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Relationship Dilemma: Is my daughter in an affair with her step father?


On Wednesday, February 22, The Standard posted, on its Facebook platform, a relationship dilemma from one of its readers.

We have sampled some advice shared by Kenyans, and also an expert's opinion on how the reader can come out of the confusing situation without doing a de-service to their mental wellness.

Every Wednesday mid-morning, The Standard publishes on its verified Facebook page (Standard Digital) a relationship dilemma sent to us via our Facebook inbox.

If in need of relationship advice - from an expert, or are seeking to get Kenyans' opinions on a certain confusing relationship situation - send us a message via Facebook, with the title 'Relationship Advice', and we will escalate the message to the appropriate respondents.

We guarantee you dignity by hiding details that could lead to your identity being leaked or exposed.


My name is Sylvia. I am 46 years old, and a mother of three. I live in Nairobi.

Recently I discovered one of my daughters, who is 25 years old, has begun getting unusually cozy with my new husband. I was married before, but I divorced my children's biological father in 2018.

In August 2022, I got married to this man, whom I had dated for three years.

We moved in together, and my eldest daughter, who lost her job in late 2022, also joined us.

Of late, my spouse and the girl have grown strangely close. They sometimes leave the house together, saying they are going for general shopping. They'd come back after hours.

I've also noticed that my girl wears quite suggestive clothes in the house nowadays.

I feel the two could be up to something behind my back, but I don't have tangible evidence.

I don't know how to confront either of them, as I don't want to act on gut feeling only.

What should I do?


Kamasasa Amos Ephraim: First of all, how old is the hubby?

Harry Chags: Just go ahead and do whatever you want lady! It's evident that you're so money-oriented. What a devil! What a pretender.

Saline A Omolloh: The spirit of jealousy is communicating to listen to it attentively to everything you think is true. Save your daughter and you from the emotional damage and spiritual that arises from such cases. Protect your child at all costs, Confront her.

Japheth Mwania: You probably divorced your first husband because he was cheating, and now you are being told it rains everywhere.

Amos Njau: You are the cause of Your tribulations .....redeem yourself, madam...

Willis Agure: Always trust your instincts....because [that is a gone story] hiyo imeenda!!!!

James Mutuku: I don't see any problem [if they have an affair] hata kama wanakulana, remember there is no blood relation between them. In fact, they are total strangers, let the man chew your daughter in peace.

Bwana Jr Alex: This two know they are not related biologically. The girl knows her biological father. She is treating your own as a sponsor, Mbaba. Live with it. Did you ever go to bed with a married man when you were young? If yes, that's what it feels like.

Okina Minanga: Marriage is not a 'kalongoo' (children playing and cooking on bottle tops). How l appreciate ladies with true love, who are willing to suffer financial scarcity but remain married.

Carolyne Kwendo: We are living in a world where your own daughter is sleeping with your husband and as the mother, you don't know. You living with a man who is a wife or a husband to another man somewhere and as a wife, you don't know. You are living with your wife who is a wife or husband to another woman somewhere and as husband, you don't know anything. God have mercy on us.


Dr. Karatu Kiemo is a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Nairobi.

Hello Sylvia, I agree with you that in absence of observable facts, it is right to trust our subconscious mind. If your gut feeling on the relationship between your husband and your daughter is causing you anxiety, then I think the right thing is to ask each one of them directly. Of course, they may lie but you will have done your part.

Our current Sexual Offences law defines a sexual relationship between those in a step relationship as incest and punishable in law. Our cultural context also does not accept such a relationship. So if you would confirm the relationship, then you have a legal recourse or else, run.

Run to save the relationship between you and your daughter, you and her biological father, and between her and her biological father. Run also for the sake of your relationship with your other children.

If you should run, next time do not repeat such a big mistake as bringing your adult daughters to your male friends. The likelihood of attraction and coupling is too high.

While it is your right and a good thing to have a partner after divorce, it is a good thing to think about the children (you may wish to listen to Lucky Dube's song 'think about the children'.

I also see the risk of violence should one of your other children choose to be his/her family's defender. Should that happen, then you risk losing your children as well.

Finally, Sylvia, it is important for you to acknowledge that you did the mistake of violating the private space of your daughter. She and the other children require your protection. Should anything between them and your partner go wrong, they will blame it on you. Indeed, most people would do that. So, think about the children. But that doesn't mean that you live single for the rest of your life.

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