For some reason, there are some spouses who are forever suspecting their partners of cheating on them.
This kind of person digs through their partner’s personal stuff, snoops on them, trails them and checks their phone messages in an effort to find ‘evidence’ of God knows what.
Insecurity between married spouses is responsible for home break-ups, divorces and physical violence.
Douglas Omondi, a medic who has been married for ten years, knows this too well. Douglas hoped that in the first years of his marriage, his wife would change for the better, but that was not the case.
“I met my wife in the church choir and thought she was an angel. But from the day I proposed to her, she has never stopped snooping around me, threatening female colleagues and has successfully kept even my female relatives at bay,” recalls Douglas.
At first, he mistook this behaviour for possessive love but when she started warning even his sisters that “this is her husband” and they should not even hug him, he sensed trouble.
As a medical practitioner, Douglas says he interacts with many women everyday but each time a woman greeted him in the presence of even his then girlfriend, she would brood the whole day and demand reassurance that she was the only woman in his life.
After they got married, the issue spiraled out of control.
“She would unnecessarily call my office many times in the first years of our marriage and followed me wherever I went,” he recalls.
The now father of two recounts the day his half-sister came from Japan after two years and the two hugged.
“My wife confronted her, claiming that she is a woman like any other and should know her limits with “other people’s husbands”.
Douglas wife was so suffocating; she literally pushed him into the arms of another woman.
“For the last six years, I have been in a romantic affair with a girl who is sober and right-minded,” Douglas confesses.
Hannah Moraa also knows what it means to have an insecure spouse and its damaging repercussions.
“My husband was choking me! He would choose my dressing, monitor my make-up and always ask who I was dressing to impress in our office,” she remembers.
There were times he would appear uninvited in office parties, claiming that he wanted to drive her home himself.
“On Saturdays he would accompany me to the salon and would sit idle reading magazines until I was done. He thought I was seeing somebody,” she says.
When I requested him to let me run my errands alone, he would accuse me of plotting to meet another man.
The last nail on the coffin was when her office driver dropped her home one afternoon because she had a headache and had to leave work before time.
She unluckily found him home; he pounced on the unsuspecting driver before turning his wrath on her.
Hannah says her husband beat her up, ruthlessly bruising her face amidst warnings: “that beauty will never attract men again”.
She was forced to file for a divorce.
Not all suspicions are unjustified; some are called for, as is the case of Sam.
Sam who works in a local bank admits that he became insecure since the day he caught his wife red-handed in the office with one of her male workers.
“Why wouldn’t I be insecure when she gave me a reason to doubt her; I restricted her from all so-called company cocktails from that day unless I was accompanying her,” the banker says with ultimatum.
He confesses that every time he calls and her phone is off, he imagines that she is with another man.
“I am fighting to cope with this! You know trust is like an egg and she broke it forever,” he moans.
But what really triggers insecurity in a relationship?
Ann Gathuma, a marriage expert and TV relationship consultant says insecurity in marriages is triggered by jealousy, anger or fear.
She notes that a person who was cheated on or has cheated before is more likely to have an insecure marriage.
“They will always think what they did or what was done to them will recur,” the expert notes.
A man can also be jealous if the wife is exceedingly beautiful and attracts attention from men.
Likewise if the man is impossibly handsome and charming, he may attract female attention, which could spike jealously in the wife.
These two scenarios have to do with self-esteem issues — when one thinks their partner is too good for them.
There is, however, a type of insecurity that is unwarranted. These are extreme cases like where a wife, for instance, is suspicious of close family-members having an intimate relationship with her husband.
“If a man has such a paranoid woman, he should consider having his wife checked by a psychiatrist or a counsellor,” she says.
Ann says spouses should be equal partners in a marriage and none of them should be inferior.
“A wife can make her husband look like a frightened rabbit all the time!” she adds.
Dr John Mburu, a consultant psychiatrist in Nairobi says some insecurity that is exhibited by some people is a form of personality disorders, which may require psychiatric services.
He says that insecurity of any kind may be a symptom of paranoia. The paranoiac is suspicious of every move anyone around them makes. A paranoid wife can attack an innocent house-help or a relative in fear that they may snatch their husbands. On the other hand, a paranoid husband can cause a fight to defend the love of his wife.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke