Opinion: Who are you to your partner?

by Nike Adedokun

We were planning to attend the ‘MTN Who Wants to be a millionaire show’ in the evening so he sent a message to his childhood friend who would be giving us a slot to get in. I was so curious about the message that I felt I should read what he sent to him. I really don’t check his mobile phone but I was seriously curious that day because I knew he had been acting funny.

I picked up his phone and I saw where he said he would be coming with his friend. Me? Friend? When did I become a mere friend? Months back, he used to introduce me as his wife to be and suddenly I have become a friend to a childhood friend who should even know more of our relationship.

I paused in silence as I tried to swallow the truth set before my face. I couldn’t ask him, I was scared I would get more unfavorable truths from his lips.

I had been ignoring his attitudes because I felt it was normal to have misunderstandings in a relationship. I waited patiently till evening as I was so curious to see how he would introduce me openly to his friend again.

We got to Lekki that evening and we approached his office. My heart rate increased and I started thinking through a lot of things. Our relationship was suffering from status crisis. I have suddenly become invaluable to him. He got to his friend’s place, shook him and said “Meet Nike” and that was all. I didn’t know if I should sink or not. There was nothing special about how he introduced me, so his friend could as well not conclude on who I was.

The truth is, I had been hiding from the truth. He had been acting strange. I had been struggling with internal heartbreaks and it was becoming unbearable. I had asked him countless time if I offended him but he said nothing. I still couldn’t ask him why he didn’t tell his friend I was his girlfriend. I couldn’t swallow the pain enough and I just buried myself in self-pity. I began to feel ugly and different thoughts went through my mind like “Does he deserve better than I am?”, “Am I not beautiful enough?” I felt he wasn’t proud of me anymore. It was painful but I kept managing the pain. Isn’t that how we ignore red flags in a relationship?

So many times our relationship gets to a stage where we clearly feel we are not given the best attention, care and status look but we simply ignore. Why couldn’t I ask about the message? That’s simply a communication break-down, I was also scared of the worst that could happen afterwards. Yeah, I know I shouldn’t look through his phone but just once wouldn’t kill, I felt!

I felt I should tell you this from experience that if at any point in your beautiful relationship, your partner begins to deny who you are to his friends, then something is wrong. If he cannot publicly talk about you with his family or friends, then he isn’t thinking long term anymore. He is simply thinking of redirecting his mind to someone else. I saw the warning signals many times but I refused to admit the truth. His change of character was still fresh so I felt it was just a normal thing.

Ladies, many things can change a man while he remains in silence. He may not tell you but he must have been saying something. Watch his moves and what he says, there is always plenty truths in indirect communication. Don’t always assume that he would never leave you. Heartbreaks can be painful but you can get your seat belt on to manage it.

When dealing with clients, I always notice where the relationship began to grow sour from their story. It could be from how he started behaving, actions or through the constant arguments.

My point is this, take note of relationship red flags and warning signals. Let it help you stay in charge. I’m not saying that a change in behavior would always result to a break up but you also need to communicate about it.

“Dearie, what’s going on?” “I noticed this.” Say it in the most polite way ever and stay in charge.

You really don’t have to fight about it because it could worsen the situation but you can find a great time to share how you feel and which way forward. It’s necessary to always do a relationship evaluation often to determine the direction of a relationship and if there are areas to work on.

I hope you have learnt from my story. Have you noticed a recent change in your partner recently? Do you want to share?

 


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Nike Adedokun is a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Results Coach. She is a passionate writer, author, speaker and columnist who teaches on relationship, real life issues and sexuality. Her books include “Relationship Guardrails for Him and Her”,”The journey to a Masturbation free life“, “Ants and Flies Flow: How Attraction starts!” and “ DO-IT-YOURSELF in 7 days: A step by step guide to overcoming heartbreaks.”

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