I am in a serious relationship which we are planning on formalising with a wedding this year. We have two daughters aged four and two. Our marriage has been OK until mid last year when I found out that my wife is friends with this ‘man from Nigeria’. They used to exchange e-mails and chat, but when I found out, she changed her phone and email passwords. Whenever I find something and ask her, she insists that they are just friends. This guy is married and has children but it is surprising that he has shown her where he is putting up a family home in Kitengela for reasons I didn't quite understand. I really don’t know what to do as, every time I ask her, she accuses me of being insecure and not trusting her. Please advise me.
What the readers say:
Wanjau, your fiance may want to use the excuse of 'feeling insecure and not trusting her' to conceal and further her agenda. She may even want to say that since you always 'wrongly' accused her, she was tired of being seen to be what she is not, therefore she actualised what she has been accused of. People have always exploited that. I suspect this is just a man out to get some quick do out of portraying what he may not be. He may not even be a Nigerian but uses the tag so that he appears a 'big deal'. The tragedy is that your lover may not be aware of this and has even shown that she is not changing any time soon. Out of this, being firm and honest are the only available options. Tell her it is either her 'Nigerian' or you and that her passwords and security codes make her more insecure and mistrusting than you. No passwords, no security codes, no 'Nigerians' and she either heeds to that or leave; you cannot solemnise a marriage with someone you cannot trust. Should she walk out, you have the answer; live your life as you take care of your daughters. There are many beautiful women who will respect the institution of marriage.
Sorry for your silent suffering. First your wife has no respect for you, your two children, matrimonial bed and vows. To me, dating a so-called Nigerian could be anything. She could find herself trapped by a conman or dragged into the sale or conveying of drugs. Talk to your wife, let her understand your needs, wants and demands. What was the point of him showing your wife his home? I think he is trying to confuse your wife with 'his' wealth so he can use and dump her. Before things get worse, please correct and find out more about the Nigerian. Imagine if your wife were caught in the drug business and jailed. Who will take care of your children? What about your family's image? It is upon you to take early action before any eventuality.
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I can only imagine how unsettling it can be when you know that someone else is giving and/or receiving more attention from your spouse than yourself.
It is not enough to just ask what is going on, you should go ahead and let her know that you are not comfortable with this particular friend. In the spirit of commitment to the relationship, she should be sensitive to your feelings and distance herself from this friendship.
This is likely to be a big test on your relationship because her actions will be a great indicator of the state of her heart and your relationship. As you know, we always fight for what we hold so dear. If she keeps her connections with the guy then she will be sending you a message loud and clear. It is impossible to successfully control an adult who has got free will.
At the same time, we do not want to interfere with her free will. It is a delight to know that she has of her own volition chosen to stick with you. Also, open her eyes to the fact that this guy could be nothing more than a con artist, the showing off of the house is suspect. He could have decoded that a house ranks high in her hierarchy of needs.
However it goes, there is a need for you to search within yourself and see if there is anything you have done that could have contributed to the situation. See if there are actions or words that could be pushing your wife away. They can be matters or a behaviour that she has raised with you but has never seen any change from your side. This is very common when familiarity sets in a relationship and the individuals get too comfortable to a point of contempt.
Go further and rekindle your friendship, take your place and fill that void that that stranger is trying to fill. Be fun and enjoyable to be with, you have to be so deliberate about this. I wish you all the best.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology