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BN Hot Topic: Is it Okay to Enter another Relationship if your Spouse is Down with Mental Illness?



Alex Lerner, Dan Gasby and Barbara B. Smith

In the last few weeks, one of the topics of discussion was Barbara B. Smith‘s husband Dan Gasby making public, that he has a girlfriend – Alex Lerner, 54, a vegan chef and radio host.

B. Smith, 69, was a cover model and tv personality, then became a restaurant owner and cookbook author. In 2013, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and since that that, things changed.

Dan, 64, and his daughter from a previous marriage Dana Gasby, 32 are the only caregivers to B. Smith.

As B. Smith’s Alzheimer’s progressed, Dan said he struggled with loneliness and depression, as taking care of her is a round-the-clock job.

“I was tired. I was miserable. I could have put my wife in an institution, but I love her. It’s just a different type of love now,” he told PEOPLE.

Dan said Alex saved him emotionally and also helps with B. Smith’s care.

After announcing their relationship, Dan said he has been receiving death threats and strangers have accused him of betraying the vows of his 26-year marriage.

Dan feature on his new relationship on The Washington Post included videos of him, Dana and Alex taking care of B. Smith, something Whoopi Goldberg on her talk show “The View” has criticised.

“I didn’t want to see B look like that. I didn’t need to see that,” Whoopi said.

Her co-host Sunny Hostin also said: “I find it very disrespectful that he is with his wife and disrespecting her by being with his girlfriend in their home.” (Alex has her bedroom in their home where she visits on weekends).

But Dana fully supports the relationship. “She (Alex) is helping, she’s an asset, she’s putting in time, she’s putting in work. And so I love them together. They make sense,” she said.

So, BNers, what do you think? Is it okay, or is it not?



  1. Tamuno

    February 9, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Its sure okay in as much as it doesn’t affect the care given to the mentally ill partner.

  2. Billionaire in grace

    February 9, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    This is fine as long as it brings peace and the joy needed in that family cos something I learned growing up is when a family’s member is sick the entire family is also sick emotionally cos it really affects you as a person

  3. MIA

    February 9, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Everyone of you saying is okay because it’s the woman. If he was mental unstable, will it be okay for his wife to bring her boyfriend home?

    • Tia

      February 10, 2019 at 2:23 am

      @MIA. Thought about that earlier. Some over 70 year old women take care of their husbands who have become weak. If it were a woman, they would have criticized her. If it is just about taking a break from caring, the US has you covered. All you need is good insurance. A nursing assistant can come thrice a week. I know someone who kept their sick relative at home. Nurses also come to see her. Sister in law takes her to hospital if she needs to go.

  4. Seriously

    February 9, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    It’s abolutely not okay. B smith has alzheimers and can’t remember anything. If there was an agreement in which she agreed to it when she was fully healthy, It’s fine. But to have another woman move into your house, in your face is disrespectful. He’s not honoring his wife at all.
    He can have whoever he wants but not in the same house, bed he once shared with his wife.

  5. Ada

    February 9, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    May we not be sick. I know what I am saying. Tough for both the sick, their relatives and the spouse. A woman from the eastern part of Nigeria told me how much she suffered whilst taking care of her bedridden husband. She had to endure because if she leaves him her children and community people will insult her. This world, just pray that you don’t go bad or go down, for better for worse will go out of the window. The US is different, you can get carers to come home, all you need is good insurance, you don’t need a girl friend to help with your wife. Nurses and CNA cares can do the job.

  6. Hmm

    February 9, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    No, it’s not OK. Marriage is for better for worse. It’s not the spouse’s fault that he or she is mentally ill. It’s like saying it’s OK to cheat on your spouse when he or she has cancer or other illnesses

  7. Vivabelle

    February 9, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    What happened to in sickness and in health?

  8. Engoz

    February 9, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    I have not seen where he has answered the question of if the wife agreed to this arrangement before the disease fully took effect in a straightforward manner. He continuously beats about the bush. The whole set—up is very disrespectful to his wife. I’m not surprised though. Research shows men are more likely to divorce sick wives, than the other way around. He obviously thinks he deserves credit for ‘sticking with the wife’. As if that’s not what you’re supposed to do.

  9. Sakura

    February 9, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    It’s not ok biko.

  10. Cocoa

    February 9, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    This is the perfect opportunity to SHOW the vows you took before God and man. Perfect opportunity. But alas…when people don’t know God and therefore don’t know love..what do you expect? These ones have not died to self for a single day in their life. They sure wont start now when times are hard.


    Marriage is not for everyone. Don’t take the vows if you know you don’t mean it.

  11. Uberhaute Looks

    February 11, 2019 at 9:02 am

    We all know if the tables were turned, the woman would have been rubbished!
    It is what it is…women have more strength or love reservoir (maybe conditioned by culture) than men!

    Good example; Mama Kumuyi died and Papa married barely 6 months afterwards…so, it is what it is.

    • Elle

      February 11, 2019 at 10:52 pm

      Stop spreading falsehood. Kumuyi remarried 18 months after his wife died. World people, spewing lies confidently.

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