How far can you go to keep your partner? When statements like “I can do anything for him” and “I have done everything for him” are made, the first flash of thought I have is: “Don’t make promises you cannot keep” or “She has no clue what she’s talking about.”

However, experience has revealed that not only do some people in relationships genuinely mean those words in the first line, they live it every day.

The use of ‘she’ at the outset is thoroughly deliberate as females are the worst hit in this practice due to their emotional composition. Women fall in love quite simply and often do so with patriotic loyalty and commitment. Not saying there are no exceptions to the rule though, but a woman’s dedication to a relationship is generally deep and unwavering, prompting her to sell even her soul for her love.

From mutual to unrequited and dysfunctional to downright dangerous love-relationships, women all through the ages have been known to give more than they receive. Still, they keep giving…and going… and giving till they wind-up bankrupt in every sense of the word: emotionally, financially and sometimes mentally.

How far is too far? When is it time to say “enough”? The philosophy of suffering and smiling as being dominant in certain cultures, lack of love for self and inordinate dependence on a partner has accounted for this “ride or die” mentality even at the face of grave danger.  Although relativity is applied in many of life’s situations, there are still lines that should not be crossed in truly loving relationships.

Let’s have threesomes: One is stunned at the amount of women (yes women) that hear this request from their partners. Many times, men suggest this to their wives, girlfriends, even mistresses. This alarming incident has become shockingly common-place in matrimony. Man gets bored of making love to only his wife and lending weight to the warped lie that men are naturally polygamous, he has the bravery to ask his wife to sign off on bringing another woman to their marriage (relationship) bed. Funny thing is that these men rarely, if ever ask, for another man to join in the three-way relationship. The funnier thing is that these women, who ignore the degree of disrespect embedded in that request, acquiesce. To that woman, I say: That man does not love you anymore. Fix your marriage (relationship) or walk away. While you are at it, fix your self-esteem because you are hugely lacking in that department as well.

My mum says…: This one here is for cowardly men. The laughable lengths a man can make his woman go, using his mother (or other family member) as cover can range from the ridiculous to the humiliating and the pitiful. As simple as her choice of grooming for example, which the man fell in love with hitherto can be questioned and criticised to a point where she gives in to the requests to change “for peace to reign”. My mum thinks pants make you appear like the man of the house. My mum says you should quit serving me carbohydrates for dinner. My mum thinks your mum should not drop by every Sunday to see the kids. My sister thinks you should reduce your brother’s monthly allowance since she saw him bring home those cool shoes. The list goes on and on. And some women, to keep their relationships apply these words as gospel.

You know I like women: No woman should be in a relationship where the response to an allegation of infidelity is: “You know I like women. You have always known this.” Women hear this and they still stay, no other questions asked. While of course maintaining a façade of a happy union, they shudder each time they remember reality. Still they stay.

I hate your job:  Really? My job? It is mine for a reason, not yours. When complaints of coming home late from work, bringing work home and even having a hot male boss start recurring, a woman might hear: “I hate your job. I think you should quit. I’ll get you a new one” (like the job is some car or a piece of clothing). What is the guarantee that the next one will not be worse than this or that your woman will get professional satisfaction from the next job? Women yield to this request while placing their careers at the back burner, to please their partners. No compromises are discussed nor middle- grounds considered.

Meet my child:  Would you keep going on with a man that springs the existence of a child on you? Here is a typical scenario: this child was not conceived before union with the man, but a product of countless acts of adultery. The woman (victim) is neither barren nor childless as she has brought to birth male and female children in your name. There have been incessant arguments in the past between you and your partner about the existence of the other woman (child-bearer).  Yet, he boldly and unapologetically introduces this child as his (maybe with his other woman in tow). Would you keep going on with a man that springs the existence of a child on you? Most women do. That is how far they ‘love’ themselves.

How much do you earn?  For men with no self-regard whatsoever, they find it standard to spend their partner’s money. They constantly monitor bank statements to know the flow of deposits and withdrawals in their partner’s account. They ask for loans they never pay back and justify it with promises of a better life when that bogus business deal works out. Women in relationships with men that this notice they not only frequently part with their cash, a tiny piece of their financial independence goes each time also. Still, they stay and hope and pray.

When your partner is unnaturally needy and dependent on your ‘love’ (no matter how dysfunctional) to thrive, that relationship is one-sided and someone is doing all the hard work. The kind thing to do is never selfishly take advantage of the situation. Encourage your partner to develop love and self-worth independent of you. Your relationship will improve greatly since no one can give what they do not possess.

If then on the flip side you enjoy the state of your relationship, you being the sole recipient (or taker), by all means do. Just remember that one day (no matter how long it takes), she will snap and please prepare to pick up the pieces.



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