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SECRETS’ CORNER: Suspicious minds


Sanka Price and Sherie Holder-Olutayo

SECRETS’ CORNER: Suspicious minds

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Being open and honest with each other, especially in a marriage, is a key ingredient for a successful union. Anything less than that, and couples are looking for trouble.
This is particularly so when one spouse is doing something that the other knows nothing about and then happens to find out. This can only lead to arguments, suspicion and distrust.
Needless to say such a discovery is not going to go over lightly with the wife. Nor should it, because serious questions need to be asked in terms of how long this has been happening, the true nature of his intentions behind the act, and most of all, why the secrecy.
These are just some of the points raised in this week’s Secrets’ Corner. A reader asked us to circulate the following for discussion: You found out purely by accident that your husband of 17 years has been giving $100 every two weeks to an old flame of his because she is going through a rough patch and has three children to support. When you confront him, he does not deny it. He says he is just helping her out as he can comfortably afford it. How do you deal with this situation?
Comments received from women in particular suggested that the man was not right in what he did, while two men who responded sided with the man for giving his gift quietly.
One woman emailed: “I would not approve, neither accept. That’s a matter for both of us to discuss (that’s if it’s innocent on the part of both of them). If he really wants to help her, then point her in the direction of the Welfare Department and help her get organized so that she could feed those three children. Don’t be taking our money and doing that on “the quiet” – that’s grounds for a big argument between husband and wife.”
Another texted: “Why all the secrecy? Maybe he has something to hide. He should trust his wife if he is just being a good Samaritan. Maybe he is the father of one of her children. The wife should be allowed to meet the ex if that’s what she really is.”
While many of our online readers acknowledged the explosive nature of the revelation, there were some women who were sympathetic to the husband’s actions.
“I would be a little angry that he did not tell me upfront, but I’d understand him trying to help her. But I would try to maybe help her get a better job or something so that she could fend for herself and her children,” wrote one woman.
Another emailed: “I see nothing wrong once there is nothing else going on. The trouble with our so-called Christian society today is that we always feel that you cannot help someone without any strings attached, and then we turn up in church playing we are so righteous.”
And yet another said: “He should have told me, but I honestly don’t see anything wrong with it. If my husband could willingly give some of his money to someone who is struggling, why would I be upset about it?”
A man said: “I can understand why he did what he did. If he told his wife she would dig horrors and imagine all sorts of things. So it was best he do it quietly. I don’t feel he was getting anything from her for his money either. Some men are willing to give to a cause with no strings attached if they trust the person.”
But while some people were more open-minded, there were men and women who felt the husband was totally wrong in his actions: it isn’t only his hiding the matter from his wife, which he was clearly wrong in doing, but his actions, no matter how well intentioned have the potential to cause serious havoc in his marriage. Plus, I am not sure how happy or secure he would feel if his wife was giving money to a former boyfriend.
A woman said: “Well, if he could he give her money, only the Lord knows what else she could get and I will hope that he treating his wife good ’cause these men prefer to help outside than deal with their own inside business.”
Another woman said: “Like I said, that’s grounds for termination. If she getting free, who knows what else she’s getting?”
A man said: “Let me get this straight. She bypassed the Welfare Department, churches, Red Cross, family and friends and somehow managed to come to the ex? She’s retarded. And even if it was $10, he should still discuss with his wife because hiding things like that would only add fuel to the fire and cause suspicion.”

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