Let them eat cake…..





This past weekend I found myself comforting my daughter. She went through bad pain of a first ever break up.

She only went out with a boy when she was nineteen and he was that boy. They were together at pre-school and primary school until we moved to Joburg. They kept in touch until after high school when they decided to be more than friends. We moved back from Joburg and they became a proper couple.

The Boy…

The break up was hard on all my family too. He was such a beautiful boy that any mother could wish her daughter can have a relationship with. Well raised but also naturally humble. I loved that about him.

Their plan was to get engaged when they both graduate next year. I loved that plan too.

Here comes trouble..

The problem was caused by something that should not have been a problem whatsoever. He started going to church.

Strange I know, that should make their relationship strong but not in this case. Their church is far ‘liberal’ than ours.

He got friends there, a group of alcoholic friends. They went for youth services together. In the meantime they were organizing a drunken stupor with a groups of sexy girls.

Every time after their services, he would disappear into these alcohol feasts and reappear the next day hung over. It started by him not calling goodnight as he was drunk.

The last straw

This happened quickly, over a month I think. Then the last straw was this past weekend. He did not pitch for any of their planned activities and was seen by her friends drunk and kissing a girl at a petrol station. This is after he visited for fifteen minutes and said he was rushing to help granny at home. On Monday my daughter went to see him and confrontation ensued so the break up happened. He said something like ‘he wants to explore life without her’.

I saw her crying in her room, for the first time she told me what has been going on.

It is then that I decided to be a strong mother for her and give some advice about break ups. It is the most devastating ever, the first one. It hurts like there is no tomorrow but I needed her to be strong, for herself not him. It would define how she handles disappointments and betrayal by people closest to her going forward. It would change the way she thought of relationships but I needed it to change for the better. Most importantly, it has the potential to plant doubt about her capabilities as a woman and a human being, I needed her to know this had nothing to do with her and it is not her fault.

“She has a right to say no if the relationship did not suite her anymore.”

She cried as I tried to be stern with her. I did not want her to wipe her tears by getting another boyfriend or worse getting to alcohol to soften her pain as it is common in our shores. Most of all I needed her to stay a lady that she was and remain above board. I told her to acknowledge her pain but never be driven by it. Time has a way of dealing with pain. In time he will see that it was his loss.

He did not keep his promise

She cried and shouted ‘but I love him’. We planned our forever together. He promised he will never unlove me and I did the same to him. I have kept my side of the promise that is why it hurts so much. Why did he have to change the terms of reference?

‘Mommy he changed the rules in the middle of the game. I did not agree to a relationship with a third person. If that was the case I would have gone out with anyone because that is what everyone is doing. I chose to love him because he said he will never cheat on me. I have never agreed to partying and drunken orgies. No matter how much I love him I cannot change who I am for him. He can go ahead and play with his new team and explore other girls, as for me I will nurse my hurt and if I ever see him again, I cannot say for sure I will not get angry or cry or even laugh but one thing for sure I cannot love him ever again.’

He is going to be the reason I rise beyond what I thought I would be. This disappointment is going to be the reason that I succeed in my life. It is my inspiration to reach my goals and beyond.

Mary Antoinnette

She said ‘let him eat cake’. What does that mean I asked, ‘ Mary Antoinnette mommy you don’t remember?”. I know Mary Antoinnette and I know the French revolution, but what does that have to do with this?

‘Children’, I found myself thinking, they can say the most unanticipated things. As long as she knows what that meant I was not going to ask more. What I gathered from our conversation was that she was going to be ok, and that was fine with me.

“Life is a test, we need to strive to pass it, and do so with flying colours.”

Cry if you have too

We can never stop because someone decides against us as a team member. People change their minds all the time. We need to cry and be hurt but we must sure rise. As my mother would say, we need to blow our nose, wash our faces and decide that crying is enough. A time must come when we say ‘enough’ to pain. Transform it to good life and living.

One person cannot define your destiny, stay focus and march on. Sometimes you can do that with tears still in your beautiful eyes, but determination in your heart will carry you through. You did nothing wrong so why should it be you who suffers endless.

“You are a beautiful creature of God, He loves you that should be enough.”

Whatever break up or disappointment you are going through…..’let them eat cake’ I don’t know what it means but it works for my daughter, try it, it might just work for you too.



by Namhla Mbunge

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