it is better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else. If your partner wants back in, he will have to earn his way back into the relationship. Renegotiate the relationship in a way that works for both of you.

Remember that for you to be able to enjoy love after this, being willing to trust again is key. Take things one step at a time. Time heals nothing. It is what you do with the time that matters. 

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/Living/He%20cheated%20Heres%20not%20what%20to%20do/-/1218/1050040/-/s0419i/-/index.html

Posted in Kenya Marriages, Sex and Relationships | 1 Comment »

 
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