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Been married four times, but twice to the same man


Reaching fourth floor is sweet, it feels like a vantage point where everything I wanted in life begun to fall in place. I'm 42 now and the last two years have been the best in all my life. I feel like my life has just begun. I grew like any other village girl back in Kitui, my parents were teachers so studying hard was out of question. I was never an 'A' student but I did well academically. I met Jeff in high school and fell in love at first sight. He's the first man I ever gave my heart to. Jeff was kind and caring and his patience saw us have sex for the first time after going through all the customary procedures to live as man and wife.

Having known each other for over five years before we moved in together, our marriage was smooth, at least I knew Jeff like the back of my hand and so did he about me. Apart from the usual stuff that couples fight over, we were always on the same page. At no time did we need an outsider's intervention to solve a problem. Ours was a match made in heaven, or so we thought! God blessed us with a son and a daughter. With two little human beings to feed, we had no option but to worker harder. My husband was then employed by the Kenya Maritime Authority as an accountant and was based in Mombasa. I on the other hand was a teacher in Naivasha.

He did his best and travelled every weekend to be with us in Naivasha. Towards the end of our second year in marriage Jeff was promoted, so his work schedule changed and was no longer able to travel to Naivasha every week. Third year into the union, things started falling apart. I was still young and foolish(...well this is best phrase to describe my life back then) so I never made an effort to understand that for sure Jeff failed to be with us at a certain weekend for good reasons – he was doing his best to see us live a better life. Whenever Jeff visited, I spent the whole time threatening him with calling it quits if he failed to be with us the weekend that followed. His explanation on what his new docket entailed fell on deaf ears. Our marriage became so rocky, how we survived for the next two years together still remains a mystery to me. I became so bitter with life as I couldn't understand how the man I was meant to spend every night besides lived miles away from me. Having no cell phone then, complicated this relationship even further.

Jeff on the other hand gave up on making me understand the situation. I tried to take the trips to Mombasa instead, but it never worked as travelling with two little children was such a hassle. We drifted apart and before we could even know it, things got so bad I never allowed Jeff to touch me whenever he visited. I denied him sex for almost a year and I believe this was the last nail on the coffin. Sex is the first thing a woman withdraws whenever there are issues in any marriage.

Having gone through two more marriages in between before reuniting with Jeff again, I believe my story will help one or two women out there who think denying their men sex is enough revenge for whatever wrong they might have done. Sex is scared and should never be used to solve differences. I'm not yet perfect but I'm doing my best to recover all the hours and minutes I wasted destroying my marriage back in the day.

After separating with Jeff 20 years ago, I got married twice but whatever I was looking for in each marriage I never found it. I used the wrong formula to get happiness. I don't regret it but I know I would be very far if I did my best in fighting for my first marriage. In my second marriage things got so bad six months into it.

I shamelessly got married to a colleague who offered a shoulder to lean on when Jeff was away. I might have been too irrational and naïve but I believe these were lessons worth going through, I intend to use my story in saving a marriage that in the brink of breaking. I still vividly remember the night I moved my stuff to my colleague's house and cringe over it. How bold was I?

As this marriage was just meant to hit back at Jeff, it didn't last two years. My partner was quick tempered, he hit me a few times whenever I prodded so much on where he was and was with, whenever he came home late. I was so insecure so I would want to get updates on his whereabouts every moment he was a way from me. I literally crowded his world as I swore to keep him close having gone through what I had gone through with Jeff. Little did I know that my insecurity was a lethal weapon bound to kill this marriage once more. After going separate ways with my second husband, I quickly found myself another man, my intentions again were to prove that I wasn't the loser.

My insecurity worsened and as much as I tried to work on my weakness, I wasted so much time snooping around on my new man as well as my exs'. It hurt me so much after discovering my husband had an affair with one of his colleagues. I slowly drifted into depression. I stopped taking care of myself and my kids. Unlike in the second marriage which didn't last two years, this one lasted three and a half years but it took almost his and his whole clan to keep us afloat. My parents didn't want this one to end lest the whole village brand their daughter 'unmarriageable'. My mum shed tears every time we sought her intervention whenever we had drama. "Betty why is it so hard to understand each other?" was one of the many questions she asked. When there was nothing to fight for anymore, we again went separate ways. I was back to the drawing board but I was so tired to give marriage a second thought. I now focused on rebuilding my life with God and my children. I have learnt so much in the few years I have been on my own and I intend to correct my mistakes in giving my current marriage every bit of my energy to prove that marriage is worth it.

We crossed paths with Jeff four years ago and coincidentally he had also separated from the woman he got married to after we broke up. We started dating once again but this time we decided to take it slow. We tied the knot last year in June at the Attorney General's and this time its forever. This is our prayer. Divorce isn't something I would wish even for an enemy. I learnt my lesson the hard way and this is why I want to use my story in healing and bringing back to life broken marriages or those in the brink of breaking. Sometimes you always need a second chance because you weren't ready for the first.

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