Evewoman : Confessions: I love two women, I want to marry both
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Confessions: I love two women, I want to marry both

I am engaged but I have a son with another woman who I really love (Photo: Shutterstock)

I am in a steady relationship and we are expecting our first child in five months. My fiancée’s parents are putting pressure on us to formalise our relationship. However, I have a son with this other woman that I really love. We have been in a relationship for more than five years now. I love both women and want to marry them both but I don’t know what the new law says about marring two women at the same time. I have to act soon especially because of the pressure from my fiancée’s parents - they are demanding a church wedding. Please advise me on what I can do to marry both women. They both know about each other and neither will accept for me to marry the other one. They have asked me to make a stand on this matter soon.

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{Moffat}

What the readers say:

Moffat, you seem to be an honest man who just got himself in a fix. You have a child with one woman, yet you love another. It seems the issue for you here is that you do not want your child to be raised outside a marriage. Perhaps you need to look at what exactly that means and whether marrying the mother of your son will truly benefit your child more than the current situation. There seems to also be a problem with her parents. Did you tell them that you have a child with another woman? I think you need to come clean with all parties and allow them to make a decision about you. Also, consult everyone involved further on the way forward. These women might actually not be OK with your proposed arrangement.

{Anne Nebo Kadenge}

You're in a true fix but you must roast in the fire because it is your fault. Why did you start dating the second woman when you were still in love with the first? And do you really love the first woman or you feel obligated to marry her because she has your child? To me, this is a very selfish move. All you want is to make yourself comfortable. I assure you that will not be the case. I come from a polygamous family. You will have a lifetime of drama and disagreements.

{Bertha Mwongela}

Boke says:

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Dear Moffat,

This is how things turn out when you do not think through your actions and when you give life a carefree attitude. You seem to have been enjoying dating these women at the same time. I do not understand why you are now sounding like a cornered victim.

You say you love the one you have been with for the last five years. That should guide you into making a decision. But again where did a second relationship come from? Being in this kind of mix is an indication of weakness in certain areas of character.

The law of the land allows you to have more than one wife, so you have no issue on that. For some reason the ladies seems to be okay with the fact that you have not been faithful to either of them. Could it be because they too are not?

If you could date two ladies at the same time, chances are high that you will continue to have other relationships even in marriage. I wonder why these ladies cannot see this and take off. You are also indecisive and that is why you are complaining about the pressure from your prospective in-laws.

The ladies are demanding that you make a decision on who you will settle with instead of questioning your behaviour. This has gotten into your head and making you feel like you are a prize or some sort of trophy to be won. To be honest that is misplaced honour bestowed upon you.

What should be clear by now is how to take care of your children; what you need now is not a wife but time to reflect and work on yourself.

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Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

Simon says:

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Moffat, we now have the Marriage Act of 2014 which brought together the formerly scattered Acts that governed the institutions of marriage in Kenya. So you want to know what the new marriage laws provides for? However, in as much as we shall get into that discussion I wish to reiterate that the law only guides or provides a framework for things to happen. It however does not make things any easier especially when it comes to an issue that is as sensitive as a polygamous marriage. This is always a complex matter that with or without legislation will heavily impact your life. We shall therefore address your issue from two dimensions which constitute one, the legal aspects surrounding polygamy and two, the social aspects of polygamy in Kenya.

On the legal side, yes indeed the Marriage Act recognizes several categories of marriages in Kenya and polygamy has now been formally recognized and provided for within the legal framework. However, in your explanation you say you are under pressure to marry your current fiancée through a church wedding and maintain your long-term girlfriend as your second wife. This will not be acceptable under the current law. Christian, Hindu and Civil marriages are deemed to be precisely monogamous in nature while Islamic and Customary marriages are presumed to be potentially polygamous. As per the law a monogamous marriage cannot be converted into a polygamous marriage but a customary marriage can be converted into a monogamous marriage.

What this means is that the only way you will get to keep both women is by forgetting about the church wedding and marrying both women under the customary set-up. Customary marriages are as good as any other marriages. The registrar of marriages is now issuing certificates for such marriages as well so both will be legitimate. With the new law it is an offense punishable by law to procure another marriage while within a monogamous setting. It is either customary or you will only be allowed to formally marry one of the women.

On the social aspect, you have responsibilities to the other woman (your long-term fiancée) being that you have fathered a child with her and that you may have been maintaining her in several ways. It will be in your best interest for this to continue otherwise you may be sued for child support and maintenance.

Finally, if you settle for a customary marriage with your fiancée, you may need to be alive to the fact that they may not necessarily agree to this which could cause friction. This will definitely be a long shot and you ought to critically think about it because once you share this, the reactions from her parents (who are already pushing for a church wedding) may be undesirable and have long term effects even on your marriage.

Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor

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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

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