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Confessions: I stole my cousin's fiancé five days to their wedding, now he wants to marry me


My boyfriend and I have been living happily together for six months in Nakuru but we are facing a challenge which we don’t know how to handle. The thing is my boyfriend was to marry my cousin but, five days to the wedding, he told me he did not love her but loved me instead.

I liked him but I respected him because of my cousin so when he asked I just told him yes. He cancelled the wedding, giving no explanations to my cousin after which he moved out of Nairobi to live with me.

Now, we feel like it is time we made our relationship formal but we are not sure if our family will accept him to marry me. He had already paid dowry for my cousin and nobody knows we are dating.

I want to get married soon and have children and we love each other. Please advise me.



What the readers say:

Jackie, l hope you know what a wedding means to a woman and what it means to have your wedding cancelled five days to the day. Put yourself in her shoes and the thoughts and feelings she would have for someone who did this to her. Otherwise, whatever happened to her could happen to you as well because you reap what you sow in a matter of time. Clear the air before you settle down with you fiancé although this will not be easy.

{Victoria Wanjiku}

Go and repent to your cousin and her parents for the heartache you have caused them. The best thing he could have done was to announce his intentions in front of everybody then the family would have taken it from there. You know this is wrong and this is why you went into hiding. My advice is that you end this relationship, apologise to all concerned parties and stop being a home breaker.

{Onyango Outha}

People will throw stones at you and call you names but you don’t seem to care about this. If he cancelled his wedding to run away with you then this man truly loves you. It is now your turn to make a sacrifice and open up to the family. Face them and ask for their support and for them to accept and move on. They will realise in future that you meant it and they will be left with no other choice but to respect the decision you made.

{Fred Jausenge}

What you did was wrong and unacceptable. She is living in pain and agony and cursing whoever changed her husband’s mind. Dowry is what officially confirms a marriage and so your cousin is still his wife. Get out of this and find your own man. Come clean on this and ask for forgiveness. Be sure that he will also dump you for another woman very soon.

{Ouma Ragumo}


Whatever would make a man to cancel a wedding must be a serious issue. However, regardless of what made him do this, you are both betrayers and it is just a matter of time before the same befalls you. For your case, it is bound to be worse and the man will sneer at you as your cousin gets the last laugh. Encourage him to find another woman out there because this will also bring problems for everyone in the family.

{Tasma Saka}


Simon says:

Jackie, it sounds like a fairy tale when you say you have been living together happily for six months. The truth is, that is as good as it is going to get. The going has been smooth but only because this thing is still under the water. Be assured that this will change the very moment word gets out.

I am sure you know that scandalous stories, especially about illicit relationships, spread quickly. Your boat is just about to start rocking and hell will break loose. You cannot ruin your cousin's wedding and elope with her husband-to-be and expect accolades and messages of goodwill from anyone. Brace yourself for the most difficult stretch of your life.

Please note this is not what is likely to happen, it is what is going to happen. First, you will be labelled a traitor, a back-stabber, a cheap (very bad word) among many other things. The women in your family will want nothing to do with you. You see, women have an untold phobia for women who steal people’s boyfriends or husbands.

The married ones will stay away from you lest you “steal” their husbands’ while the single and ones who are dating will stay away from you lest you “convince” their man to leave them at the altar and run away with you. You will therefore find yourself pretty much a lone ranger.

More to this, about what happened, nobody will care to listen that he is the one who brought this whole thing up e.t.c our society places all the blame for any relationship or marital breakdown on two things, devil and the other woman.

All this will happen like a tsunami; nobody will ever tell you what is happening or what everybody else thinks about you to your face, you will often be left out of family functions, very few people will come to your functions and this issue will always be discussed in low tones in your absence where you will be called very bad words then they smile at you when you are around.

In our African set-up dowry is a very sensitive issue - in actual sense it is even more sensitive that a wedding. Ideally, a women becomes somebody’s wife the moment dowry is paid then a wedding is done to officiate the whole thing. This therefore means that your cousin was and still is his wife. What makes dowry tricky is that it involves the extended family.

If this your relationship was to carry on then this would require that your cousins father returns what was paid to him as bride price and carry out some rituals to end the former union. This is often embarrassing and to a large extent humiliating which will put everyone in murky waters.

Nothing good can come out of this and thus I encourage you to get out of this before anyone ever finds out what you did. This will save you a lot and you will have a relatively peaceful life thereafter. Get out now or else...


Simon is a relationships counsellor


Boke says:

Dear Jackie,

This is not just a challenge for both of you. Your actions will greatly antagonise your family at large. Cancelling a wedding five days away on the basis of liking you more than your cousin is suspect. When did he come to this realisation? Why did he have to wait for this long and go that far into the relationship with your cousin? Yet he did not love her. This speaks volumes about his character. Did you just appear into the scene? What were the levels of interaction between you and him while he was your cousin's fiancé?

These and other numerous questions will run in anyone's mind when they get to hear your story. You are anticipating a hostile reaction from your families, that is why he relocated and you are keeping your relationship under wrap.

How is your cousin doing after her wedding was cancelled without any explanation? Or is settling down all that matters to you now? As I said this could cause a deep drift in your families. Is your boyfriend planning to claim his dowry? If you are to start your marriage negotiations you're likely to have the same family relations who were part of your cousin's negotiations participating. This is quite unpleasant. So be ready for the resistance.

Try to disclose your relationship to close family members like you mum or sister and get their reaction. I foresee a lot of resistance from your people. Well, at the end of the day you will do what you decide. In your situation the best anyone can do is awaken you to the reality ahead. Marriage is for two. This is true but we are never an island. We are nourished by other relationship around us, and the cordial they are the better for us all.

Think through your decision. Otherwise this would be a marriage taking off against strong contrary winds.


Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

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