Dear Efe, I Want My Lecturer As A Friend

  Hello Efe, I got married barely two years ago and my husband has been cheating on me, I found out about 6 months ago.I was devastated, I couldn’t determine for how long this had been going on and he wouldn’t say. Two months ago, he said it was over between him and the girl,…

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Hello Efe,

I got married barely two years ago and my husband has been cheating on me, I found out about 6 months ago.I was devastated, I couldn’t determine for how long this had been going on and he wouldn’t say. Two months ago, he said it was over between him and the girl, but began seeing her again recently.

He says he loves me but nothing I say or do convinces him to leave her. I finally realized the only person who can end the relationship is he, when and if he wants to.

I love my husband very much. We have good jobs, a comfortable life and are expecting our first child. We still enjoy each other’s company and look great together. Since he began seeing her again, I have not wanted to make love with him. I told him the emotional hurt is too much for me to bare. I can’t won’t leave him because first and foremost, I choose not to be a single mother and secondly, marriage is for better or worse.

I have told him to do whatever it is he needs to do in order to figure out what he wants from life. I said I would not judge him, hold it against him or hate him. All I want is for his relationship with her to end. I harbor no grudges.

Having him in my life is more important than anything he has done.

Seun

 

Hello Seun,

People will do a lot of things to hold on to a lifestyle. You believe your survival depends on not letting this man get away from you. But the more you are willing to let him do to you, the more he will do.

We have boundaries and obligations in life as control mechanisms. These control mechanisms help us set expectations and serve as deterrent for bad behavior. For example, imagine if we only paid our taxes ‘if and when’ we felt like it? Do you think there would be any roads or public schools or hospitals? What if you allowed an employer to pay you only ‘if’ they felt like?

Your husband is breaking the boundaries of marriage and forsaking his obligatory commitment to you as his wife and rather than hold him accountable, you are shrugging it off like it is nothing.

There should always be a price to be paid for bad behavior. What you are doing is the exact opposite of what you need to do to make him end this relationship. You are not helping him to be a better man. You are encouraging him to continue to be selfish and irresponsible.

Saying you won’t judge is a lie. Your happiness, self esteem, the future of your family and the life of your unborn child is under threat by a combination of your husband’s behavior and your enablement, it is not possible as a human being with a brain and emotions not to judge under these circumstances.

You want him to stop what he is doing. That’s your judgment. Saying you won’t judge means you are unwilling to take the risk or gain the reward that comes from standing up for what you believe in.

I don’t see your actions springing from love. I see them coming from fear and a perceived need. What is behind this fear? That you can’t support yourself or your child…that you are afraid of getting older without his money… or that you simply cannot see an acceptable existence without the benefits he brings?

But where are your plans to protect yourself? If you are not plotting out a life without him, you are foolish because another woman is thinking, “If I could just get him to leave his wife, things would be perfect for me.”

I suggest getting counseling so you can privately spill out your feelings to another person and hear their advice. It could be the first step in regaining confidence and self-esteem.

You trusted him with your bed and your heart and your life.

It’s time to start trusting yourself.

Efe,

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Hello Efe,

I’m 21 years old, female and a student. One of my favorite person in the world is one of my lecturers, a guy who is like in his mid thirties and single. We get along real well, we joke around a lot when we see outside class and he is really caring about my academics and my well-being. This is really a new experience for me because I am an only child and both my parents don’t really pay attention to me, all they do is pay my bills and focus on their careers. So my lecturer’s attention makes me feel noticed, like my existence in this word matters to somebody. One day I mentioned I considered him a very good friend and he stopped me and said, “No, you and I cannot be friends I am your lecturer and you are my student”

I left his office that day, went to my room and cried like a baby that day. My definition of a friend is someone who is caring and funny and kind and nice like him.

I am really hurt and confused right now, he means a lot to me but sadly ‘I am just his student’

What should I do?

Uma,

 

Hello Uma,

No, you cannot be friends.

That being said, he can be kind to you. He can care about you. He guide you and look out for you. He can want good things for you. He can function as a mentor and a role model to you. But remember that none of these things automatically equal “friendship” – he is doing his job as a lecturer and as a nice human being by being kind to you.

You can ask him for advice. You can consider him a role model. You can joke around with him a little bit. You can ask him for help when you really need it.

But, no, you are not “friends.” He is a lecturer and you are his student. A friendship is inappropriate … both because of your roles, gender and age difference. He could get into a lot of trouble for calling himself your “friend.”

I’m sorry that you don’t have a great relationship with your parents, but you cannot just go substitute a kind lecturer for a parent figure. That’s inappropriate and it’s not the same thing. You are desperately looking for something that just isn’t there.

Don’t take it personally. He isn’t refusing to be your friend because he doesn’t like you … he’s refusing to be your friend because it’s not appropriate. I sense he is actually the good person you say he is as it is obvious he is not being predatory and seeking to take sexual advantage of you and your likeness of him.

Please respect what he’s said. By all means, continue to have a nice cooperative relationship with him. And by all means, if there is something BIG going on in your life (abuse, mistreatment, a big personal problem, harmful thoughts, etc.), ask for his advice.

When you graduate, write him a nice note thanking him for all his kindness towards you and let him know he contributed to you becoming who you are. Take a photo with him and move on with your life.

Efe

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Responses

  1. Larz
    Dear Uma
    I am really sorry about your parents relationship but to add to what Efe said, I actually don’t think you wanna Ben his friend either. Notice how you made note of husband single status and cried when he didn’t want Anna Ben friends. You wanna be more than friends and that is even less appropriate than being his friend. Enjoy having a lecturer or mentor in him but please keep away and develop friendship with people in your uni. Also, try having a conversation with your parents about how you feel.

    Dear Seun
    For most people, knowing that there are consequences for their bad behaviour is usually enough of a deterrent for them to not do that thing or stop doing it. You seem to have taken that away from you hubby so he has no real incentive to quit seeing the other woman. It is all well and good until someone get hurts. The more this continues, the more you risk a) he infecting you with an STD b) his leaving you for another woman or worse c) his mistresss plotting to kill you

  2. Kells
    Dear efe I do not agree with the advice you gave to seun. You are supposed to advice her on how to get her man back not on how to she should look forward to leaving her husband and becoming a single mum. Marriage has its up and down ,if you just give up when the tides are low then why marry in the first place, it’s not a bed of roses shit happens you are supposed to help her with how she’s gonna clean it up, the reply you gave her seems like you were judging her sef, not cool at all
    1. Sirius Black
      No no no Efe, your response was a lil bit judgemental and damaging. Are you angry at something?
      Can you please advise her on what to do from your own pov? You didn’t even mention steps to take to get her man back, you just subtly implied that she find a way to leave him without any recourse. That’s not good enough sir, I’m sorry. You’ve given better advice to people in situations similar to hers, why is hers different? Why should she look for a way to leave him? So that the other woman can then come in? Is that the best for her?
      Dear Seun, please have a plan on ground if you’re gonna act on Efe’s advice. You know your husband well, deal with him such that he’ll come back. You know what he can’t do without, deny him that (with love). Let him know you’re there but at the same time you’re out of reach cos of what he has done. He just gave a soft spot, hit him there. He needs to know that he may do everything wrong but never wrong you. But please don’t leave him without recourse. If you’re leaving, for how long? Is that the best for your marriage? If yes, other go ahead, but have a plan: what sort of actions will you take while you’re away to ensure he keeps striving bring you back?… your husband is yours.
      Please pray hard before embarking on any kind of action.
      God help you sister.
      Peace ✌
  3. Unnecessary
    Efe was very on point with the advice he gave Seun. You can only keep a man who wants to be kept. Seun is burying her head in the sand. Efe wasn’t discounting the fact that she wants to keep her husband. He’s just saying there’s a chance she’ld end up without him anyway. Seun, don’t let him think it’s okay to treat you the way he currently is. He’s not the example you want your kids to follow. I know its hard. Sincerely, i do. But if you don’t stand for something, you’ld fall for anything. Also, pray girl! PRAYYYY!!!!

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