I am 26 years old and my partner is 29 years old, we met back in college. After college, I fell pregnant with his baby. I was living with my aunt then and when she found out about the pregnancy, she sent me away and so I moved in with my partner. He then sought a marriage affidavit which has my name but with a forged signature. Shortly after, we were blessed with a son, now two years old. Now he has the habit of bad mouthing me to his friends, mostly females, telling them how bad I am and that we have already separated, which hurts me a lot. Of late, he has been really cold. He doesn’t tell me where he’s going and doesn’t even recognise my presence in the house. He can even be silent for weeks. And now I have learned that he wants to send me back to my parents. I feel so bad and I don’t even have someone to talk to. I don’t want my son to grow up without either of his parents. I am confused. I feel used and betrayed. I don’t want to do something stupid, please help.
What the readers say:
One, that affidavit is not light as he may think. Two, how did you get to know that he is telling his female friends negative thoughts about you? Are they the ones reporting all these to you? Are they your friends too? Be cautious about them before you lose what you currently have. I tend to think that he did not just from the woods start going quiet, there is a reason for this! Sit him down and remind him that his silence is slowly killing you and you are not very certain which particular behavior is pushing him to go silent on you. He will probably tell you. Lastly, marriage has stages, his baby is two years old. You are slowly moving into a difficult tier of marriage so brace yourself for a tough time. The first two years of marriage are usually blissful. The next five or so years are the reality stage. If you both aren’t sure why you are together, then this is the exact level where separation is looming. Only the purpose of your marriage will solve this.
Independently verify the purported ‘bad mouthing’ before anything else. Secondly, make yourself useful before your next pregnancy, and it will be soon unless you are cautious. Your next step is to confront him with the verified information and, during the interaction, keep your cool. If need be, involve his closest friend during the interaction. A man who discusses the ‘faults’ of his wife with other women is a feeble-minded weakling who you can either ignore or learn to live with. Should you find him unbearable, hold him accountable for his children as you plan your life.
To me, your husband is a cheater and if you have to continue to stay with him be ready for more problems. If he could forge official documents to support his evil deals and deeds, what can’t he do? Don’t you think that he may be a social and health risk to you? Kindly think about your relationship and your health especially sexually before he ruins and damages your health. You need to go for HIV testing and others and you need to legalise your relationship with him and be extra careful with this man. He might damage your life for good.
Sitting there and lamenting about your situation will not help you. Whatever circumstances brought you together is not as important as how the relationship progresses. When you mention the forged affidavit and your desire to stay and raise your child, you are sending mixed signals in that you are questioning your being together yet again you want to remain together.
Your husband seems to be moving in a different direction as far as your relationship is concerned. Unfortunately, you cannot force him to feel and act appropriately. Since his actions are speaking of a departure, you really need to rethink your position. As it is now, I do not think he will listen to you or anyone. Getting someone to talk to him now would be futile. However, I strongly believe that you need to retreat for a while.
Give each other time and space by being away for a while. This will give both of you time to reflect on what you really want for this family. Otherwise, I can sense that the atmosphere there is toxic and, while you think you are fighting for your family, you are actually destroying yourself. One can pick those negative effects on you already. If anything, you sound too broken to fight.
I would recommend that you take time out to focus on yourself. At the moment, you are emotionally drained and you need to replenish. You are valuable and this value is not attached to the success or the lack of it in the marriage. Build yourself up emotionally, acquire a skill, get a new hobby, travel to a new place. Think of yourself for once. Your son is better off with one happy parent than two bitter parents.
Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology
Sheryl, I empathise with your situation and with what you are going through. We would need to understand some background as to how this relationship started, some of which you have shared. This could be a result of how things started and it may also be just in the normal curve for relationships. You mentioned something about you having to move in with him after you were kicked out by your aunt when she found out that you were expectant. In some instances, this is a problem in relationships but it is not always the case. As a matter of fact, most marriages start off on this footing and they go on to become stable and lifelong marriages raising families.
The issue of the affidavit may hold some water but it does not necessarily bind you to him as, in the present time, the law requires one to have a valid marriage certificate even for a customary marriage. As for the tension he is creating around your relationship and bad-mouthing you to friends, he could be second guessing himself and may be at a stage where he may not be sure about the relationship. Everyone gets to this point and even tries to get out and explore what is out there but he will eventually come back to his senses and settle down.
You may want to engage him for a candid discussion about what is going on with your relationship. He could be dealing with some underlying issues or pressing problems that he has no way of addressing. Try and get him to talk about why he has changed over time and why things have gotten to this. His response may surprise you and perhaps you could have a solution to whatever issues he may be going through – you may even be the solution so you need to engage him and get to know what is bothering him.
About his perceived intention to send you back home, you will need to open your eyes to the reality that sometimes in relationships, people need space apart to reconsider things so if he decides to send you back home, however painful it will be, just accept it and give it sometime. With time, everything will be clear and if you have a child with him and have stayed with him for this long, this may just be a passing cloud. Soon the dust will settle and you will have your happy lives thereafter.
Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellorWhat is worse: a fake smile or a grumpy face?