Hi Aunty Lisa,

I’m 22 years old woman and I’m dating a man aged 39. We have been dating for the past 7 years and we have a baby boy who is nearly 2 years old.

This man has several kids with different women. In this relationship we don’t trust each other. He cheated on me with so many girls but I didn’t give up on loving him. So last year he got another baby with the mother of his other baby. He didn’t tell me anything, but I only heard about it from other people. So now since last year in December, he is in prison, but we communicate over the phone.

Last week his relatives came to my parents home to pay inhlawulo (a fine paid to the family of a woman who became pregnant out of wedlock by the father of the future child). Now I hear that his family members went to his other baby mama’s home and paid lobola for that woman.

So my problem is  what should I do? Should I ask him or not????? #confused

Dear Friend,

Thank you for reaching out to Aunty Lisa for professional counselling and guidance. I’m so sorry to learn about your ordeal and current situation. First things first, your boyfriend was quite unfair when he first dated you. You said you have been with him for 7 years, meaning he proposed love to you when you were only 15 years old, while he was 32. That’s quite unfair. You were too young to date such an old guy and he should have remained in his age group. I will not put the blame on you because at 15 you would not have reached the consent stage. You would still be too young to make right decisions personally.

Secondly, in this day and age having several children with multiple women is not a good practice. Being involved in such a relationship is also not advisable. If you really love you man then you might need to talk to him and talk about that kind of behaviour because it is really a dangerous one and it’s predicaments might affect your children’s social welfare.

I however would like to thank him for being a true African in one aspect where he came to your family’s home to pay inhlawulo. Whatever his intentions could be, but at least he exhibited respect to your parents and he acknowledged that he is your child’s father and that he was not supposed to have impregnated you out of wedlock.

Regarding your way forward. Maybe he wants to have a polygamous marriage. While it is not advisable, it is still acceptable in some cultures and families. If that’s the case then that might be the reason why his family members went to pay lobola for another woman. You also need NOT to rely on grapevine information. Once you hear something about your boyfriend, don’t make a binding decision without hearing his side first. I recommend that you ask him nicely, without confronting him or accusing him of any wrongdoing, about marrying the other woman. Whether he confirms or denies, also ask him about the future of your relationship and his plans. You might need to first try and find out if indeed lobola was paid for the other woman before even asking him about it. It might turn out that they were just speculative rumours. If it turns out to be true, then he has to explain his intentions to you, but avoid confronting him when talking about it, try to be calm so that he won’t feel provoked.

While Aunty Lisa cannot force you to move on with your life as far as your love life is concerned, I however have raised my eyebrows after you indicated that your relationship is not based on trust. Based on what you have explained chances are high that even if he gets married to you, he would still cheat on you, unless if he is willing to change his attitude. You said he cheated on you and went on to impregnate one of his baby mamas again. I personally expected that, because after a couple of months or years, cheating men would want to have sex again with some of their previous girlfriends. They would have missed having sex with that person, especially if the relationship ended up in pregnancy.

Based on hints that I have highlighted above, I suggest that you make up your mind and forge a way forward. In the event that you have decided to to give the relationship another chance, then first be sure that he paid lobola to the other woman’s parents then approach him and ask him to explain what it means and what he plans with regards to your relationship.

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