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Bacolod City, PhilippinesWednesday, October 19, 2011

My husband has
another family

Dear Tita,

My husband Bert (not his real name), is a seaman and has been working overseas for almost eight years. We have two kids, a girl and a boy. Bert was a loving husband and father during the first five years of our marriage but on the sixth year, he began to change. He used to send us his entire salary for our expenses while he held on to his sidelines. He told me to save money so we could buy our own house and put up our own small business when he comes home for good. I have been doing this diligently as I also earn my own salary as a teacher. However, on the sixth year, I was surprised when Bert sent us only half of the usual amount he sends. I asked him about this, and he said he has to pay off a lot of debts he had incurred.

This happened a lot of times until I didn’t get his usual salary anymore. Whenever I asked him, he would get angry and so I would just keep quiet. I had a very difficult time trying to make ends meet especially since the kids needed more money for their schooling. I tried to make Bert understand our problem but he seemed not to mind. It was only recently when I learned through the wife of another seaman who was travelling with Bert, that my husband had a mistress – a separated young woman with three kids. Bert was sending money to this woman to help finance her kids’ education. He even went to visit her when he was on leave but didn’t tell me. It was the most devastating news I heard. I don’t want to confront Bert on the Internet or through a phone call. I want to ask him face to face about this when he comes for a visit. But this is going to be next year yet. In the meantime, what should I do? I am worried he might decide to abandon us for this other woman as he seems to be completely enamored with her.

BETRAYED

Dear Betrayed,

I would advise you to consult a lawyer to protect your rights as the legal wife. The fact that your husband has been supporting this woman and her family shows that he is deeply in love with her. I can understand how you feel. Your heart is broken into a million pieces. But in the darkest night of your despair, don’t lose hope. There are laws protecting the right of legal wives and children.

You have to make sure your rights are protected. This is very important as your children are also involved here.

TITA

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