I have been reading your column for more than five years, and now I need your advice.
I am a man aged 32 years, and I have gone through a lot in love and marriage. I was brought up by my mother after my father died when I was four years old. My mind is so full and I don’t know how to fully express myself for you to understand my situation. I am a man who has seen God’s favour in terms on making it in life, but when it comes to children, I cannot say I have been blessed. I am in my third marriage, without children of my own, and I feel I am heading for the fourth.
The first woman came into my life with a baby boy aged one year. I accepted him and we got married. But after three years without a child, we went our separate ways. The second woman came with a two-year-old baby boy but after three years, we split up. This third woman, with whom I am with now, was a business friend in an abusive marriage. We had a lot of similarities, so she left her husband to marry me and bear me children. She is five years my senior and has three children – two boys aged eight and five respectively, and a 22-year-old orphan she adopted, who is in university. I accepted her without any conditions, as long as she was ready to bear me kids. We have tried for three years, in vain.
We have spent more than Sh800,000 on medical consultations, part of which she contributed. After visiting four hospitals, I was told I’m the one with the problem.
A while ago, she told me she doesn’t want to be ‘sat on’ (nisimkalie), and it is now two months since we had sex. The last medical facility we visited, an IVF centre, suggested that we get a sperm donor, but it didn’t work out. And after undergoing the procedures, she felt she didn’t want to undergo any more. She has been a good wife, supporting me fully. Her ex-husband has been on-and-off in our life, occasionally taking the boys with him. I have realised that they will never recognise me as their father, and they behave as if I came to their mother’s life because of her money. As a result, I don’t like them like I used to.
I am contemplating leaving this woman because I hate myself although I don’t show it. I don’t care what anybody says but I’ve started worrying. Since the day she told me not to sleep with her, I have been turned off sexually. I recently met another woman, a high school teacher with a baby girl, on Facebook. Will she also not leave me?
I have never met a woman without a child and I feel I should look for a younger woman without one and get on with life. But considering what God has done for me, I am not just hoping, but also believing, that God will give me a child of my own. But I am in a dilemma, I don’t know what to do. The decision I make now will affect my future. At my age I don’t want to take chances anymore. At the moment, I’m looking for a marriage counsellor. I want to meet three before I make a decision.
I am a very patient, hard-working, God-fearing man, adorable and handsome. I don’t believe money is everything in life and I have never abused any woman. I parted company peacefully with those who left me. They told me they would rather leave than deceive me with another man’s pregnancy, leaving me worried.
I have attempted suicide but was saved, and nobody knew why. My mother has turned to the bottle, and I believe it’s my situation that is making her do this, since I am her only son and in a polygamous family with 10 step-brothers. I have tried to understand why she’s doing this but I just can’t.
I empathise with you regarding the loss of your dad at an early age. I believe that, if you are a God-fearing man, God has not abandoned you. I understand when you say that you are patient but are beginning to get anxious about the future, considering your mother’s situation. Of course, parents worry about their children, but it is up to you to make choices that will make your mother also have faith that you are seeking to be at peace with God.
Your visits to the doctor have given you the diagnosis for your situation. I also feel that there is a great deal you are going through that will require processing so that you do not keep moving from one woman to the next. I agree that you need to sit down with a counsellor as part of your inner healing. Being suicidal will only complicate your life. I have met men and women who are happily married despite not having children of their own. I have also met some who have adopted children.
In fact, I firmly believe that, as much as children are important to a marriage, they do necessarily guarantee happiness and the longevity of the marriage. Happiness in marriage comes from finding joy in each other. It must be about becoming friends and each other’s hero. It is sad to see a great couple separate because they cannot have children. As a Christian, you know that children are not guaranteed, and should not be the thread that holds a marriage together.
Your love and affection for each other must be strong enough to weather the storms of life. Determine for yourself what you should focus on. My prayer is that it will be in finding a companion you can enjoy life with without focusing on the temporal benefits of life such as children, money, property, etc. These are great, but in most cases, they are short-lived and fail in themselves to provide satisfaction.
My husband has refused to accept that our marriage is in trouble
I often read your articles, which are very helpful.
Now my marriage is not doing well. My husband has refused to work on our relationship but provides for us financially. He is an accountant and often pays for ICPAK courses to sharpen his skills. At one time I told him I was ready to pay for us to go for counselling, just like he pays for his courses.
He is in denial that there is a problem. I love my family and would not wish to do anything to affect our children. I find him selfish, and he does not care about my feelings and the effect he has on our children. He only talks about financial matters and property, even to children who don’t understand. For the sake of the children, I paid for our three-day Christmas vacation, which he had initially rejected. I need to speak to a counsellor.
Of course there are spouses who will not accept that there is anything wrong with their relationship. In a marriage, one spouse might be active in one area while neglecting almost all the other aspects of the marriage. Some value education and investment while others see the upbringing of the children as the most important thing. To this end, some husbands ask their wives to be stay-at-home mums.
In your case, I see a man consumed by the need to firmly secure the family’s future through education, good careers, and investment. This, in itself, is not bad. However, there is a need for a balance. You took the family on holiday, and although you did not share much about its outcome and impact on the children and the family as a whole, it was commendable. Every spouse must bring to the marriage an aspect that will in the end help the relationship enjoy the various facets of marriage.
I suggest that you use wisdom and not condemnation to seek a common understanding on the issues troubling you. There are many relationships in which other issues like the ones you care about are met by the man while his partner cares little about economic advancement. This has been the cause of friction in many relationships. I encourage you to see a counsellor alone first to see how you can deal with your inner turmoil. Clarity has a way of helping us gain proper understanding of issues.
Right now, there is no way you will see anything good in this man. However, talking about what you feel will reduce the inner stress burdening you. This will also give you a better perspective of the ways in which you could approach issues.
Are you married to the wrong partner?
A few days ago, I read an article in the The Telegraph about a research on relationships. “According to a survey of more than 1,600 divorcees, 49 per cent admitted that on their wedding day, they were worried that their relationship would break down, and two thirds considered leaving their spouse-to-be at the altar.” What makes many still pursue and end up marrying the wrong partner? Here are some pointers:
1. Do not be blinded by chemistry, base your love relationship on some facts
2. Your partner constantly belittles you and puts you down
3. Do not marry out of fear that you are getting older and might end up alone
4. Do not be blinded by temporal and material benefits
5. Do not overlook your potential partner’s bad values and behaviour
6. Do not be shallow; seek full disclosure
7. Learn to say no early enough. This could just be what will give you the boldness to deal with tough issues.
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