Why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?
I am living with an Ivory Coast girl here in Ghana, West Africa. And for sure, I am the middle of a muddle; there are no obvious truths to grab onto while I float clear of the debris of unclear thoughts.
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A relationship is something we do, until something better comes along.
Ghana, West Africa --- Sunday, April 10, 2011
The Ideal Marriage
I think people should get married at age 16 and quickly have three children, and name them all after the parents. This is the best formula for a long and beneficial marriage, this allows to children to create interdependent needs that fuse the two people together.
I took a long pause, and thought about this, while doing so, Bah requested,
"Andy, turn off the fan, I have sniffles."
Whether this is rational or irrational is not important to me, I decided to sacrifice and shut off the fan, I am hoping she will compromise later and not complain when I turn it back on. There is a common belief among Africa cultures that wind from fans, or air from an open window causes sickness, I think this is the belief that is influencing her request.
She is hell bent on changing me, which is humorous to me; she gave me a lecture last night. I finally told her, please stop or "Je Jette," I throw you out of my life. Of course, she doe not want to hear this, and I do not like to say this, but in reality, it is the unspoken reality of all relationships,
"See no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil."
I just want her to know in a fair world, if you make my life unenjoyable, I will leave. Life is as simple as that, no more, no less, and I do not have the luxury of living subconsciously in the grasp of a see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil world.
Negotiating over our Relationship
I truly enjoy reading comments from Americans, and talking with Americans about relationships. The USA is the epicenter of the belief in a love story, by movie, by song, by talk, the USA culture and people refuse to negotiate a relationship in real terms. The USA wants to negotiate marriage, love and mating in using terms explained in love songs.
There are three areas of negotiations in a relationship: Sacrifices, Compromises and the soul mate or "Love Song."
The Cost of a Relationship
Sacrifice: The giving up of something valued: a giving up of something valuable or important for somebody or something else considered to be of more value or importance
Compromise: And agreement: a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted.
Soul Mate: Somebody close to somebody else: somebody with whom somebody else naturally shares deep feelings and attitudes.
What is amazing to me is that people give value to sex, it is 100 percent free. When a person travels long enough, far enough, they will realize it has no value worth putting on the table as something to negotiate over. On the other hand, beauty does have great value, beautiful people are nice to be with, and all doors are open to beautiful and healthy people.
Friends Hangout Together
Hangout Defined: Less serious than getting together or dating. Spending time with someone in the context of friendship or in the context of casually exploring whether you like someone as just a friend or maybe more than a friend.
It is a petty to quibble whether a person is an acquaintance, friend of a lover. I remember a person annoyingly belittling about my friends in Haiti.
"My friends in Haiti died in the earthquake."
This caused great concern, because somehow true friends died, I then said,
"We did not speak the same language, we never talked."
The person said,
"This is not your friend."
"I hanged out with these people for four weeks, they are my friends."
"I cared enough about them to share my time."
The giving of time, the sharing of time, the ability to give time is how I weigh all my friendships, loves, and acquaintances. I instantly become suspicious when I need to negotiate:
7. How much money?
When someone says, "Why are you calling?" I know it is time to hang up…
I often start talking or dealing with friends of business associates than I have this internal dialog,
"This is too much work."
I now that I am negotiating over the above too much, the person has put to many stumbling blocks on my path, and it has become too much work.
I could write for days about how to have a friends, lovers, and/ or whatnot, and in the end it always comes down to my desire to have people to hang out with, I want people who care enough, be ready, wiling and capable of hangout out with me in my life.
If they can do that, then we may become friends.
People often go on and on about how they love something, and then I ask them to go hang out at the place, situation or with the people, and that is when I know the truth.
Let us go visit Krakosia
Bah wished to go visit the country of Krakosia, we watched the movie "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks in it and she truly liked this guy Victor Navorski from Krakosia. She asked,
"Can we go to Krakosia?"
This is my kind of woman, she instinctively smelled a good place, and wanted to go visit. Which is funny, she has zero desire to go visit the USA, and wants to live in Ivory Coast. There is always a muddle in the road, and I like to jump in puddles.
Scavenger Hunt in Ho, Ghana
Today is Sunday, April 10, 2011, and as of today, nobody has figured out there is 100 U.S. dollars to be claimed in Ho, Ghana. Scavenger Hunt
Bathing Baby in Ghana
My life is rather easy and wonderful today, each day, my life is good. Not because I have a soul mate, there is no deep understanding of me, and I am clueless to figure out what motivates her. I on the other hand like to hang around with her, I do not think about how to escape. She is happy to be with me, and I am happy to be with her, which is good.
There is a requirement in some cultures that we must talk with people to do business. First, you have to sit down, talk, share a tea together, and then after there is some friendship shared, it is possible to do business with criminals.
I am grateful today to have the time to be friends with the smallest of our world inhabitants. Like Bah says,
"You say hello to everyone, this person, that person the chickens and the dogs."
Is Marriage a Sacrifice or Compromise or Soul Mate?
Or is marriage simple a form of cohabitation? More "legal" perhaps?
"If you do not want to mingle your assets with those of your partner, then cohabitation is probably the answer for you. For example, if you cohabit, unless your partner has a legal interest in your business, such as shares or a Directorship, then when you separate they will have no claim over your business. The same applies to your pension and your personal savings and the only matters that will be an issue are those assets that you own jointly."
After having been married now for 9 yrs I feel I am still a beginner to marriage (I think you need to be married at least 20 before you can have some claim to continuity), but I can say I have learned a few things about the relationship game. First of all whoever came up with the term "soulmate" needs to be dragged out to the public square and slapped back into his senses. Nobody has a "soulmate." There is no just one person for anyone (except maybe Adam, he didn't have much of a choice). The problem with the idea of a "soulmate" is you are unconciously putting a possessive attitude on someone. You start to think you "own" a person and the reality is no one owns anyone. It also assumes that you are fated to be with that particular person, which further implies that you don't have to have to work with that person. Again, this is a flawed attitude. To have any measure of sucess in a relationship you need to be able to talk to a person and deal with conflicts (which will always abound). Compromise can be a good tool in a relationship, but it is not the end all be all either. You can't always be compromises all the time either. If you find yourself compromising all the time, everyday then maybe you need to move on. The way I see it is you find a person who has as many of the same values and ideals as you do and then when you agree to a big commitement like marriage you don't find yourself constantly compromising your own ideals (which will definitinely make you crazy if you do).
The sexual revolution is over and men won. Women in western nations think they are free to have sex with whoever with no ramifications. But reality for many women worldwide is sex and children are the bargaining tools that hold a man in her life. If he wants that he makes a commitment and works hard to take care of her and her kids. The romantic story helps get people together, but life is more complicated than that and takes hard work. Comes down to how bad do you want someone and whether you are willing to spend a lifetime working to keep her. And best situation in my opinion IMO is a mate who shares your goals and dreams. If that's a big house in the 'burbs with tons of stuff like most seem to want better be sure that's what you want too as that dream requires a huge amount of work.
You are amazing! I think you should think about being a therapist some day! You have great insight!
The only thing I will pass on is what someone told me many years ago that has helped me for over 22 years and that is, "Love is a decision". We don't always "feel" love for another and in those moments we then chose to love them. Many times I've lost that lovin feeling (remember that song?) and could have walked but instead I remembered that great advice and when that lovin feeling was back, I was so glad I was still there.
Keep praying and asking God, you will have the answer.
P.S. I bought some things from your store and they are great! That was fun to see what you had and your comments!
I say shooting for 51 good is as much as anyone can expect in a relationship. If at the end of the day you want to be with someone just a little more than you don't want to be without them then all of the annoyances and compromises are worth it.
Right on about how the arrangement of marriage and a having a kid provide the impetus for getting along with a partner. Both my wife and I know that we are stuck with each other -- the option of leaving does not really exist -- so we both have the mutual goal of getting along, as this would make both of our live's better. Having this ultimate goal sort of rises above any smaller qualms.
Though I do not believe that if we did not have the kid we would be together -- it would have been too easy to leave -- so we were forced to make compromises and adjust to each other. Now things are pretty good, we both know what we are dealing with.