Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Dear Counsellor | Three children, three married men

Published:Tuesday | July 5, 2016 | 7:01 AM

Q: My younger sister has three children with three different married men. I have warned her about this lifestyle but she laughs at me for not having a child. In fact, that bus has passed me. She is not along with any of the married men. All are with their wives. However, she points out that she is hopeful about the father of the last child because, though he lives in the same house with his wife, they are in different rooms. The last child is three years old and he has not left his wife for her and chances are, he will not leave. This man is our father's age. My sister is beautiful and bright, but she is messing up her life. Sometimes she comes to me for help in terms of keeping the children and I always help, but she will not take my advice. Our father was hardly around. Truth be told, my mother was like a single mother. Our father was a married man and so we hardly saw him though he did play his role, financially, very well. How can I get through to her about her dangerous lifestyle?

A: Your sister has played a dangerous game by having children with married men and also hoping that they will leave their wives. She did not learn from the mistakes of her mother. Perhaps she has a distorted view of the role of a father. It could be that the father as a financial provider is what she desires most. It could be that deep down she does not want the responsibility of a husband, but just the joy of having children and caring for them. Hence she ridicules you for not having a child.

Your role is to continue to support her as a sister who will keep the children. She might soon recognise that you really love her and you are her true friend. Hopefully, one day she will heed your advice.

It is possible that she goes with a married man of advanced age because she is yearning for that father figure she missed in her upbringing. Ask her what example she is setting for the children, and would she approve if they started to behave like her when they grow up. Perhaps that will shock her into reality.

Please encourage her to go and see a counsellor.