Letters: To Advise or Not to Advise (IV)

Another Response to Joy by Doris Ampong

Bestie Joy,

I’m glad you girls are making room to reason with me. And I’m not surprised that you’ve been given the core responsibility of providing me with the appropriate response. You have always been the mother of the group; providing good counsel here and there and settling scores amicably amongst us.

I remember how you managed to break the iced silence between Akosua and I after several months, following our big fight over who you should pick up first from home on the day we decided to visit quiet Aba’s mum. It is funny how Akosua eventually became one of my favorites in the group. You do well with making peace.

Anyways, back to the crucial issue. Yes, I did say that my able counsellors warned Yaw and I to cut off all external parties or binding friendships. They might not have meant doing that in totality. However, they were clear that Yaw and I should keep to ourselves most of the time. We were encouraged to be our own best friend and enjoy our company. During those counselling sessions, the core of the advice was to make each other our priority above anything or anybody; even our parents. Their assertions were anchored on the famous marriage scripture that says ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh Gen 2:24 (NKJV)’. It was as though our counsellors knew I did a lot of hanging out with the girls; hence they being fierce and strict on me.

I did listen to them during those sessions but did not think I was going to follow through. I felt Yaw and I had our individual lives which should not be compromised because of marriage.

However, reality set in when we moved in together as husband and wife. There was not enough time on our hands; especially my hands to want to step out with the girls. You remember God blessed us with a seed three months after marriage and the whole process; coupled with corporate and church work was time consuming. The process is another story for some other time.

Yaw did have a large number of groomsmen and was all over the place during our wedding. His seemingly ‘all over the place’ attitude and non-stop dancing during the wedding is a mystery I’m still trying to solve considering the fact that he is a very quiet and private person. With the large groomsmen, his co-workers who by some luck heard in advance that he was about getting married were extremely happy. They could not believe that Yaw’s ‘mouth had finally sang’ (made a proposal) and so they all wanted to be part of his great day as groomsmen. At a point, I had to literally beg some of them to drop off as groomsmen due to the large number. He may have gathered the courage to dance his heart out during the wedding knowing that he had achieved a great feat for himself (making a proposal).

After the wedding, I never heard him talk about the groomsmen, left alone to want to step out with them. And that’s where the difficulty lies for me. He is always home; if not for work or church.

Like I mentioned in my previous letter, he is understanding and so will make time one of these days so that we can have an unforgettable sitting or trip.

Dearest Joy, keep the group strong and going; do not cross me out of the circle. I love you all very much,

Ama

**Doris Ampong is the writer of this 👆🏾 and the second letter in this series. You can follow her on Twitter @dorampgh

Letters: To Advise or Not to Advise (III)

Dear Ama,

We have received your letter and I was given the responsibility of providing you with the appropriate response.

After reading through your reply, the girls and I have decided to offer you a grace period and whether we accept you into our circle, will depend on the answers you provide.

You raised a few issues which boggled our minds, especially, with regards to the pieces of advice provided to you and Yaw during your marriage counselling sessions.

Did your counsellors really say you should cut off your friends and all external parties? All because you’re married? Are you really happy to do that? Will you follow through with this advice? You really scared us when you said you (the woman) will be blamed if something goes wrong in this union. 🤦🏾‍♀️

You also mentioned Yaw did not have a lot of friends. During the wedding, he did not strike us as an individual who kept to himself, looking at the number of groomsmen who followed him and his dance moves during the wedding. We all had the impression he was outgoing. Or is he currently following the advice of your marriage counsellors? 🤷🏿‍♀️

Your response to this letter is very crucial. It’ll inform the girls and I on our next step of action. We look forward to hearing from you.

The leader of the pack,

Joy

©

Letters: To Advise or Not to Advise (II)

A response to Joy by Doris Ampong

Dear Best friend Joy,

Your letter has been duly received. I must say that I’m not surprised to read the contents of it. I’m not surprised because I always read the look on your faces whenever I try to excuse myself to attend to my family needs.

Was I expecting a letter like that from you girls? Probably!
Am I hurt to have read that you girls are bailing out on our beautiful friendship? Yes.

Truth is that I miss you girls a lot too. I miss our long hours of chit chatting, stepping out to have fun especially at the movies where we get to put ourselves in the shoes of the movie characters and have long debates about how we would have behaved if we were them. I miss our cooking parties where each of us will prepare a particular dish and we will have a food-festival and eat as though we have been warned of an impending famine; lol.

But the reality is that I have entered a new phase of life where I do not get to make decisions just for me. There is now a second person whom I have to consider whenever I make any decision. Decisions that I make now need to bear him in mind.

What makes it difficult for me to maneuver through this is that, during our counselling sessions, my husband and I were told to cut off all external parties or friends and concentrate on building one between us. Our seemingly old, mature and knowledgeable counsellors told us to keep to ourselves and enjoy our own company. Especially for me, as the woman, they were hard and strict. They warned me to stop all these hanging-out-with-friends thingy and concentrate on building my home. The simple reason was that anything that goes wrong with the marriage will be blamed on me; as the woman.

This ‘warning’ has placed a heavy burden on me and so I try as much as possible to be with my husband and kids and build my home. Unfortunately, my husband Yaw, does not have any friends that he hangs out with. He is always at home. This makes it difficult to leave him behind at home and hang out with you girls. I know our party will not be the same should I come along with him. We may not be able to have as much fun as we will want to and talk our hearts out as we always do.

Yaw is an understanding person; and so I hope to convince him one of these days so that we girls can go for our Aburi trip which never materialized.

Please hold on to this friendship. You girls should not break the bond. I have you all at heart and I know that one day, we will get to be together like old times.

I love you all;

Sincerely, Ama.

Letters: To Advise or Not to Advise (I)

Dear Ama,

Ever since you walked down the aisle some 15 months ago, I have noticed some changes in your attitude. Particularly, the manner in which you relate with us (your single/unmarried friends). Interestingly, I am not the only one who has seen these changes. Every girl in the group agrees with my observation including quiet Aba.

You are no longer as fun to be with. Every joke we crack in your presence is met by a piece of advice from you. Seriously, most of us do not enjoy your friendship anymore and the way you turn down our requests is becoming so annoying.

“Let’s go and dance,”

“I must go and prepare dinner,” you respond.

“Can we hang out at the movies,”

“I need to go pick hubby’s clothes from the laundry,” you reply.

“Do you want to attend her wedding,”

“This weekend is tight. The kids need to be picked up from their grandparents. I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you,”

Excuses. Excuses. You now see the reason most of us keep our distance?

Yes, I know I’m single and I have single people’s problems. My priorities may be my career, my hair and clothes and oh, having as much fun as possible before I ‘settle down.’ Thank you for reminding me of that every time.

We don’t need you as an advisor (I’m speaking on behalf of the other girls) just because you have said some vows at the altar.

Hahaha.

Your attitude these days make me laugh. I laugh at you, at us and what our friendship has become. The sham we’ve been calling a friendship. I’m not bitter. No. But I’ve advised myself and I’m calling it quits. You can break the news to your family or keep it to yourself.

Let me leave you so you go take care of your matrimonial home since, we, the single ones do not have much to do. 😒

Your once-best-friend,

Joy

You are a ‘FRENEMY’ if you Show any of these 15 Traits…

You may be a frenemy without knowing it. Read this post to confirm if you are one or not… 

True friendship is that relationship you have with an individual who isn’t your relative, neither are you bonded by any vows to be true to them, yet, you truly love, cherish and care about them and, will do anything in your power to ensure they are comfortable. The Bible even testifies that two heads are better that one (Ecclesiastes 4:9) and Proverbs 27:9 also says:

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” 

If true friendship is this beautiful and everyone wishes to have a friend that they can lean on, then why are there so many complaints of mistrusts and betrayal among ‘friends’ recently? This phenomenon is so bad that the radio station that I listen to at dawn has dedicated the entire week to praying against bad friends (can you imagine?) 😯. This implies bad friendships are gradually creeping into our churches and among Christians.🙄

There must be a thin line between being a genuine friend and gradually taking on the status of an enemy. I don’t want to believe anyone sets out to want to be a bad friend and cause heartaches to another person (I may be wrong, though) but the process of becoming a ‘frenemy’ may start in the mind, in the form of tiny droplets of envy and could later degenerate into actions which may be detrimental to a relationship. That is why the Bible encourages us to guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23) because all of a sudden, the friendship that people cherished so much could detonate into a rivalry, transforming two people into ‘frenemies’ and the results are not pleasant.

All is not lost, we can still be good friends with each other but first, we need to do some introspection. These 15 signs listed below should help you determine if you are ‘frenemies’ towards certain people.

You are/may be a ‘frenemy’ when…

  1. You do not genuinely pray for the progress of your friends.
  2. You can’t stand to see the progress of your friends. You either want to be on the same or a higher level than they are and would, therefore, do everything in your capacity to ensure that.
  3. You thrive on unhealthy competition and, therefore, would want to be ahead of everyone, including your friends.
  4. You stop checking up on friends when you notice they have advanced in certain areas of their lives. For instance, they have new jobs, gotten married, travelled, etc.
  5. You only check up on your friends to see what’s new so you can silently ‘pray’ evil prayers for them.
  6. You only check up on your friends when you need their help.
  7. You do not want to offer a helping hand to your friends even though you are ‘up there.’
  8. Your heart skips a beat (out of envy) when you see their social media updates and that makes you want to probe further into their lives to see what’s new.
  9. You provoke your friends to bare their hearts to you only for you to blackmail them with that information or use that as fuel for your gossip.
  10. You always want to take from them but not give out.
  11. You start hating because your friend (in your opinion) has not experienced enough challenges like what you have, hence, does not deserve their blessing.
  12. You feel better after discovering the flaws of your friends. That amuses you.
  13. You can’t give genuine compliments to your friends.
  14. You are relieved when you are not in their presence because you pretend when you are with them.
  15. You are always looking for ways to outdo each other (rivalry).

Do you display any of these sentiments towards a friend or group of friends? You should probably stop referring to them as friends and start calling them your ‘frenemies.’😀 That is the first step to the healing process. You need to admit you are keeping a toxic relationship if you display any of these traits and find ways of cleaning it up or running away from it.

© picasion.com_9CWp