Three years ago, I met a man. I was 27 years old, while he was 32. I later had a child with him, but the relationship ended when I discovered he was intimately involved with another woman and they had a child almost as old as mine.
I was also afraid of contracting HIV/AIDS given his infidelity.
I stayed away from intimate relationships until early last year. While at a friend’s introduction ceremony, I met a 39-year-old man.
After the function we talked and I told him my surname and he also told me his name. We chatted for about an hour and I told him about my son. He said he would love my son on condition that I ended the relationship with the child’s father.
He is a caring, loving and well-groomed man and also introduced me to a few of his relatives and friends. He is a businessman who travels a lot.
In March, he travelled to UK, he sent me money through his sister, who is also my friend. During one of our conversations with his sister, she revealed his real name and he is of the Nkima clan like my mother.
He is returning in October and he would like us to hold a traditional introduction ceremony. I have not told him I know his real name and his sister is begging me not to reveal it to him. I love this man because he has been there for me.
Although I have told my mother about my boyfriend, I have never revealed his identity to her because she might insist I end the relationship. Is it a taboo to fall in love with a man who belongs to the same clan as my mother? What should I do?
By Clemence Byomuhangi, a counseling psychologist
Relationships are based on choices individuals make. Some choices need correction once they have negative consequences.
In your case the choice you made to end a relationship with an unfaithful man is commendable given the dangers you mentioned like contracting HIV. Staying away from intimate relationships after you ended the one with the father of your child was a good move for you to heal emotionally.
Hopefully, you have recovered from that relationship and you can now engage in another one with no hangover from the past.
Under normal circumstances, the expectations are, to get to know your new partner through dating. That is why dating is such an important aspect of a relationship that rushing it or ignoring it may be costly.
Are you sure you have worked on the issues of trust in a relationship so that you can move on to other relationships? The qualities you have mentioned that your boyfriend is a loving and a caring man are good, but what about commitment which was an issue in your former relationship?
You mention that after interacting with this man you told him about your son, did he in turn share with you, personal details about himself? Furthermore, you say he gave you a false name. What do you think could be the reason for your new boyfriend not telling you his real name?
If indeed his sister is right and your boyfriend did not give you his real name, then you will have to figure out how you would handle this situation in your relationship. Trust and confidence are cardinal in intimate relationships.
Do you have sufficient facts about your boyfriend for you to make an informed decision about the relationship? Is it possible for you to get more information from another source other than his sister, especially in establishing your boyfriend’s identity?
Is it possible that it is his sister who is not telling you the truth, or that your boyfriend uses both names? Love is between you and this man, but the traditional introduction ceremony you are contemplating will involve your families.
It would be helpful if you got more information about your customs regarding marriage. Different societies have different customs and norms regulating relationships. If you consider this to be important to you, consult those people that you trust can give you the right information.
Cultural considerations must not be at the expense of choosing a mate that you would be compatible with. Nevertheless, our relationship choices are restricted by the society in which we live. Cultural concepts like beliefs and values should be given attention.
Should you remain confused on what to do, seek professional counseling from counselling firms accredited by Uganda Counselling Association.
What's your advice to Jacky? Are you going through a similar experience? Or do you have a friend who is forced into a spot as tight as Jacky is?