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Daddy wants my support for second wife

Dear Michael,

I am a 32-year-old lady and the first born in a family of six. My father recently told me that he is planning to marry a second wife. He hasn’t told my mum and siblings yet, and said that he needs my support when he tells them. After doing some investigations, I realised that the woman he intends to marry is younger than me, and worse, she has a nine- month-old baby with him. He has approached her parents for her hand in marriage.

I feel betrayed and disappointed by my dad whom I have always looked up to. He’d earlier asked me to help take care of my siblings because he was straining, financially and now I find out that he’s been supporting another woman.

Please advise.


Dear Tess,

The perfect picture of life and the important people in our lives often lose the untainted shine as we grow older. We should by no means love them less, but we definitely grow aware of the truer nature of love choosing to love despite failure and weakness.

In eliciting your support, your father is keenly aware of how unfavourably your mum and siblings might react to his decision.

And yet, he has made a decision to take on a second wife. This is as much as he had already decided to be father of the nine-month-old baby. So engrained is his decision that, as you say, he has approached the woman’s parents.

You have been forced into making some decisions of your own: Will you accept your father’s second wife; will you accept your ‘step-sibling; will you support your father as he tells the rest of your family; will you continue supporting your siblings, and will you forgive your father?

Except for forgiving your father, should any of the other matters be yours to bear? Judging from your father’s resolve, he will have a second wife and has a seventh child.

Not accepting is like going against a brick wall. It might satisfy your ego though, for a while. You will communicate your displeasure, but the child and the lady will go nowhere. However, you would have to define what ‘accepting’ your father’s second wife and seventh child means, exactly.

Possible extremes could include getting to know them, embracing them and being as inclusive as possible or determining that beyond acknowledging the sharing of a father, all aspects of life will be lived separately, as much as possible.

The decision you make with regard to accepting or not accepting will help in figuring out whether or not you will offer your father the support he seeks.

If the answer is yes, you will also be able to state the extent and kind of your support you will give him. That is, with regard to your father’s responsibilities to the first marriage and his second marriage.

The truth is that they are both his marriages. Your support does not however absolve him of his responsibility.

Do you have a pressing personal problem? Seek advise from Michael Oyier at [email protected]