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After They Leave,
Should Men Have A Say?

Love Wars
By: Eko Sista (Lagos)

November 2, 2000

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I recently met up with some of my friends who happen to be single moms like me, the conversation we had was almost unbelievable.

Specifically, I told them a story about a girl meeting a guy, falling in love and suddenly finding herself pregnant. What happens next?, boyfriend disappears! Then one sunny, lazy day, he re-appears into the girls life, the life of your baby, and tries to play god. Question is, what should the girl do?

Does she welcome him back with open arms and let him take charge of the "family"?

Friend number one replies: ABSOLUTELY NOT. She said her baby's father tried to come back, but she didn't allow him. She further admitted that she actually turned her child against him.

Friend number two agrees. She said that she would never allow him back because he had abandoned them when she needed him most. In fact, she had been forced to stay with friends until she delivered her baby.

She also recalled with bitterness that, with no means to make money, if not for her mother who finally convinced her father to forgive and accept her back, she and the child could have died of starvation.

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Friend number three also admitted she had been abandoned by her child's father. Only the support of her friends and family kept her alive but despite everything she stated she would accept him back for the sake of her daughter.

It is clear that opinions vary on how to handle this scenario.

I am not suggesting it is right for a man to abandon his loved ones during their most trying periods. However, I feel there are so many reasons that will make a man want to leave his wife or girlfriend. It could be money, insecurity or age.

I personally feel the men should be given a chance to get to know their children and at least have a say in their lives. I know it is not going to be easy when you remember all the hurt, betrayal and pain, in fact I know you will feel like killing the man.

Have you ever asked yourself how these children feel? Have you as a single parent talked to your child or any child that lives with a single parent? I did and I found out that most of them are never really happy.

You know the saddest part is that they have all developed a very good way of hiding their unhappiness so they don't upset the parent they are with. I believe this "game" affects them psychologically, and it is sometimes manifested in the lies they tell their friends about the whereabouts of the other parent.

Should we put these children through this kind of hell?

I say it again, I know it is not going to be easy. But if you are finding it difficult to forgive, stop for a moment and look at your child's face. Try to see all the hurt and pain the child is going through. Then imagine the joy and hope that blossoms at the thought of seeing the other parent.

That joy expressed on your childs' face should be enough to help you, maybe not forgive but at least to, forget.

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