Dear Heart to Heart, since 2017, my 24-year-old niece has been dating two men; one in his mid-60s and her real boyfriend who is 28 years old. The older man has come to know about the boyfriend but the latter does not know about the former.
She had sex with the two men in the same week and got pregnant. She informed both of them of the pregnancy but then decided to start living with her boyfriend, which angered the older man. However, he still gives her assistance and is ready to take her on as a second wife if DNA tests prove he is the father of the baby. She is, however, not ready for marriage and wants to first finish school and get a job. The situation has caused her too much stress leading to health complications such as low blood pressure. Please help me on how to advise her. Anonymous
David Mukasa. There is a period called the “window of conception”. Your niece probably got an estimate of when this window is from her doctor when he confirmed her pregnancy. She needs to think about who she was having unprotected sex with during this time. Both men need to take a paternity test when the child is born to find out which of them is the father of this baby. My advice to her would be not to put a man’s name on the baby’s birth certificate indicating he is the father until she is absolutely sure who the real father is. Because whoever she names as the baby’s father on the birth certificate is legally responsible for supporting that child.
Margaret Kizito. In everything, your niece is still young and from what I have seen not ready to settle down with any man. It is unfortunate that she has ended up pregnant without knowing who of the two men is the father of her child. She should, therefore, accept this responsibility and focus on carrying her baby to term. She will then focus on going back to school after giving birth.
Joan Ssaka. It is unfortunate that a number of young women nowadays decide to date older men in a quest for material things. One thing your niece should remember is that such a man is already married and even if he is willing to take her as another wife, is she ready for this stress at her age? She should first focus on being alone and concentrate on having a healthy child. When she is ready to settle down, then she can find someone who is ready to accept her and her child.
Lozio Balaza. Your niece should remember that by dating more than one man, she is exposing her life to diseases such as HIV/Aids. She should, therefore, watch out for these and settle only for one lifetime partner.
Jane Rose. Although it is possible to get a paternity test before giving birth, some carry a small risk of miscarriage. Therefore, most experts recommend waiting until after the birth before testing to find out who your baby’s father is for sure. It may be difficult for your niece to go through a pregnancy without sharing it with the baby’s father. She should however not stress herself and focus instead on a positive future. She should talk to family or share any worries with her doctor.
Allano Hooks. To begin with, your niece should stop playing men like a basketball game because they too, have feelings. She should also follow her heart and not the DNA test, marriage is a long life commitment, so you have to have affection for the man you plan to be with. Instead, she should take time away from both men for the time being and focus on having a healthy pregnancy.
Phoebe Miriam. Your niece should start with severing ties with both men and concentrate on her education since she is not interested in marriage.
Peace Raphaela Jenny. She can still continue with her education even after the birth of the baby. What she should concentrate on right now is having a healthy baby and then the rest will follow.
Mathew Nakabaale. It is abvious that your niece was not ready for any of the things she is going through now. She has also not made up her mind on who of the two men she wants to be with. Yes, her baby needs a father but this does not mean that she sacrifices her own happiness to be with a man or men she does not love. Although the decision is ultimately hers, I think she needs to focus more on being single for a while until she is mature enough to shoose a man that will love her one hundred per cent.
Scovia Musisi. No pregnant woman should go through this much stress, especially one so young. She should seek the services of a counsellor and attend antenatal classes. She should seek advice from the health professionals there. What is important now is being healthy which will also enable her to have a healthy child.
John Bbossa. This should serve as a lesson to all young women out there. When your parents send you to school, focus on that and succeed and then move on to marriage and having children. Do not be caught offguard just because you are looking for material things and money.
Evelyn Kharono Lufafa, counselling psychologist
She should go back to her parents
Dear anonymous, considering your niece’s wishes, her mind is not ready for marriage. She really needs to immediately talk to a counsellor because she seems to be looking for something that she has not found. This is the reason she is mixing relationships and seems confused.
She needs to be supported and her life reorganised by either her family or a counsellor now that she wants to finish school first. When she says she is not ready to get married, let her mean what she says. She does not have to move in with the boyfriend. Let her go to her parents or relatives if she really does not want to get married. She cannot settle for being a second wife to a man in another generation. If there is any support that must be offered, let her receive it while at her parents home.
With support from the family, she will be able to make an informed choice about life and becoming pregnant does not necessarily mean that she must get married to that person. She can be able to complete school with her baby and probably this may tame her social behaviour and have clearer intentions in her later life.
There could have been so many things in her young life that did not prepare her as a young adult but there is a lot of time for her to learn a lot of things.
Compiled by Beatrice Nakibuuka