"How do I accept the children my husband has outside our marriage?"

(Photo:Getty/Gallo)
(Photo:Getty/Gallo)

HE HAS A SECRET FAMILY

Question

I’ve just found out my husband lied to me about having only one child outside of our marriage. I had grown to accept this child as part of our family.

But I’ve now discovered he has three children outside of our marriage. Even worse, he’s been keeping this woman hidden from me at his mother’s house.

When I confronted him about it he said they were not together any more but it doesn’t make any sense because the youngest child is the same age as my second child.

He claims the child isn’t his but then why is she still staying at his mother’s house? I’m angry and confused. What should I do?

Answer

Your husband has broken your trust and it will take a lot of time, effort and energy for both of you to confront this matter and come up with a way forward. It’s clear he’s been dishonest with you from the beginning.

What’s even more confusing is it seems as if his family has been in on it as well. It looks like you’ve unknowingly been in a polygamous marriage and your husband needs to give you answers. Why is the woman still living with his family? Why do they have a child who was born after you were married?

 He needs to be honest with you so that you know exactly what’s going on. You then need to decide on the future – with or without him suggest you seek the assistance of a marriage counsellor who can assist you to get to the bottom of this issue and make informed decisions about your marriage and how to solve the various problems.

 Just be aware it’s not going to be easy. Whatever facts you find out about the whole debacle might cause you more confusion than clarity but, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with the information.

I WANT TO BE MORE MANLY

Question

I’m a 26-year-old man and since my childhood I’ve acted in a feminine way. Now that I’m older I don’t want to be this feminine.

I’ve also just discovered I might be bisexual and I don’t want to be this way either. I’m so lonely because I can’t connect to either men or women so I’d rather be by myself. I want to be manlier, to be more aggressive, to be in love with girls and to have a family one day.

I’ve heard that testosterone therapy can help. What do you think?

Answer

The way you’ve described yourself and how you feel might be signs you’re suffering from an identity crisis. There might be certain psychological obstacles that are preventing you from developing a strong identity and if these issues remain unresolved you might continue to struggle to “find yourself”.

In cases such as these people can find it hard to understand who they are, where they belong and what they want to do about it. It’s hard to make definite choices when you’re struggling to find your place in the world.

Your first step is to determine who you are and then start building your confidence around that identity. You can’t force yourself into being someone you’re not, so be true to yourself.

Before you go the hormonal therapy route I suggest you seek counselling so you can get some clarity on who you are and how to deal with those discoveries.

 You can get help at Lifeline – it has a 24-hour telephone counselling service on 011-422-4242 or 0861-322-322.

HE IS WAY TOO FRIENDLY

Question

I think my friend’s husband is starting to take an interest in me. He’s always around when I go to see her and recently he’s even started coming with her when she visits me.

He’s a warm and friendly man but I get the feeling he takes more interest in me than he does in other women don’t want to upset anyone but I’m starting to feel uncomfortable about this and don’t know what to do.

I’m scared to say anything to him or my friend in case I’ve got it wrong. What do you suggest?

Answer

A simple decision to keep quiet and keep things to yourself can sometimes cause complications and in this case could cause conflict between you and your friend. If your intuition says he’s interested in you then there’s a good chance he is.

If he ends up telling you or clearly acting on it, then it’s important for you to put him in his place and make the boundaries very clear. Your response and actions will determine how this goes down.

Unfortunately for you there is very little you can do until your suspicions have been confirmed. Right now, just try to minimise your contact with him. Good luck.