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After years of marriage, his first wife’s ‘ghost’ is still around

Dear Bunmi,

My husband was a widower when I met him and we got married six years ago. Normally, I expected that, with time, the house would reflect the two of us. I was wrong. My husband was reluctant to change anything. His dead wife’s photographs still adorn the sitting room alongside mine. It is really spooky.

I work from home, so I’m surrounded by her ‘presence’ most of the time. My husband buys things for the house without asking how I feel. It is really depressing living with him. I used to have my own flat which I rented out to be with him. I’ve never felt his house is my home; it’s as if l’m living in his house with his dead wife.

He’s been living in the house for over 25 years. If things don’t improve, I’m thinking of moving back to my flat. We have two children and he had six from his dead wife.

Chinyere, by e-mail.

 

Dear Chinyere,

You moved into a ready made environment created by your husband and his dead wife and I’m not surprised you feel as if you don’t belong there. You admitted he’s been living in the same house for years, so you have to introduce him to the rewards of change without making him believe you want to blot out the memory of his first wife.

Instead of criticizing and showing disapproval, I will advise you sit him down and talk to him. You should be prepared to make compromises too. His wife might be dead, but they were together for years and had six children between them.

Decide on how many of her photographs should be displayed in the living room, the type of furniture you ‘ll like in the house, especially your bedroom, and show the family you’re not intent on getting rid of the first wife’s memory. The children too would have to be taken into consideration when you are doing these changes. Drastic changes need a lot of patience but you will make them in time.


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