Should I trust him?

Should I trust him?

Dear Agatha,

Early last year, the man I dated for close to a decade and I went our different ways. I trusted him so much I didn’t see what he did to me, coming. About six years ago, he brought a girl, he introduced as his cousin from his village to come and live with him.

When she came, she was in SS1. He enrolled her into a very good school to complete her secondary school education. She made brilliant results and got admission into the University of Ibadan, to read English.

All along I treated her like a younger sister, but I noticed that her disposition towards me changed after a while. Although I couldn’t pin-point exactly how, she wasn’t the same girl that treated me like her big aunty when she first came.

When I go to the house and want to go into my boyfriend’s bedroom, she would murmur prompting me to ask my boyfriend what the problem was with her on more than three occasions. He would assure me that nothing was amiss, that she was just being naughty.

I remember an occasion I went there very early in the morning; she was putting on the top of my boyfriend’s pajamas; I recognized it because I gave it to him. When I asked her why she was wearing the top of her brother’s pajamas, she said, he gave it to her because she forgot her nightgowns in school.

How foolish a woman in love can be! How they must have laughed at my naiveté!

In all the years I dated him, he never once offered to take me to see his family, despite pressures from me. He kept giving one excuse or the other. So when I went to the house and finally met his mother, I was overjoyed and admonished him for not giving a head start to enable me prepare for her.

The mother obviously asked the girl in the house who I was in their native tongue. When she told about me, she immediately invited my boyfriend and the girl to the room. Since I wasn’t invited I stayed back wondering at her behaviour. I didn’t have to wait for long to know the outcome of their family meeting. Almost immediately, dragging the girl along with her, she walked purposefully to me to introduce the girl as her son’s wife.

Reliving that day, I can’t say how I got home or managed to survive the betrayal. He didn’t bother to come after me. Two weeks later they were married in the registry not far from my office. I got to know because a friend of mine witnessed it because she and her husband were there for their own court marriage. It was her text that prevented me from attending her wedding ceremony.

Six months ago, I met this man who came to our office to transact a business. He didn’t hide his interest in me and actually came the following day to see me. I told him off but he kept coming and coming. Eventually I agreed to have lunch with him. That day I told him about my disinterest in men and my reason.

After listening to my story, he said the same thing everyone, including my mother had been telling me. My ex and I were never meant to be.

Agatha, I would be 32 very soon. I don’t know if I would ever be able to love as deeply as I loved before. But this man claims to love me and is ready to settle down within a year if I allow him come into my life. To underscore his seriousness, he took me three weekends ago to meet with his parents in Eruwa, Ibadan.

Can I learn to trust a man again? Can I trust this man not to hurt me? Will he not betray me like the man I spent 10 years of my life with? I wouldn’t know what to do if he ends up playing me for a fool again.

Muyiwa.

Dear Muyiwa,

These are questions I cannot give definite answers to. This is because there are no guarantees in life. We are all students of choices. From the day we were conceived, we make the decision to be born alive or not. Every decision we make in life has its consequences and gains.

We won’t because of the uncertainly of life, refuse to be happy. Yes, your ex didn’t treat you right; he betrayed you and in the process inflicted a huge scar on your emotions. I understand your pains but if you look at the whole issue from the point of your ex being married and happy with the woman he left you for, you will realize the need for you to move on and be happy too.

If the person who wronged you is happy, why should you deprive yourself of this chance to be happy also? Why should you continue to play the victim by denying yourself the chance to move on? Wouldn’t that be sentencing yourself to a needless emotional bondage? Yes, you should feel hurt but life won’t wait for you. Deep inside you, your biological clock is ticking away because it is insensitive to your emotional problems. At 32, you cannot afford the luxury of time as a woman. So make up your mind as urgently as possible what you want to do with this new relationship. The choice to move on or not, is dependent on you. This man has made an offer and has backed that up with him taking you to see his parents.

So far this man appears serious but the question is: Are you?

What are your feelings for him? Do you love him enough to give yourself the chance to learn how to trust again?

Since you are the one having issues of trust, you have to take time out to evaluate your feelings for this man vis-à-vis learning how to believe in what he is offering you. Every relationship needs a good foundation to build on. You cannot be happy if you don’t learn how to trust.

You must let go of yesterday to protect your today and tomorrow. Also, you need his help. Before you go on, both of you need to sit down to discuss once again that relationship that got you this bitter. The agenda should be how he would help you rediscover your real self, because the change would not come in a day. Plead for patience and understanding from him.

But don’t keep him hanging for too long. If you are serious about really letting go of that memory, recovery will be easy for you.

Good luck.