She stalks me, says God willed us together

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I am an adult male in my 40s who became friends with a woman who owns a business in my community. She has been trying to entice me with her money and wants me to marry her. She buys me things and gives me money even though I have told her that I am in a relationship. She keeps sending me texts late at night, and refuses to stop although I've asked her to. If my girlfriend were to see those messages I would not be able to explain that I am not sleeping with this woman. Her response is that God told her I will be hers, so nothing and no one else matters. The phone calls and texts have become so much for me to deal with that I had to have a female friend who is a police officer call her and tell her to stop calling and harassing me. That worked for a while, but it has started again. Now she is telling me that she wants me to return all the money she gave me. What should I do?

Your narrative is almost like the 1987 epic thriller Fatal Attraction, which shows how a casual fling can result in a nightmare for one partner. What some men don't seem to understand is that women are more emotionally driven, and so when they get involved with someone in a relationship, they invest not only time and effort but 100 per cent emotional capital, which indicates their level of commitment. Some of them will offer their bodies, and those with means will offer material resources, all in an effort to procure emotional commitment.

So what really happened in your case? Were you playing along with this woman while she showered you with cash and gifts? Did you give her the impression that the game you both were playing was mutually satisfying and that there was a possibility that she could be promoted from side chick to first lady? Do you take any responsibility for what has transpired? Did you in any way, shape or form lead her on? It takes two people to get involved in an affair, and so to point fingers at the other person and blame him/her for what's going on is being disingenuous.

You are now in damage control mode, which, if not managed well, could result in a want-all-lose-all situation. Surely your girlfriend would have noticed some unusual behaviour on your part; maybe you are checking and responding to texts at nights, buying expensive things, or even getting her stuff that you never used to. It really is just a matter of time before she puts the pieces together, especially considering the forthright nature of the other woman.

Regarding this other woman, did you quote her as saying that God told her you would be hers despite your present status? If that is the case, then God would certainly have given you a hint in that regard as well. How would she explain the giving of gifts and money and requesting the return of same? Is that also a directive from above? Interesting!

I am not sure what the legal ramifications are, since the items received were gifts and there was apparently no contract or understanding to the contrary. You may need to clear that up with an attorney.

Would you consider having a joint meeting with this lady and the female police officer? If the officer is trained in mediation and will remain impartial, maybe she could help to neutralise the situation.

If you are worried about what this woman might do to your relationship, it may be in your best interest to tell your girlfriend the whole story.

What you are experiencing is a cautionary tale to other men to be conscious of the fact that what you may want from an outside relationship might not coincide with the other person's needs. You might simply want a moment of fun, while the person needs a lifetime commitment.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com; check out his work overseas on www.seekingshalom.org, e-mail powellw@seekingshalom.org.

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