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Confessions: I got a scholarship to study abroad, should I leave my wife behind?

 My wife is not strong as a woman. I caught her cheating once (Photo: Shutterstock)

I got a two-year scholarship to study for a Master’s degree in Norway. The scholarship does not cater for family and despite my appeal to be considered as such, it is still not possible. I don’t know what to do because my wife is not strong as a woman. I caught her cheating once and, a few months ago, she got into a fight with a neighbour after she was accused of having an affair with the woman’s husband. I protected her then but I think there may have been some truth in it. I feel that if I take the scholarship, this will be the end of my family. This is a chance of a lifetime but I feel that I might have to choose between my family and studies. Please advise me. 


What the readers say:

Martin, in most cases, we either fail to get what we like or make sacrifices for what we love. From your statement, you love your wife but like the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity. From events on the ground, you realise that your presence doesn’t change her much; she still remains the ‘weak’ woman. Besides, are you trying to say in Norway, there are no tempting men (assuming you manage to tag her along)! It may even be worse at that end and it will be more painful given it is a foreign land. You have probably not tried to find out what lures her into sex outside marriage: whether it is demand-based, her personality, your failure to satisfy her in bed, or commerce. This could have restricted your options to certain confines. However, I think you should take your scholarship offer and move to Norway for the two years -- of course with breaks to visit your family. Give it your best shot and come back with the certificate you so much need. When you get back and realise you can still be the first to cast the first stone, then look elsewhere and begin your life afresh. If you cannot, pick your pieces of life and begin to mend it from there and continue. If your presence is a deterrent, be in communication with her very regularly while you are away, she will feel your presence and limit herself. You can also change her residence to where there are more familiar faces. It might help to limit her and there will be people to guide and counsel her while you are away. Remember the scholarship can give you another woman and mother to your children, but the woman cannot give you another scholarship. Now you have my answer.

{Tasma Saka? }

?To me, your life should be different from your wife and your progress should not be pegged on your wife. You married your wife when you were on your job or on your career. So what is the connection between your job, career and your wife’s mannerless behaviour whether you go for the scholarship or remain. If she is doing that right under your nose, whether you go or remain will not change her. Take the scholarship and go and progress your career. You might never have that chance again. If you have children with your marauding wife, you can go to your elders and both parents and state your case and have the custody of the children until they are 18 years and above. You can still support them when you are abroad even if you have mercy on your marauding wife. Remember your life and career depends on you not your wife Mr Man.

{Onyango Outha?}

Boke says:

Dear Martin,

Congratulations on your scholarship. This is good news that should bring joy to you and not burden you.

Having a family does not mean other facets of your life such as career, studies or hobbies cease to exist. On the contrary, it should enhance these areas. This is because marriage adds to your support and increases your cheering team. If anything, you need to be better than what you were as a single man.

Concerning your family, or rather your wife, you need to understand that you have limited power over her, much more her behaviour and conduct. Your wife could afford to do what she did while you were around, meaning your being around is not a deterrent in any way. She does not need a reason nor an excuse to betray your trust. I therefore do not see what you stand to gain by sacrificing your career or study opportunity. 

Have you stopped to ask yourself how long you will stomach this? Fidelity and trust are the fundamental principles of marriage. Without them, it will be meaningless to say that you have a wife. 

You need to ask yourself how, where and when you lost your place of authority. Otherwise, it is just a matter of time and you will have no family. It is on such premises that I encourage you to go ahead and take up this scholarship. She is the only one who has the power to stop this behaviour.

Has it ever occurred to you that your wife could be looking for a reason for you to send her away? And if you are not doing that, she will continue to push your patience to the limits hoping that one day you will send her away. Your concern should be the children, if you have any, and how their welfare will be taken into consideration. Unless something happens to her, you are likely to lose her anyway. So do not forgo your dreams for someone who does not value you. It is time you spelt out the terms of this relationship. 

Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology

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