Long distance hubby not trustworthy

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I am a 37-year-old who has been in a relationship with the same man since I was 20. I gave him two kids, six years apart, out of wedlock. This man lives in the US and made a lot of promises to me and my kids. In 2013 we got married, but he was married before and my gut feeling told me he did not get a legal divorce beforehand. He said he filed paperwork for us but it's been almost four years now and I've never gotten a call from the US embassy.

In addition, I received a phone call from a woman stating that she has been involved with him for 14 years now, and he has always been living with her. I confronted him and he denied it. I would like to know what to do.

It is just pathetic what some men will do to women who are just looking for a serious, committed relationship. So at a relatively young age you met and fell in love with this man who resided overseas and apparently visited you from time to time. From the relationship two children were produced. Let me ask though, didn't you at any time visit him? Did you not notice any strange occurrences that made you suspicious? Maybe your gut feeling was right; it could be that he was still married when you became his wife.

This is the kind of scenario that plays out in long-distance relationships. Honesty and trust are two critical pillars that must be firmly installed from the foundation of the relationship. It appears that whereas you might have trusted this man, he was not forthcoming with the truth.

From all indications it seems that Mr Mention was conducting a double life, one with you and another with the lady who eventually called you. In keeping with his modus operandi, he denied the accusation. It is hardly likely that a woman would come out of the woodwork and state the exact number of years she was in a relationship with a man she was not involved with.

The fact is that you have two children for this man and he has an obligation to take care of them. As his wife you deserve to be treated with utmost respect. What you have shared does not indicate any semblance of integrity on the part of your husband. Can he show you any evidence of the divorce or the filing process? Surely there must be some documents of both that he has copies of.

You definitely need to demand more answers from the gentleman. It is not emotionally healthy for you and the children to live indefinitely with an absentee husband and father. Certainly, there are circumstances where families do exist in a long-distance setting, but the difference is that there is a high degree of transparency and commitment. Would you say your relationship qualifies as such?

If the assumptions about your husband are unfounded, then he must provide you with information and assurance that will remove your doubts and anxiety.

Don't let distance be the excuse for not being assertive. Use the technology to good effect and let your voice be heard and your image be seen.

All the best.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com or powellw@seekingshalom.org. Check out his work on www.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/.

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