- Management Trainee
I am the second wife of my husband. Although he came with some of his friends to pay my bride price, most of his family members are unaware of my existence in his life. The day I accompanied him to his hometown, he introduced me to his mother as his colleague.
The reason, he said, was to prevent gossips and the information about my existence getting to his first wife, he described as being very troublesome.
I agreed to this kind of arrangement because at 38 and with a child from a previous marriage, he is the only one that offered to marry me. Every other man that has come into my life only wanted my body. They abruptly end the relationship whenever I broach the issue of marriage.
In addition he cares deeply for my son. But I am becoming bothered about certain things. Since we got married about seven months ago, he has only slept in my house thrice and even at that he entertains calls from his first wife late into the night.
Even when I crave for private moments with him, he will not put off his phone to enable him take her calls. I am about eight months gone; he hasn’t given me money to buy baby things. The last time I asked, he said, he doesn’t have money that I should use my money to buy the things.
He promised to refund just like he made a similar pledge when I used the money on me to pay for my accommodation. He hasn’t refunded the money till date.
Being a civil servant, I am aware he doesn’t have so much money to spread but is it right for me to be using my money to pay for bills he is supposed to pay for? Is it right for him to keep ignoring my feelings simply because he doesn’t want to other woman to know about me?
My mother who is in the know about everything is saying I should be patient but I cannot understand why he isn’t bothered about my welfare as well as that of his unborn baby.
Recently, he and some of his colleagues did a deal and his share of it was N150, 000. 00. I wanted him to pay the money into my account because my delivery date is drawing nearer. Rather than do that, he went to the hospital and deposited N75, 000. 00. He said he can’t give me everything because he also has to complete the payment of the school fees of his children.
I really felt let down by his argument. I am carrying his child. What if we run into an emergency that would require more money? Would I be expected to bring out money to balance it?
I really don’t know what to make of all that is happening to me. I am seriously thinking of walking up to his wife to tell her about me as being suggested by my friends. With the way he is going, I stand to lose if anything happens to him. He recently bought a piece of land; if I don’t make myself obvious to his family and friends; the first wife will take away everything leaving me un-provided for.
I don’t understand why he is so afraid of her: he behaves most time like a man under the influence of juju.
What do you suggest I do?
Worried Second Wife
Dear Worried Second Wife,
You knew the rules of the game before you entered into it so why are you complaining or do you want to change the rules mid-game? As a matter of fact, if there is anyone to be accused of using charms, a lot of people would readily accuse you of seeking the assistance of charms to marry another woman’s husband. Don’t forget you are the strange woman in the relationship between this woman and her husband. You are the one who agreed to marry her husband despite knowing he already has a family, who is insisting on sharing his resources, time, future with her and her children.
Why didn’t you allege influence of charms when he insisted he wasn’t going to introduce you to his parents before or after the marriage? Why did it take the matter of property and money to make you come this conclusion?
In your own interest, you should abide with the arrangement both of you made. It would be absolutely wrong for you to betray him by going to the woman he told you from day one must not know about you.
All the attitudes you are putting up now should have been exhibited at the very beginning when he spelt out his options especially at the point he introduced you to his mother as his colleague. Honestly, the wife has no business with you. if you want to be introduced to the family, it isn’t his wife you should go to; it is actually to his mother. Since you were not bold enough back then to challenge his wisdom and reason in passing you off to his mother as a colleague instead of his second wife; allow the matter to rest especially as you had faith in his arguments back then.
Irrespective of the propriety of your decision to marry this man; your union is still too young to be experiencing the kinds of challenges it is going through. Every marriage requires plenty doses of tolerance, wisdom and patience. You have to learn to trust in your husband and his decisions. Even where you think his attitude is unfair to you, there are ways of going about it. That is why dialogue is often advocated for couples no matter how old or young they are in marriage.
See whatever is happening in your marriage as integral to the success if the union in the long run. Every couple must go through certain kinds of challenges to give their relationship its character. You must appreciate that both of you are two different people, with dissimilar attitudes, reactions and beliefs. Both of you must first deal with your diversity before you can enjoy what life and marriage offer.
Rather than go to your friends for wrong counsels why not call your man and iron out every issue you are confused about. But you must first know what you are going to discuss else your attempt to resolve the issues would end up in both of you fighting if your presentation is laced in selfishness.
The important question here is, why are you against him paying his children school fees? The fact that he deposited half of the money at the hospital shows that he has you in mind. That money is enough to clear your bills if it is a normal delivery which is what you should pray for. If he doesn’t pay the school fees of those children, they maybe stopped from attending classes. Nothing should interfere with a child’s education; so allow him be.
The fact that he owes you money for rent and for baby things is not enough reason for you to fight him or question his motive on this issue. Don’t forget he didn’t have to tell you about the money. If you make too much trouble with him over this matter, chances are he will never discuss money with you again after all what you don’t know won’t hurt you.
Rather than risk him mistrusting you over money matters, calm down and objectively take a relook at this matter. If you were in the other woman’s shoes, how would you feel if your children are sent out of school as a result of the inability of their father to pay their fees? More than you, she and her children have rights over this man’s resources and time.
You are the one that has come to disrupt things between them. She contributed to the man you are now married to and must have done a lot for him for your husband to have insisted you keep out of her view. If as second wife you are this agitated over issues that you should gently handle, one can only imagine what your reactions would be as first wife.
To enjoy this man, accept the way he is leading you and forget those friends of yours. They don’t mean well for you. If it were easy for you to find a husband, I am sure you and your mother wouldn’t have agreed to his terms. The fact that you both willingly did, shows the level of desperation you got to before this man came along.
Don’t think having secured him through pregnancy or the kind of rushed traditional marriage you did, would make him stay if he doesn’t want you anymore. You should be grateful that he finds time to spend with you at all. If he insists on keeping his phone on while with you; respect his reasons since he is the one wearing the shoes.
Frankly, it would have been a different matter if he didn’t explain everything to you, just started behaving funny after he married you. But having taken time to explain in details, go with the tide. Remember only the patient dog eats the fattest born at the end of the day.