December 5, 2017
By you desk

I am a 26-year-old widow. I got married to my first cousin when I was 19. My husband was a great guy and we had a good married life

Dear Nadine,

I am a 26-year-old widow. I got married to my first cousin when I was 19. My husband was a great guy and we had a good married life till he died three years ago. I have two children and stay with my parents-in-law. My father-in-law is my father’s brother and is a wonderful person. He has supported me a lot, emotionally and financially. My mother-in-law is also a kind-hearted person, and dotes on my children. I have absolutely no problems living with them, but my parents and brothers want me to re-marry and are actually putting a lot of pressure on me. They say that my parents-in-law will not live forever, and after their death, my husband’s brother and sisters would not like to have me around because of money matters and property.

My father wants me to marry his other nephew who got divorced recently. My brothers are also pressuring me to marry him. Nadine, the thing is that I still love my husband and marrying someone else could be bad for my children too. I have not thought about remarrying. I feel as if I would be cheating on my husband who loved me so much. I am very upset. I fear that if I agree to move to my father’s house, my parents-in-law will take my sons from me.

I don’t want to be deprived of my children. I don’t want to offend my father and my parents-in-law, but at the same time I can’t bear the cruel comments of my relatives; I have a brother-in-law and they keep on talking about how wrong it is for me to live there without my husband. What is the best course of action for me?

Widow in Trouble

Dear Widow in Trouble,

I am sorry about your loss, but after your ‘iddat’ you should have returned to your parents’ house as you are too young to spend all your life alone. You should return to your father’s house immediately. Your uncle and aunt may be wonderful people, but you are still very young and cannot just spend all your life alone.

First you should give yourself some time to think out what you really want. Your father and brothers’ concern for you is very understandable, as you are only 26. However, you don’t have to decide immediately. Return to your parents’ house and just relax. You have been living under pressure for three years, and you need time to come out of stress. Your in-laws cannot take your children away; we have courts of law to protect the rights of women. Think about the proposal your father has lined up for you. Meet this divorced cousin and talk to him candidly about your children. If you are satisfied he has no problem with your sons staying with you after your marriage, there is no reason why you should not think about marrying him. Whatever gave you the idea that you would be cheating your dead husband? That is rubbish! He is unfortunately dead and that is the reality you have to accept. Your whole life is before you, and you should start planning about your future. You are lucky to have a father and brothers who are so supportive, but they will not always be there for you. Besides, our religion also encourages widow remarriage. Best of luck!