From a man to a man

Dear Mark

The other day you confessed to me that you wanted to leave your wife and son and I’ve decided to jot down my take on your decision. I’m not a marriage counsellor but as a friend and someone whom you’ve considered as an older brother I feel I can give you my honest opinion.

I know you married Thandi when both of you were unemployed, because she’d fallen pregnant with your son. She stood by you through thick and thin when a lesser woman would have left. I know life was tough for both of you because you were both young and funds were extremely tight.

Now that life has smiled on you and you’ve got a great job and so many opportunities and a brand new car you’ve decided to move out of the matrimonial home, leaving your son and your wife. You said you wanted some space to think.

I was surprised when you said: ‘Thandi has done nothing at all - it’s just me. I know I’m being selfish but I needed to find out what I want.’

I asked you if there was someone else and you said ‘yes.’ And you told me excitedly how this new woman you’ve met was hot and you clicked with her more than you did with your wife. You told me how your mistress’s presence is making it difficult for you to work on your marriage.

You confessed to me that one of the main reasons you were straying was that you were not getting enough sex in your marriage. And that you’d never communicated to Thandi about this lack of intimacy.

An older man’s advice

You need to ‘man up’ my friend and stop all this nonsense. You keep telling me how ‘young’ you are. How you’ve got no control over your urge to cheat your wife. You are now father and a husband. You are in your mid-20s and no longer a teenager. You made the decision to become a husband and a father and you must stick to it.

It broke my heart when you told me how Thandi sobbed when you told her about the other woman. I was disappointed that in all this you never mentioned your son and how you were taking his daddy away from him. Just like your father was there for you, your son needs you to be there for him when he grows, 24/7.

One day he’d going to ask you: ‘Daddy, why did you leave?’

I know you’ll be embarrassed to tell your son you destroyed your family because of lack of sex.

I know that marriage is tough. Maybe it’s not exciting as you would want it to be. But all the fun you are having with that other woman you can have with Thandi, the woman who stood by you when you had nothing. You have to communicate your needs to her. You also need to make time for the romantic stuff and remind yourself why you married her in the first place.

I was happy when you said you were going to stop your extramarital relationship and tell the new woman you are already taken. You did confess that this was going to be hard as you already had a connection. That you were going to change your phone number and gain Thandi’s trust back.

I’m happy you came to that decision alone. I urge you to go for an HIV test for the protection of your family. Lastly, I’d urge you to see a qualified marriage counsellor who will help you to learn how to communicate as a family. I know the journey is not going to be easy and I have no doubt you made the right decision.

What would you say to a mother or father about to leave their family?

Read more by Sipho Yanano

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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