What you need to know:
- We run an electrical shop and he uses workers to spy on me and tells them I'm not supposed to go anywhere
- What disturbs me further is that he comes home late drunk and starts quarreling with me in front of our children. My five-year-old daughter told me to leave and go back to my dad's place after he slapped me in her presence
I have been married for the last six years, and we have two kids. My husband doesn't respect me at all. We have worked together and moved from renting to buying land, to building our home and rental houses and we recently bought a car. We are not struggling at the moment. What surprised me recently is that he started abusing me even in public, saying how I don't mean anything to him and that he can live his life without me. He no longer eats food at home, complains about everything, is tough, and does not listen to me as he wants to do things his way. The worst part is that he doesn't allow me to go anywhere even if I ask for permission. We run an electrical shop and he uses workers to spy on me and tells them I'm not supposed to go anywhere. He even stopped me from going to church. He is a non-practicing Moslem, and while I was ready to convert, he never took me to the mosque. My kids have grown with no religion since he doesn't allow me to go to church. What disturbs me further is that he comes home late drunk and starts quarreling with me in front of our children. My five-year-old daughter told me to leave and go back to my dad's place after he slapped me in her presence. He cut all my networks because despite me holding a diploma in architecture, I don't know where to start. We are not legally married. Please advise me.
Sorry Patience for what you are going through. I picked three things from your dilemma; you're not married legally, he shows you no respect and you have no right to movement and no freedom of religion. I think the best thing you can do is to move out of that marriage and start your life for you and your children instead of waiting for us to read that you were killed or committed suicide.
Nyori Njuguna, Isiolo
Your dedication and investment in the marriage are commendable. Your total submissiveness however points to low esteem and lack of self-belief. Your marriage situation seems dire since violence is involved by a narcissistic partner whose cultural standings do not belong to this century. Seek legal direction to safeguard your investment, revitalise your family and social networks as support systems. Your potential seems too deep to be wasted in this charade you appear to call marriage. Take a walk. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your earlier benefactors in life, and yes, also to society.
Zack Omoro, Kitengela
Your marriage has moved from affectionate to stale. This could be as a result of piled-up issues and your husband now feels like he owns you and has the right to control you and your movement. This is not only disrespectful but primitive behaviour. As a couple, you need to seek marriage therapy and the counselor will guide you through it. If immediate intervention is not done, the situation may get out of hand.
Calvin Queens, Blogger & Writer
Your marriage is in a sorry state. This is a result of not considering the impact of your differences in faith and social issues. You are like a slave in your marriage. I am afraid that this can lead to depression and trauma. Have you considered involving your parents or close friends? If he can slap you in front of your daughter, this is dangerous. I suggest you involve a third party and if he can't change then you better be alone in peace than be in two pieces.
Rev Geoffrey Avudiko, Botwa, Kitale
This is rather a desperate case. I sincerely sympathise with you but there is substantive evidence that this is an abusive marriage both physically and emotionally. Domestic violence has no place in a healthy relationship. All abusive men share common characteristics. They are jealous, possessive, and easily angered. In addition, they have an inferiority complex. Try talking to a marriage counselor and if it does not work, quit the marriage and start your life afresh.
Patience you should share what you're experiencing with a close friend or relative. Let the parents from both sides meet and discuss the way forward. You have one life and you should think of your children. It's not always the woman who should leave, the man can move out, after all, you also contributed towards the assets.
Immy Karungi, Uganda
I have read your story and for you to have worked on your developments and achievements together for a while tells me that there was a connection that got you that far. The unfortunate thing is that disconnects do arise in the relationship and an array of influences can alter the attitudes in a union. Something must have triggered this shift of abusive behaviour and you must get the truth from him especially with your rift becoming physical. You must safeguard your safety and sanity before he breaks your soul. Be calm but find out what has made him change his energy towards you. There is no justification for him to hit you. You may not be married legally, but you have been in a come-we-stay union that has produced children which gives you a legitimate claim. If you want your relationship to continue, let all partners be willing to stay on and work on it.
Maurice Matheka, relationship Counsellor
NEXT WEEK'S DILEMMA
I have a boyfriend and we have been dating for quite some time now. He works in Kisumu and I in Mombasa. He came to see me some few months ago and the communication between us was good and he used to call me every day to make sure that I am okay. Since last month that communication has died, and he never calls or replies to my texts. When I ask him why he says I am stressing him. I love him so much and am now getting into depression because of him, please help.
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