My life is currently a huge mess following my discovery that my wife of four years might be having an affair with my trusted friend. Although I have heard gossip of her cheating on me but I didn’t know the identity of the man until the birth of my second child whose remarkable semblance to my friend is so obvious that when he accompanied me to see mother and child at the hospital, he was the one being congratulated by the nurses and addressed by the doctors as the father of the infant. Funny enough his wife who was with us during this mild drama didn’t appear embarrassed by this mistake. In fact, she kept laughing throughout and actually informed my wife about the mix-up.
Even though my job as a sailor makes it impossible for me to be with her always, I make sure she lacked nothing money can buy. When we got married, I gave her the option of staying with my parents so she wouldn’t be alone due to the nature of my job or keep her apartment in Lagos, where we met. She elected to keep her apartment because, according to her, staying with my parents would destroy our marriage. Even though I didn’t like the idea of her staying on her own, I agreed after discussing it with my friends who all agreed with her that it wasn’t such a good idea for her to stay with my parents.
To help keep an eye on her, I begged this friend of mine who has been my childhood friend and my closest confidant to always visit her and ensure she is happy especially as she put to bed two weeks after our wedding.
So when the query of her unusual closeness to my friend was first raised by some neighbours, I told them without hesitations, that I’m in the know of his constant visits to her and my child. Despite what she has done to me, I love my wife very much. The fact I met her, a virgin makes the whole situation so confusing. She has always been a good girl and my friend and I go back a very long way.
When things were really bad for me, he was the only one who stood by my family and I. He went as far as selling the only piece of land left him by his late father to bail my family out of an embarrassing debt that almost led to the death of my father. He has done so much for me. These are the reasons I’m finding the whole situation confusing. What if I’m wrong and my newborn baby is actually mine and not his? How would I amend the situation? In a year, I may be home for just three months; these are the only people my wife has when I am not around. She lost her parents when she was very young. Her elderly auntie, who is now late, brought her up. The whole thing is eating me up.
Please, Agatha, tell me how to handle it without inflicting unnecessary pain on my wife and friend.
Even though babies have an uncanny way of taking on the looks of people around their mothers during pregnancy, a simple DNA test would reveal if the child is yours or not. Enlist the help of your doctor to do it without prompting the suspicions of your wife or friend. Given your fears that you may be wrong in your suspicions, this is the only way you can be sure of whose child the baby is and if it is necessary to confront your wife and friend with the proof of what you know.
This way, you would be justified in whatever you actions you take against your wife and friend. But do you think his wife would be that tolerating of her husband and your wife, if they were really having an affair, even laughing off the ridiculous assumption of her husband being the father of the child? Trust me, wives are usually the first to spot things like that. However, be that as it may, the issue in your marriage goes beyond the paternity of this child, to your presence in the lives of your wife and children. Whether you like it or not, this woman needs her husband around her.
Despite the fact that you try to appease your conscience by buying her everything money can buy, those things are nothing compared to your physical presence in her life. If you are only home at most for three months in a year, where do you expect her to get sexual satisfaction from? What about all the emotions that go into looking after a child? Talking to her 24 hours on the phone will never be enough when a child develops a temperature at the middle of the night and she needs the assurances of her husband’s presence to alleviate her fears for her child.
You have to be physically present in her life for her to have the feeling that she is married and loved. While this is no excuse for her to have an affair, but it could force a decent woman like your wife to look for warmth in the arms of a man who is constantly by her side. The truth is, on paper you are both married but in practice, you both aren’t as you are still to experience what is required for a man and woman to live constantly in each other’s pockets for life.
You cannot count those three months you spend in a year with her as being enough for you to know each other in everyway a couple should. They are grossly insufficient for a journey of a life time to be tested and proven. Marriage goes beyond sex. It is accommodating each other’s shortcomings and making concessions. A good marriage is that one that has gone through wears and tears and still able to stand erect in spite its many injuries. Even if the child turns out to be yours, there is the urgent need for you to prioritize the most important things in your life. You don’t leave a young woman whose emotional needs are strong and vibrant for nine months in a year without expecting this kind of thing to happen.
The temptation your absence is exposing her to is too strong for a woman who just got married and having sex for the first time. She needs her fill of this life intricate pleasure. In all sincerity, you haven’t been fair to her by refusing to consider how she would cope without your presence in her life. What you have done is sentence her to emotional hell. You didn’t marry her to just produce babies only. You married her because you love her and wants to spend the rest of your life with her.
This is a clarion call that you are at that important junction in your marriage; where you as the man must consider your options and sweep into your basket the things most important to you in life. If you can afford to buy her everything money can buy, it means you are comfortable enough to think of easing yourself out of your current employment and setting up something of your own that would give you time to firmly plant your roots in one place.
This is the sacrifice you must make for your family. If your wife hasn’t started to complain about your constant absence from her, she would very soon. If for four years of your marriage, you have only spent a year with her-going by your three months in a year visit, then it is high time you made the choice between having a happy home or making all the money in the world and losing your family. Like you, your wife has blood running through her veins and has needs that must be quenched when they make their demands.
Marriage is more serious than you are treating yours. Love has to be premised on a solid foundation for it to have meaning. And if this child turns out not to be yours, the choice of what to do is yours. But remember, you also share in the blame. Seek the face of God to make the right choice.