What you need to know:
What you need to know:
- A number of married men in modern-day unions are secretly siring children their spouses know nothing about
- However, when such shocking revelations are made, the weight of it all falls on the wife
- Many women have been left reeling from the shock of discovering that their husbands have wild oats
In January this year, a lady who was identified as Shiku shocked many when she came out to say that Peter Kabi alias Kabby wa Jesus was the father of her daughter Abby. The revelation spread on social media like wildfire.
Kabby and his wife Milly quickly issued a rejoinder on YouTube about the woman who they claimed was Kabby's cousin.
But Shiku was adamant that Kabby was the father. She demanded a DNA test and the results came out in May 2021. Kabby was the father. Kabby has since claimed that he will assume responsibility for the child's upkeep. His wife, on the other hand, has sworn that he will stick by her husband to show that marriage works.
Before the ashes of this baby drama went cold, Kenyans were treated to yet another baby daddy drama. Comedian Prof Hamo was accused by fellow artiste Jemutai of neglecting their two children. Hamo, who is married with kids, however, refuted this and said that he had asked his wife to be sending Jemutai upkeep money. As the comedian's mentor, Churchill brokered a truce. The results of the DNA test proved Hamo was the father. He similarly claimed that he will take responsibility, and thanked his wife for standing by him.
Kabby and Hamo stories only garnered social media traction, because of their celebrity status. Away from the camera glare, a number of married men in modern-day unions are secretly siring children their spouses know nothing about. However, when such shocking revelations are made, the weight of it all falls on the wife. Many women have been left reeling from the shock of discovering that their husbands have wild oats. In some events, this discovery is as rude as finding a baby dumped by the gate or door with a letter addressed to the husband. In other instances, the other family(s) with a set of children, come forth when the man is deceased.
Married women wonder whether to stay or walk out and exactly where to begin.
According to psychologist Laura Wambui, the decision on whether to take up responsibility for your partner's wild oats will inevitably affect your relationship. "Certain dimensions in your relationship will change regardless of the decision you take," she says. "If you found out from the child's mother or the rumour mill, it might be hard to trust your partner. The nagging fear that there may be more secrets up his sleeve could become constant." This can be compounded if he tells half-truths about the baby.
You chose to stay
If you choose to stand by him, Ms. Laura says that you will need to evaluate what effect bringing in the child from outside will have on your children, how you will cope and relate henceforth, and how you and your partner will handle the child's mother. It's easier to deal with the issue if the man came clean at the get-go. This openness is what kept Lucy Rutere in her marriage. "My husband had told me he had sired a child while working in Eldoret. He had a picture of her as a baby and kept wishing he'd be reunited with her. I decided that if we were acquainted, I'd take her in as my daughter," she says. In April 2013, Lucy's husband was reunited with his daughter Loureen. Since then, Lucy has taken the girl as one of her daughters.
Some women choose to stay because they feel that they have invested in the marriage too heavily to let go. "If the marriage has gone on for many years, the woman may feel it's too late to start afresh. She may decide to stay but withdraw emotionally from her partner," says Laura.
Others stay because they can't stand losing the battle to a stranger who just popped up. Psychologist consultant Oliver Kibet says that in such cases, reconciliation is not based on forgiveness and acceptance. "The baby and the mother are seen as enemies out to reap where they didn't sow," he says. "As such, the woman stays to protect her territory and the emotional and financial safety of her children, especially if she doesn't have the resources to be independent. The baby is not accepted into the family. Neither is the man truly forgiven."
While the law provides that the child's father should avail support to his offspring, it can grant full custodial rights to him if the child's mother is deemed unfit or grievously irresponsible. In such an eventuality, you may find yourself raising the child if you choose to stay.
You chose to leave
Not all women will willingly stay behind swearing their undying love to their philandering men and raising their other children. Take Roseline Amondi Owaka, a 29-year-old banker. She recently quit her four-month-old marriage after her husband revealed that he had made another woman pregnant. "I thought he was joking and laughed it off. But he wasn't. He brought out his daughter's picture and pleaded that I accept her as I would if he were a single father. I refused. Did he think the marriage would tie me up? How many more others had he sired?" Roseline says. "I cannot be responsible for an act I did not partake in," she says.
Taking up the responsibility
If you choose to stay and raise your hubby's child, Laura says that there are certain dos and don'ts you should adhere to. These include:
- Repair any damaged self-esteem issues that the child may be harbouring.
- Resist from imposing yourself as the rightful good parent that their mother isn't.
- Listen when you get a chance to interact with them.
- Encourage your husband to bond with the child and see them not as unnecessary baggage or liability but as rightful offspring.
- Maintain your balance in how you parent them. Remember the child has been relating with the mother or relatives before your entry. Do not suffocate these relations.
- Be patient and understanding when they talk about their mother or their life before they came into your life.
- If you have children, foster a relationship based on respect between them and the new family member. Do not allow the child to be seen as an intruder.
- Leave all disciplining to the child's father.
If the child does not come to live with you, but you choose to stay anyway, Laura says that you should not tolerate deadbeat behaviour going forward.
- Have the father take up responsibility for his actions. He should draw up a reasonable plan on how the baby will be taken care of.
- Have him schedule a calendar for baby visits. For example, where and how shall he be seeing the child.
- Agree on how co-parenting with the child's mother will be done without jeopardizing your relationship or marriage.
- State your non-negotiable on what shall happen if more babies are dropped in. Make it clear whether you will file for divorce if more babies are revealed down the road.
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