Letter to My Future Wife: Don’t Talk About Your Ex – By Manasseh Azure Awuni

Dear Serwaa,

Do you remember the first thing I told you when you accepted my proposal? Well, let me remind you if you’ve forgotten.

If my memory serves me right – and I’m pretty sure it does – I told you I wasn’t the best guy you were about to date. I also said you were not the best girl I was about to enter into a relationship with. I still remember that awkward look of surprise on your face when I mentioned that. I asked you to figure out what that meant and after a vain attempt, I explained it to you. And that earned me a kiss, remember?

I said you and I were not the best for each other not because we were not good enough to date. Far from it! Have you realised that you never seem to meet the best partner until you entangle yourself in a relationship? It is then that you begin to meet people with better looks. You begin to meet those who are wealthier, more caring, more loving, more romantic; you name those sterling qualities everyone would need in a spouse.

But I’ve also realised that fleeting feeling is not different from the proverbial pasture on the other side of the fence or an aerial view of a sparsely forested land. It always appears greener and more compact from afar than it really is. So I told you the very day we started this journey that we should consider our relationship a sacrifice. We had sacrificed “better” options and opportunities out there and vowed to be committed to each other. I also made you understand that there were better guys out there than I was.

In much the same way, there were better girls out there. But the moment you and I decided to enter into a relationship, the assumption was that we were the best for each other. Our focus, I remember you saying, should be to build on our qualities and work on minimising and appreciating our differences. In that way, we both agreed, we would be able to see each other as the best we could ever have.

That, I must say, has worked pretty well and has been the anchor that has held our love afloat on the violent seas of temptations and tribulation. I’m however disgusted by your tendency to compare me with your former boyfriend at the least opportunity. I have often ignored you whenever you make those comparisons but I’m compelled to write this to you because of that thoughtless remark you made in bed last weekend.

For heaven’s sake, what do you want me to make of you when after all these years you still find it appropriate to compare my love making prowess with that of your ex? That comment hurt me, bruised my ego and set me thinking about things I dread to associate with you. A guy may be hurt when you mock their sexual prowess, but it is another thing altogether when you compare them with others.

Last year you were petty enough to tell me how much phone credit he bought for you in a month and did not forget to remind me that with him, you visited the cinema at least once a week.I al so remember you telling me recently at the swimming pool that I wasn’t as romantic as your ex just because I insisted the other swim suit you chose was too indecent for a public pool.

I have tolerated all those childish comparisons but I think you’re going too far and the earlier you put a stop to it, the better it will be for our relationship.

There is one fact you ought to get right and get it once and for all. I can’t be anybody else. Each individual is unique in their own way and you have to accept me that way or call it quits. I’ve often told you that we’re in this relationship to make each other better. I therefore don’t object to any suggestion or guidance as to how to be better in all aspects of our relationship, including our sex life.

But I simply can’t tolerate how quick you always are to compare me to your former boyfriend. If he was that good why did you quit? Or are you giving me the indication that you’re still missing him and will go back to him at the least opportunity? Or are you seeing him already? If you told any guy what you told me in bed last weekend, there’s only one impression they would make of you – a harlot.

Well, don’t call this an insult or accusation. You’re beginning to give me enough reasons to doubt your fidelity and enough to draw my own conclusions. And that does not portend well for our relationship. I think we have been together long enough to endure our differences, even if we cannot enjoy them. The reason I have often avoided ever talking about my ex is not because I’ve never had one. It isn’t also because they never possessed any quality worth remembering.

Even with relationships that end in bitterness, the parties involved still, once a while, reminiscence certain nostalgic moments or qualities. But those must be kept to oneself and, as much as possible, be forgotten. I consider it inappropriate and uncalled for to flaunt the qualities of my ex-girlfriend in your presence. I find that insulting to you. And I have always ignored any topic you raise about your ex, but you don’t ever seem to get the signal. I want us to put this matter to rest.

This is the last time I’m mentioning this to you. I hate to hear about your ex, whether his weaknesses or strengths. Let’s invest our energy in the future because that is where we will live the rest of our lives. You can do that if you want to relive your past, in which case you then have to go searching for him. The choice is yours. I’ve had enough and I think enough is just enough. Anyway, thanks for replying my previous letter and agreeing to tone down on your make-up.

I love you for who you are. I do not base my love for you on how much you adorn yourself. I sometimes see ladies who adorn themselves like Hindu goddesses and wonder the kind of men who welcome such weird make-up and outfits. But I don’t begrudge them. One man’s meat, they say, is another’s poison. Who am I to judge or choose for them? But with you, I have to tell you what I want in much the same way you have the unfettered right to tell me same.

Let me also apologise if this letter carries a harsh tone. I must admit this is the fourth draft, in which I’ve taken pains to be as tactful and diplomatic as possible. I couldn’t be more polite. I think it is necessary to, once in a while, be blunt with the truth. It is not out of ill-will. It is good for our relationship. Perhaps I’m so hurt because you’re the nearest to my heart. It is difficult for those far from my heart to hurt me.

Serwaa, I love you and I’m proud to have you as my future wife and will do everything humanly possible to safeguard our relationship.

Thanks for being mine!

It’s your love, Manasseh.

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