ONE of the most traumatic experiences in anyone’s life is discovering you’re in love with someone else whilst you’re already married with children. When Nkem, Franchesca’s husband, discovered his wife was having an affair, he couldn’t believe the evidence that was staring him in the face. Taking courage in both hands, he confronted his wife with the facts at his disposal. “I had no option but to confess to the affair,” Fran had said sadly. 

“My lover is everything my husband isn’t—kind, considerate, loving, affectionate and energetic. Although Nkem was visibly shaken by my admission, he gave me a few days to think about my future plans including the fact that I wouldn’t be taking our three children with me if I decided to leave. In the end I decided to stay, because of my kids.

Now, I’m very unhappy and it’s giving me a lot of stress. My husband, poor thing, is trying hard not to make me regret my choosing my family over my lover but I think of my lover all the time and wish we are together. I’ve slept with him a couple of times since deciding not to be with him…” 

I felt really sorry for Fran because it is very easy to find yourself trapped in a loveless marriage. Her frustration at not getting what she wanted had made her resentful of her husband, who she felt had trapped her by emotionally blackmailing her. The fact she was unhappy in her marriage shouldn’t excuse her affair, and she couldn’t blame her husband for that. Especially after he gave her a chance to think things through and she chose to stay. He was also making an effort to save his marriage, and Fran should show him some understanding. It’s tempting to assume the grass is greener with a different lover, especially if you’re feeling disappointed or frustrated. The reality is, the grass is seldom greener only different. 

I told her if she decided to be with her lover, she must then realize things won’t be smooth sailing. He may be the current love of her life, but she must be aware of all the people who will be affected—especially the children. She thanked me and left, but I wasn’t really surprised months later more

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