Confessions: My husband has kept this deep secret from me for all these years : Evewoman - The Standard
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Confessions: My husband has kept this deep secret from me for all these years

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I just got the shock of my life a few months ago when I discovered that my husband has been raising another family secretly for many years. We have had a good marriage and have been blessed with two sons and, in my wildest imagination, I would not have thought that my husband could have such deep secrets. I love him, the children love him but I can’t stomach the fact that I am going to be in a polygamous family. I am thinking about divorce. I don’t want to stay in this marriage and I think it would be better to start off afresh than to live with the thought that I am sharing my husband with another woman. Please advise me.

{Sara}

 

Boke Says,

Betrayal is a painful thing to go through because it happens when and from the people we least expected. It must be difficult to reconcile what you have all along known your husband to be and what you have just discovered of him.

You are right to have trusted him and you should never blame yourself for not being suspicious. The person who has failed the test of trust is your husband. He has all along known what he is doing and, as a matter of fact, this is what he wanted for himself. There would not be sufficient excuses for him. Remember this is not an affair but a family. He also knew that you would get to discover this sooner or later.

You’re technically in a polygamous arrangement. Your next move really depends on you. You will need time to let this shocking reality sink in, then you can make a sober judgment of the situation, bearing in mind that your husband has not rejected nor replaced you with the other woman. You could stay in this marriage if you are comfortable with the arrangement, also taking into account the social and emotional well-being of your children.

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Although the marriage bill of 2014 was signed into law legalising polygamy, it did not address other psycho-social challenges that these kinds of marriages present. All it did was to make people freer and more open about their polygamous status. The potential health risks they present, the rivalry, unhealthy competition and deadly jealousy were never addressed. But they are a common occurrence that are important to have at the back of your mind as you make your decision.

Whatever option you go for, you will be right. I believe you are the wearer of the shoe and you know where it pinches.

Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

 

Simon says,

Sara, it must have been shocking to discover such a substantive secret. You did not disclose how you came to this discovery but, like many other secrets, nothing remains hidden forever. He may have been struggling with this, wondering how to bring this out in the open or you just bumped into this by sheer good or bad luck.

Well, now you know so there is only one path in moving forward and that is learning to deal with this. I understand the frustration and agony this must be causing in your life but it is a bitter pill that has to be swallowed. The only difference is that, unlike an affair whose memories may fade away with time, this you will have to deal with for the rest of your life. Divorce may seem an easier way to sort this out but it will not erase the facts. It may even work to the other woman’s advantage and push him closer to her and, with time, you may find yourself living as the other woman after playing right into her hands. Yes, you may not imagine getting into a polygamous family as you say but remember, you have actually been in a polygamous marriage. Nothing is going to change apart from the fact that you will now know which battles you will be fighting.

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At the moment, the most important thing is to understand his honest thoughts about this situation. Some key questions will have to be answered; what does this other family mean to him? What plans does he have for them? Does he consider the other woman a wife or just a woman with whom he has children? What responsibilities does he have so far in relation to that family, among others.

To get this kind of information, you have to engage in this preferably in the presence of people both of you respect and trust or engage the services of a professional counsellor. Give him time to express himself and do not be too harsh or emotional with him. If you become hostile, he may just tell you what you want to hear and continue doing what he wants to do. Learning to live and deal with this is the most viable option for you. That situation cannot and will not change.

 

{Simon is a relationships counsellor}

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