My kid is a love-rival
What if your romantic partner becomes jealous of your child, wonders Marlon Abrahams.
I bumped into an old friend by chance this weekend. It was one of those classic movie type moments; you know where you’re walking around in a busy city mall wondering why somehow you never bump into anyone you know, even though there are millions of people swarming around you. And suddenly there he was…with his teenaged daughter. The last time I saw him he was telling me how he was moving in with his girlfriend and they were all going to live happily ever after. This time however, he was somewhat forlorn and quickly, after I asked about her, said they were going their separate ways.
After expressing my shock and horror (they were such an amazing couple), I naturally invited him over for the Sunday braai. And after a few swigs of the old vino veritas, out it came. I was genuinely sad. You see, the reason they were packing it in was ‘cos the girlfriend apparently could not get along with the teenaged daughter. This was very strange as they got on perfectly well while they were not living together.
Blended family dynamics
Suddenly though, the idea of them all in the same house, including her own teen daughter, saw things go downhill at an alarmingly rapid rate.
“She keeps asking me not to move out and tells me how much she loves me,” he confided. “How can she say that while treating my kid different to the way she treats her own?”
It had been 3 years and “enough was enough” he said.
I could relate to his situation to an extent given my own experience not so long ago. We sat there mulling it over like two old stags contemplating the different nature of the sexes. It just does not add up that a woman can supposedly love you to the extent of exclaiming that life without you would be unbearable, but yet was unable to extend that same love to what is essentially an extension of who you are.
“Eliminate the kid”
This was not the first situation of its kind I’d been privy to. We mused about the possible reasons for this somewhat baffling behaviour. Nothing really made sense except that it may be that seeing a man raising the offspring of another woman while sharing your bed ignites a primal instinct to eliminate the kid. Clearly we don’t live in the dark ages anymore, however we retain several instincts that ensured our survival and in particular the survival of our own gene pool back in the day. Could it be that women are pre-programmed instinctively to behave in this way?
The women I’m referring to (in the cases I’ve been privy too) are intelligent, emotionally stable, gainfully employed and model mothers to their own offspring, yet they all share this (frankly insane) quality:
“It’s like she sees my kid as a rival for her affections, which is completely nuts, and what makes it even more retarded is that her kid and I get on like a house on fire,” my friend mused into his merlot.
“Nothing to be done for it then I guess,” he said, more to himself than anyone else. “Indeed, 3 years is a long time,” I added. “Plenty of fish in the sea, hey,” he quipped. “Indeed old chap, fancy a top up?” “There’s a good lad,” we bantered in our very best fake English accents. And we both had a good laugh and like all good, deep thinking intelligent men, we moved on to something far more important and life threatening - - just how Manchester United were going to wrestle the championship away from City this season. Cheers.
Read more by Marlon Abrahams
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Do you think women are programmed to instinctively reject another woman’s children?