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Mum’s new job is making her unfaithful

Dear Bunmi,
I have a strong suspicion that my mother is having an affair. She recently started a new job in a communication firm after teaching for close to 15 years. All of a sudden there is this change in her personality. She works late often and seems distant from my father and her two children. A few times, I have caught her making phone calls upstairs and she stops talking or hangs up if I walk in.

Recently, my best friend said she saw her at a restaurant with a strange man and they were talking intimately. What should I do so she won’t do anything to break our happy home?
By E-mail.

Dear Louisa,
Are you sure your mum is not simply adjusting to the high demands of working for a big company where she is more exposed than she was when she was a teacher? For instance, late nights at the office and dinner meetings with clients might be her new responsibility and because she’s busy, she might not be all that focused exclusively on her family.. She may have hung up quickly while making out of hours work calls because she felt guilty about it, and the man she was seen with could easily be a client she happened to get on with.

But what if she’s having an affair as you suspected? To get you out of your misery, you’re better off talking to her. Get her chatting about her new job, how it feels working in a male – dominated office. If the conversation is going well and she’s opening up, you could tease her that you thought she was having an affair by her power-dressing and not having enough time for her family. If your worst suspicions were confirmed and she became uncomfortable, try not to condemn her. Seriously, if she were having an affair, there is little you can do but hope that by opening up the discussion, she may think seriously about her next action.
Should you tell your dad?  I think you should always let the two people in the relationship —  in this case, your mum and dad try to solve the problem first, before you step in as an outsider, even if you are their child. They may well be able to work through it without too much stress.

Should I settle for marriage instead of passion?

Dear Bunmi,
I have had good and intense relationships in the past and had hoped this would continue with my current boyfriend, but life with him is quieter and though the lovemaking is okay, I wouldn’t call it earth shattering. I just turned 30 and would love to have children and my new man could be a sensible choice as he’s financially solid.

Only, I’m not that excited about spending the rest of my life with him. My married friends have told me that passion fades with time anyway and I should stay with him because he’s a good catch. Am I wrong for wanting to hang on for someone I feel passionate about?
By E-mail

Dear Constance,
We’re not talking about a business partnership here but a love match. Like your friends, some people would argue differently, saying marriage plus children is a type of business arrangement and the qualities you search for in a husband are different from those in a lover. The danger here is that if you settle for Mr. Sensible – chances of having affairs with men who turn you on are high.

Who you choose to spend the rest of your life with and why has a lot to do with your personality. If you want a passionate, intense relationship, chemistry is crucial. But if you would rather settle for ‘content’ then chemistry’s not important. With real passion, the more involved you are, the more you have to lose and some people are wary of this.

If you’re after a more powerful, emotional and sexual experience, then hand on for the person you want to instantly fall all over you! Passion won’t guarantee you a lifetime lover but it’s a good start and is likely to make you stick around for the finish. And remember, even good relationships have a lot of boring bits and passion is what keeps us hanging in there, rather than dashing out the door the second problems start.


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