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Suffering from the other-woman blues

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2010 | 12:00 AM

I have been in a relationship with a married man which started out well, but now it is causing heart aches.

The problem is that our child is 11 years old and about to do GSAT examinations. He loves his father - wants to see him and be with him often. He, however, cannot understand why his father's name is not on his birth certificate.

This married man told me early in the relationship that I did things for him and to him that his wife did not do. He explicitly told me that the sex is good. Therefore, I thought we had a very good relationship. But now it does not seem so.

Furthermore, he will not tell his wife about his son. He does not have a child with his wife and it is killing me that he will not tell his wife. I feel guilty as if I am hiding something. I want to tell his wife about the child and to apologise about the relationship. He, however, forbids me to talk with his wife or to tell her about the child. He supports the child financially and visits fortnightly. However, I no longer feel satisfied with the relationship and being the 'other woman'. I think he should own up as a man and tell his wife that he has an outside child.

Do you think I should tell his wife and apologise to her?

. I do not think you should tell the man's wife anything. He should be the one to tell his wife or anyone else but you.

The wife is an innocent party and you should not unburden yourself on her. If you need someone to confess sins to and apologise, say it to God and your son. You entered into this relationship obviously knowing that he was married but you were hoping for the best which is not forthcoming.

You got carried away because the married man compared you favourably with his wife and you felt that you would be the wife eventually. However, after at least 12 years in the relationship, he is still with the wife and that is bugging you. Obviously, there is something good about his wife or the relationship. It could be that he wants his cake and also to eat it. It could be that he wants the best of both worlds. In addition, you need to understand good sex is not all to a relationship.

It appears part of the reason you want to talk to the wife and apologise to her because you hope she might leave him and you become wife. This strategy might not work.

This relationship is not fulfilling your needs and causing you much pain. Telling his wife is not the solution to your grief. You need to do more soul searching and resolve not to repeat this mistake by being involved with a married man.

regrettable and irresponsible

That he will not own up publicly to his child by not having his name on his child's birth certificate is regrettable and irresponsible to say the least. That he has been living a lie for 12 years with his wife is disturbing, but he is the one who has to stand up, talk to his wife and deal with the consequences then make amends.

It is clear he does not want you to be the main lady in his life. Where does that leave you? You need to leave this man and not interfere with his wife. The challenge is he is still the father of your child and there has to be some contact. This will be most painful but as a Jamaican proverb says: "If yuh spread yuh bed hard, yuh mus' lie dung hard pon it." You and the married man will have to endure that pain and not shift it to the wife or your son.

Talk to your son, admit your errors and encourage him not to make the same mistake. He needs to understand the problems with the decision you made and apologise to him for making him uncomfortable with not having his father's name on his birth certificate.

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