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How Do You Live With A Man Whose Daughter Hates You?

How Do You Live With A Man Whose Daughter Hates You?

I knew Francis was in Sunyani so when my office transferred me to Sunyani to work, he was the one I called; “I’ve been transferred to Sunyani, can you help me find accommodation? I have only one month to relocate.” He was happy to help so I left everything in his hands. A week later he sent me pictures of a place he said he had gotten. It looked pleasing so I traveled to go and check it out. I met him with his daughter. We went to check the house out. The house looked like everything I wanted so I told him I would take it. We went to see the landlord, discussed the terms and I agreed to take the place. 

When we were about to depart, his daughter said something that made us laugh. She said, “Dad, are you buying the house for her?” Kids have a way of looking at things. They believe whatever their minds tell them, especially if they saw what they’re talking about. Her father said, “Nooo, I’m not buying it for her. She’s renting it.” I looked at her and realized she didn’t understand what her father said so I went down to her level and explained things to her; “This house belongs to the man we just spoke to. I need a place to live so your father brought me to see the man so the man can give me the house. Your dad is not buying it, Ok?” 

She nodded her head but from the look on her face, she didn’t completely understand what was at stake. 

I moved in weeks later and started going to work at my new place. Francis called every now and then asking if I needed something. If there was a place I needed to go. If I was struggling with something. My responses were always the same. I told him, “It’s a new place. I’m adjusting to things but very soon I will be fine. You don’t have to worry.” One weekend he came around with his daughter to visit me. I cooked for them and did everything to ensure that they were comfortable. The kid was very quiet. You could see she was uncomfortable about something. I tapped her chin, ran my fingers through her hair, and asked, “Are you ok?” She nodded without a word. Francis said, “She’s like this whenever we visit new places. Wait until she gets used to you.”

I said, “I like the way you bond with your daughter. You go everywhere with her. You’re stealing her from her mother.” The girl responded, “My mother has traveled. When she comes, she’ll take me to places too.” I said, “Oh really? Now I get it. Mom will come soon ok?” She nodded. Again, without words. Francis looked at her and looked at me. The look was quizzical. I asked him, “What are you thinking?” He shook his head.

He called me later in the evening. The conversation was sketchy and was leading to nowhere but each second felt like he was going to say something important. Finally, he said, “So I’m going through a divorce. My wife left the house a month ago. We had a fight. She threatened to stab me. She threw things at me. She threw bitter words at me. I could swerve the things she threw at me but I couldn’t swerve the words she threw at me. Our neighbors had to come in to calm things. That same evening, she left.”

I’ve never had a friend going through a divorce before so I didn’t know what to tell him to soothe his pain. I was like, “Awww, that’s too bad. What at all can cause two lovers to become biter towards each other? I pray you guys solve your differences, just for the sake of your daughter. She needs you two together.”

So he started telling me how the whole thing started. Marriage happened to the two of them. It wasn’t something they sat down and plan for it like people usually do. Usually, the man proposes marriage. The woman accepts. They go through counseling. Tradition is followed until it ends up in the church where the two will say “I do.” Later the couple goes home and starts working towards babies. Theirs started from the end. It started from a baby. She got pregnant when they were dating. They had dated for eight months when the lady got pregnant. According to him, the lady didn’t want to give birth while unmarried so they quickly put on their kente clothes and got married traditionally before her bump began to show. The idea was to have their wedding later when the child is born.

But they started having problems right after the child was born. Three times they tried to have a wedding. Three times the wedding couldn’t go through. Something had to come up to destroy their plans. A quarrel. A fight. Exchanged of bitter words. “I regret knowing you.” “I regret allowing myself to mother your child. Useless man.” “You allow a useless man to be on top of you? What then becomes of you? Super useless? You shame your parents.” Those kinds of bitter words. 

He said, “Those words couldn’t break me until she told another man that the two of us were not married. Our daughter was only two years then. I wanted her to start school at two. She wanted her to live with her parents until she’s three or four before she starts school. We were fighting on that when the brother of the man she said that to came to tell me. At first, she denied it. When it turned into a big fight she asked me, “Are we married? In what church? Who was there? Who was the pastor?” I know from that point that we were over but I was only holding on for a miracle. To see if she could change her mind but she never did.”

I’ve known Francis when we were just boys and girls. We lived in the same vicinity until he completed the university and found a job. I remained in the same vicinity with his parents and saw him each time he came around. He was a great guy. His story got to me but there was nothing I could do to help. I couldn’t even say anything encouraging to help ease his pain but as time went by and his wife wasn’t coming, we got closer and closer until drinks were returned to put finality to the marriage. He kept his daughter with him so I made it a point to help him with his daughter. I will go there, cook for them, wash for them and clean for them. This is something I would do for any friend in Francis’ position. NO strings attached. I would do it willingly and quietly. 

But his daughter, the reason I was there to help started hating me. 

Anytime she sees me around, she would run into the bedroom and hide. Francis would go in there and fetch her but she won’t stay. When forced, she would cry until we let her go. When I cook and serve her, she won’t touch the food. Even when I bring her sweets, she won’t take them. At first, I didn’t take it in. I thought it was her way of dealing with the divorce. Weeks rolled into months but nothing changed. On her sixth birthday, we thought of surprising her in school. We bought a cake, champagne, and drinks and sent them to her in school. I went with Francis. I was the one carrying the cake and Francis was carrying the other stuff. When the cake was placed on the table and she was asked to cut it, this girl refused to take the knife. She ran to the corner of the class and started crying. The whole thing was becoming embarrassing so we left the thing to her class teacher and left.

She didn’t eat the cake. She simply refused to be part of her own birthday celebration. We left her to time. Her father said, “Let’s wait and see. Time will work on her heart when she continuously sees the various ways you’re trying to be kind to her.” Two years later, things changed. It changed from bad to worse. She had told his father she doesn’t want a witch stepmother. I was there. I heard her but I pretended I didn’t hear it just so Francis wouldn’t feel bad.

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It was a year ago that Francis proposed to me. I said no. I told him I was only there to help him because he is a good man. He kept coming at me until I accepted in my heart to be with him. I didn’t say yes. I was only waiting to see a change in her daughter. I was trying to build a relationship with her first before anything else but currently, it looks like a relationship with his daughter wouldn’t be possible. I don’t like to be in a situation where I would wake up each morning and think of what to do to make his daughter like me. Life has enough troubles. I don’t want to add more, especially in a situation where I only want to give love and take love back. 

I’ve spoken to Francis about it. I’ve told him my fears and why I can’t be with him. He thinks it’s trivial. He said, “She’s only a child. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. She will grow out of it someday, believe me.” A seven-year-old child who had learned to hate isn’t a child. I believe she knows what she’s doing. I believe she finds me responsible for the divorce of her parents. She thinks I’m the reason her mother didn’t come back. I’ve told Francis about all these perceptions I’m having but he thinks I’m going too far with my thoughts.

I’ve discussed the issues with some friends. They think life is too short to allow a kid to destroy my happiness. They all advised me to go for it and allow the daughter to be what she wants to be. “It’s about your happiness and not hers,” Benice told me. Honestly, it’s about everyone’s happiness too. Not only mine. I’m conflicted. I want to listen to them. I want to listen to Francis. I want to disobey my inner voice and plunge into it but each time I see the girl’s face, I just take a step back and say, “Nooo, I won’t do it.”

I’ve stopped going to him. I’ve stopped doing all the things I do for him. He comes around but I’ve told him to stop coming to me with his daughter. I want to have everything sorted this year so I can decide on what next to do. I need advice. Should I move with him even when his daughter had become the sinking sand under my feet?

Bibi      

Source: CelebritiesbuzzGh | How Do You Live With A Man Whose Daughter Hates You?