Departments and Ministries
Dear Dr. Smith
Dear Dr. Smith
I have been married to my husband for six years and we have two children. Recently, my husband visited his home country for three months. Two weeks after his return, I asked him if something was wrong as I noticed that he was not looking happy.
He told me, there is another woman. I guessed it was his ex-wife (since they married and never lived together due to him going abroad, they never saw each other for 11 years, during which he married me) and he confirmed. He then started saying he is no longer in love with me, after a day or so, he also revealed that he got her pregnant while he was there visiting.
I am torn as we had no problems before or at least not from my part, but he says, he has not been happy for a while. He is not willing for us to get counseling as his feelings have not changed, he says. I have been a devoted wife in all aspects.
His parents say to ignore his talks and continue being his "wife". They also say they are not interested in the other woman, and that she gave them problems in the past, including being unfaithful to her husband at the time and that their marriage was a failure in the first place. My husband had assured me that there is nothing between them, he even called her while I was there and told her he was no longer interested in her. His brothers and sister totally disagree with his doings and agree with his parents.
His plan is to get a job, use the money to have a business at home and live with the woman back at home, but he also says he will be back and forth living with us for the sake of the children.
I am so confused on what to do, as a Christian child, I want to do everything possible to make my marriage work. I am praying, crying, pretending all is well, even ignoring and trying to reason with him, but it is not working.
I grew up without a father and I so much wanted something different for my children. My mother, I love her dearly, but she goes along with all I say as I am crying all the time. I need advice on what to do, how to cope; I have recently increased my bible asking God to make me strong. He is a Christian and we continue going to church studying together.
Apart from our family adults, no one else knows and he says he is not ready to tell his friends either. So from outside it’s a perfect picture.
Please advise on how I can cope, I still love my husband and have been faithful to him. How could he do this to me?
Thank you for your help.
From a broken heart.
Dear Broken Heart,
You have every right to be broken and hurting, but the God you serve is not sleeping. Your husband is a wicked man. I know you don’t want to hear that but it’s the truth and the sooner you start telling yourself that the quicker you will heal and start taking control of your sordid situation.
Your problem is so compounded that I can only answer it in parts. So lets explore all the ramifications of your problem. I can tell you before I start that I am going to be tough on you. Right now you are in a stupor, and it is my duty to get you out of it. You may not listen to me or like what I am saying, but the fact is, you are facing a real life situation and I have to give you a reality therapy.
1. I guessed it was his ex-wife: What do you mean by this, if he did not get a divorce from her, it is his wife. Not “ex”. At what point in your relationship with him did you know of this other wife? The fact that he has been away from her for eleven years does not nullify his marital commitment. Did he get his immigration papers by marrying you? If he did, he might have been just using you as convenience. Legally he can be put in prison for marrying a second time without obtaining a divorce and those papers will be nullified.
2. No longer in love with you…. got the second wife pregnant. This guy needs to be thrown in jail. He is playing two women and giving them children. Maybe he thinks he is Jacob and you are Leah and the other wife is Rachel. I can’t tell you what to stoop to, but this is clearly an insane behavior.
3. Not willing to go for counseling… his feelings have not changed. I don’t know what you are waiting on, is it for him to tell you that he no longer loves the other woman and that you are one? If that is so, then you are in denial. Counseling won’t make him love you and you being a good wife won’t make him love you either. You need to wake up. The reason he does not want to go for counseling is because he knows no one will agree with his behavior and he wants to fool you into thinking it’s okay.
4. His parents say to ignore his talks…. they are not interested in the other woman: Big deal, they might not be interested in her but he is, and your problem is not with the parents but with their son. How can you ignore someone who is telling you that they don’t love you? “That you are to go on being a good wife?” your goodness will not change his feelings it will only infuriate him, besides, polygamy is not legal in this country, you are in a polygamous relationship. Are you to ignore that?
5. My husband had assured me that there is nothing between them: This statement is kind of confusing. At what point in your relationship with him did he assure you? If it was before, he was a con artist, if it is after, he was a big liar. The telephone call that he made to her in your presence was just a sham. It was a ploy to fool you and to throw you off track. I bet if you were to do careful research you would see that he has been in contact with her since that assurance and that he has been sending money to her as well.
6. His plan is to get a job: Did you mean, “get a job” as in getting a j-o-b? He doesn't even have a job and he has two children with you and one with another woman and who knows if there are more that you don’t even know about. So who has been supporting him all this time? Don’t tell me that you bought the ticket for him to go and spend the three months back home doing nothing, sorry, making baby. Don’t tell me you gave him money to take on this trip. And if you say no Doc he used his own money, then I must ask one other question, how much did he leave for support of his second wife and children while he was away for three months? I do not know why some women think it is their God given lot in life to maintain men while they make babies inside and outside the home.
7. But he also says he will be back and forth living with us for the sake of the children: You must be the BIGGEST FOOL living on planet earth. For him to have even gotten the impudence to even mention that, indicates the fool he assesses you to be. And for you to have repeated it without disgust, suggest the fool you are if you allow that to happen. Indeed, love is blind. He wants to have his cake and eat it, he wants to milk his cow and drink it, he wants to send the “FOOL” a little further. As much as your children need their daddy, they don’t need a daddy who will be back and forth in their life. Such roller-costar will only serve to disturb their equilibrium rather than giving them stability.
8. I want to do everything possible to make my marriage work: Legally, you don’t have a marriage. There is a wife before you and she is pregnant with her husband’s baby. Her husband only came to this country to get married to obtain legal status, divorce and then go back to his real wife. Later on, when the dust settles, he brings her back to this country and they “live happily ever after”. The plan was laid out long before he met you, you are just a willing victim. You are only part of a statistic of women who fell prey to this entrapment. If you are not careful he will swindle you out of what little money you have left. Worst of all, you are too broken and too shell shocked to even understand what I am saying to you let alone believe me.
9. I so much wanted something different for my children: My heart goes out for you and I deeply empathize with your pain. Every good parent wants the best for their children, so I understand your agony. All I can ask of you is not to blame yourself and not to give up on yourself. You have some tough roads ahead of you and some difficult decision to make and I can only pray that God will give you the strength to face your disfigured reality. You will need spiritual guidance and professional help. Feel free to continue reaching out to me.
10. He says he is not ready to tell: Don’t I know that, why would he be ready to tell? As a matter of fact he will never be ready to tell. He wants to keep going to church and pretend. As long as he can have you helping him to fool everyone, he will never want to tell. He is playing the part of a perfect psychopath. His behavior is nauseating; he has a toxic mix of guilt and pride that no one needs to envy.
11. Please advise on how I can cope: I am not so sure if I understand what you are asking of me. Is it to advise you on how to cope living with a polygamist? I understand that you see him as your husband, the father of your two children, but so does the other wife, the father of her unborn child. Are you asking him to divorce that other wife and stay with you? Well, he has already stated “he is no longer in love with you” (not that he was in love with you to begin with, he was only infatuated with you and possibly saw you as a means to an end). According to you, he wants to go back home and start a business and be with his first wife. That hurts. Could someone be so deceptive? Is that the same man that gave you two lovely children? You must be one confused and distraught woman.
Unfortunately, your options are bad, worse and terrible. If you divorce him, which is the only Christian option you have, it’s bad. Bad in that it will cause you much hurt. It is also bad because it will hurt the children. If the first wife divorces him and he decides to stay with you, that will be worse, because you still will not be happy. He will always be pining over her and the baby and will make your life a living hell. If you allow him to swing between the two wives it will be terrible. Terrible because it is sinful, terrible because it’s unstable for the children, terrible because you will be depressed eventually and terrible because he would be just licking chops left, right and center.
Here are some steps you might consider:
a. Compose yourself, stop the crying.
b. Pray earnestly about the matter
c. Discuss the matter with your Church Pastor
d. If no satisfactory reconciliation can be obtained
e. Take the matter of Polygamy to the authorities
f. Use the rest of your energy caring for your children and yourself
The choice is yours, I am not telling you what to do. You asked for my advice and I am only giving it. Your story is a sad one. I am not just promising to pray for you, I will pray for you. I hope to hear from you again. As mad as you are with my toughness, years to come you will say I was right. May God grant you his peace and have mercy on your husband’s soul.