I spent a lot of money on my boyfriend, now his parents say I'm too old for him — Help!

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Dear Aunty Lisa

I am a 35-year-old woman who has seen the good, the bad and ugly side of life, especially when it comes to relationships with men.

In my life, I must say I have not been lucky with men as they always use and dump me. I want to believe, like my friends used to tell me, that I love emotionally and invest everything I have in my relationships.

I grew up in an environment where we were taught to be generous, kind and share whatever we had with others. I imbibed this admonition and when I started having boyfriends, I tried to share everything with my men, not knowing that these would be my undoing.

Men have dealt with me in every imaginable way, with some stealing my money and running away. One man I loved with all my heart and had even had our introductions, collected over $5 000 for a business venture, only to surprise me when I saw photos of his wedding to another woman in a magazine.

I always left everything to God, believing that He has a better plan for me.

Then I met Emmerson five years ago. When I met him, he was just a struggling young man but he showed me so much love (I now believe he was pretending all along).

I was taken in by his devotion that I did everything to make sure he was comfortable. At his age (he was 30 when we met), he was still living with his parents in a room and palour apartment.

I got a three bedroom flat for them, furnished it to taste, gave his mother money to start up a business, paid school fees for his siblings and set him up in a business.

I did all this because he had vowed to marry me and even brought his parents to meet mine and we had our introduction. While everyone was happy for me, my father was sceptical and told me to be very careful, but I assured him that Emmerson was quite different from the rest.

The first sign of trouble was when, after almost five years, he never mentioned anything about solemnizing our union, even though we were living together in my house.

One day, I broached the topic and told him I would like to get pregnant so that it would speed up things. But his reaction should have warned me.

He told me he was not in a hurry and that we should not think of a baby yet. When I prodded further, he told me his parents are not very comfortable with him getting married to me, seeing that I am not that young.

I was hurt and angry at him but I hid my disappointment. But it finally hit me when his youngest sister who was very close to me, came to me to tell me that their parents had concluded plans for Emmerson to get married to a much younger girl from their village.

I was shocked but I hid it very well till he came back home and when I confronted him, he sheepishly said that there was nothing he could do as his parents had already taken the decision and he was just waiting for the right time to break the news to me.

At the moment, I am terribly broken. Some of my friends have told me to make sure he suffers for this betrayal while others say I should leave vengeance to God. But what should I do?


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