A few weeks ago, we carried a feature on men who lead double lives. Many of our male readers complained that we were only hitting at them and yet there are women who also lead double lives.
To balance the equation, this week, we shall look at women, who also live with skeletons in their closets. Many women harbour live with secrets that nobody, not even their partners or spouses know about.
On the surface, they appear to lead normal lives going about their day-to-day routines – working, raising children and being good wives. A large number are devout church goers.
However, what lurks beneath this seemingly perfect façade is probably in the realm of soap operas! With women, it is even more difficult to detect their secret lives, since, unlike me, they have perfected the art of pretence.
But why would a woman want to live her life with a dark cloud over her head because sooner or later, the truth will out. Most psychologists pin this down to human nature.
They maintain that everyone on the planet has a good side and a bad side: it is just the extent that makes the difference. But while nobody is perfect, some women are just plain sinister. Their dark side is often secretive and perplexing.
Some partners react in utter shock when they discover that the woman they have loved and had children with has another life or is keeping a secret that is confounding. A few men we spoke to said the following situations were the most shocking things they discovered about the women in their lives:
Women who abandoned their babies
We read of these stories in the newspapers everyday. Hospitals abound with cases of abandoned newborns; where the mother gives birth and then sneaks away. Once they leave the baby in the hospital, they move on.
They get married and have other children, and nobody ever knows about the baby. A more common occurrence is where the women do not abandon their babies, but they do not inform their husbands that they have a child somewhere.
Upon the woman’s marriage, this child is often left with his or her grandmother or the woman’s relatives. And she or he will be passed off to the husband and his side of the family as a sister or brother to the woman.
Married women who double up as prostitutes
A recent news item on TV caused shockwaves as married women at the coast came out and confessed that they secretly work as commercial sex workers. They cited various reasons for doing so; some said they were bored, while others said they did it for the money.
The married prostitute is not your usual brazen street girl variety. She is subtle and extremely secretive. It has been established that most lodgings, which conduct brisk business during the day often harbour married women going about their business.
They do it in the mornings’ or early afternoons because they have to be home early to prepare dinner for their husbands and families. Others have discreet affairs with their seniors at work in order to earn increments and speed up promotions.
It is not uncommon to hear of women who have multiple relationships with bosses, suppliers and other influential parties for financial gain.
There are cases of married women who travel to certain countries abroad purportedly to buy clothes and other goods for sale. While there, they engage in sex, for serious money with the local men in those countries, who pay premium rates for these trysts.
Women and witchcraft
This is one thing that is becoming increasingly common especially among middle class women. Look at the profile of women who visit witchdoctors and it will not be your regular slum dweller or rural woman but that neighbour with the posh house.
The innocent-looking married women are frequent clients of the numerous witchdoctors who abound in every town. They visit them to obtain love potions to administer on their partners.
These potions, they believe, are supposed to subdue the man and keep him under their control. For this reason, the witchdoctor trade is thriving that is why you will now see those numerous signs in the posh suburbs that proclaim the services of these witchdoctors.
They know this target groups is willing to spend money to ward off any kind of ‘intruder’ in their marriages or relationships. A recent well-publicised case involving a well-to-do woman who was literally living with her so-called witchdoctor in the same house as her ailing husband clearly demonstrates this phenomenon.
*Julia, who lives somewhere in Langata, was once heard boasting to her friends that she can get any man she targets and for sure, she has dated many wealthy men… some of them in very high places.
According to her, “any woman who does not know how to hold onto her marriage is foolish.” Of course the men do not know that she is using witchcraft on them. After all, this is a high-flying university graduate with a good job.
What astounded her friends was the fact that she would regularly bring people in her home who she claimed were relatives from a neighbouring country. It is only when this friend popped into the house one night and found the group performing funny rituals that she realised they were funny people.
When she asked Julia about it, her response was simply “Every women must know how to hold onto her relationship. After all, I’m not killing anybody. Just securing my man.”
Definitely the man in question did not know he was being ‘treated’ by remote control. For sure, he is a tamed man but whether this is from the ‘ treatment from Julia’s friends is debatable.
Women and toy boys
In the classified sections of certain newspapers, there are usually numerous advertisements which read something like this: “23-year-old man looking for a financially stable married sugar mummy aged between 30-40 for romance, fun and pleasure”.
These advertisements have increased in number of late, and it seems that the market for married women and toy boys is alive and kicking. This is the same way that older men seek out younger girls. The interesting thing is that women are very discreet in the way they conduct these affairs.
Nobody would ever guess that the women would pay young men for sex. It seems that some young men base these relationships on finances alone. Some even go to the extent of blackmailing the married women, and this is why they seek them out in the first place – as a conduit for money.
One man was rendered speechless when he received mobile phone videos of his wife busy with a university student. Apparently, this student had threatened to send the pictures to the husband after the relationship turned sour and the woman refused to part with more money. He had obtained her husband’s number by scrolling through her phone when they were on good terms.
Women drug peddlers
Women are widely used by big drug lords as couriers to peddle drugs around the world. This matter has not escaped Kenyan women. In a widely publicised case, one woman who was living a normal ordinary life with her family found herself in the centre of a drug peddling ring, in a set up that nobody could imagine.
She is not the only one. Certain highly successful women who seem to have accrued overnight riches are secretly into drug dealing. They cultivate highly creative ways to get the drugs through the airports. If you were to meet these ladies anywhere, you would never guess what they do for a living as they look prosperous and normal.
The new face of Kenya’s con-women
Many women these days have ventured into the business of conning others for financial gain. It is difficult to suspect them because they are very polite and courteous. Some are high level conwomen who have multi-million shilling deals in cahoots with others, while some work on the streets.
Others are your everyday business acquaintance who decides to short change you in a deal. Some owe others money and keep spinning yarns of how they will pay, but have no intention of ever doing so. The con woman is all around – in your office, in the streets , your close friend or in the government or corporate world.
They lead a double life because everyone thinks they are honest and straightforward. They are well- dressed and any unsuspecting person will not hesitate to speak to them as they stop and ask for directions to someplace. Once she has drawn you into a conversation, an accomplice appears from nowhere and pretends to be a passerby.
These people will then claim to have seen the conwoman on television, on some gospel show. They then talk about a project she is involved in, usually a children’s home, to make herself appear to be a religious person. She then claims to have prophetic powers, and will tell the victim that she is afflicted, or will soon be if urgent divine intervention is not carried out.
The victim (they mostly target women) will be invited for prayers in a nearby vehicle, where other ‘prophets’ are seated. And the rest is history. Other conniving women may not be as daring as the street ones, but just as dangerous, since the victim ends up losing money.
The bisexual wife
This is another phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common. She has many friends but there is one special one that is a permanent fixture in her life. Seeing them together all the time, even the husband will marvel at their close friendship...almost like sisters.
The only thing he, or any other person will not imagine is that there is a sexual relationship between the two women. After all, it is common for women to visit each other in their homes and even take holidays together with the children. It is also not frowned upon when women spend time alone chatting for hours on end…
John only realized there was more than met the eye in the relationship between his wife and her best friend when he stumbled upon a text message on her phone with sexual connotations. Of course she denied it when he confronted her with the issue but looking back, he realized that he had been sharing his wife with her best friend all along.
“This was a woman who was her friend since schooldays. She was even her best maid,” he says. “ I just thought there were very good friends because they are always there for each other. I have not found them in a compromising situation but I know in my bones that there’s definitely more than meets the eye here.”
And for sure, John is not the only one in this situation. Much as women are good at concealing anything they want to keep secret, many married women are ‘ enjoying the best of both worlds,” says a woman who herself has had such a relationship for years. She says that is the one secret she would die if her children and husband found out.
Why do some women lead a double life?
According to studies conducted worldwide, researchers say it is mainly due to an insecure upbringing and low self-esteem. Women who grew up with cruel fathers who did not affirm their self-worth end up becoming two-faced in later life, in an effort to prove themselves.
She will try to hang on to her husband using fair means and foul, and will desire financial success even it means compromising herself in the process.
For others, it is simply due to a love for easy money and the luxuries it can buy, coupled with the need to show off. And for many other, it is because they enjoy their secret lives and are not willing to let go even when they get married.