Divorcees open up on what pushed them over

His mistress gave me a wakeup call

Mary Wanjiru, an accountant

Mine was a marriage seemingly made in heaven. My husband was a gentleman right to the end. I met Peter Oketch at work. He was my supervisor and since office romances were discouraged, he secured me a job elsewhere. And that began a two-year romance that culminated in a beautiful wedding. Seven years into our marriage, he cheated on me with a lady who was his colleague. I found this out when I went through his phone. He had been acting distracted for a while. We fought about it, cried about it and in his bid to save our marriage, we went for counselling. He ended the affair and things improved so much that we even had a third baby. When our daughter was six months old, she fell sick and we were admitted at Gertrudes Hospital for what the doctor thought was meningitis. And so, I asked Brian to cancel his scheduled work trip as I needed him to help out with our other two children. He cancelled it. Our third night stay in the hospital, I received a call. I remember that I was trying to bottle feed our child who was losing weight. I answered the phone, and on the other side, a furious woman shrieked at me, saying I should accept that my husband was his man too. That cutting short their trip together wouldn’t change a thing. Then she said something that cut me to the quick. In a voice spewing of evil, she said that I was a witch and that it was no wonder my breast had been cut off. That my husband thought I wasn’t a woman enough for him and found me unattractive. How could she have known that I had undergone a mastectomy? I had battled with breast cancer two years before. I wore prosthetics and while I was gearing up for my reconstruction surgery, no one, not even my friends knew about my mastectomy. Only my husband and mother knew. And the betrayal cut deep. I realised that I couldn’t love a man like that, and that they deserved each other. And I am not leaving because he cheated; I am leaving because he talked about me with his mistress.

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STATUS: Separated.

She insulted my mother

 Mike Oliech, an entertainment lawyer

Wendy Lima had been my wife for 7 years. The first three years were happy. Unfortunately, on the fourth year, we lost a baby and things went downhill from then on. We began fighting a lot more and I felt that she blamed me for her miscarriage. Wendy would go from 0 to 100 real quick. I think I tried my best to be as patient as I could since she had just lost our child. She would find fault with the slightest thing, like if I walked into the house a minute later than 8pm, left food on the plate, uncovered her while sleeping, and even one time, blamed me for the fact that the cat pooped under the bed. Apparently, it was my fault for not potty training it. I can’t remember how many times we had any form of intimacy in the last four years of the marriage. But I was ready to hold off, seeing as my dad had advised me to love her at her worst because she had suffered a major loss. I was hurting too because I had also lost my baby boy, but it didn’t seem to matter. My mother, hoping to help us make things better moved in with us. It didn’t seem to help because my wife would insult me and accuse me of infidelity even when I swore that I wasn’t unfaithful even once in the seven years. I loved her. It, however, came to a head when one Sunday morning I woke up to screams from my wife in the kitchen. I found my mother cowering at the kitchen sink clutching a wet towel with my wife about to fling a ceramic cup at her while yelling unintelligible insults at her. That was it for me. I realised that she had become a woman I really didn’t want in my life anymore.

It has been 3 years since our divorce was finalized. I am very sorry we lost our baby. And I hope she found some happiness because it was clear that she could not stand me.

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Grounds for divorce: Cruelty.

My son was turning into his father

Christine Mwanzi, a banker

When I met Alan, he was a sweet sweet man. The perfect gentleman. He wooed me like I hadn’t before by any other man and six months after meeting him, I fell pregnant. We quickly moved in together and things were going well. When our baby boy turned two, Alan was retrenched from his job at a local media house. He took it real bad but since I was making enough money to sustain our young family, I wasn’t bothered much. Six months of unsuccessful job hunt discouraged him so much that I think he gave up. He had access to our joint and my bank account as I wanted him to feel comfortable about his situation. But then he started using our savings to go out drinking with his friends. The first time I protested, begging him to spend the money wisely as we were repaying his Sacco loans, he slapped me. He apologised later and I put it down to unemployment frustrations. A week later, he hit me with his belt across my chest when I asked him if he had sent his CV to an organisation that had an opening. From then on began the insults and beatings like clockwork. I was not supposed to complain or question his actions.

This went on for two years. I still loved him, and I stayed because he was all I knew. I hid my bruises with make-up. I used to think I wouldn’t be one of those battered woman who stick by their husbands but there I was.

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One day, I came home and I found my then five year old son watching cartoon. I asked him if he had done his homework and he looked up at me, screwed up his face like his father always did and shouted: “ Bitch, I don’t want to do my homework.” His father always referred to me as a bitch. And seeing my beautiful boy morphing into a monster did it for me. Right then, I began making plans to move out with my son. I couldn’t let him be a monster on my watch.

Grounds for divorce: Cruelty and adultery

My boys laughed at me in the pub

I loved Tracie. She was the only woman I have ever really loved, besides my mother of course. She was beautiful and I would have done anything for her. And I think she knew it, a mistake I will never make again with any woman. We got married when I was 25, she was 22. I thought we were too young for marriage but I didn’t care. But soon after our twin boys were born, I began hearing stories that my wife was having affairs. She vehemently denied it and I didn’t once think of leaving her. Even my best friend once told me that she had seen her at a restaurant with an older man when I was out of town. I often travelled out of Nairobi because at the time I was a music promoter and was always on the road. I dismissed the claims because every time I asked her about it, she would have an explanation for it. I loved her, I loved our sons and I was happy. One day however, while in the pub with some friends, Classic FM radio station was replaying the popular morning segment. This day it was about man who was so under his wife’s spell and wouldn’t leave them no matter how badly they were treated. And that is when one of my friends slapped me on the back, asked me jokingly if I was the subject of the show. Then the guys all burst into laughter. And that is when my bubble was burst. I realised that I had become a laughing stock. The marriage was over. I do not think marriage is for me anyway.

 STATUS: Divorced for 10 years

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