On Wednesday, April 20 2022, The Standard received on Facebook inbox a relationship dilemma from one of its readers.
Every Wednesday mid-morning, The Standard will be publishing on its verified Facebook page (Standard Digital) a relationship dilemma sent to us via our Facebook inbox.
We sample some of the advice shared by Kenyans, and also an expert’s opinion on how the reader can come out of the confusing situation.
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 Dilemma’, and we will escalate the message to the appropriate respondents.
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My name is Nancy. I am 36 years old, and a resident of Kisumu.
I recently discovered that my husband of seven years was married before and that he’s been in an on-and-off relationship with his ex-wife.
He’s never told me about his former marriage. I have learnt that the two are now seeing each other again. I feel betrayed. I want to leave him. Please advise.
KENYANS’ SAMPLED ADVICE:
Christine Baraza: If you want to leave just do it. If you want to stay too just stay, the public opinion won't be of help.
Hon Wafula Okumu: Where do you want to leave to!? It's only a fool woman that breaks her family, but a wise woman will build her family with both her hands. Ask yourself, 'what went wrong? The answer will simply bring him back!
Nahshon Otieno Opondo: Dear Nancy, seven years is a very long period to be in a relationship with infidelity issues without one partner’s knowledge. How committed has your husband been to this marriage? Marriage calls for accountability and total commitment with each partner’s undivided attention to their vision and dream. So walking out would be the inevitable thing to do from your side because your partner is not fully committed to this union. Even as you plan for this action, be ready to heal. Time is the greatest healer. All the best of luck.
Sue Matthews: Just leave him at least another sister will get that chance. You are safer staying alone coz that faithful man, God is still looking for the right materials for moulding him. So be very patient.
Alija Imende: When a woman gets some little education she forgets common African culture- a true African Man must have 2 women.
Stephen Misasa: Leaving not going to be a solution, polygamy is part of African values and culture just let him build you your own home and embrace your co-wife and bus strong and intact admirable. boma. God has a purpose for both of you
Ogutu Paul: This is the right time to show him love and affection but leaving your marriage isn't the best solution. You'll regret ever leaving your marriage
Alvaro Jones: There should be a meeting for both of you regarding this marriage for you to know your fate. From there you will make a decision kindly involve parents of both sides
Cecilia Ontario: You better stay and focus ahead with your children if any, but prepare to live as though you don't have a husband coz in the near future, pressures might be higher and he might quit. I pray for God's grace.
Joseph Cheruiyot: Stay put. seven years is a long time, you have invested your resources, emotions etc. in that marriage, and I believe you have children already. Discuss with him how best you will manage the situation going forward. Or else you agree to disagree so that you co-parent the children in a peaceful environment. The issue here is, that you must discuss the matter and come up with an amicable solution.
Dr Karatu Kiemo is a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
Sexual exclusivity is a cardinal principle in marriage.
In today's world, the idea of having a single sexual partner is much more warranted to avoid a host of serious diseases.
For a married couple, mixing partners are complicated because there would not be just to use protection.
Since you are convinced that your husband is having an affair, two lifesaving actions you much take are to do the appropriate medical tests for any diseases and to use a female condom.
That will buy you time as you seek to confirm your suspicion. And the only way to get the truth is his confession or getting him in a compromising position.
For now, forget hearsay and private investigators. To get his confession you require the services of a professional counsellor, who would be largely equipped to validate the information though only to some degree.
Should he confess, then you can make a decision on whether to leave or stay. If you choose to leave, beware that whoever else comes your way may still cheat on you.
It is a troubling fact that cheating, especially among but not limited to the male gender, is so pervasive in Kenya and elsewhere.
Indeed, if marriages were to dissolve due to cheating, there would be quite a few marriages left unscathed.
The problem is created largely by our population's sex ratio which has many more women than men of nearly all ages.
The problem is not unique to Kenya, and in part explains the western world's fragility of marriage, ease of divorce through the so-called 'no-fault divorce’, the prevalence of cohabitation, and serial marriages.
While the fact is that men benefit more from marriage and suffer most from divorce than women, I think you should not be quick to leave your marriage before trying to salvage it through the help of a professional counsellor.
Although you have not mentioned whether you have children, and even though children should not be the reason to stay in a bad marriage, there is a strong reason to think that they certainly benefit from the synergy of male and female parents.
Finally, they say the better way to change the world, including yours, is to change yourself.
Please purpose to empower yourself by building your intellectual and social capitals through study, learning a new skill such as biking or baking, and networking.
All these will come in handy whether you choose to stay in your marriage or leave.