‘My girlfriend blackmailing me with demands’


My girlfriend has started blackmailing me with “if you love me you will treat my family as your own.” What should I do?

Njideka Nwapa-Ibuka

Dear NJIGIRL,

I have a girlfriend who is four years older than I. We have been friends for a long time. Her family values our friendship but recently I have become sort of a God sent to them.

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You see, her dad passed away last year and her mom has been coping with three of her younger siblings. My girlfriend’s mom has just lost her job and things are hard. They have been asking me for rent and food money ever since and it has become too much for me. My girlfriend has also started blackmailing me with “if you love me you will treat my family as your own.” What should I do?

■ Felix

Dear FELIX,

Money is a very sensitive issue and has often caused problems between couples. I can understand helping the family of a friend in need from time to time. I think it is wrong for your girlfriend to use the emotional blackmail on you. Now did you say she is your girlfriend? This means that you have no serious ties to her. I wonder, have you proposed to her? Is she then a fiancée? Does your girlfriend work?

Her family is her responsibility until “you put a ring on her finger.” It is only then her responsibility becomes both your responsibility.

If you do not have the money to give to her mom then let her mom know that. You should not be coerced into doing something that you are not comfortable doing. As for your girl, tell her point blank that you will not be blackmailed anymore but that out of the goodness of your heart you may come up with a minimal amount to help them stay afloat.

Bear in mind that stressful situations make people act differently. It is possible that the situation she sees her family in makes her very afraid and desperate. Now is it possible for her mother to collect unemployment benefits? If so work with them on putting a budget in place. If you are able after meeting your own obligations you may give them a set minimal amount until they are on their feet again.

Good luck,

■ Dr. NJ

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