Akol asks: I have been with a married man who failed to have kids with his first wife. I then gave him three kids. But I want to get married and he does not stay with me, he stays with his wife. Now I am pregnant. I don’t know whether he is my man or not. I truly want to get married. The lady knows that I exist. But the bitter truth is though he says he does love me, I struggle alone. He does not support the children and me in the way he is supposed to, or fulfil his promises. I had forgotten him for a full year and moved on, till he came back again and promised to change and pay fees for the children, which he gave a half – till now. I think I need to be bold and stand on my word. Telling him that I need also to get married, and not to be a concubine.
Hi Akol –
In the book that Handsome wrote about me, he tells about a relationship he was in, where he was the “other man,” and how it put him through absolute torment. As much as a human might like to believe they’re independent and don’t need validation from others, the fact is you guys do. And unless you’re someone who enjoys having affairs as a hobby, you’re just bound to care about that person, and want to be as important to them as they are to you. And as long as they’re involved with, or married to, someone else, you simply won’t be. And that’s just awful.
I’m very sorry you’re going through this. But I really don’t know what to suggest. If this were a newer thing, I could say “Leave him and change your number, and start your life over again.” But you have three children, and are about to have a fourth. So everything is complicated and difficult.
But no question, this guy is not treating you right. And I imagine his wife doesn’t feel all that great about him either!
So I have two questions. First, are you suuuuuuuure you want to be the next Mrs. Him? His record of faithfulness isn’t too great, and it doesn’t seem he treats either of you women with all that much respect. Now it is possible he’d treat you differently if you were married, and things could get much better, but I’d sure think about it before you demand it.
And my second is, what’s your “or else?” I’m all for you being bold and standing on your word, and demanding to not be a concubine! But if he says “no,” or “not yet,” or “I have to think about it,” what would your response be? You could threaten to cut him off completely, and not let him see his kids (but then you might not get any child support money); you could threaten to make your relationship and the children more public, which could shame him, but also shame yourself and your precious children; you could threaten to bite him in the leg (well, that’s what I’d do, but my mouth is a lot bigger threat than yours!)… or you could just tell him that if he doesn’t marry you, he’s a jerk who’s made you miserable. And of course that last part would be completely true.
He might argue for a compromise – he might not want to divorce his wife, but be more willing to be a real dad to those kids and even support you. In some cultures, this is absolutely common. So I’m not sure I’d suggest you refusing an offer like that (as long as you had some way of ensuring he kept his part of the deal!).
Now, one other thing I don’t know is if you’d be willing, or interested, to marry another man. If so, then probably you would need to cut this guy off, as most likely no other fellow is going to want to get involved with another man’s mistress.
But regardless, I love seeing you stand up for yourself and your kids. No matter how this works out, you’re being a great mom and role model for them by doing this. And the good news is that you have those children, and nothing’s going to take them away from you. And that, outside of having them, you can really decide what sort of life you wish to have from now on.
The only thing you can’t do, most likely, is to make him leave his wife.
I wish you all the luck and strength there is!