Filed in FAMILY by on December 19, 2010

Help! My kids don’t want me to remarry
By Kemi Ashefon
Sunday, 19 Dec 2010

I don‘t know of a better way of telling these kids that I need a mate,” echoes a frustrated Chris. At 65, he is not only a widower, he is lonely and his grown up children are adamant that he should not get a mate.

“They said I have not paid respect to their late mother‘s memory by planning to re-marry. What respect does my late wife need after 10 years of mourning? I explained to these four kids that I wanted a mate who would help with my food and before I knew what was happening, they hired a steward. After a few months, I made them realise that I needed a mate to share my thoughts with, but they said I should remain a widower since I would not be needing kids again at 65.

“I have explained to them over and again that I don‘t need kids but someone who would be a companion, a wife and a friend. Fortunately, my sons agreed with me, but my daughters are against any woman stepping into their late mother‘s shoes. I still don‘t know why they are against remarriage because the lady I am dating is a good Christian, a member of our church, a widow with two kids abroad and not ready to have more at 50.

“One of my daughters met the lady during Easter and she was very cold. I have done all I could to bring the lady home to meet them, but they would not keep the appointment. Though my two sons have met the lady, they told me I have to get their sisters‘ consent. I am tired of loneliness; all my kids are married with children and they have left me in the company of servants in a big house. Pray, how do I tell them that I have blood flowing in my veins and really want to remarry?”

“My children believe I don‘t need anybody again after spending 34 years with their late mother,” confesses Akin, 60 and a retired civil servant. According to him, his late wife‘s death last year was a big blow. “I thought I had reached my end because I married her when I was 26 and she was 21.

“The marriage was blessed with six children and four of them are now married. The last two are having their second degrees. My late wife suffered from cancer and she really longed for death. It was a long battle but when she gave up the ghost last year, I mourned her for 10 months before telling my children that I needed to get another woman. It was as if I announced someone‘s death. They said it was too early to talk about re-marriage and asked that I stayed three years before bringing in a woman. When I eventually told them who I was dating, hell was let loose. She was my former secretary, who left years ago before my wife died.

“To all my kids, I had been dating her while she was with me and even after she left. Was I shocked when one of them said maybe I engineered their mother‘s death in order to marry my lover! Reminding them that my late wife died of cancer, I made them realise I never dated this lady until we met again at a conference I attended in Abuja, which was about three months ago.

“My friends are of the opinion that I can remarry whenever I want since the kids are proving stubborn and that I don‘t need their consent. But do I really need that before remarrying?”

Widows also suffer same challenge. At 47, May, a widow, is on her knees begging her teenage sons to accept Steve, her lover. “He wants to marry me, but my sons are against remarriage. They said I am too old to start having kids,” she says. Confessing that her menopausal stage has begun, there is no way a child would come in her marriage to Steve.

“I have three kids already and so does Steve; but my kids believe I wanted more children, hence my decision to remarry after seven years of hardship as a widow. Steve owns the company where I work and had taken interest in me, even when my husband was alive. I have never slept with any man since my husband died except Steve, who is a divorcee. He is planning to marry me, but my sons have vowed to kill him if they set their eyes on him in their father‘s house.

“Would someone tell them that I am still young and need someone in my life?”

Rubbing minds

There is no denying the fact that

someone, somewhere, will become

a widow/widower in a marriage as

the years roll by. Though not a

pleasant experience, parents should make their children know what it means to lose a mate to death. This can be tactically, wisely and patiently carried out without hurting the kids‘ feelings, because it is not also a good experience to lose a father/mother. Maybe what hurts more in re-marriage is the fact that some parents, especially the fathers, don‘t allow considerable time in mourning their wives. To many kids, it is a wicked act for their father to start seeing another woman just a few months after losing their mother.

But then, how long does a partner need to stay before remarrying after a spouse‘s death? The answer lies with individuals and how they can cope with such losses. But children, especially the grown-ups, should never be self-centered in their decision because loneliness is real and remarriage for either of the parents does not mean the one alive does not love the dead.

Give room for dialogue. Let those concerned make their choice. Also, they should not see whoever is coming as an enemy. Death is inevitable and not every vacuum should be allowed to remain.


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