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Dear Efe,

I just found out my husband chats with our Landlord’s daughter on Whatsapp. I do not know that there is anything going on between them but I find it strange that whenever she is in the same place with us, she treats my husband exactly how she is supposed to. Very formal and respectful. But from the chat, they are far more familiar with themselves. I didn’t see much of it (I suspect my husband most of his chats) and the little I saw didn’t imply that anything sneaky was going on. However, I am shocked that such a thing is going on right under my nose.

 What do I do? This girl is too young for me to confront her, should I go to her mum? Or what?

 I do not want to be that angry black woman besides, I love the house and do not want a situation where we will be forced to move out.

 Please advise me.

 Kikelomo

 

 

 

Hello Kikelomo,

The person to confront is your husband.

You are right, you should not be that angry black woman is dramatic and emotional instead of being logical and rational.

Have a conversation with your husband and tell him what you saw and tell him you want to know what is going on. Do not allow him side line your question with ‘how did you see what you saw?’ or ‘Why were you going through my phone?’ That would be him trying to deflect, stay focused.

If we give him benefit of doubt, he will have a reasonable and logical explanation. Alternatively, he will be defensive and offer nothing tangible. Let him know that the point is not to establish his wrongdoing. All you want to do is point out to him how having nefarious interactions with your landlord’s daughter (whom I expect to be significantly younger) will inevitably bring shame and discord to the tenant-house owner relationship you currently enjoy.

Remind him, the importance of your family and how his liaisons with your landlord’s daughter puts your family at unnecessary risks.

Have this conversation under an atmosphere of calm, ensure you do not get riled up and angry.

Your purpose is not to establish his faithfulness or lack of, your purpose is to remind him that whatever he is doing, is a very stupid idea with grave consequences.

Under different circumstances where his fidelity is in question, you may approach it differently but in this particular scenario, you should seek a resolution that enables forward movement with little or no acrimony.

Efe

 

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Hello Efe,

I come from a close knit family made up of myself,2 sisters and the eldest a guy. I say close knit because we are all involved in each other’s lives, my sisters and I are all married with kid(s), we all live close to each other, close to my parents’ house, bla blab la. I mean we take turns in leaving our kids in the house of whomever it is most convenient for at any given time, get the idea?

 The problem is, the only brother we have is a douchebag who treated his wife like shit until she had had enough and decided to move out of their house. But she has always been like a sister to us and we totally get her and feel so horrible about the situation with our brother.

 Of course, my sister in-law is still in our lives and same as the only child she has with my bro. My douche bag brother has now taken the fact that his wife has moved out to bring girls to his house and also to family events even when he knows my parents and his wife and child will be there.

 This thing is sad I can’t even describe it. It’s like we are all having fun and happy to be with family and them then the mood just changes when my brother walks in….. and most times these days, with a girl. Like who does that? No respect for the mother of his child or our parents. Usually, the girl whom he brings has no idea what she is walking into as these days he tells them he is single. His 4-year-old daughter is happy on one hand to see her father but she is confused seeing him with somebody that is not mummy. His wife almost wants to enter the wall; it is just awkward for everybody including our own kids because they have started asking questions we adults cannot answer.

What can we do if for nothing else but for the sake of the children?

Uloma

 

Hello Uloma,

We have to protect our kids from lots of things: things on the internet, cars on the street, bad company, harmful movies, etc It’s a pain but that is the way good parenting works.

Your brother has no respect for the institution of marriage and the family. With some of the girls he brings around, he is using you and your children as props. “See, I’m a good guy. Come meet my daughter, nephew and nieces.” Perhaps the girls are thinking, “I need to be meet his daughter and bond with her so that this guy will see potential in this relationship. He is also sing these girls to lash back at his wife – ‘Here I am doing my thing and you can’t do nothing about it. I can replace you overnight”.

Your brother’s behavior has hurt and destroyed his family and now he wants to do same to your own families and including his original family – your guys and your parents.

You all (parents, sister in-law and sisters) have to unite and your dad should give him a mandate. He cannot bring anybody else to either of your houses including your dad’s. It’s either that, or he stays away and not allowed to be a part of your lives anymore.

You might think, “But he’s my brother. we can’t cut him off.” But you all are your children’s mother and aunty to your nephews and nieces. That supersedes everything. He is the one with the questionable behavior.

Your family is close knit through deliberate action and it is good you all want to pass this tradition down to your own children, you guys have a code. You have values you are raising your children with. You all are living life the way you all are supposed to except your brother. His wife understandably got fed and left. And he response is worse behaviour. He has become one more thing you have to protect your kids from.

Your dad should take charge and lay down the rule. Tell him, none of the girls you are cheating with can be around the kids. If you don’t follow the rules,then don’t coe around. Simple. And if your dad will not do it, one of you girls should do it. If your parents are excusing his behavior, then it is simple, let them know that you will not bring the kids around if they aren’t firm with your brother. Make it clear that the kids will remain in your houses and for sure your brother can not force his way into your houses if he is not welcomed.

Or cut him off completely. Do whatever works for your family. Your unflinching attitude must be, “We do not accept this in our family.”

As your kids get older, you will explain things to them. For now, your brother is perfectly free to do whatever he wants. But he is not perfectly free to do whatever he wants with your family, with your kids or with you.

Efe

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