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My boyfriend got his wife pregnant twice

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WAYNE A POWELL MA Counselling Psychology, Relationship Counsellor

Monday, October 22, 2012    

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Dear Counsellor

I am a 22-year-old university student and I have been in a relationship with a guy for over six years now. When we just started talking, he was married but I wasn't aware of this until three months into the relationship. By that time, I was already deeply in love with him.

He said he had got married to get his stay in America and he wasn't serious about the woman.

In 2008, I thought I was pregnant and he insisted that I do an abortion, as he wasn't ready for kids. Fortunately, I wasn't pregnant but a few months later his wife turned up pregnant.

I was very stressed out and I told him it was over, but eventually we got back together. In 2010, he again got her pregnant and said it was an accident. I was distraught but still I stayed because he has done a lot for me financially. He is now in the process of getting divorced.

He broke my laptop because he was angry at my Facebook posts. He called me an idiot and he isn't loving anymore. I am just one sad and depressed young lady and I don't know what to do.

When two people decide to be involved in a committed relationship, there must be some basic ingredients that should be present to promote a healthy and a wholesome relationship. Respect and contentment are two such ingredients. If one or both parties disrespect the other, then there will always be tension in the relationship as the disrespected partner will most times retaliate to protect his/her ego and self-worth.

If you are in a relationship and there is no feeling of happiness and contentment, soon the relationship will deteriorate as one or both parties will gravitate to people outside of the relationship in search of personal happiness.

It would appear that these two elements are missing in your relationship. For someone you care for to call you an "idiot" is inexcusable. Not even in jest should such a term be used to describe one's spouse. Devaluing and demeaning one's partner shows very little regard for their personhood and sends an "I am better than you" message, which makes for an unhealthy relationship.

Other critical elements that are missing from your relationship are openness and trust. You reported that you never knew your boyfriend was married until three months in the relationship and the same for his wife's pregnancy. Such critical information should have been forthcoming especially if one expects the same degree of openness from one's partner.

So what's the deal with the destruction of the computer? Does he not care about your educational pursuits and that you would be at a disadvantage without a computer? One would believe if you care and love someone, you would want the best for him/her and would want to support his/her educational dreams and efforts. Surely Facebook activity is not the only activity that can be carried out on the computer. So I guess he will be checking your phone as well. Probably he is not aware that you need the computer to do your research papers and other school-related activities or maybe he just does not care! This kind of behaviour is consistent with partners who are insecure and controlling.

You have mentioned the financial support you receive from this man. What is more important to you, financial stability or emotional/psychological stability? What is your motivation?

Your declaration that you are sad and depressed is not surprising as what you have reported indicates that you are involved in a dysfunctional relationship.

The truth is there are a number of red flags that are fluttering intensely in your face that you should sit up and pay attention to. If it is that he intends to divorce his wife and marry you, you need to "tek sleep mark death."

You need to take stock of your life and make some decisions regarding your present relationship. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I feel valued and are my emotional needs satisfied in this relationship?

2. Is the relationship characterised by honesty, openness, respect and love?

3. Am I getting as much as I am giving in this relationship?

4. Is there scope for positive growth and development in this relationship?

5. Are my academic pursuits positively impacted by this relationship?

If the answer to the above questions are no then it's time you take some decisive actions before it's too late.

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