Wifespeak: January, just be done with your bleakness!

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The supersonic speed that this January is taking us is not healthy. I am not talking about the January money that we ‘ate’ in December and are now playing hide and seek with creditors.

We are reeling from the shocking statistics of the number of married people in supposedly monogamous relationship who have multiple sexual partners. Before we can say, STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections), we read that there is a super gonorrhoea spreading faster than the speed of light and as weare  busy labelling it SGR, we are met with another shocker of the just announced Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) national examination results.

Children who have historically performed well are slapped with a result that either means something went terribly wrong with tabulations of their results or something more sinister took place. Let me not even dwell on the emerging allegations about the concluded national elections, because, dear January, just be done. Give us a breather. We know good news does not sell, but we swear, we shall buy good news in February.

Just before we bid you good bye, dear January, I would like to warn you about gloating too much after the shockers and corners you have pushed us into. February is a few days away. In the month of love, you will be surprised to learn that however unhinged we humans are, love still abounds. We will shock you with good news and plenty of stories of love that has upheld vows, rebuffed temptation and triumphed. Stories of kindness and honour and zero corruption.

We now know that moral corruption precedes economic corruption and that is why we have millionaires enriched by squander of public funds. The corrupt persons exhibit the same morals as the infamous alley cat. A cheating nation is also a corrupt one, never mind how super religious we are. Someone said that we are just pretenders, what Jesus would refer to as wolves in sheep clothing. Our saving grace is that, not everyone is immoral.

As we wait to usher in February for less bleak news, I would like to echo a reader who sought anonymity. “I am soon celebrating 20 years of marriage and never cheated on my wife. Even when I was posted away from her in another country for close to six years, I remained faithful. I know she did too.” He went on to add that I should use this platform to let all young men know that everything is a matter of personal choices. “They should not believe the fallacy that all men cheat, that a man cannot remain faithful to one woman. We can and we do.” Geoffrey says that peer pressure is not just a problem for young people but is a possibility for anyone who does not have a strong sense of self. “You must never be a follower but a trendsetter.”

Couples who do not fall into the bleak statistics of adulterous behaviour have one thing in common. No, it is not because they fear the wifey or hubby. They respect boundaries. Personal boundaries that dictate how they relate with other people in respect of their spouse and their marriage relationship. No one can enforce faithfulness on another human; therefore, this observation of boundaries is a personal decision and is based on core values.

There are people who do not understand boundaries. Nay, they are not even aware that there is something like limits about how you can treat a fellow human being, leave alone a spouse. If you end up married to spouse who was raised without basic self-respect and has not learnt it, or unlearned the bad habits, then it is almost impossible for them to respect simple boundaries.

We have all heard of spouses – I had written husbands but Geoffrey admonished me for mostly berating husbands - who have brought a third party in their marital bed. This is meant to spite their spouse and it is of course deeply hurtful. But more importantly, this kind of behaviour points to the person’s character. It is not only juvenile, but also speaks of low self-esteem and a lack of basic courtesy and respect of self and others. When you set clear boundaries, no one else should be in that close circle. Any third parties must stay on the outer circle, otherwise we will continue making headlines for all the wrong reason. The month of love, get here quick!

Karimi is a wife who believes in marriage. [email protected]

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