I am 32 years old and a mother of two sons aged 10 and five. I broke the relationship with the father of my first son after being with him for five years. I got in another relationship that ended three years ago and since then, I have not had any relationship. Both men were simply not right for me or my children. They were alcohol and drug abusers. They were irresponsible and although they worked, I never got any financial support from them.
I am now very lonely and at times, I feel very frustrated by life. I need to move on and get a man who will be a father figure to my sons, but I am afraid that the next man I allow into our lives will be like the ones I ran away from. I also fear he may not love my sons and that they may lose their faith in me. Please help.
I must thank you for being honest with your feelings concerning yourself and the future of your sons.
What exactly attracted you to these men who have similar characteristics? If they did drugs behind your back and never supported the family, definitely they were not good role models for the children. What intrigues me is how you ended up with two men with such similar likes. How did you work out both relationships before deciding to settle down with them? How did you miss these characteristics because for sure, they did not just start having the vices that you describe?
Your involvement in multiple relationships has given us an opportunity to see your attraction to men with similar character traits. Experimentation and curiosity are the first factors that draw us to other people. However, deeper disclosure is essential to develop the depth we need to make a relationship work. For example, most people who take alcohol and abuse drugs don’t just start the habit overnight. Those who take drugs could be looking for a feeling of euphoria that comes with drug use and while this may be recreational for them, some end up in actual addiction. Therefore, it was good that you ensured that a good environment is available for your sons.
The feelings of being useless and lonely are normal but can be overcome with the right focus. You already have two children from two men. You need to get some degree of focus, particularly concerning the kind of future you want to have. I like the inner questions you have about whether the man will love you of your sons. You need to take such questioning further into issues of character and moral standing. A marriage is not just about the spouse, particularly where children are involved. Your plate is full of responsibilities. I sincerely don’t think a man should be your number one priority right now. Your children can still grow to become responsible adults with a single parent like you. Your focus should be on them and the kind of future they will have. Worry about their growing, nurturing, parenting, and education. Another man will just add complications for you. Your life is already complicated enough.
The discovery of the weakness that these men had that led to the separation should make you want to help your kids and not abandon them to fate. When you discover that, you will realise how your plate is full. My suggestion is that you write down what your priorities are and what you feel makes you happy or unhappy. Look at your answers and see whether your desires will try to keep you away from your responsibilities. Secondly, get time to engage openly and honestly with your children. Help them see that although their dads are not there, they have you. Start by talking about the good things you see in them and the dreams you have for them. Let them see and know that you will be the best you can be for them. Thirdly, offer your children the moral and spiritual support they need. Avoid complaining and finger pointing and instead, expose your boys to enriching environments that will stimulate positive growth. Another man in your life is not the answer.
Unless you stop, the affair you are having will ruin your marriage
First is to commend you for the good work you are doing I am a frequent reader of your column. At 38, I am married with two daughters. I met this extremely beautiful girl while she visited my office on official matters. As I got to know her, I discovered she is a classmate I loved while we were in class six till class seven. When we parted for secondary school, we lost contact with each other.
I have never abandoned my family, I still love my wife and I take good care of the girls. My old crush is a single mother with one daughter whom I have really grown fond of and taken her as my own. We have been talking about getting married, but recently she told me that she has met someone in her life. I am sure she loves me. My question is what could be wrong?
Thank you for your dedication to the column and for the compliments. We are here for our readers whom without, our work is in vain.
First, family relationships are key and important in life. The relationship you have with your wife and your children must be your priority. That said, I am wondering whether you are putting enough effort to safeguard this relationship. It is said that we never realise what we have until we have lost it. Your confession about loving your family is great. However, love and commitment is not only measured by what we do for each other. It is also shown by our dedication to the ideals that keeps a family together. Two can only walk together if they are in agreement emotionally and physically. Currently, your devotion is divided. Soon, your stray emotions will betray you and cause a chasm between you and your wife. You will start to drift apart and even what you currently have will be lost.
The more you continue to entertain this other lady, the further away you will drift and start to fantasise on what could be possible with her. Indeed you had feelings for each other many years ago. But you are now married to a great wife and wonderful children as you confess. Keep your focus. Frustration in a marriage triggers people to entertain other relationships. I don’t seem to see this in your disclosure. However, even if there were frustrations, conflict management is an option. It is important to know that there is no perfect marriage. Feelings of dissatisfaction are common. Nevertheless marriages need working on by the two parties. If you are away from each other for extended periods, this absence will provide greater opportunity for one spouse drifting away.
Keeping this other relationship alive behind your wife’s back is unfair to her and a recipe for disaster. No one starts a relationship with the intention of cheating on their partner or being cheated on. It is time for you to weight your options. The decision to stay out of an affair is motivated more by an internal rather than external factor. For example, some would have a moral conviction that it is the wrong thing to do. Others would reason that they want to keep out of an affair because of the emotional impact it will have on their partner and kids.
What do you really want? As far as this new lady is concerned, she can intrude as much as you allow her to. She has no power to force a particular decision on you. You need to make the decision on what matters to you most. From where I stand, you have a lot to lose if you are going to entertain this affair. I may not know what you could be going through, but my suspicion is that there must be actions from your side that are encouraging the act. The question I have is whether you have the will to leave her to move on with her life.