ASK SIS LIRA

Anonymous asks: I’m 48 and have been married to my husband for 25 years. We have eight children, and our eldest child is married already.

The problem is my husband, who is 58, suddenly decided he wants another wife and even brought a lady and her two children to my house. I was very upset and had a big fight with him but he told me that if I am unhappy about it I should leave. It turns out he’s the father of this woman’s children and she is his colleague.

So not only do they see each other at night, but they’re together every day too. I’m having sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do. I love my husband very much.

Sis Lira answers:

In our culture, if a man asks his wife’s permission to take a second wife, and she says “no”, then he can’t marry the second woman. The truth is, it’s up to you. You’re having to cope with so much here; not only has your husband cheated on you but he’s now brought home a new woman plus the children that he has fathered. You must be devastated and I feel for you. You have to weigh up your options: if you leave him and this situation, where will you go? He’ll have to pay maintenance for you and your minor children but will you be able to survive financially? Talk to your children, especially the older ones, and ask them how they feel about what is going on. Then I suggest you get legal advice as to your options and your rights. This will make it much easier for you to make a decision about your future. If you can’t bear the thought of sharing your husband, then you must be brave and leave him. You deserve to be treated with respect and loyalty. It will be hard at first, but with the support of friends and family, you can pull through. This might be a chance for you to start living a more independent life again.

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