I’m 36 years old. I’ve been married to my wife for five years. We have been blessed with a five-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy. Our relationship has not been smooth sailing. I met my wife at a time when I was inexperienced in matters to do with relationships. I had a clue about the kind of woman I wished to marry but I never had the opportunity to meet one. I wanted a woman who is hardworking, assertive, open-minded and intelligent, but I meet the opposite. I’d been single for a long-time; I can say that I was never lucky with women until I met my wife. When I met her, we rushed things – had unprotected sex and that’s how she got pregnant with our first-born child. I had no option but to marry her. I never got the opportunity of dating her and knowing her well, because most I was always busy with work.
After two years of staying together, I started realising that we were never meant for each other. We could not even have a meaningful conversation because she is semi-illiterate. I got frustrated and started having girlfriends. She must have gotten wind of my behaviour. Recently I spied on her by setting a call recorder on her phone. Thereafter, I came across some intimate conversations she has been having with other men. I realised she was having affairs outside our marriage. I faced her about her extramarital affairs and warned her. I had to forgive her because of our children. I want the children to grow up with both parents for their emotional and psychological well-being. But the pain of discovering her cheating seems not to leave me. I’m in a dilemma, what should I do?
You are getting the aftermath of entering into a commitment with a person you had known little about. Secondly, you did wrong by engaging in extramarital affairs. Two wrongs cannot make a right. Blame yourself for pushing your wife to cheat. Lastly, don’t be part of the many who have died in turbulent marriages in the name of “for children’s sake”. Sit down and evaluate your life.
Rev Geoffrey Avudiko, Mitume, Kitale.
You wanted to have your cake and eat it and that is not the way to handle any marriage predicament. You already have two children that you want to raise with your wife and if you truly want this to happen then have a candid chat with her. Accept the mistakes that you both made and make an agreement not to repeat, mean your words and move on. You can’t change her to be the perfect wife but you have the option to create a better environment.
You both strayed. Her being semi-literate is not enough reason to demean her as she was there when you failed to get the literate ones. Forgive her, accept her the way she is and better still, take her back to school. Raise your children together. It’s never too late.
W. Kagochi Kuira, Counselor Nyeri
Have you considered a trial separation? This may assist in reaching a decision for an eventual divorce or a reunion to build a more conducive family environment.
Drive Counseling Center- Kitengela
Honestly, take the children out of the equation. Children are NOT a deciding factor in your decision to stay with someone who cheats on you, do what feels right by you. Can you look her in the eyes and still have the love and respect you once did?
She is not the woman you thought you married. She cheated and it made her happier than you do. Think about that, when things aren’t perfect, and know that she will do it again.
Children will grow up just fine with their parents apart. The difference is, they will have two homes to go to. Children need good role models. They need discipline, structure, routine, love, happiness and shelter. They do not need two parents in the same house that do not love and respect each other.
Children are not pawns or excuses. They did not ask to be here. They do not get to pick their mom and dad. It’s your job to teach them the right way to live. You cannot be happy, not truly happy after an affair. If anything, walk away for the sake of your children. They deserve the best life possible.
Fred Jausenge, Dubai – UAE
Circumstances caused you to get married to your current wife. However, it is unfair to point the finger at her because by your own narration you never got to really know each other before diving into the deep end. Even after having a history of being unlucky with women you still went ahead and impregnated her. When couples find that they lack compatibility, it puts a strain on their relationship and can easily lead one to seek other sources of company. You both did at some point. It would be selfish and unrealistic to expect her to languish in a relationship that has little to zero companionship. In my opinion, children are resilient to changes. It is far more toxic to have your them witness parents who are disconnected playing pretend. They may begin to blame themselves which is an unnecessary trauma. If you both cannot settle your differences and leave the past behind, then staying for the children might be toxic.
Maurice Matheka, Relationship counsellor
My name is John. I have been married for two years and my wife and I are expecting a baby in three months. We were happy when she broke the good news to me. However, she just informed me that she is undergoing depression and anxiety after being hostile to me for quite a while. Kindly advise on what to do.