What you need to know:
- Four men write sincere letters to their wives and share why they chose to have mistresses
For about a month now, we have published a series of open letters, as an attempt to start a wider dialogue around the marriage and infidelity debate.
The discussion started with aggrieved wives writing candid letters to their husband’s mistresses. Then, it was the side-women turn, and they poured their heart out, as they explained to their lover’s wives, why they chose the married men. There was a flurry of comments, both positive and negative, and we took them all in our stride of opening up the relationship walls.
Some people expressed dismay that we had talked to the women, in the centre of the love triangle and never the men. The husbands, a number of people pointed out, were culpable.
Statistics show that men are more likely to cheat than women, with 20 percent of men having admitted to cheating compared to 13 percent of women. Infidelity has, in turn, increased the rates of divorces.
According to Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014, about one in every five men in Nairobi aged between 15 and 49 years is cheating on his sex partner. These findings in a conservative nation whose values are often pegged on religious principles seem to vindicate proposals for Kenyans to adopt polygamy to eliminate issues of children raised without fathers.
“It’s easy to judge a man spending nights in clubs but you have no idea that some are wounded and cannot stand being in an environment where there is no peace. That’s why some land into the hands of ‘mipango ya kando’ and their choice ends up affecting their lives. I am a witness to this, I have learnt my big lesson after having an affair simply because my wife was nagging. I regret this path as I have to give my ‘mpango’ child support despite leaving her three years ago,” says John Mwangi in his late 30s, a teacher.
On social media, a wife is vilified for bringing up the issue of a philandering husband.
“Your man is yours when he comes back home. You cannot keep a man no matter how good you are. He will still cheat,” social media posts taunt.
But the real question is why do men cheat? Has society given men enough non-judgmental forums to express why they chose to go against their vows?
A number of men tell us why they decided to get side women aka mistresses by penning candid letters to their wives.
‘Your cheating destroyed my ego as a man’
Francis Njenga *, Businessman, early-40s
To my wife,
“I met you 12 years ago at a friend’s birthday party, and your beauty captured my heart. I must say, your curvy figure is a turn-on for any man, but I wish I knew there is more to love than just looks. Every man needs a woman he can trust with his life and unfortunately, I have not had this with you in our marriage.
It’s been about 13 weeks since I saw the awful texts that confirmed my suspicion that you were being unfaithful. For three years, I have been questioning whether you still loved me as I felt so helpless and unloved. Occasionally, I asked you ‘Are you having an affair, what am I not doing right?’ I always felt you avoided confrontation and your response was, ‘Can’t I have male friends?’.
I always assured you that I never had a problem interacting with them and all I wanted is for you to keep to the marriage boundaries and respect our union of 10 years.
I had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right when you started coming home late and having known your work schedule as an admin officer I knew something was wrong. Our two children aged two and five kept on asking me, ‘where is mom?’ the many times you went out clubbing. I confronted you about your drinking habits but you arrogantly told me to get a life and stop monitoring you.
On July 5th 2020, I saw a text on your phone while you were sleeping and though you later admitted it was just a one-night stand, the familiarity in the tone of those messages was too revealing. After a week, I saw countless messages of the same and after many confrontations, you admitted that you were dating the man because of the flashy life he gives you.
You told me that I needed to pull up my socks as you hate poverty and you were tired of my narratives that my business was not doing well.
There and then, my world fell apart. You were my friend, my only lover, how could you betray me so heartlessly?
With so much pain, I decided to take a day at a time. Early this year, I met a woman who offered me a listening ear, and any time I am down, she has been there to comfort and encourage me. She has been my greatest support system when you go out. Though I would not want our marriage to end, I am tired. Gradually, my heart is drawn to the new woman and I’m ensnared by her submission towards me.
I have never thought of cheating on you but you have pushed me to her. I am devastated that my friends have met you with the man you are dating and this kills my ego. I have persevered this far because of the children but for how long? It’s painful to let you go but I am planning on moving from the house in three months so that I can freely share my life with a woman who appreciates my worth. I wish you the best and I hope that you will forever take care of our children. I will be there for them as a father but my love for you is dying.
Your hurting husband,
‘Your secretive life has pushed me away’
Anthony Weka*, Accountant in his mid-30s
“I always regret meeting you four years ago on Facebook. Unfortunately, I was blindsided to think you would make a good wife based on what you have been doing for the community. Mine was love at first sight. I was captured by how you were supporting the needy in society and I always loved your insights on your Facebook page about serving humanity. I recall requesting to partner with you in your work and that’s how our love life began. In six months, we agreed to stay together. I regret it heavily because you came dressed in sheep’s clothing, but I have now realised you are a ravening wolf.
While dating, you narrated to me how your parents died and you were later taken to a children's home, and I really empathised with you only to find out last year that you were lying to me and you also had a son whom you never shared details on. The news came as a shock to me after I saw a conversation that your father was sick and admitted.
I secretly visited him in the hospital and at this point the news was given to me by your mother who also had come to see your father that you were not an orphan but the children's home you claimed to be your home, sponsored your education because your parents were poor. This broke my heart, and I wondered why you would say your parents are deceased. Is it because they were poor?
Though we occasionally visited the children's home, I noted that you were very protective of me talking to the founder. You always came in when you found us having any conversation and foolishly I never took this as a red flag.
Honestly, you made me look like a fool and after confronting you, you said that you were protecting me from visiting your home because you thought I would leave you after knowing that you have a child. I wish you were honest about who you are as nothing would have changed my love for you. Unfortunately, now it’s too late.
Though your parents are still following up after your father left the hospital, I am afraid to tell them I am no longer interested in you.
I have been devastated and wondering how many secrets you have kept for me. I no longer trust you with my life. Early this year, I met a woman through friends and our love has been growing. I am enjoying our relationship. I don’t regret having sex with her and I won’t regret you finding out. The lady knows I am not happily married and that’s why I've been spending most nights with her.
Since we have a one-year son, I am still planning on how to break the news to you respectfully. I hope you learn to share important details of your life in the future.”
‘I am looking for peace’
James Karimi *, A banker in his early-50s
“I am grateful for the 28-years of marriage we have had together. I am fulfilled when I see our three sons aged between 15 and 30 blossoming in life. I am sure you know I am committed to giving them the best and I have never at any given time discriminated against the child you came with from your previous marriage. I know my cheating hurts but your nagging pisses me off, and I always think this is why your past union couldn’t work.
Due to this, our sex life is affected and we can go for months without getting intimate yet we live in the same house. I love sex and I have a desire for more, but you have not been there especially after giving birth to our last born.
Though I still love you, unconsciously I have been looking for a lady that will submit to me. At 48, you should know that men love peace and would do anything to find it. Though I have been patient all through our marriage, hoping that you would change, I gave up two years ago when I found a 30-year-old lady who has a golden heart and is very submissive. It all started as a friendship and with time, it has grown to deep love.
Though you went through my phone, investigated, and threatened her, I am not ready to drop the affair because this lady is giving me peace and sex which you have denied me. I never thought I would cheat on you but my patience has run out.
I am ready to support our children but I am looking for peace and I am glad I found it in this lady.”
‘Stupid me, I regret the choice I made’
Evans Otieno*, Businessman, Early-50s
To my wife,
“I cherish the 20-years of marriage we have had together and our two children. I met you in church, and you have fully demonstrated your loyalty to how you take care of our children as a mother. I regret cheating on you six months ago, and it pains me that I broke your heart.
I am an outgoing person and you know that I have been complaining that you are too conservative. When we married, I thought I could change you. With time, I have learnt that I can’t.
You are a reserved person and you enjoy staying indoors. I was often bored with this life, and it was when I was looking for a bit of fun that I met this 30-year-old woman who captured my heart with her outgoing spirit and we spent most weekends clubbing. What hurt me most is that my dalliance with the lady destroyed your peace and gave you sleepless nights.
A month ago I came clean and reminded you how much I love you and regret cheating on you. At first, my relationship with the sidechick was a one-night stand, which further graduated to countless intimate moments. I know I should have stopped this, but the more I tried the more it became hard as the lady was also very aggressive in inviting me to parties. How I wish I turned down her offers.
Whenever you take a long time to come back home from work, I get nervous thinking that maybe you have given up on our marriage.
Though you have never met the other woman, I regret to inform you that she is two months pregnant, something I never thought would ever happen. I haven’t had peace since she broke the news to me and this is why I disclosed the truth to you three weeks ago. Your silence since I confessed scares me.
You are no longer bothered by what I’m doing and you stopped calling me. Your attitude towards me has changed and you have become busy with work. Honestly, I fear I have lost you but what can I do now? It hurts me that I broke your heart despite you being loyal to me. I write this letter in pain and my prayer is that you may forgive me and gradually trust me. I promise to protect our love.
I plan to take care of my child with the side woman, but I assure you that I have ended the relationship. I would love to introduce you to the woman so that you can be the one sending her the money she needs once the baby is born. I am sincerely sorry. Please don’t give up on our love.
Your loving husband,
*Names have been changed for confidentiality purposes.
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