My woman is hardly ever home
I enjoy reading your column. I have a little matter and I want to bring it to your attention. I am in my 40s and I have two children with a woman.
I try to support my children and her, too. But I am not a rich man. I remember the days when she wasn't working and I carried the full load without complaining.
She has been working now for two years and she is a changed woman. She does security work and sometimes she tells me that she has to do overtime, but the overtime has got worse.
I told her to tell her supervisor that she has to be home with her children, so she can't do as much overtime. She said we need the money. I told her that she shouldn't cut it out totally, but she shouldn't do much of it.
I found out from her co-workers that she has a man in the company. Many times when I come home, I have to cook and see that the children bathe and go to bed. It is when I am home that I may get a call from her saying that she has to do overtime. I told her that we can do without the extra money because we used to live without it. It is causing a big fuss between us. I told her that I heard she has a man in the company. I told her that I got that from a good source. She said the person who told me that must be a woman and that woman wants me.
I am in the process of getting a house from the National Housing Trust. She said she would join with me, but if it is true that she is having an affair, I don't want to do any business with her. I work very hard and I don't want another man to eat my labour. I don't hide anything from her. She knows what I make. Our rent is only $15,000 per month for two rooms. I try to help my parents. My mother is sickly, so along with my brothers and sisters, we try to take care of her. I give them money every month and I will continue to do so.
If this woman is really having an affair, I will leave her. So please give me your advice.
I believe that you have worked hard and you have tried to be a good father to your children. Your children's mother has probably done her best also.
Now that she has got a job, it appears as if she is not balancing her time very well. Her job has become her number one priority. People who have children should not work lots of overtime. It takes too much out of them and it will affect them because they do not have enough time to spend with the children. From what you have said, you are not against her doing a little overtime occasionally.
How did one of her co-workers come to tell you about the alleged affair? Were you complaining that your children's mother was spending too much time on the job? Or did you call the workplace to find out whether or not she was working? You did the correct thing by asking her about what you heard. The answer she gave you was not satisfactory.
Both of you are responsible for taking care of the children. You should not work so hard and for so many hours that it prevents you from spending quality time with your children, and neither should she. Although you have not said whether you believe that she is having an affair, the tone of your letter suggests that you believe what you heard. I therefore suggest that both of you discuss this matter again and make an appointment to see a family counsellor to discuss it. In the meantime, please ask your children's mother to stop doing overtime. If the company insists that she must do overtime, she should seriously consider getting another job with another company.