I am 34 and currently dating a married man who says he really loves me and that he is tired of his wife. He says she spends all her time and efforts in church where she seems more committed than her family. The wife is my friend and she has unending financial problems. She literally lives in debt, owes everyone money and although she works, her salary seems to go into paying loans for which he has no knowledge of. He is really not happy and he actually wants to divorce her. Now he is insisting on meeting my parents to start dowry discussions but I am confused. I don’t know what to do because I think I am interfering with his family but I also want what is best for him and I am in love with him. Please advise me.
What the readers say:
Molly, you are not a friend to this lady whose husband you have a relationship with. You are actually dismantling her marriage by helping the husband see the bad side of his wife. How can you even call yourself her friend when all you can say about her is just bad things, for example, how she has debts in every corner. You have again said you love the husband which just shows you are snatching your friend's husband and there is no need for you to justify your actions by talking ill of her. My advice to you is to leave the man alone to either work on his marriage or divorce. Don’t be the reason for this divorce as you will never have peace in your life especially because the wife to this man is your friend. You are only helping in creating more issues in this marriage than solving his problems. Put yourself in your friend's shoes and tell us how you would take it if you knew your friend wants to marry your husband. Think and be sincere to yourself and do the right thing. Don’t throw your conscience out of the window for this will come to haunt you.
Please pause for a moment to listen to your inner voice of reason. You claim the man’s wife is your friend. You have intimate information about her lack of commitment to family and her financial distresses despite being in employment. For that, the wife deserves the support of the man and friends (you included) to increase her financial knowledge -- not a conspiracy to destroy her marriage and replace her. Whereas you correctly think that you are interfering with his family, you also incorrectly believe that only you (rather than his wife) can offer what is best for him hence your love relationship is justified. Well, there is no doubt that you have already taken the bait. However, it is not clear whether his current marriage is a customary or civil union. If it is customary, you have traditional “clearance” to disrupt it without much bother. But if it is civil, he might be on track to committing the offence of bigamy – marrying someone while already married to another person. Unless the marriage has been dissolved, he could be imprisoned for five years! Therefore, sensibly calculate your chances of a happy ending before you place your final bet.
Andrew N Wasike
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Molly, I tend to think his wife is spending most of her time in church because of what is befalling her, you could be one of her prayer items. Almost everybody including you and me has financial problems. You are not special here, sister. People marry because of love and not to provide solutions to other people’s problems. You can never solve his problems completely, sister. If anything, you are going to be among his problems. I too have a question for you; what would you do today if, after marrying him, you realise that your best friend is sleeping with your husband? You are interfering with someone’s marriage. Stop it!
You are known to the family and a friend to the wife; you will be a traitor and no one will understand that you are not the source of all the troubles in this house. How do you fall for your friend's husband! Is it not that you are basically taking advantage of your friend's weaknesses? You are playing with death from either direction, and it will come should you go ahead and marry this man. Let it not even be known that you are intimate with this man. Let your answer to this proposal be a firm NO and don't think twice about it. Look beyond your environment and help your friend get out of this mess instead of being opportunistic. There are better men outside there with better prospects and promise of peace; move on girl.
I do not see why you should not go ahead and marry this love of your life even if he is unhappily married already. In Africa, polygamy is as commonplace as it is allowed. Some Religious faiths even root for polygamy. That your new man is intent on and planning to meet your parents to commence dowry negotiations means that, indeed, the man is serious. What I find off about this is that you claim the wife is your friend. This makes you sneaky and not worth the friendship at all. The woman's problems must not be used by you to move you into her husband's bed and eventually, home. You ought to discuss her problems with her with a view to helping her manage these problems to her advantage since you claim to be her friend. For the sake of this unholy alliance, you find yourself in, get out!
Patrick Shisanya Majanja
Molly, you are getting into a complicated scenario being that this man's wife is your friend. Yes, he has told you more about his wife's problems/shortcomings and you are also confirming some, but have you got time with her to know the problems she is also undergoing in her family? If she is your true friend then help her get out of this predicament but not being another problem in her life by marrying her husband. Also, let that man know that divorcing his wife may not be the solution to his marital problems. Do not let him take advantage of you. Take it slowly.
Rev Willis Atoyo
First drop the idea that you are a friend, because you are not. Friends do not do this to each other! Has it ever bothered to know why your friend is always in church? If this lady was not religious, she probably would be spending her time in bars. Those endless prayers would probably be bottles and bottles of alcohol. What does that tell you about that relationship? There is trouble and the husband cannot act as if he is the angel here. You need to ask yourself what it is that he is doing that is making her behave the way she does.
There is this illy notion where some people look at a couple and imagine that they would make a better partner to one of the spouses. This is the lie you are telling yourself. A husband that has no idea why the wife is deeply in debt is not entirely innocent. So, stop building those castles in the air you are not going to make him happier. On the contrary you are likely to be in the same situation that the wife is in.
The right thing to do is end this relationship. That man is running away from taking responsibility and making that marriage work. Instead, he is enjoying convenient distraction that you are offering. It would surprise you that things may not be as bad as he wants to make you believe. Otherwise, he would have left long time ago even without any relationship prospects. Remember what goes around comes around. I bet you would not stomach your friend posing as your better replacement. Have you considered the children and how this is going to affect them? I guess you have not even imagined the backlash and the disapproving looks you will receive from family and friends.
I know polygamy is legal in the country but this would be more complicated than just being a second wife.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology