My lover keeps his dead wife pictures, clothes around


October 26, 2015

Dear Pastor,

I am a regular reader of your column. I find it very helpful. I had five children and have just turned 40. I have two children for two different men and two for another man. I lost one of the children. The father of my youngest children and I were living together.

It has been two years since he left. I was told that he is married and is not coming back. I am now living with a pensioner. He helps me with the children and I have moved in with him. My mother cursed me and asked how can I be living with a man that is older than she is. But since I am with this man, my children can eat. Pastor, I don't have to be selling my body to men here and there. This man cannot do much. I know I don't have to spell out what that means, but he is good at oral sex. I promised that I will never be unfaithful to him or ungrateful.

I cannot get him to remove portraits of his wife from the room, so every time we are trying to do something, it's as if she is looking at us. I asked him to remove her pictures from the wall, but he said that they are only pictures and that she is dead and cannot see. This man has all his wife's clothes in her closet. He has one daughter and is waiting until she visits so she can decide what to do with them. He told her about me but she does not ask to speak to me when she calls.

I asked him what is going to happen to me because everything is in his daughter's name. He always makes it a joke and says that he is not going to die now. My children call him grandpa but they know that he is my man. I don't want him to feel I am greedy, but I am worrying about my future.


Dear C.L.,

What future are you worrying about? You are living with this man and he is helping you with your children. You choose to live with him. Whether or not he asked you to live with him, you made the decision. He is giving you food and shelter and, I am sure, money too. You know that his assets are not yours. They are for his daughter and himself. Do you really want more future from this man? So, are you with him to get what you can out of him? Do you think his daughter is not aware that you are probably with him for material benefits? If you are going to get anything from this man, you better get it now while he is alive.

The man still has the pictures of his wife and her belongings in his room. That is not unusual. Many widowers have never removed the photographs of their deceased wives from their bedrooms and living rooms.

That matrimonial bedroom means a lot to the man. If you don't like it, it is your business. He is not removing them. His daughter knows that they are there. When she comes, she would do what she wants with her mother's clothes, but I doubt she would touch those pictures. If you were married to him, that would be a different matter. You would expect him to remove them, but right now those photographs remind him of the good old days.

Try your best to carve out your own future because this senior citizen can only do so much and no more, and might not be around for many more years. While you are there assisting this man, ask him to help you to go back to school or to learn a skill so that you can maintain yourself. By the way, how much money have you saved since you are living with this man?


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