Madonna made lover Jesus Luz stay at home in Malawi
The 51-year-old singer banned the 23-year-old Brazilian model from accompanying her on the trip because she was reportedly worried their age gap would upset her African hosts.
But Jesus was devastated at the snub and had wanted to be seen by her side as she oversaw work on her academy for girls in the poverty-stricken country start.
A source told Britain's Daily Star newspaper: 'Their difference in age could have embarrased some people there.'
Jesus – who has been dating the mother-of-four since last year – has been desperate for their relationship to be "taken seriously" and last week introduced the pop star to his mother.
Devoted Madonna flew out to Brazil to meet Jesus Luz's 36-year-old mother Cristiane Regina da Silva at a hotel where the two women reportedly sat chatting for several hours.
After the successful meeting, the lovebirds - who have since been spotted at a string of top restaurants in Rio de Janiero – are now expected to get engaged.
The couple had reportedly rowed after Madonna - who has children Lourdes, 12, Rocco, nine, and adopted David and Mercy, both four - said she would rather be "run over by a train" than marry again following her split from movie director Guy Ritchie.
But according to the twice-married singer's biographer Randy Taraborrelli, she has already had a change of heart.
He said: "Madonna is telling close friends and family that, 'I definitely see myself marrying him. It's on the table.' '