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My daughter and her married lover

Dear Bunmi,

My daughter is 25 and has a good job. She’s been seeing a married man from her university days. I’ve told her over and over to end the relationship but she won’t listen. I’m tired of confronting her whenever he lets her down or changes their plan so he can be with his family.

He tells my daughter that he’s not happy at home, says his marriage is in name only. Yet in the years they’ve been seeing each other, he has had two more children with his wife. He says he loves my daughter and would love her to have his children. What kind of an arrangement is that for a young woman? This man is 43, much older than she is, but she seems grateful just to have the odd night or weekend away with him. Surely, she deserves something better?

By e-mail

Dear Pauline,
Women in your daughter’s shoes delude themselves into believing that, no matter how highly improbable and unsatisfactory the proposition may be, their cheating married men will one day abandon their wives and children to be with them, or settle for the next best thing by being single mothers.

What they fail to face is the fact that they have permitted themselves to become sexual playthings of men who enjoy having a wife as well as a girlfriend, and who don’t wish to lose either.

Apart from letting your daughter know that she will not find self-respect or happiness while she continues to sleep with another woman’s husband, she would be denying this man’s family the love and affection that rightly belong to them. If your daughter refuses to listen, short of telling this man’s wife about his affair so as to end his selfish game, all you could do is wait for the affair to burn out. If she decides to have a love child, again, that is her decision. No matter what happens, you should be there when things come crashing around her ears if she fails to listen to your advice.

My wife is not wanted at the wedding

Dear Bunmi,

My ex-wife moved out of our matrimonial home six years ago because she discovered I had a child by my long-term mistress. I’ve since married this lady and we have two more children. I’ve always been close to the four children I had with my first wife, and was glad when my first daughter brought her finance for a visit and my blessing.

Now the wedding invitation has arrived with only my name on it. My new wife has refused to attend uninvited and has told me I had her blessings to attend. That it would be a bit uncomfortable for her to show up at my daughter’s wedding since she was the reason the marriage broke up. But I’m absolutely livid by this snob. After all, I would be shelling out a chunk of the weeding expenses. What do you suggest I do?

By e-mail

Dear Saheed,

I can understand your first family’s viewpoint – they’re still bitter about the break-up of your first marriage and it’s obvious they don’t want to acknowledge the new wife.

As a matter of fact, they don’t feel too comfortable about her. Your daughter would obviously prefer only her own mum and dad at her wedding and wouldn’t want a ‘scarlet woman’ guests might point at.

To save face, why not get in touch with your daughter whom you seem to get along with and assure her you would be at the wedding? Tell her that your wife wouldn’t be able to attend because she has a commitment on that day, but sends her best wishes.

That way, you make the point that in your view, she ought t o have been invited, but you allow everyone to save face by her not turning up. Then put all your efforts into making the wedding day a wonderful occasion for your daughter.

Is my son heartless?

Dear Bunmi,

I lost my husband suddenly last year when he had a heart attack and since then, I’d been so lonely. We did most things together as most people in my situation would want to be around family. Our daughter lives abroad, leaving only our son who lives fairly close to me with his family. I’ve been spending a lot of time with him – or tried to, at least. He was good to start with, but now he’s hinting, not too subtly, that I need to get out more. Why is he behaving like this? I am 54.
By e-mail

Dear Abigail,
It looks as if your son feels it’s not good for you to be so clingy after a year of mourning the loss of your husband. It’s certainly great to have a family around, but sticking only with people you know limits you to a very drab life.

I agree with your son – at your age you need to move on with your life. It’s time to find new friends and interests. What about your old friends – surely they would give their support too? I’m sure your husband wouldn’t want you to mope for long – so be brave and make a fresh start.


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