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From the first wife to the other woman: A letter to my beloved sons

Lady Speak
 Photo: Courtesy

Can I call it a privilege or a curse? But by the grace of God I was a first wife, a lover and now a second wife. I don't know if this is privileged or a curse.

I was married when I was young and I was naïve to say the least. I was out to love and to be loved. I thought any man who put their best foot forward could make a great husband or at least be a good husband.

I wanted to escape poverty, settle down in my own home and be loved, absolutely, because I never experienced love, at least not from my father.

So I jumped at the first guy who showed potential. He had a steady job and was willing to pay for my higher education. He was attracted to my submissive and humble, quiet nature. My spirit man warned me, there was no peace at all as I embarked in this relationship but the pangs of poverty stung and I caved in. I moved in. A girl from a broken home, raised by a drunken father, whose self esteem was totally crushed by her father's drunkenness, ready to embark on a lifelong journey called marriage.

The controlling soon kicked in. Our personalities were parallel and despite being quiet in nature, I appreciated the simple things such as a good joke and a hearty laughter from time to time. Unfortunately these were not forthcoming and I lived a lonely life. I continued to live a lonely life like the one I was trying to escape from.

As the first wife, I was known by the society. I was introduced to my in-laws, neighbours, workmates, name it. I smiled and presented the happy family front. I was everywhere but not in the most important place -- my husband's heart. To him, I was a burden he had to endure, an item he picked and dropped at will, a maid, pleasure provider, anything else but a life partner to cherish, love and respect.

Was it because of my poor background? Was it because of my low self-esteem? Was it because of the age difference or just his personality and tendencies? Whatever the reason, life in that home became unbearable. I was perpetually sick and visited hospitals frequently. I was thin, sickly, miserable and lonelier than ever. I did the noble thing children, I quit. I quit the marriage.

 Photo: Courtesy

The second relationship was tough because I still had the mindset of an absolute lover. I still yearned for true love in this cold world. I was still hurting from my first marriage but I hoped to find a true man who would love me and my son.

I represented what any good man would want in a partner. So I never understood why my this relationship fizzled out as soon as it was discovered that I was a single mother. Was being a fertile woman a crime? Did I do wrong by walking away from a marriage that nearly cost me my life?

My second attempt at marriage. This time I went for a poor man (or had I lost any appeal to any great man). I thought we would hold hands with the poor guy and build a future together but alas!

The poor man stuck to his poverty and had no desire of leaving it. He wanted marriage alright, only that I, your mother marry him! The user of a man! But by then, it was too late, I had your brother in my womb.

So I discovered a bit late I must say, that very few men can comfortably marry a woman with a child and be ready to provide for them as if they were his own. Or maybe the poor can't for the lack that they suffer? So I resolved that, the best lover a single parent can have is a stable source of income, maybe then, she can buy a marriage partner because she has the money, not because she is in love.

So once again, I was on my own, but this time I am the one who was left in the cold because I stood for the truth that being a man involved more than wearing pants. It involved having responsibilities too.

So now, I had two lovely sons but from different fathers, totally against what I had planned and craved in my heart. Will the differences of fathers divide you later in life or will my love, your mother's love for you, keep you together? Will you remember that you shared a womb and breasts my children?

Will you envy those who have the same father? But again, I have seen children from the same father turn against each other to the point of death. The irony of life!

I now have the opportunity of being the second wife, the beloved of my husband but the waves of guilt keep hitting me. How could I, your mother who suffered rejections, control, being looked down upon, as a first wife, agree to be the other woman?

But the nights are cold, alone, and life boring without a beloved and...only time will tell children, only time.

Your mum,


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