On Wednesday, May 11, The Standard shared, on its official Facebook page, a relationship dilemma from one of its readers. 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.
The Standard publishes on its verified Facebook page (Standard Digital) a relationship dilemma sent to us via our Facebook inbox every Wednesday mid-morning.
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 known or exposed.
I recently came across an article suggesting that every wife needs a secret lover, and I’m beginning to entertain this idea.
My name is Laura. I’m 38 years old. I live and work in the city (of Nairobi).
I have been married for six years now. The first two years of my marriage were blissful. The subsequent ones have had mixed experiences.
Of late, many men, both young and old, have shown interest in me.
I have never cheated on my husband, but I feel that I need some new exciting experience. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to leave my husband. With all his flaws, he is a fantastic guy.
But I have this strong urge to experiment with a new man on the side, even if the affair will be short-lived.
Two questions: Is it normal for a married woman to have such thoughts? Two, what should I do to end the thoughts? Please, advise.
SAMPLES OF THE ADVICE WE RECEIVED FROM READERS
Jantor Ndalo: Don't entertain those thoughts. Drink from your own cistern. Don't give evil some pretty names ...it’s not about 'secret lover' but 'adultery associate'. Love does not seek its own. The reason they call him secret lover is because it’s a dirty thing that they're ashamed of putting into the limelight. You don't have to be like them. Be you. We don't solve problems by looking for alternatives and scapegoats. You can spice up your own marriage by sealing those loopholes and small foxes. What makes marriage good and spicy is the good spices you put into it yourself.
Jumba M Boston: Cheating in a Relationship is one thing, cheating in marriage is another. Marriage is one thing that requires a lot of discipline. These are just thoughts that come up to too many marriage partners. And overcoming these thoughts is the strength that beautifies marriage. If you don't respect your man, at least respect your marriage.
Francis Maloba: Laura, feel free and experience other men too - but don’t come back here claiming you’ve been kicked out of your matrimonial bed and subsequently replaced! We men will chew you out here but won’t be responsible for whatever consequences this chewing will bring to your life.
Elder E Wekesa: Am glad you said you don't want to leave your husband, leave those thoughts then. The moment you entertain them you'll already be on the way to breaking your marriage. Concentrate on your husband and marriage. By the time your marriage has broken those men you say are interested in you will no longer have interest in you. Let God bless your marriage.
Musa Ochieng’: Repent and seek righteousness
Betty Karimi Mwenda: Find ways to make your marriage more exciting. You can have a new man but with the same man.
Rain Mbugua: Just because something is said or done, does not make it right. You just want to stray but r looking for validation n excuses, aunty go fornicate in peace! You'd think at 38 one has sense!
Wangui Njeri: Marriage needs a lot of grace. If we all listened to the voice of lust no marriage would stand.
Lilian Wakesho: Ooh my God, what??? it's not good to cheat, those guys you say they show interest in you, they'll use you and dump you, they are just after your honey pot my dear, men love you when you’re in your marriage, and someone is taking good care of you, but the moment you start depending on them, you won't see them near you, kindly repent and ask God to guide you don't allow the devil to destroy your happy marriage.
Martin Mativu: Go ahead and I wish you well in killing your self-respect, marriage, health and whatever faith in your marriage. May your comfortable married life end with this sidekick experiment.
Dr Karatu Kiemo is a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
Hello Laura, we humans are always conflicted by our often contradicted biological desires such as for sexual thrill on one hand, and morality on the other.
They say 'stolen melons always taste the sweetest. It is, therefore, normal for a sexually active person to expect a greater thrill from others than their usual partners can offer.
By entertaining the thought of a stolen melon, you are morally a liberal, meaning that you care less about other people judging you. Being in an extramarital affair, however, breaks a relationship unless the partners are in an open relationship.
In Kenya today, an open relationship is not normal. Instead, it is a high-risk affair. It is manifested in partner violence, which sometimes ends up in deaths.
They say 'you cannot eat your cake and have it. If your desire for sexual thrill is too much then you can control it, quit the relationship and seek your match.
There are such humans in our midst. If you want to keep the relationship, then avoid love triangles. If you don't avoid it, you stand a great risk of getting into regrettable consequences.
And for you to end the urge of sexual thrill outside marriage, get busy or busier by enrolling on some self-improvement program such as physical training in a gym, professional training, or start (another) business while at the same time you seek the help of a professional counsellor.
In the meantime, a quick win is to reflect on how to overcome temptations from the teachings of your religion. If your conscience allows, there is also the option of using non-interpersonal means. If none of these work for you, ensure that you use protection to avoid contracting or spreading diseases and to avoid the risk of unwanted pregnancy and illicit abortion.