Dear Vee,

I was once a happy woman, married to a man in Aba. Life was simple but filled with love. Together, we had five children: three boys and two girls. My husband was hardworking, but fate was unkind. He lost his job and had to leave us behind to find work in Lagos. I was left to fend for our family, selling food by the gutter—no shop, no shelter. When it rained, it poured its sorrows on us, drenching me and my two children who helped me. We endured this for a year until I saved enough money to send them to a government school. It was cheap, but it was education, and that was something.

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Meanwhile, in Lagos, my husband finally found a job. He saved diligently and started a small business. Every now and then, he visited us in Aba. He promised that in three years, once his business was strong, he would take us all to Lagos to live together. We were hopeful and happy.

One day, he came back with news that he had applied for a loan at Diamond Bank. If approved, he would travel to China to import goods directly. We celebrated, not realizing that our joy was built on fragile promises. He traveled to China in 2005, bought goods, and visited us again. Our children begged him to take them along, but he assured us he would do so next time. That was the last time we saw him.

Months passed, and his calls stopped. His number was unreachable. After seven months of silence, I decided to travel to Lagos to find him. It took days to locate his shop, but when I finally did, he acted like he didn’t know me. He shouted at me, asking who I was. I was shattered.

A woman approached me as I left in tears. She asked who I was to him. I told her I was his wife with five children. She revealed that my husband had another wife in Lagos. Shocked and heartbroken, she took me to see this woman, who was pregnant. I kept my composure and left.

That evening, my husband called and warned me never to visit him in Lagos again. He declared that he now had a Lagos wife and I was merely his Aba wife. Desperate, I turned to his family, but they all supported him, saying he had the right to marry many wives.

Left to fend for my children alone, I hustled and struggled. He barely called, maybe once every two or four months, but never offered any help.

Then last December, his family summoned me to the village. I went, only to find my husband bedridden, struck by a severe stroke. He couldn’t walk, only speak. His family pleaded with me to forgive him and take him back to Aba to care for him. They knelt down, begging me to have mercy.

I asked about his Lagos wife and his business. They told me she had taken all his money and fled to Spain with their child. Betrayed and heartbroken, I cried and returned to Aba.

Now, my pastor advises me to forgive him. But what should I do? How can I forgive a man who abandoned me and our children, only to seek my help when he had nowhere else to turn?

Dear readers, I need your advice. Should I forgive him and bring him back to Aba? Should I care for the man who left me and our children without any help or assistant?