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I can no longer trust my wife

Dear Agatha,

I-can-no-longer-trust-my-wifeI am 45 years of age, while my wife is 27. We started living as man and wife a year ago. I was the one responsible for her secondary and university education. She finished her youth service two years ago. While she was in school, she didn’t allow me come close to her because she claimed to be a virgin.

Before I took on the responsibility of paying her school fees, I met with the parents and some members of her family who collected the bride price and other things required for traditional marriage from me. She was there and agreed to everything.

When she finished her secondary education, with her consent, every other traditional marriage rite we didn’t perform when she was much younger was completed. We even did the wine carrying. Because I had plans for her, I didn’t try to force enforce my sexual rights as tradition demands after such ceremony.

While in Year One, her father forced us to go to the registry. He said he wanted things done properly. We agreed that the church wedding would be done after she graduated. This we did before she went for her youth service. That night when I demanded to sleep with her, she said she was having her period, so I allowed her. She left for orientation camp almost immediately. Since she was posted to the North, she didn’t bother to come home for the whole year, claiming it was too far for her. When I asked to come, she declined that it was not advisable for me to, because of Sharia law.

Because of my age, I ignored many signs I was seeing as well as the things people were saying about her. Even when I knew she was lying about being a virgin, I played along with her because of the story of my life. I have never been lucky with women. It has always been one disappointment or another. Despite being the best looking and most successful among my friends, I am the one who has the most challenge in my relationships. If the women don’t leave me for other men, sometimes my so-called friends, they end up disappearing with my money or car.

Fed up, I went in search of spiritual help and discovered that my stepmother was behind my problems. She wanted to hit back at me for my father’s perceived sins. This informed my reason to train and marry my wife.

When she finally allowed me to sleep with her, I discovered she wasn’t a virgin; she came up with so many excuses, but I told her not to bother. I had seen and went through worse things in the hands of women.

Just at the time I was beginning to think my problems were over, I ran into her in a guest house with a man. I was there in company of my business associates. Only three weeks before the incident, she told me she was four weeks pregnant.

Since the incident, she has been begging me to forgive her. She has sworn with everything, including the Bible, that the pregnancy is mine and that since marrying me, it was the first time she has been unfaithful to me. She confessed that the man I saw her with was the man who deflowered her and the one she dated all through her university years, that they agreed to meet on that day to discuss the problem he was having with his wife-to-be, only for them to end up in the room.

Her parents and family she told the incident are all begging me to forgive her. The pastor too has joined his voice in pleading with me. He said if I am able to forgive her, a lot of things will change in my life; that she was programmed to behave that way, so that I can continue to be unhappy.

I have really come to love her in the one year we have been together. She is very respectful, loving and caring, but can I ever trust her to tell the truth? First, she lied about her virginity and now this!

I am so confused. Please help me. I am the only child of my mother for my father. I don’t have anyone but you to turn to.



Dear Feyinti,

Life has a way of presenting us with a bouquet of thorny choices impossible to run away from.

There is no avoiding making a choice in this matter. You either ask her to go, given the gravity of what she has done, or trust in your love for her by forgiving her.

Ending the marriage appears the easy option; but deep down, will it make you happy? Whatever anybody says, your own happiness is what is important here. No doubt, seeing the evidence of her infidelity is enough reason for you to turn deaf ears to the pleas of everybody, including that of your pastor.  Indeed if you look back at the past, the things you have been through before you got to this point, you may want to submit to the natural urge to send her packing, especially if you remember the lie she told you about her virginity.

Even if you didn’t say it, it is human to think she is taking you for granted and will again do something more grievous. Given what she has done, you have every right to withdraw your trust. If you do, nobody will begrudge you or call you harsh and unreasonable.

But, in some way, you too remotely share in the blame. There are times when silence isn’t golden. Even if you didn’t want to take the matter of her virginity too far, you should still have discussed it the moment you discovered; you should have also told her all your suspicions and the reasons you ignored them. You should have used that opportunity to share your past with her and the reason you would not want to be hurt by her.

Without you issuing threat, that talk would have sent some chill down her spine, to make her sit up.

Frankly, that refusal to discuss the first lie in a way contributed to this new challenge. It is like a child who has been naughty. If the mother allows that child to escape with the behaviour, next time, the child will do something worse than the first.

Because of the things you have experienced in the hands of other women you preferred to die in silence than risk giving her a piece of your mind. No marriage works that way. Irrespective of whatever happened in the past, learn to be in charge. Don’t ever let fear permeate your sound reasoning. The rule of every successful marriage is to boldly address all thorny issues as they come. When there is the need to express anger, don’t mask your true feeling with a smile; it has its implication.

That you are thrashing out a vexing issue doesn’t mean the marriage is ending or is having problems; far from it. Instead, it is a sign that the couple is determined to make it work.

Now that this has happened, it is essential for both of you to talk as a couple. Let her understand your person, experience your anger and confusion over how to thread on this issue. Let her know that the issue here is not taking her back but the trust she has murdered twice within a year of your living together as a couple. Tell her to advice you on how to proceed, especially if she were in your shoes.

The idea is to make her sweat for her forgiveness as well as make her understand the gravity of the situation at hand. Most especially as it has to do with the paternity of the child she is carrying in her womb.

Even if you believe her, asking her to defend the ownership of the pregnancy will also help her realise the gravity of what she has done. No woman likes the paternity of her child questioned, especially by the father of the child.

In addition, you have to also factor in the spiritual angle to this whole thing. If truly your stepmother is determined to make you suffer for the sins of your father against her, there is no telling the length she will go to make her wish come true. Since she obviously couldn’t stop your financial prosperity or your being married against her wish, she will always be sourcing different ways to make you suffer and be unhappy.

Because marriage is everlasting, one that is elastic enough to overcome betrayal, disappointment as well as pains, you and your wife must talk first. Insist she tells you everything there is to tell you about her life as well as her relationship with the other man.

If he is still around her, ask her what she wants. Failure, to deal with the presence of this other man in her life will always haunt you and the marriage. She has to come out to say how she feels about you as well as her wish, especially concerning the other man.

If she wants the other man, best you allow her go before she does more harm to you. As for the child, you both can reach an agreement. But if she gives the assurance that the man is out of her life; believe her and allow the matter rest. Involving her family in her mess to beg you shows the depth of her regrets. The truth is, no marriage is perfect. Ironically, it is this imperfection that gives marriage its unique character.

There is no sin true love cannot forgive in a marriage or relationship. It is a matter of knowing what is important.


Good luck!

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