A normal human being can’t suffer at the expense of someone else without making then pay for it. When lovers fall out, hardly do they part in peace. In most cases, they always resort to some sort of wild justice - revenge. Jilted lovers go to extremes to get back their lovers or revenge punitively to teach them a lesson. Some break utensils, pricey electronics, burn down houses, hire hitmen to dispatch their former lovers to hell- or heaven.
It gets crazier, if some extreme cases reported are anything to go by. For instance, not long ago, in the United States of America, after her husband filed for divorce, in a bid to land him in trouble, an estranged wife sent a ricin-laced letter to Barack Obama and implicated her husband. However, her attempts to frame her husband for having threatened Obama were unsuccessful. She was instead arrested and prosecuted.
Still in the USA, Brenda Schumann, 51, who, upon finding her husband with another woman in bed, defecated and urinated on the floor in his house. This was before she picked a gun and began to destroy property and decorations in the house.
And if you thought that was crazy, then you probably missed the nutty tale of a nosy and jealous 51-year-old New Mexican, James Hebison, who was prosecuted and charged after he was caught trespassing his ex-wife premises. Reason? He was trying to install cameras and microphones to record his ex-wife having sex with her new boyfriend.
Closer home, Edward, 35, a banker, was married to Betty for close to 4 years. Betty, during her regular visits to Edward’s office, met and knew Edward’s boss. Edward’s boss, a cunning smooth talker and randy to boot, began making passes at her. She, initially, played coy but with time, couldn’t resist the honey-coated ‘lyrics’ of Edward’s boss. They, unfortunately, began an affair. Edward got wind of the clandestine affair and was heartbroken and got totally peeved.
“That my wife was secretly having ‘gland to gland’ combats with my boss really hurt me. I had to revenge. Unfortunately, I couldn’t direct my anger to my boss for fear of losing my job. My wife had to suffer the consequences,” says Edward.
Edward consulted far and wide, but none of the solutions given would comfort him more than divorcing his wife and sleeping with her friends. This mission was partly achieved, considering Edward was familiar with most of Betty’s friends who she had introduced to him as they took loans at Edward’s bank.
Upon realising what was going on, Betty hired crooks who trailed Edward one evening, cornered him and clobbered him silly. They even forced him to call her -at knifepoint -to confess his ‘sins’ and beg for mercy! “My wife hired thugs who beat me up and left me for dead - with a broken nose, fractured hands and bleeding all over the face,” says Edward.
Behind the attack
Edward reported the matter to the police, but due to his inability to prove that indeed Betty was behind the attack, the case was dismissed.
Much later, after her affair with Edward’s boss was laid bare, Betty moved on. She hooked up with a white man and together moved to Sweden. 7 years down the road, Betty had a disagreement with her White husband over his demands to have babies; an idea Betty was not ready for. Immediately after getting a Swedish passport, two Masters Degrees - at the expense of her White husband, and a job at a multinational, Betty dumped him.
Back in Kenya, Edward married Betty’s sister who had been living with them but never left after Betty was shown the door. “I married her sister who was jobless, and had been living with us. Interestingly, the woman had been ‘tuning’ me. I remember her sympathising with me for ‘getting a raw deal’ from her sister and even asked me if I thought she (Betty’s sister) could make a good wife,” Edward narrates. “Seeing as she had been taking good care of me and my son who her sister had left behind, decided to marry her,” Edward adds.
Edward, who had not officially married Betty, approached Betty’s parents who grudgingly gave him the green light to officially marry Betty’s sister. He married her in a big wedding, and are living happily with their three sons. To make the revenge sweeter, Edward invited Betty to the wedding, something that made her attempt suicide.
Meanwhile, Betty seems to have given up on men, she is currently single and working for a big multinational abroad. After breakups and divorce, strange tales have been told of jilted lovers who do crazy things. And women do some of the weirdest things. When Lilian Nyakio realised her boyfriend, with whom she was living with, was cheating on her, she was so heart-broken and pained that she spoilt his suits using a hot iron box.
Burnt his suits
“They say I’m a bit of a drama queen but some wounds are so painful. I had banked all my hopes in this man, knowing he would marry me, but he did the unimaginable, sleeping with one of my friends. Before I packed and left, I destroyed his suits with a hot iron box,” says a visibly bitter Lilian.
They say only alcohol and adversity can best bring out a man’s true character. Indeed, if there is one form of adversity that can rouse the worst in some adults, it has to be an ill-timed breakup. A tale is told of a certain Mike Mutume who, after his girlfriend dumped him via SMS, he got so angry that he visited a witch doctor to make her future relationships with other men unworkable. The woman got so worried that she reported the matter to police.
Mutume vowed to give her sleepless nights, which he did by nagging her with phone call and text messages, all of which went unanswered. The woman had to change her phone number. Fortunately, the witchcraft he had threatened her with backfired, because the woman in question still got another lover who married her and have a happy family.
People deal with breakups and rejections differently. The emotionally stronger ones carry on stoically without much fuss. The emotionally weak cry themselves into the wee hours of the night. Beer lovers drink themselves silly and do things they regret the following day.
The emotionally imprudent have a way of doing silly but remarkable things. For Anne Nafula* a 24-year-old university student, chose to go to a night club where her ex was partying and put up a show to make him envious. She began cosying with a male friend, and her ex-boyfriend walked away angrily, to her delight. “My ex later sent a text saying that I am stupid, but I had made my point,” says an unapologetic Anne. There is a very natural and human desire to seek revenge when one is jilted. Anne wanted to show his ex that she had moved on, and was doing much better.
Mudslinging is another common product of bad breakups. Women have two weapons: One is spreading rumours about how former boyfriends or husband were lousy in bed or ‘small where it matters most’. Alternatively, they blow a man’s minor shortcomings out of proportion. For instance, most women always paint their ex-lovers as broke and unable to afford ‘quality’ lifestyles. Men, too, can be uncharitable at times. Often, they prefer unprintable words.
And then there are those who can be petty. Returning photos and other memorabilia even underwear, is fairly standard practice. And some can even move way with everything, including the toiletries and other small-time household items they bought, as it happened to Martha Rono*.
When Martha broke up with her boyfriend of two years, he waited until she had gone to work, then left with everything he had ever bought her, including shoes. “I thought he was mature enough, to leave somethings, like the used ones but wapi (far from it). He even asked back for the phone I was using, which he bought me as a gift,” says Martha.
According to Hassan Nyawanga, a health care provider who also provides counselling services at Ruiru Subdistrict Hospital in Kiambu County, breakups can be dangerous, and they have to be handled with care. “To minimise chances of break ups, individuals, especially young men and women, should invest their emotions in each other sparingly. They must know each other well before moving in together or getting married,” he advises.
After breakups, separations or divorce, he adds, individuals should seek counseling services from professionals. This helps to prevent among other things, suicides, drug addiction or blind hatred, which may act as an impediment to social progress.