I am married and we have four children. Recently, when I conceived the fifth pregnancy, my husband told me to have an abortion because we have enough children. I did what he said because I loved and respected him so much. Unfortunately, I realised he had another wife somewhere with a 6-month-old baby. What should I do? Should I just stay or leave him with the children?
What the readers say:
Lena, do not even think of leaving him especially because your children need to be within a family set-up and to experience parental love. It may not be easy but try to accept the fact that he has a child with another woman and this will give you peace of mind.
Something went wrong when he asked you to terminate your baby but now you will have to live with the consequences of your actions. Through all this, you will have to remain strong and focused and take care of your family instead of running away. Even if you went and got married again, you will still face these very same problems, so be content with what you have and solve your problems from within.
Ouma Ragumo – Sifuyo
Terminating the pregnancy was the wrong course of action and you may live the rest of your life regretting this decision. Moving forward, you will need to make decisions knowing that you are a married woman and a mother of four children and you will always need to set a good example for your children.
Always remember that life is sacred and so we should always do our best to keep it. The most reasonable way around this is to accept that you have a co-wife, though painfully difficult, and call your husband to a family talk where you agree on the way forward, which each of you must adhere to. Welcome your co-wife and your husband will love you more than before.
Finding out that you are expecting a child when, in your mind and planning, you were done with getting babies, can be challenging. This is not to say that children are not a blessing. They are, in ways beyond our imagination. But that is the way our limited human mind responds to the unexpected most of the time.
By saying this, I am not by any means excusing the abortion. It was wrong. However, you must move on. You cannot live condemning yourself. What is aggravating the situation is the knowledge that he talked you into procuring an abortion, claiming to have had enough children while he was having more with another woman. This betrayal is weighing heavily on you.
Since you now know about the other child, talk to your husband. Let him know that you are aware and clearly register your disappointment. There are times when it is necessary to call people out.
After all the reactions and denial, you will still need to discuss this matter soberly and exhaustively. Like what plans does he have for the child and the other woman? You may not agree on this but it is important that moving forward you are not in the dark.
Do not abandon your children. They do not and will never understand you and how you arrived at this decision. Begin by forgiving yourself, especially in regards to the abortion. It would even be wise to talk to a counsellor. A counsellor is well skilled to walk you through this journey. If your husband can agree to be part of this, it would make things easier for you. Until then, do not make any drastic decisions.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology
Lena, here you are, happily married to this man with four children. Yes, you found out that he has a child with another woman and now you are not sure whether to leave or stay. This situation amazes me and leads me to ask why you would even consider a decision and move that will only leave you as the loser in this situation? Why would you want to leave a man who has stayed with you, has been a good husband, has provided for you and the children among many other things just because another woman bore him a child? This would be tragic for you as you would be putting the well-being of your other four children at risk as well as giving the other woman mileage she does not deserve.
I understand your bitterness and more so for the sacrifice you made for him with the unborn child. That process usually involves deep emotional investment especially on the part of the woman who is usually taking several enormous risks. Your bitterness is stemming from the thought that he asked you to terminate yet he allowed the other woman to carry her baby to term. This is something you will need to put behind you since you made the decision and went ahead with it. That is done and dusted and you need to now focus on your future and that of your family. Leaving your husband and children now would be a miscalculated move that will cost you so much that you may never fully recover.
Your focus and attention ought to be with your family and how you will keep it together. This is not going to be easy given that some of his attention and focus will go to the other woman and her child but, eventually, you will learn to deal with it. As a matter of fact, you should encourage him to sever ties with that other woman but to take responsibility for his child. Leaving will not solve anything, if anything it will only escalate the situation. Accept the decision you made and the situation you have in your family and move on with life. With time issues to do with children born outside the family always come in line and sort themselves out.
Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor