Dear D,

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1701

She said, “I want to tell you my story, but I would like you to write it in the form of a letter to my ex-husband.”

Dear, D

On my 45th birthday I woke up and made tea and carried it up the wooden winding staircase to the bedroom. Now my bedroom, it used to be our bedroom: some of your shirts still hang on your side of the closet, your old tennis shoes….the bedroom has become the museum of our marriage. It seems bigger now without you in it. The windows seem to bring in more light. On that birthday morning the house was still as a lamb. Your daughter had gone to a party the previous night and would come back just before noon. Your son had long moved out of the servants quarters, and into his own house, trying to be his own man. I increasingly find myself alone in the house many times. 

I drew the curtains, letting in copious amounts of light. I propped up in bed and sipped my tea and inhaled the 45-years I had been alive and almost half of which I was your wife. It’s ironic, that word wife, a word I’m unable to define now because it meant many conflicting things at different times of my life. 

You might remember the first time we met. Actually you might not, you were seated at the arm of a chair holding a beer and laughing. I remember how your left leg dangled from the ground and how you kept swinging it in small arcs as you sipped your beer. You had on a red polo shirt with one missing button. You spoke little – like all intelligent men. My best friend – your sister – had mentioned that you were an engineer and of course I was intrigued because, well, that seemed awfully important especially for a 19-year old like me. Would you even notice me? I wondered. Even like me? But in hindsight, it’s telling that the first time I set my eyes on you you were holding a beer. Perhaps that should have been a sign. 

I would be lying if I said it was love at first sight. I was a small town girl who was new to the big city to change her fortune. You, on the other hand, was already a man who knew his way around, a polite, extremely intelligent engineer who had a bright future before him. I especially liked how you took care of your siblings; living with them, paying their education…you were responsible. You reminded me of my parents. Growing up I remember a revolving door of needy relatives passing through our house. And so I loved your giving heart that beat underneath your polo shirts with the topsy turvy collars.  

My father never touched alcohol his whole life and so I never knew what was too much or too little alcohol when you started drinking a lot. My socialisation with alcohol was not calibrated and even though I found it strange, this debauchery, I thought it was a normal male thing; man drinking, man coming home drunk, man sleeping in. I know some friends whose fathers drunk, I knew of friends whose husbands drunk. It seemed like a lifestyle. I couldn’t complain. 

But maybe I should have because you drank our whole marriage in gulps, gradually at the beginning and then heavily and steadily which essentially robbed me of my youth. At 20 you made me into a mother, a woman and for the next 20 years you put me through the ringer of motherhood and wifehood and I spent those years trying to save you from the bottle and save our marriage and later save myself. I barely paused to ask myself what I wanted, who I was, what all these meant. I was either dealing with a child or a marriage that was constantly on the ropes. 

I was a clerk and a young mother of a son in primary school, sitting behind a small desk the whole day filing, printing, photocopying and sometimes serving tea when the big bosses came in from the head office. You on the other hand  was the sort-after engineer that corporates were beating down his door, flashing offers in his face. I shrunk in the big shadow, your intellect cast over me and became the wife I thought you deserved. 

I remember when we moved into our first home, that you had just bought and how instead of joy I felt the emptiness in the furnished house. How every room echoed with hopelessness because by this time I had emptied my soul in the marriage and it was shredded like tiny papers containing secrets. You drunk heavily, coming in late at night at the beginning and then not coming at all, or just coming to change and leave for work. I would say, “D, you will lose your job if you keep up with this,” and since I was only a clerk, since I didn’t have a degree in engineering, or a degree in anything, you would ask me what I knew about the high corporate life. “They can never fire me. They need me.” You said. So I prayed for you because that’s what wives do. That’s what wives did. Even after it was evident that the marriage had become toxic for me, I couldn’t dare leave because how would I survive on this clerical salary? Besides, women then never left. You stayed. You honoured your marriage, you strove to become like your mother.  

I can’t be faulted for not having worked at this marriage. When you couldn’t wake up to go to work on time, did I not call your boss and lie that you were sick? When the shylocks came knocking because of money you borrowed that I never saw, did I not pay them off with the money from my small job? When the credit card debt was breaking your back, did you not call me to the table as an equal this time and pleaded with me to borrow money from my sacco to save your job? Did I not bail you like a Greek bank when your bank loan repayments defaulted and your debts piled  like a mound of dirty laundry? 

You will never know that I was a romantic. That I craved affection. That I wanted you talk to me and make me feel worthy. You will never know that I wanted to have someone hold my hand in the theater as I gave birth. I never experienced that and I will never experience that. I was alone three times in the bright theater, as you were were making your way from the bar. I was a single mother from the word go and looking back I had it worse than single mothers because whereas single mothers know everything falls on them squarely I had expectations of support from the umbrella of my marriage, yet none came. It was like waiting for a bus that never came. So I suffered disappointment after disappointment, that beat me like a relentless wave and you kept wounding my heart.  

You stopped paying school fees for your children. You stopped going for their school functions. You stopped being a father and that was harder to deal with than when you stopped being a husband. I tried to cover your nakedness; daddy is caught up at work, daddy was to come but he’s unwell, daddy is proud of you,… I was your spokeswoman to your own children. But at some point the children see the charade of your fatherhood, their lenses of innocence, of undying love clear and they see you for who you are; irresponsible, a drunk. You might not know this, but they were embarrassed of you because you constantly embarrassed them in front of their friends. They never invited their friends home, because there was no telling what state you would be in. One day I found your children sitting in the living room, playing with some toys and I asked them why they weren’t playing outside with other kids and they said they didn’t want to because other kids made fun of them. I asked them how but they wouldn’t tell me. So I demanded to know and they said because other children would make fun of them that their father was a mlevi. They said it remorsefully, as if they didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Your drunkenness had become my responsibility. 

I hated when you came home drunk in the wee hours of the morning, how verbally abusive you were. How when I started rising in my career, after I started going to school, with the seed of ambition growing, you hated it and punished me for it. You hated me for wanting to be better because you liked me as a clerk, a mother, to sit at home and raise your children and twiddle my thumbs as you drunk all night with your friends. I hated how you would wake me up and tell me all the things that I was not. How the next morning I would be so tired from lack of sleep and even worse from dwindling self esteem because when someone tells you how foolish you are every night, no matter how strong you are, no matter how fortified you are, it plants a seed in you which grows and soon you start becoming what they say you are.

You remember that night I opened the door at 3am and there you were being propped up by two cops. You looked like a marionette in a circus, your legs rubbery. I can’t forget those cops, how they smelled of the dark of the night. You were so drunk you could barely speak. When they asked me if I knew “this man,” I remember saying yes, “he’s my husband,” like someone would claim lost baggage. By me saying, “Yes, he’s my husband,” you transferred your weakness, you made me wear the boots of your failure. You infected me with your fate. 

The kind policemen said you couldn’t drive. That you would kill someone if you continued drinking and driving. I remember how understanding they were, the pity in their eyes…the police, these strangers with guns hanging from their side, got into our home with their heavy overcoats and shoes that had stepped into places where blood flowed and men died, places of ugliness  and they had poured you on the sofa.  

Of course you can’t remember how many nights I was woken up by a phone call from the police or a good Samaritan and I had to leave our children in the house at 2am and drive to the scene or how I had to call my brother, who like everybody else in the family, I had been protecting from your weakness, to drive to the scene of the accident in a part of Eastlands I was too afraid to drive to at that hour of the night. And there he said he found you sitting on the roundabout, which you had tried negotiating anti-clockwise and rammed into an on-coming vehicle. How many of my cars did you have an accidents with during our marriage? Your life, as was our marriage, was one crash after another, a mashup of all hope. 

I stopped sleeping when you were out drinking. I would stay awake at night waiting for that bad phone-call that would summon me to see your body in a morgue. I developed panic attacks which have only now gotten better. I stopped going for neighbourhood estate meetings because I had lost face and confidence because other women in the estate would ask me how I deal with you, how I manage to look strong. I avoided meeting them. I avoided their eyes. You made us the laughing stock of the estate. Our children would hide when they saw you driving in to avoid you coming to say hello to them when they are playing because you would be drunk. When you would come home early, drunk off course, and wonder why the children had slept early, I wouldn’t tell you the truth; that they had all run upstairs to pretend to sleep, because they didn’t like to sit with their father. Whenever you were in the house, the house suddenly shrunk, the rooms became smaller, the air heavy, the mood tense. You brought unhappiness in your own home. But I never stopped praying for you because that’s what wives did. 

I tried leaving you four times, I hope you counted because I did. I clearly remember the days that I left with the children. I remember the dingy hotel where we lived the first time because the window overlooked an alley men stopped to pee in. I remember my brother leaving his house for us, and how empty his fridge was save for bottles of tonic water. I remember your relatives begging me to go back whenever I left, your father coming to Nairobi to tell me that if I left you’d die. Your mother’s rheumy and pleading eyes, an old woman who had no right to see you perish. They made me believe that I was the glue that held your life together. They put the responsibility of your demons on me. My mom asked me if you beat me and when I said you didn’t she said, “then you have to go back to your home, that’s your home.”  But it wasn’t, it was my grave. You might not have been beating me physically but you were beating me emotionally. We sat in many counselling sessions. I paid for your way to numerous rehabs, drove you to AA meetings and waited for hours outside the car. We sought alternative therapy, hypnosis and whatnot. 

Then I gave up. I will tell you when I gave up. Remember that night you came home drunk and defeated, your shirt untucked, your life unspooling, and placed the letter on the table and I knew it before you said what it contained. And I walked to the bedroom to cry because you lost your job and I had seen it coming and I had warned you about it. You said you were “marketable” that very few people had your brains and skills (true), but what you didn’t know was that you were as useful as a wheelless car with an efficient engine. Of course by this time you had pretty much stopped paying your bills and you were up to your bellybutton in debts. You had stopped taking care of us. And when you sold our house without telling me, I knew I would no longer fight for you. 

And soon after, because you stopped being a man, a father, I became the man and the father. I did everything you refused to do; fees, mortgage. I made decisions in the home. You came and went like the four seasons. You had your friends. If you ever read this I want you to know that the one thing that failed you terribly was your friendships. These drinking mates. These men you constantly chose over your family. Those friends who were fraudulent, who pretended to be on your side but who only saw you as the ticket to fun times.  Where are they now? Mention one friend who is by your side now, just one. They all scattered like grain during planting season. Your friendships were based on quicksand. You couldn’t understand why I didn’t like them. Why I was cold to them when they came over. It’s because I knew they were not genuine. 

I was very lonely in our marriage. Deeply. Lonely and empty. I avoided humans, because I thought they would see through my loneliness, smell it on my hair and that would embarrass me. So I stuck alone. Your remember the weeks we would go nil-by-mouth, not a word between us, worse than strangers. Those weeks I had checked out emotionally, only my shell was left behind to be the wife. 

I knew about your three affairs, but only the first one hurt me because you would spend on her while your children lacked, while the mortgage was unpaid, while you never once took me for a cup of tea. But the next two affairs? I didn’t feel a tinge of hurt even though you intended to hurt me with them by not coming home for days, by drinking excessively. In fact, I pleaded with your parents to allow you to marry again then I’d be free from that bondage.

You made me the man I am today. I was the man for 15-years of that marriage. Your disinterest to provide opened me up like a bottle of good wine. I worked during the day and went to school in the evening. Through your hangovers and through your snide remarks about my intellect and academic capability, I got my degree, then my masters, then my PhD. The more I rose, the angrier you got with me. You will never know the struggle of paying for private university for two children while paying mortgage, food and clothes. You will never know what sacrifice is until you forgo buying a new shoe for yourself so that your child can to go for a school trip. I stopped respecting you. You stopped being the head because you were not bothered to be the head. You complained bitterly that I was not submissive. But to what? What did you want me to submit to? So  when I stopped respecting you, I stopped having any feelings for your whatsoever. You became a stranger I fed. I checked in my emotions, they were going to meet me at the final destination. 

I could regret marrying you were it not for our children. The silver lining is that they didn’t take after my brains, they took after yours. I’m a workhorse, I’m determined and focused and everything I have gotten has been from dogged determination. You on the other hand have a brilliant mind, sharp intellect and all your children took your brains. That I’m very grateful for, they have breezed through school. They have been good kids, disciplined, grateful and loving. They have had me as a father and mother. They have made my sacrifices worthwhile. They are now adults but you have scarred them. Your daughter never wants to talk about you, a mention of your name and she leaves the room. She’s very smart, introverted, deep seeking and determined. I hope she doesn’t view all men through these experiences. I hope she gives love a chance, marriage a chance. I pray for them constantly that they don’t inherit the gene of alcoholism. I pray that they find it in their hearts to forgive you, that they seek you out and build a relationship before it’s too late. Your sons are brilliant boys. The last one has stopped asking about you. The first one tried, but you were in a different headspace, so he has given up. I find no joy in this. No joy at all. 

If I did things differently I would have left the marriage after our first son. In fact, I know the exact day I would have left. The morning after you came home at 11am drunk and I was reading a book in the verandah, when I asked you where you were and you told me to mind my own business. People show you who they are yet we refuse to believe them. I was too scared to start on my own, too weak in the mind. I hope my daughter makes bolder decisions when it comes to her life.I hope she puts herself first. I hope she always knows that whatever she decides, whatever brings her happiness, I hope she knows I will always accept it even if I don’t understand it. I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means. I hope they learn to have a plan B, plan C and plan D. And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.” Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not. 

It was a very unhappy marriage. For two decades I slept in a cold bed worrying and praying for God to keep you safe as you partied all night. I prayed so much in church that I was convinced God would not answer my prayers and when no answer was forthcoming I started praying for myself. 

We have been apart for five years now and I’m happier than I have ever been in the last 20 years. I’m peaceful. Sometimes I wonder why I had to suffer for 20 years but lately I have realised that it was God’s timing, I was being built. Without that I would not have had the strength to want more for myself, to go to school, to be courageous. 

Most people remember their 30th birthday. I don’t. Actually, I don’t remember any birthday from my 20th to my 40th. You took all my birthdays. There was nothing to celebrate, nothing to cheer, nothing to mark. Half my life is gone, and now I’m beginning the second half, leaving the ruins of my youth and the heartbreaks of being your wife and following my own sunrise. 

I wish you well. I hope you beat those demons of alcoholism. My God always watch over you. 

From, M.

***

At a Rotaract  (Club of Karura) talk last week a member  asked me if I had done a personality test and I had no clue what personality I was. I promised to find out and tell her. And so to Fancy Chebet, I’m an Adventurer, ISFP-A. (Sounds like something that’s written on a sunscreen tub)

 

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502 Comments
  1. Dear women, I know its hard to leave a bad relationship, but for the sake of your kids leave a broken marriage, there is nothing to salvage, instead you are raising broken children who will have a hard time trying to fit in the society and trying not to be their fathers and mothers. Let us bring up happy children. The society will never stop being cruel and stigmatising divorce, but dont we all need to bring up a better generation??
    From a girl who saw enough of her mother being beaten and her father drunk and promiscuous.. 40 years later I am still a damaged child.
    xoxo.

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    1. Succinctly put!
      Like I stated in the comments section, there are those who are meant to be in our lives to accomplish certain things and get out. That it! Our problem is trying to make that last a lifetime. A reason, a season and a lifetime. We need to stop forcing things, hoping it will get better whilst at the same time creating a bitter society and damaging generations.

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    2. Parents don’t realise how they damage children until it’s way in and they can’t salvage the situation. Dads are a reflection of their fathers.

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    3. So true, the children who grow up in such environments, end up with different personalities and sometimes are not able to save themselves

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    4. Trust me the society is harsh and it takes a very strong person to ignore…..the society judges single parents and moreso mother’s quite harshly….and it takes a strong woman to say it’s enough and for her to leave…….

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  2. Wow…. Will come back and read this slowly… Wats with brilliant minds and alcoholism. I have seen brilliant surgeons, lawyers, engineers go down that dark path and just disappear. Sad really.Your life is a lesson to others M… You cannot pour from an empty cup. Fill your cup first… All the best in your second chapter.. Hope u find the kinda love you deserve

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  3. you’ve written a lot about Marriage this year – and that’s very good. However, aren’t there people with successful marriages that have reached out to you? Considering the sheer number of married people in this country, it’s interesting to note that 100% of the marriages you’ve written about are unsuccessful. But then again, it’s not news when a dog bites.

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    1. Biko HAS written about successful marriages re read the posts.. I think what you want to read is all happy all the time. that story would be untrue because marriage is NOT a bed or rosses. its sickness. its debt. its shouting matches at times.its also a small cuddle or quickie when the kids go play outside .and an sms at lunch that will make you smile.its long distances sometimes and silent treatment for days . its dinner dates and sitting together saying nothing and knowing the love is still there. its sick kids and work trips and annoying in laws sometimes staying at your house.its taking one for the team sometimes and admtiing you are wrong even when you know you are not.. its ups and downs..its not what is depicted in movies or social media accounts. he has written what you don’t see. as a married person I can relate to many of these stories,im not in a toxic marriage. but marriage is HARD but also wonderful if you find the right person

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      1. Thanks Ken for putting it right,bear and true.thats the real picture of marriage.Thanks for giving some hope.marriage is for the strong.

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    2. But people with happy marriages have shared their stories…the story last week had a wonderful ending. Maybe our issue is that we think happy marriages are challenge-free marriages. If that’s the case, then no; there are no happy marriages.

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    3. There are successful marriage stories just read through. This one, intriguing…heartbreaking and very beautiful, a woman can try, a woman can love herself.

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    4. @Gridenko, most of this are Happy ending kinda stories which is where the Happy Marriage begins. But before it is a happy Marriage people go through hard times, difficult partners, wrong ones and this is the kind that teaches some of us to know when to leave, when to defy society and so On

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  4. It’s inspiring how she took charge of her family financially. Aki when she said I was the man of this family for the past 15 years, I felt that. But how were people getting married at 19? I just can’t imagine that. Maybe it’s my generation but it just feels too early

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    1. I got married at 20 .. 🙂 🙂 and like her.. were it not for my lovely daugher, I would also have regreted meeting him. Mine was a choice made out of pure naivety – sowing the consequences in my thirties.. but we strong!

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  5. May God give me the grace and strength to give birth to my child next month and bring up him or her in a Godly way. Sometimes self happiness comes first,l wish all ladies can take a step forth and keenly read the signs,like for my case,battered,beaten while pregnant. Am now at a happy place; self love!

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  6. This couldn’t have come at a better time, I wish a friend of mine reads this to know that she doesn’t need to stick it out, that she needs to put herself first.
    Thank you Biko for the story.

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  7. I was about to get into a relationship with a drinking man… The guy had been charming me taking me on dates etc.. Then one day he called me at 3am demanding I come pick him from a ditch… I said OK then I switched off my phone and moved on with my life falling into a deep peaceful sleep I’d rather be single if that’s the choice.

    I’m glad she found her way. Strong women may we know them, may we be them.

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    1. Its was a new relationship at the wee hours of the night jumps the fence to come see me extremely drunk, that was the first red flag that was followed by many other like sleeping in the car for being too drunk to get into the house, it took me a minute but finally we broke up…..Dont ignore the red signs and NO LADIES! you cant change a grown man Choose you!

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    1. I felt like Biko (or M in this case) was writing about my mother. She didn’t leave either but she managed to find herself.

      May we have better luck by the Grace of God.

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  8. Oh, God I pray the kids to be better people. May God watch over him, always. Often we get stuck up in toxic relationships, worrying about the society. I am glad that the generation from 1985 to 1994 know better, they call us confused but we have learnt and observed and there are things we just can’t take it in, in the name of marriage. I always say when these Kids get to 18 and are hanging out more with their friends, girlfriends, we would take alot of time to nurture ourselves atleast once every month. However we understand that our parents had our best interest at heart, and we don’t take that for granted. We are glad that you placed us first and our wellbeing is all that you wanted. We cannot fault their decisions because they were reading from a different script.

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  9. ”I was too scared to start on my own, too weak in the mind. I hope my daughter makes bolder decisions when it comes to her life.I hope she puts herself first. I hope she always knows that whatever she decides, whatever brings her happiness, I hope she knows I will always accept it even if I don’t understand it. I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means.”….This is always my wish for many women and girls struggling to come out of abusive marriages,…and men as well.I thank God I was able to make that move only 3 years into my broken marriage. 5 years down the line and I haven’t been happier.There are times loneliness sets in.I still believe in love..I still believe marriages work.Is someone following?Lol…I am happy you were eventually able to come out of it.Some people stay in it until death comes.Your life just began.Too bad a brilliant brain is wasting down the drain.

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    1. to be sincere with you, she will…even though us daughters we hardly say, we notice and we even feel the pain…we cry ourselves to sleep. but we turn out strong eventually….. but you know what the hard part is giving true love, still believing in happy ending marriages a try….we always have “what if” thoughts

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      1. and the “what if” thoughts make us sabotage even the good ones, always analyzing, scrutinizing and being extra careful not to meet your dad in the man you love.

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  10. This piece was definitely written from a point of despair. It is had to comprehend 20 years in a cold bed worrying about someone you love. A man who did not want to be saved. A man that made too close a friend out of liquor.

    It is incredible how much the woman has got done from almost nothing. She has seemingly moved moved mountains with a mere spade. What if, just what if, she was doing life with a responsible man. How much more could she get done? That simply weighs down on my heart.

    I wonder why though. Why when life seemingly smiles at people, gives them a good turn, they still find a way to befriend misfortune.

    A loving wife. Amazing kids. A great career. A good deal of wealth. Alcohol. Affairs. Toxic friends.

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    1. I would want to think that she would have been comfortable and become a mere wife and mother with a salary of a clerk all her life.

      This, though very sad and mostly inhumane, pushed her to the limits beyond her imagination.

      All we should hope for is comfort and peace for the rest of her life and that of D. Its never too late start again.

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  11. Oh my, what a story.
    Sadly, I have had some alcoholics in my family- from both sides; paternal and maternal.
    I recall my cousin, whom while I was a young boy, would come home driving GK vehicles. He worked at the treasury, so I learnt later. He drank his job, his life, marriage and yes, his family. May he rest in peace.

    This is a story of Faith, hope and believe. I pray that the kids find it in thier spirits to forgive their father.
    I pray for blessings for this lady.

    Men, how is it with liquor that we forget our own selves?

    Biko, that is a great story -fictiin or true, it is a reflection of our society.
    Kudos

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  12. As a woman, a mother and a wife, I have learnt some tremendous lessons from this letter and article. I have learnt that I need to fight for my own money, so that I don’t have to be pushed down and to also enable me make my own decisions much faster. Additionally, I have learnt that it takes 2 people to make a marriage and if I feel that I am constantly making my husband a “prayer point” for him to change, be responsible and loving to his family, then its time to leave. Lastly, leaving is not easy but it’s for the courageous, those who want to put themselves first and value peace in their lives.

    Well written and an inspiration.

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  13. I’m immensely proud of the woman that M has become…she has been taken through a wringer and like a diamond rough came out shining. I love how she has made a life for herself despite her circumstances. How she has stepped in to raise her kids without showing them their dad is an irresponsible drunk. How she has managed to find forgiveness. I love how she has fought for her marriage before realizing she was watering a dead tree. I love how she teaches women to rise again and to become economically empowered. How she rose above ‘ when someone tells you how foolish you are every night, no matter how strong you are, no matter how fortified you are, it plants a seed in you which grows and soon you start becoming what they say you are’. Well done mami. It’s because of women like you that we can stand strong and turn lemons into lemonade.

    As you have prayed for your family, I also pray that in this next stage of your life that you know nothing but joy, fulfillment, happiness and that your life truly begins at 45.

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  14. Hey gang,
    Thanks for the deep story that you’ve crafted on this chilly morning. Thanks heavens U had my coffee while reading this. M is definitely a strong woman, a woman whose hope of saving another human being dried up. The pain. The triggers. The struggle. The grief. The calm. All these are deeply felt while reading through. If only I knew what demon was driving D to the bottle….

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  15. I think this is the most amazing piece I have read in this series. I cannot begin to imagine how many women out there resonate with this…the lost youth and wasted years, the immense sacrifice of raising children alone while in a marriage, carrying someone else’s shame and wearing it as if your own, neglect and emotional abuse…

    I marvel at the courage and resilient spirit of M. I hope D overcomes his demons of alcoholism!

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  16. It has always been okay to leave. Okay to change your mind. Okay to start over.
    Glad you found the courage to leave.
    I wish you and your children well.

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  17. Too many women bearing the demons of infidelity, alcoholism, emotional abuse, financial abuse, you name it. Women are very strong creatures. Sad that society has made women believe that they cannot free themselves from these things. She will be okay, this epitome of strength woman.

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  18. “I wish you well I hope you beat those demons of alcoholism” all the best D that is if you ever read this and to M you are the best of the bestest hugs hugs

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  19. I held my breath all through the read, May the Lord give women courage to walk out of abusive marriages irregardless of the rants of the society.

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  20. Thank you for this Biko
    Kinda in the same boat albeit on the initial stages whatever that means. I am 28 and starting to feel my life breeze past.
    Work/kids/work and the cycle continues. I dont want to live to my forties like M.

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    1. M has told us very little about her life and her own character. Do not be hasty in concluding that your life is like M’s and then apply the solution to her problems to your own problems. You might live to regret it.
      For example, perhaps M’s husband drank too much because as a youth, he got misguided and he never woke up to the truth. In your case, maybe you are the one frustrating your husband in some fashion, so he takes solace in the bar (just an example ……).
      It looks like M never had constructive conversation with her x-husband. Maybe you can have that conversation and turn things around. Maybe in your case, there is someone who can literally change the guy by talking to him …….
      Men are like different brands of cars – a quick way of knocking your car engine is putting in oil that works well in another brand. Likewise the right solutions intended for another marriage might wreck your life and that of your children in a manner that you might not recover …..
      Therefore thoroughly examine your situation and possible solutions/actions with disregard to what other women have done and choose the best ……
      Finally, sometimes people encourage you to do something, not because they love you, but they want you to help justify their own actions. It could also be that they are not happy that you are still in a marriage …. keep your eyes open.

      13
      1. Very sensible,very true and very fair.Men go through alot too,only that they don’t know how to say it.after all who would believe them when according to society women do no wrong,and a man should be all strong?Men too go through a lot and die inside in silence.problems,struggles,bad marriage and all those demons are not gender tailored.

        1
  21. I was a single mother from the word go and looking back I had it worse than single mothers because whereas single mothers know everything falls on them squarely I had expectations of support from the umbrella of my marriage, yet none came. It was like waiting for a bus that never came. So I suffered disappointment after disappointment, that beat me like a relentless wave and you kept wounding my heart.  

    Sounds very familiar. But I’m at peace now. I pray for my daughter too. I promised never to let her believe that she can only be validated by getting married. I hope she gets a better deal than I did. For all women who identify with this, I pray that your children will have a better life, that they will make better choices and will never feel trapped in any relationship that they don’t like.

    23
  22. Proverbs 23:21 “…for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”

    wine mocks those who use it (see Proverbs 20:1) and rewards them with woe, sorrow, strife, and wounds without cause (see Proverbs 23:29, 30). “In the end it [wine] bites like a snake and poisons like a viper” (verse 32, NIV)

    Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks” (Isaiah 5:22, NIV)

    34
  23. I have a 2 year old son who means the world to me. This letter today just gave me more zeal and determination to always strive and do better by him. How that man scarred his family is just really saddening. Children should never have to go through that.

    17
    1. my thoughts too , the pains and the struggle , hanging o by threads of hope but out of this , she birthed hope

      on the bigger picture is why this had to happen and i have to do right by my 8 months old son , he deserves better if not the best of me each day , i try , when i cant , i try even harder

      kuna hope

      4
    2. Hi Eric, Great thoughts there. Do good by him and also the women in your life. If you can reach out and mentor a few men out there it will be a plus.

      3
    3. Mine is 3 years,my world!! I pray for sanity,good health providence and the wisdom to do better with him. I believe it can be done, and it will be. So help us God.

      4
  24. For your strength, courage and for wanting more for yourself, hats off to you mummy. The best part of your life just begun, scars and all, it is a new beautiful day. Enjoy it. I pray we get courageous enough to want the best for ourselves.

    7
  25. I once read a mythical story about a flog that was put on a frying pan with water then heated. It watched being cooked while refusing to jump with increase in heat… It is good that the lady jumped at last.

    I wish she touched on the hubby’s current state. The mistresses

    …now I long for a sweet marriage story. I hope my dreams are varied.

    1
  26. this reminded me of how a broken child i am. and you know what hurt the most, was seeing my mum shedding those endless tears. it was as if everything she ever sacrificed for especially her own youth was coming down trembling. She kept telling me i hope one day i’ll give you the happiness you deserve. No one to turn to. I personally hated men because my dad chose to leave us instead with nothing left behind, loans, house rent, food, debts so many hardship.
    sorrows,pain,anger, bitterness, long sleepless night, loneliness…and much more
    but i thank God for this far and at some point i’m glad he left… and because of that nothing breaks me i grew up strong, bold and my mum is my comfort.

    13
  27. OMG! Sounds like my mother’s story. Except the alcohol. He is not an alcoholic. But he still spends his money on everyone else except us. He is currently educating 3 of my cousins children. I have been begging for fees for masters since 2014. I am also unemployed and he couldn’t give any fucks. Mum is retiring next year. She still doesn’t want to leave and I am scared that being at home all the time with him will not end well. But she won’t listen. I hope she finds the courage to leave.

    11
    1. You have my mothers name…..i havente even read your comment …..but my heart skipped a beat….she passed away…..you just gave me a mini heart attack….in a good way

      3
  28. ‘The first time i set my eyes on you, you were holding a beer’ Perhaps that should have been a sign ‘ Gradually at the beinning and steadily which essentially robbed me of my youth’ My fellow ladies if it doesnt work from from the beginning just leave. You are not the glue that holds you together..only God does.Its good to submit Yes but dont let him make yuou wear the boots of his failure otherwise he will infect you with his fate. I am glad that she finally found her way, went to school too pursue a degree, Masters and she now has a PHD. She still sounds so bitter though. She needs to let goof all the bitterness and forgive him. That will bring absolute healing.

    2
  29. This is a sad yet a lesson in life. Live for you and your kids , life is too short to go through sadness and BS. To the women out there who are going through this ……. there is always a way…… always. We are very strong and we have God on our side.

    3
  30. You can have no regrets because of your three wonderful kids, and the lessons you picked along the way.
    45 is a great place to be so enjoy as much as you can.
    Watch out and pray about the scars left in your children , They are deep .

    CN

    4
  31. This is just a sad story. Makes me understand why single mothers are such a bitter lot when they speak to Maina and King’ang’I in the morning. It is such a saddening state and I understand her because I was also raised by a drinking dad who for so long didn’t seem to care about us. I have tried to reconcile my past with him though and even if he still drinks I have learnt to take him as he is.
    I am glad this lady found happiness though.

    3
  32. Clearly, you haven’t followed closely. From my counting, the unhappy version is over 50% but certainly not 100%.
    But with national stats rating divorce rate at 60%, this is expected; the ones leaving and an even a larger number sticking in there, 60% could only be an estimate.

    1
  33. “I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means. I hope they learn to have a plan B, plan C and plan D. And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.”

    That’s deep. To her girl and every other girl. Treat this blog post as life coaching 101 from a loving mother who learnt from her mistakes albeit late.

    Let’s never settle coz life is too damn shirt for that. I’m glad she gathered the strength to leave. Hugs mama. Hugs.

    10
  34. But in hindsight, it’s telling that the first time I set my eyes on you you were holding a beer. Perhaps that should have been a sign……For how long will people ignore these red signs, run for your unhurt life while you still can!

    5
  35. As a professional Counsellor I have so much to say about this piece, I could write another article. M pole sana. I hope you got professional help, you and your children….. well and D too. That is a lot for you and the children to have gone through and for so many years. This is what we call a co-dependent relationship.

    It often occurs in families where there is a spouse or child with drug and substance abuse issues or has special needs. The co-dependent spouse or parent assumes the role of a care taker but loses themselves in the role. They become self-sacrificing, they try ‘loving’ the person out of the issue, they get burnt out physically and emotionally, they become resentful….. but keep doing it, out of a warped sense of duty.

    What the co-dependent person doesn’t realize is that they are maintaining the status quo the more they keep rescuing the person. The person had no motivation to get out of a bad habit because they know someone will clean up the mess….. someone will help them with bills, someone will lie to the boss or family members to cover bad behavior, someone will clean after them etc. They never really suffer the natural consequences of their actions.

    The most sobering thing though is that, the co-dependent person is unconsciously fulfilling an emotional need through this dysfunctional relationship. Usually it is a sense of being needed. Sometimes it is the need to identify with this person. Underlying these needs is low self-esteem. Afraid to imagine that you deserve to be treated better. Afraid to ask for it…… to be assertive, to set healthy boundaries and enforce them.

    If you are in such a relationship, please get help to break that toxic cycle because failure to work on self often lands one right into another similar relationship even when they manage to finally leave.

    55
    1. i got asking myself that question too? Could there be a problem that wasn’t addressed because men tend to bottle it up.Couldn’t it be unmet expectations or needs, situational depression or any other kind of need.May be he just needed an ear.It could also be some bad habit formed that went out of hand.
      Having said that,i dom not however advocate staying in just holding onto toxic relationships,we all need to be happy.Free from any psychological,mental and mental toucher.

  36. I hope my daughter makes bolder decisions when it comes to her life.I hope she puts herself first. I hope she always knows that whatever she decides, whatever brings her happiness, I hope she knows I will always accept it even if I don’t understand it. I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means. I hope they learn to have a plan B, plan C and plan D.

    2
  37. And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.” Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not. ENOUGH SAID!

    3
  38. I grew up in exactly a similar household. The unfortunate thing is my mum never left and we the kids suffered and we suffered until we grew up and left, we left her there. and we always pray for her and our dad too, we’ve grown from disdaining to respecting him despite his weaknesses because after 20 years we’ve come to realise alcoholism is a disease of the mind. and alcoholics do not find joy in their ways, they are trapped and non wishes to be …… and we like M here always know we will get that crushing midnight phone call because we have received several in the past.

    5
  39. This is so sad. Have felt the pain in every word. And fuck what the society wants or thinks this has inspired me to love myself more. I know there are so many women going through this in their marriages, and its so sad.

  40. Aii Biko!!! We need a happy story now! Are there no successful happy marriages in this country? Does not bode well for us who are yet to cross that bridge, if at all we will. Based on what I’ve seen here, I guess the scientists are right. Single women are the happiest adult demographic on this planet.

    3
  41. Through your hangovers and through your snide remarks about my intellect and academic capability, I got my degree, then my masters, then my PhD…. Wheeew..

    A letter full of lessons Bikoo..Keep them flowing.

    2
  42. ‘I hope my daughter makes bolder decisions when it comes to her life.I hope she puts herself first. I hope she always knows that whatever she decides, whatever brings her happiness, I hope she knows I will always accept it even if I don’t understand it. I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means. I hope they learn to have a plan B, plan C and plan D. And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.” Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not’.

    What a deep and intense advice!!

    3
  43. DAMN! these are the kind of other people’s experiences that make me wonder whether getting married is really necessary. The downs always seem to exceed the ups if any at all.
    “I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means. I hope they learn to have a plan B, plan C and plan D.”
    Sounds too familiar. It will always be easier if you got your own back before someone else comes to your life and you solely depend on them.

    1
  44. I have mixed feelings — Her youth has been wasted in pain and misery,.. but she now has the opportunity to live life,… Its so sad that many women learn the lesson when its late,… I hope that we can break the cycle and learn from other peoples experiences, not ours. Wishing her the the very best as her life begins… Literally!

  45. “They made me believe that I was the glue that held your life together. They put the responsibility of your demons on me. ” “I hope my daughter makes bolder decisions when it comes to her life.”
    That’s enough for me, glad you have peace and happiness.

    2
  46. Because when someone tells you how foolish you are every night, no matter how strong, fortified you are… It plants a seed that grows and soon you start becoming what they say you are. Emotional psychological abuse is worse than physical abuse me thinks..
    Wow just wow…

    3
  47. Wow!!! “Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not.”

    May God remind us every day, as parents, when we decide to be reckless and irresponsible, who is watching. May those brilliant children turn out to be wonderful, ever present spouses and parents.

    3
  48. People show you who they are yet we refuse to believe them…Truuueee!
    Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not…best advice ever!!!

    5
  49. My mother buried her husband at 1 pm. So she says.

    6 years later she remarried. The other day I told her about how all my friends are getting married and she told me that marriage is not a competition. She said that I should not worry about what people will think about me. That I should not feel the pressure to get married because everybody else is. That some people can drag you to hell and back. When my 5 year relationship ended for various reasons, she told me, “I am glad you realized this, this early.”

    Her 2nd marriage did not end well. She said she’d rather be lonely than sick from HIV, that she could have avoided.

    That there, ladies and gentlemen, is wisdom. If it is not working, walk, heck, run if you have to.

    Power to you, M.

    29
  50. Wow, this is very profound. I feel encouraged in many ways because I opted to create a positive environment for my son; despite of having to do it alone. Lady, may your later years be better and better and better.

  51. I have always encouraged the women friends i have to never entertain or sacrifice their lives and time for a toxic relationship……this is a great piece and speaks every word a friend once narrated for me…..at the she is free and happy starting life alone

  52. Phew, sounds very similar to my story. He’s also an engineer, very brilliant but has allowed alcoholism to take over his life. I thank God that I walked away after 5 years, after hoping that he’d change and realizing that he never would, I prayed for him (but God told me to walk and never look back) .
    In this season, I found strength that I never knew I had in me. Thank you M for your story.

    4
  53. From the onset, let me admit that marriage relationships are hard. How someone drinks their whole lives, fortunes, marriages, self worth and dignity away is something that my mind simply refuses to comprehend. For those of us who dont drink, keep up. For who those bent on the course of self destruction through drugs and alcohol, we pray that you get redemption

    1
  54. The nuggets of wisdom in this piece…wueeh…..a whole boatload. As a 30 year old single, unmarried and childless, career woman, I will make my own decisions and let the society decide if it will follow or not.

    5
  55. “I worked during the day and went to school in the evening. Through your hangovers and through your snide remarks about my intellect and academic capability, I got my degree, then my masters, then my PhD.”

    This is no mean feat. Congrats M. Am proud of you.

    9
  56. I was raised in such a marriage, mum and paternal uncles took us in saw us through school. It’s very painful to watch and hear your ‘father’ talked of as mkubwa ama boss is bars yet home mko njaa, nyumba imefungwa na rent arrears …..only for him to come calling when you are through college. Thanks for the article Biko.

    2
  57. Most parents do not leave bad marriages because of children,but if only you knew the damage done when you stick around rather than when you leave. You’d make better decisions for your children.

    4
  58. “…….but lately I have realised that it was God’s timing, I was being built. Without that I would not have had the strength to want more for myself, to go to school, to be courageous. ”

    I am on that journey too. @Bikozulu, This is simply amazing.

    1
  59. Kwani all engineers wear polo shirts?

    This one made me cry… May God give M peace continually for the 2nd half of her life. Its unfortunate that D was loved that much and yet took her love for granted.

  60. The joy that comes with leaving an abusive marriage cannot be described in words. Sometimes it takes too long to leave, sometimes it takes just a short while, whatever the time it takes, leave at any sign of abuse, emotional or physical. I hope we raise a generation of women that understands it’s okay to leave, if you are not happy. No one is a rehabilitation center for a badly raised human.

    13
  61. Women have to endure so much just to keep a marriage or relationship.

    1. Freedom comes when you stop adjusting your life, dignity , passion for someone who wouldn’t do the same in
    equal measure .

    2. I will not be surprised if she finds love again.

    1
  62. The part where other children would make fun of her children because their father was a mlevi broke my heart

    True love amazes me. Amaze is not even word enough to be honest. After everything this man has made her go through she still has the strength and courage to wish him well.

    She still wants her daughter to give love a chance. This has touched my heart deeply.

    You are a strong lady M
    Thank you for sharing your journey.
    Bless you

    1
  63. Even after reading such a story many women will still remain in abusive marriages/relationships.

    Then one day in the future your daughter in law comes to you crying that your son has abused her (verbally/physically) and you remember the day your son stood there watching your husband abuse you. The cycle continues…………………….

    1
  64. My biggest fear of getting married young was that at that age chances were high i would end up with the wrong man and waste my youth.Basically her life. i keep telling women take your time this is not 1986.getting married in your 20s is a mistake.a few women marry young and have happy marriages but the odds are not in our favour.Fck biological clock. its only in your 30s that you trully start to know who you are.i got married at 33 and by then I had kissed enough frogs to know what I wanted in a man but more importantly to know what wife I wanted to be. i Am Glad she found peace.

    ***this personality tests though.. I was asked by so many people to take one. im a Virtuoso not even sure what that means.LOL

    11
  65. I relate to this story a lot. His name also starts with the letter D, he’s also an engineer, a brilliant mind but also an alcoholic. Like you I prayed, pleaded, begged for him to quit and be responsible but he just wouldn’t or couldn’t. So I walked away after 5 years. But God has been faithful, I’m finding myself again because I had lost the sparkle. M, our God restores. That 20 years to Him is nothing, look to Him and He will do exceedingly abundantly more that you ever thought.

    4
  66. ” I checked in my emotions, they were going to meet me at the final destination”…………………….i like the remarks”I wish you well. I hope you beat those demons of alcoholism. My God always watch over you. ”
    Nice read Biko as always every Tuesday.

  67. This is has hit home. I wasted my twenties in a similar way. My enemy was not alcohol but a personality disorder that took me 8years to realize what I was dealing with. I knew I should have left from week one, but I stayed because I thought I could change you. But after 8years, I was the one who was changing, I had become toxic, angry and sickly. I owned ulcers, migraine headaches and broken heart. I was depressed but no one knew. I was a very happy person on the outside, my life looked good even to my own siblings.
    So when I knew what I was dealing with, I left for good this time. Because there was no hope of recovery. And your own son was walking in eggshells around us. Like the lady in this story, I missed my youth, my kids milestones because you always tainted them. But I forgave you .
    Our kids have taken a lot from you, they are hardworking, that is from you.. Combine that with my brilliance, I have never regretted having them.
    My prayer to God is to break the disorder cycle, let me be the last price for it, also that he may heal me. Because I still cry over my hurt four years going to five after moving out.
    I also pray that God can heal you so that you stop seeking to hurt me. This you are still doing to date majorly through hurting your own children. They did not choose you, you and I chose them. We should not hurt them in our cycle.
    I could write a book but you know what, it would not help, because your personality type does not allow you to look inside and accept your mistakes. So I was just taking it out of my chest for today
    And yes, like this lady, I am doing my PhD, I mean, I need something to compensate for my failure in marriage, right? Not really, I promise you it is something I have always wanted although, the failure might have pushed it.

    20
  68. That was a hard read. I just celebrated my 45th birthday and I have been mother and father to 2 children for the last 17years. They are 20 and 23 years old now.
    I wish you well M. Enjoy your sunrise.

    2
  69. I hope D got help. One statement took me back to my campus days is, “People show you who they are yet we refuse to believe them”.

    The statement I was told is, “When people show you who they are, believe them”.

  70. Marriages are not serving the purpose they were established to. They society is serving double standards and advocating for them. Men are getting married and carrying on with their singlehood lifestyles and their partners are expected to drop their own happiness in order to sustain this arrangements.
    Better be single-single other than married-single. It is draining, exhausting and tormenting. Just be happy and as M said let society follow you. Don’t be a wife to someone who is not ready to be a husband. After all what is being a wife all about?

    5
  71. Alcholism is a spirit that is a generational curse. Its only broken through warfare prayers and invoking the blood of Christ. Thats why nothing she tried worked. Sio mchezo ukiona the kids turning out, exactly like their dad.

    1
  72. 7th paragraph, 3rd line …”was the sort-after engineer that”; I believe it’s sought-after. Other than that, impeccable writing Chocolate man.

    1
  73. Women used to stay in marriages that were not working because of their children…but staying in such marriages harms the children even more. Just made that realisation reading this story…may God mend them.

    2
  74. The emotions are vivid ,the events are perfectly choreographed.
    The tension from the beginning is palpable.

    I can’t wait to read the next chapter of her life.
    I wish her well

    1
  75. A tale of both woe and triumph told so beautifully.

    But this sentence…………..grammar grammar grammar!!!!

    “You on the other hand was the sort-after engineer that corporates were beating down his door, flashing offers in his face”.

    1
  76. ”And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.” Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not. ”

    Societal demands are the biggest traps

    2
  77. What a piece of a letter. I’m glad that someone bold enough could pour out their heart,could be candid to talk about her own of share of misery,almost a regret. I’m single,not even dating,but truth be told,and i know everyone would agree to this: there’s always a cloud to this kind of abusing men and marriages.I think love makes us so blind to these signs. No time for finding where to punch the blame I just hope that women reading this particular blog post will be bold enough to wake up from the sleepless-slumber and walk out,actually run out of their abusive relationships for their damn lives.God will take care of what happens after the run. He’ll take care of your your children & needs

    1
  78. I feel like this was written for me. Maybe it’s a sign?
    I’m reading this while contemplating leaving a relationship that is almost exactly like this…only fifteen years behind your story, and with the one son.
    I’ve been trying to leave for more than two years but I am scared.

    9
  79. Damn ……. The nerve!!!

    There goes another Tuesday heartbreak. No one should stay in a broken marriage. A broken marriage more often than not breeds children to become either victims or perpetrators of the parents vices. I pray that the children will not relive the curse of their dad, that they will make different choices. Oh dear!! the devil in alcoholism cannot be wished away. Should be declared a national disaster along with cancer. What a waste of vibrant youth.

    1
  80. A strong woman! She’s made me realize how hard it must be for ‘single’ mothers pulling double duty for a figure that’s right there! I hope joy and love inhabit her for all her days.

  81. “I checked in my emotions, they were going to meet me at the final destination.”
    Powerful!! Now this is a lady who had hope, and had fully made up her mind to find her happiness.

  82. Total rubbish, why didn’t she correct the husband ! That’s what women always say. When you see a problem, point it out then ! Don’t write a long letter telling us how good you were !

  83. “And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.” Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not. ” This is TRUTH!!!

  84. Such a strong woman! ..
    May the second half of your life be joyous and fulfilling. You deserve it. The kids will be okay – trust me!

    1
  85. this is heartbreaking…. As women we try sticking it out for so long in hope that tomorrow will be better only to realize it’s years down the line and nothing has changed.
    Happy 45th birthday M. You deserve all the happiness in the world.

  86. Yeah sure! Stories shape our perceptions, and if we perceive it long enough, we might just become what it is. Soon all of us might end up not believing in a fulfilling loving marriage. I agree that we need to read a few success stories as well

    1
  87. 20 years is way TOO long to suffer. I would be out as soon as I saw the first red flag. 4 years max is how long my bullshit tolerance goes.

    3
  88. Except for the drinking part, I would have sworn this is my mothers story. I have told her on so many occasions to walk away but she tells me she accepted her fate. That she counts herself as a widow with two children, thats my father and I. But surely why wont she just leave him and go. If she had when I first told her…..she would be so so happy by now. Ave probably never said this out loud, but I wish I wasn’t my fathers daughter, still I love him so much. Blood is weird.

    3
    1. Read on trauma bonding. Victims of abuse find it extremely hard to leave and though it’s sad, it helps to understand that it’s not that they are not trying, it’s that it’s very difficult.

  89. I was raised in such a setup but our mom left us instead when it became intense..I am growup now,in a relationship but the things I used to see in my parents marriage still makes wonder if I get married the Same thing will happen to me

  90. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not.
    No one is responsible for your happiness! you cannot delegate this role to anyone but yourself! i hope M finds happiness now that she is free…

  91. Biko, this was compelling!

    However, the grammar is wanting. Spell checks on terms like of course written as ‘off course’ or the punctuation: use of a semi-colon when listing, rather than a colon, dampened some of the reading.

  92. It is indeed difficult to be like my mother. The things our mothers put up with, in the name of marriage, are ludicrous. May God help us.

  93. “People show you who they are yet we refuse to believe them”…..how true, we keep on being patient with people who don’t deserve it

  94. “Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not.”
    It’s funny that I read this article just after having a conversation with a friend of mine about how African society expect women to be the saviours in the marriage. Forgetting every form of themselves or the sake of keeping the home together. It’s your marriage your rules. period. No human can change unless they desire it for themselves first! Happy for you. May your latter days bring the wholeness you deserve.

    2
  95. ‘Sometimes I wonder why I had to suffer for 20 years but lately I have realised that it was God’s timing, I was being built. Without that I would not have had the strength to want more for myself, to go to school, to be courageous. ‘

    Thanks for this reminder.. that many of us are still HERE,for that one reason…We are being BUILT for greatness.

    May our pain bring great testimonies of our purpose in this life.

    Greatly encouraged.

    2
  96. I wish enough women would read this. Staying for the kids has long been replaced by leaving for the kids, else we’ll just raise generation after generation of broken people. I’m really proud of M for finally choosing herself.

    3
  97. “I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means. I hope they learn to have a plan B, plan C and plan D. And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.

    2
  98. She sounds more of my mother. I thank God for her struggle because I graduated, my brother is in second year now, and my small bro is almost done with high-school. When I look at my mother I realize all the pain she had to endure especially during my small brother pregnancy, the stressful moments that made her almost have a miscarriage. I am glad the family advised her to end the marriage early and now she is very happy. Don’t settle, move on if you are unhappy in marriage or a relationship. Remember your happiness comes first.

    3
  99. “through your snide remarks about my intellect and academic capability, I got my degree, then my masters, then my PhD” This here. This made me happy.

  100. i think it is never too late to start afresh…. and we never know how strong we are until we go thru such situations in life… we should know we’re worth every bit of life and we shouldn’t let other people determin the heights we get to… attaining inner happiness is the first step in getting ultimate happiness

    1
  101. She reminds me of my mother. Through her hard work I graduated, my brother is in second year and my small brother is in high school. I remember all the pain and stress she went through especially during my small bro pregnancy that almost made her have miscarriage. Am glad the family adviced her to end the marriage early. I am proud of you mum and may God continue preserving you. If you are not happy in your marriage or relationship, just move on. Your happiness comes first.

    1
  102. The demon of alcoholism has taken over my entire family. My father, mother and siblings. When you call my father he’ll tell you how broken he is because his sons drink too much. You speak to my brothers and they’ll complain that their 74 year old mother has become so irresponsible and careless with her words because of how much she drinks. My mother on the other hand worries a lot about how her son wastes money on alcohol and women. My sister cries everyday for her son who’s joined the bandawagon at just 24 years.

    Like M, ive prayed for my family for so many years but I feel like God is taking too long to answer my prayers. I now pray for myself to break the family curse so that my three children will not abuse alcohol like my own family does. I feel embarrassed when I take my children to visit their grandma and I’m forced to quickly leave because she’s drunk and will probably pick a fight with me or my children.

    I’ve asked God so many times if I should divorce my family but I care about them so much that I can’t shut them out.

    We don’t choose family but I chose a good man who doesn’t know alcohol. He is the father of my children. My prayer now is that we will raise children who won’t abuse any form of substance.
    So help us God.

    4
  103. The pain is excruciating. The disappointment is beyond comprehension. Life is about choices and every choice leads pain or happiness. It is arguably a thorn deep in the skin to be equally yoked with such unloving partner. Marriage from the hands of the maker is not meant to bring happiness but through the two parties involved, happiness becomes the meal they cook everyday out the recipe they took. I you want to cook a meal that is edible you mix the right proportions of all the ingredients. marriage is a meal that requires two good cooks. Characters built way before meeting your spouse are the ingredients. If Mr.D is still alive, you can still rethink your life and be happy. Since M is now headed to being a professor, profess happiness and good values to your children to help them forget about the dark ages of their lives in the hands of a lost father. Even so, God who is able, will one day help bring hope

    1
  104. Thanks for sharing.
    We tend to ruin our own lives by trying to make everything last forever. Some people are meant to be in our lives for a reason, a season and some for a lifetime. We complicate our lives by trying to turn those who are meant for a reason into a lifetime. This is how an entire generation gets messed up.

    1
  105. This story is like Deja Vu to me. My mom went through the same. My two brothers and I grew up to see our dad abuse her emotionally. It was awful but right after they parted ways, life took a turn and we were happier and more peaceful.

  106. Heart breaking. So sad to see some one’s life go to waste because of something they can control. Alcohol destroys destinies.
    Proverbs 31:6 Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress.

    1
  107. Exhilarating! Biko I have become such a big fan that I was waiting to finish working to check out what there is today. I hope D reads this and reads the last sentence of M’s letter. I wish though that we’d also understand more of what has happened for the past 5 years. Thanks for not disappointing us. Till next time, we’ll be on the lookout.

  108. Alcohol is a demon; steals, kills, and destroys. Thanks Biko, I feast on these true stories. I wonder how the story would read if M wrote about her personal journey of growth, resilience, of fighting the demons. A story of victory while becoming! I bet it would bless and inspire…

    2
  109. I like M. Unlike what many people would do in her experience, look at her wish. “I wish you well. I hope you beat those demons of alcoholism. My God always watch over you.”
    May her star keep rising.

  110. So, ISFP huh.
    I had thought you are an INFP – like I actually tried to type you a while back. You come across as very intuitive. Oh well.

  111. I always wait for new articles in this blog, I always keep on checking for a new one but for the first time I did not read this to the end. Why? I did not find it as interesting, because it is inform of a letter; it is like a speech. I like it when Biko interrupts and ask some weird questions and such but this was so plain. I am hopping this is the last.

  112. When a woman leaves you for herself, she won’t come back. You took for granted that she would always be there. It’s funny, because as she waited for you to realize what you had, she finally realized that she didn’t need what you were offering. She finally gave up, dropped the fake smile & she whispered to herself ” I can’t do this anymore”
    Good for her

    1
  113. A friend of mine told me ‘to hell with society’ nowni believe him. It has way too many expectations for women which at the very core sacrifice us

  114. Waaarrrr….words fail me. Nobody should live through this kind of pain…but GOD has a way of turning our mourning into dancing. May God bless this new chapter of your life with an abundance of peace and joy, M. Hugs..

  115. A letter well written…
    For the courage to leave….
    For the pain to stay one more day…
    That is hats off for a string willed woman who wears both hats

  116. What a sobering letter to mysterious Mr D. Alcohol has destroyed many men ( and women) but continues to be glorified by our society. Driving towards Lang’ata, you are bombarded by tens of beer and single malts adverts. We generally don’t see anything wrong with this. Cigarette adverts were banned ages ago. We need to be truthful to ourselves.

    1
  117. There is something with alcoholism and geniuses which mankind has never figured out. In 2017 one of the road paratatals lost a very brilliant engineer that could not be rivaled whatsoever in designing roads. But alas his love for the bottle especially Guinness – Michael Power was just too too much. At the end of the day we need to look back as humanity where is the thin line between alcoholism and geniuses?

    Alcohol as drink has always been tolerated by society, we serve it in family functions without sometimes even thinking of its adverse effects on people that consume it. We need as a society to rethink our relationship with this drink. Are we going to allow it and to what proportions or are we going to ban it. That is my take.

  118. I wonder where the sister-in-law(who was a friend) went to though.This is sad and I cannot wrap my head around what she went through.All her youth gone like that!…but God.

  119. Absolutely sobering…reflects on me the things my mum has gone through all this while, how I wish she left years ago, we would have had a happier childhood, now we live with the scars, but we are holding up.

    1
  120. It’s all about choosing oneself. In a society loaded with stigma, M, you are an overcomer. May God always give us the strength to pursue what we truly deserve as women.

    1
  121. Most women and men will look back and realize there were signs(glaring),but we choose not to see…. Somehow
    For those who have not crossed the bridge yet, you shouldn’t be afraid, there are happy marriages, and again being single is good too.

    Thank you Biko for these stories, real people, real life, May we learn the lessons without having to make similar mistakes

  122. Narcissistic spouses tend to be narcissistic patents. I know leaving isn’t easy. Some spouses just want the marriage to work and the abuse to end but what if there is no change? Will you die praying?

    Ladies and gents, life is too short to endure narcissism. LEAVE

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  123. “But I never stopped praying for you because that’s what wives did”

    Why do these resilient, understanding, loving…. etc ladies end up with such toxic men!! World’ s so unfair Aaaarrggghh

    1
  124. Wueh! What life can do to people. If this doesn’t bend you, nothing will. M, you are the proverbial Phoenix, you shall rise again. Be encouraged by Isaiah 60:22. I’m really sorry for what you’ve been through….

  125. Brilliant. Real .this is the sad truth but I have hope in women .More get empowered as years go by till this reality we have now will be history.

    Life is to short to wait on people to act right.

  126. I hope someone reads this and doesn’t have to relive this story……,.don’t let society tell you what to do and what not to do and above all love yourself….. Nice read

  127. One thing I totally believe,nobody and nobody shud take your happiness in this life.Life is too short to fight for people who are tattered inside and outside.
    Fight for pple who are ready to change.

    1
  128. Wonderful piece…you never disappoint …I didn’t really think you meant it when you told your manager to note Fancy’s name down ….but am glad to know you r a man of your word .I look forward to more of these

  129. When the women and marriage series began, I was not ready for how intense this would become. Whoa! Each brings forth unexpected bends, but thankfully not an endless dark tunnel.

  130. She is thee definition of a strong woman. She pulled herself up amid all of that? Mortgage, fees, house expenses and your own educarion?! Whew! Kudos. There’s just something about rising above all that negativity that tags to my heart.

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  131. Thank you Biko for saving my life. I have been thinking of changing some things in my life…. This blog provides that final push. Hallelujah

  132. Good Lord! The pain that was! I’m glad she’s happy now.

    All in God’s timing, and she became a PhD holder, raising through the ranks, under the nose of an alcoholic. What pain can do to you is unbelievable, but this turned out even better!

  133. Good Lord! The pain that was! I’m glad she’s happy now.

    All in God’s timing, and she became a PhD holder, raising through the ranks, under the nose of an alcoholic. What pain can do to you is unbelievable, but this turned out even better!

  134. This story sounds like it’s mine told by a spectator…Lucky enough I didn’t wait till I am 40 …Actually I left immediately I turned 35yrs on 24th May this year…I said fuck society and pursued my happiness

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  135. All women are wife material, some just fall in the hands of the wrong tailors.
    There is no joy nor pride in staying in a toxic marriage.
    Hugs and kisses.

    1
  136. Sounds like the story of my life tho mine was shorter, 14 years. I started divorce proceedings and was talked out of it by my parents and himself. In the end, he died and tho we ( my kids and I) mourned him, we’ve since enjoyed peace and stability like we had not known in a while.

  137. I’m a millennial that’s overdue for marriage and people are always telling me to get married. But when I hang out with Male platonic friends or colleagues, all they talk about is the latest drinking den, the latest nyama Choma spot. When you visit a new town, those are the spots they identify first. And they all believe they are SO in control of the drinking. How frequently have you heard Kenyan men brag about being able to down 3 or more “mzingas and not get drunk”? Its like the measure of being a “man” in this country. Ofcourse you’ll never get “drunk”…you’re too special to be an alcoholic. You and a million other people that have drunk themselves to a rehab since the discovery of alcohol. The problem with men is denial and this absolutely weird need to follow the crowd. Women are often called out for going to champs but if you observe, in a week, they are home 99% of the time tending to the kids whereas men are at the bar with their “boys”. As the narrator has stated, they love these “boys” more than their own families but you’ll never see these boys when stuff hits the fan. The funny thing is, parents , especially fathers are just as guilty for encouraging this vice. As part of initiation into manhood , uncles and fathers encourage sons to drink during festivities. Anyway, theres nothing worse than a drunk husband and it makes no sense to stay and scar the children. Funny thing, 50% of the men reading this are drunks still in denial and they’ll come hear commenting all pitiful and sorrowful stuff when they know they carry the demon. Theres no shame in acknowledging your weakness.

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  138. my mother left her marriage after 4 years when i was only 2 years because my dad was a drunkard.since,she too was a form four leaver,she didn’t have the means of taking care of me so she gave me up to my aunt who took care of me for 7 years.she too was in a abusive marriage for 11 years cz the husband was a drunkard and she couldn’t have children.she too,left after my uncle told her ‘go get your mother to teach you how to give birth’.looking at them now,they are happier,yes.my mother never remarried again while my aunt,a family woman i must say,got remmaried and is a mother of 2.i have seen what damage alcohol brings to marriages and how it affects one as an individual.my mother has very low self esteem which i believe stemmed from her marriage and my aunt feels the need to make things work despite things being hard in marriage.alcoholism leaves scars that are really hard to heal.i often find myself falling for men who show me love since i didn’t really experience a fathers love,which makes me overlook their short comings.
    to any man reading this,pls,your drinking friends are not your friends.never despise your wife or call her stupid cz you are more learned than her or because you have a bigger paycheck.i believe both my uncle and my dad would be better men without alcohol.i hope to share my full story with biko someday.until then,God bless you.

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  139. This is so relatable…. A direct reflection for many. Thanks for articulating it so well M. May God give you peace joy and rest moving forward….. And may He also find D and any other man /woman and deliver them from the stronghold of alcohol….. So many people are struggling with this issue…… It just goes unspoken. Biko, you are fulfilling your God given purpose…. Bless you.

  140. This is the major problem with marriages in Kenya, they are non starters from the beginning. The are already overwhelmed before they meet their spouses, who in turn pile on to the men. You married a man who was already overwhelmed what did you expect. You clearly state you had no clue of what a man should be, yet he was taking care of his clan from the get go. You had a child and who wants to pick a stone and throw it at me do so, its one thing you have control of. The first rule of marriage is be a friend and how do you do that, get to know a person. He was already a lost cause by the time you met him, you didn’t do your part so don’t blame him. You clearly stated the one thing he didn’t have was friends and neither were you. You started of as an obligation, get to know a person before you commit.

  141. hey gal you are such gorgeous gem!!Despite what you have been through.I hope that your children also emerge victorious despite the scars,that their lives will be beautiful.I hope you travel within and without for me its therapy that cleanses the soul.I hope you give love a second chance for you are a beautiful soul with great wisdom.I hope you enjoy this other part of your life gurl!!I wish you all things beautiful,refreshing and Godly coming your way.Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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  142. I place drunkards and serial cheaters in the same box. They go out of their way to destroy what women have put years to build. Neither of them is worse than the other.

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  143. Sadly most women have worn the boots of being fathers in our society with the fear of leaving and raising their kids without a father.
    Let’s learn from other women’s experiences,i don’t know neither have i heard a woman who stayed in a toxic marriage and things worked in her favor.
    Get a strategy and leave before it gets worse.
    I feel sorry her youth was wasted but am happy for her she finally got a breakthrough.

    Life begins at 40 and happy 45th Birthday ma’

    2
  144. This is the major problem with marriages in Kenya, they are non starters from the beginning. The are already overwhelmed before they meet their spouses, who in turn pile on to the men. You married a man who was already overwhelmed what did you expect. You clearly state you had no clue of what a man should be, yet he was taking care of his clan from the get go. You had a child and who wants to pick a stone and throw it at me do so, its one thing you have control of. The first rule of marriage is be a friend and how do you do that, get to know a person. He was already a lost cause by the time you met him, you didn’t do your part so don’t blame him. You clearly stated the one thing he didn’t have was friends and neither were you. You started of as an obligation, get to know a person before you commit.

  145. Rule no:1 Self care.
    Rule no: 2 Self care
    You cannot give what you don’t have. Fill your cup first even if it means being single until you’re 45 years old.

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  146. All tooooo familiar story. The wounds on the children take ages to dry not even heal. Society can go to hell. Leave when u want. The children are better off in a co parenting version and so are you. I always wonder how different life wld ave been if mum left.

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  147. This is great article and i think i can relate if its put vice versa to a pal of mine great piece and continue with the blogs

  148. Wow, i couldn’t stop reading even though i had less time for break.
    The fear of starting a new is the worst because knowing you must start a fresh is the aknowledgment of things not being right.
    i loved it.

  149. Good read.
    I can totally relate.
    Been wasting away for 4 or slightly more years.
    Drinking, promiscuity, sleeping out and switching off the phone, now broke and I have always had to bail him out, even when I knew it was not OK to do so. All this, was to save the marriage. Now my child can see it all, she feels the emptiness, she knows I’m sad, it is ruining her.
    I need to make that decision for me and my daughter. So help me God.

    3
  150. Glad you rose from that wreck. Many women going through the same never harness the strength to move out. Many still suffer the painful stings of alcoholism and adultery. You are a strong woman. The future is bright.

  151. Wow!! my heart goes to those kids. I know preety well you never unsee the fights and neglect and can never forget the words regardless of drunk or not. i also know preety well the pain of watching one parent go through hell for her kids. sadly the wound never heals and transfers into future relationships. May God heal us all.

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  152. I have not been to this site before. I was sent this story by my son. I think when he read it, he thought he was reading about the mother (myself). As I read it, I was sadly reminded of what I have gone through in my marriage. I also endured an emotionally abusive marriage, with a selfish, irresponsible drunkard husband. I spent sleepless nights crying and praying. Like a single mother, I paid fees for my two children (now working), paid mortgage and took care of other things as my husband drunk himself silly. I have since overcome all this and now decided to embrace self-care. I feel very happy and it’s like beginning a new life. My husband has 3 years to retire but has almost nothing to count as his own. I can attest to the fact that it is not easy to put up with an abusive spouse. Most women do it for the sake of their children.

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  153. I really never understand why women stay in abusive marriages in the name of kids.
    The kids grow up damaged avoid men who even have a pint of a character of their father and you think you are building them to make marriages work, you are actually damaging them.
    We shall understand.
    Mommies out there ruin your child not, let your happiness be first we drain our energies from it.

    1
  154. As a daughter if a mother who left a bad marriage and an alcoholic husband ,I’m ever grateful. Grateful that my mother had standards and showed by example what self worth was all about. She has raised three children on her own as well. I am only starting to realise now, in my adulthood, what a remarkable woman she is.

    This story has resonated so much with me.I have never gotten over the embarrassment of a very drank Dad coming to see me in highschool.

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  155. I was in a happy marriage for 17 years Then the devil came in with all his relatives and with their own seats So they stayed My husband never talked to me for 7 years So after 21 years I left We have alot of scars with my children Unlike D he is a teetoler and nobody has ever believed me even my own mum He is a staunch church goer I think I will narrate my story to Biko one of these days

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  156. “Our lives are planned out to the minutest details: You are born, go to school, and attend university in search of a husband. You get married-even if he is the worst man in the world-just so that others can’t say no one wants you. You have children, grow old, and spend the end of your days watching passersby from a chair on the sidewalk, pretending to know everything about life yet unable to silence the voice in your heart that says: “You could try something else.” Paulo Coelho, The Spy.

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  157. The question I’m posing to M is if you were doing everything and you were playing the role of Mom and Dad. Why did you stay for 20 fucking years? The affairs should have been the last straw and those are only the ones you are aware of, I’m just saying. Arrgh!!

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  158. Wow
    Stories such as these really scare me. It’s so sad and hopeless that I cannot even imagine a normal human being went through all that. What is life

  159. Eloquently written, it captures the exact situation that most women are in, but would rather keep a facade of a healthy marriage our of fear of what people wilol think of us. Society has become a prison to our personal happiness. Sad!!

  160. I’m scared. But I’m also informed, which is more important. Does love make the lenses we us to look at people so dark that we can’t see the initial signs?
    Eish!!!

  161. I have seen a lot of myself in this. Thanks for sharing this at a time of my complete emotional healing. I resonate with 90% of this story. We need to exchange some flowers.

  162. The likes of D – young, intelligent, outgoing, who rise the rungs of the career ladder faster than their peers _ need help. These stories of these young men failing are too many.

    M I pray that you find God and yourself.

  163. Alcoholism! Alcoholism! Alcoholism!
    Everlasting home breaker, experiences from friends makes me wish alcohol a roting place in hell.
    Am happy she really fought though late, but experience is the best teacher she is now happy

  164. This sounds like a letter my mom would write to her late husband, but all she does is praise him before us
    though we saw everything she beared for our sake. I commend this lady for being so strong.

  165. Wow what a story. Mum you are one of a kind what struck me most is the fact that you didn’t resolve to self pity you rose beyond the challenges from a degree holder to a masters and now a PHD holder. The police bringing D home broke my heart yet he still choose the bad life that he ended up loosing his job. You paying school fees denying yourself a good shoe and still going to school Mum you are one of a kind God Bless you that despite it all you have raised good children i also pray they just love on Christ and He will order their steps not to turnout like their Dad.

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  166. First, my mom left 3 teenagers with her sister in her 40s to look for a better future for us. Society told her we’d all be teen moms. We all finished college and have led mundane but proper lives. She’s living her best one yet. Your story is faaar from written.
    Second and more generically, the stories in this series refuse to leave. I’ve read this blog for more than a decade,but I’m chewing and meditating on these ones waaay after the week’s update. I’m glad the women’s stories have positive and happier endings?, but strangely the characters renting space in my brain are the “minor” ones. The mom and sister in the pied piper, the praying aunt and relentless father in Kasupa,the best friend’s daily visits to Rose in Mike and Micah, the dogged determination in M. These warm strong hands stemming the flow of evil and pushing the protagonists forward.Lawd, I hope I’m not the ones cluelessly cruel in their kindness. Thanks for bringing these stories Biko.

    1
  167. I’m sorry you tried hard to make it work with someone lacking introspection and self awareness. I’m guessing, narcissistic personality disorder? Every person hoping to date should read up on all cluster B disorders… It’s life changing when you give your all for a relationship with someone who is charming and cold as ice the next moment and not in a good way. I wish you healing. I’m still trying to move on.

  168. I hope girls like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means…

    I grew up in a family where my mother had to go through abuse from my dad and she wouldn’t leave. One time, I actually told her to leave she doesn’t have to stay in a marriage for us. But she never left. I always suspected it was because she was financially dependent on my dad. And I made a mental note to always ensure I’m financially stable so that I don’t have to take crap from a man. Whether I sell nyanyas by the roadside and make 200bob per day, at least I’d have my money. I’m now an Engineer and loving my financial independence and happily married. Knowing if I ever need to make a decision, finances wouldn’t be an issue.

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    1. I’m glad my mom left when she did… It was still hard as she had stress that she took out on us but it was way better than being woken up at night to see my dad beating my mum and telling us to leave or listening to my dad slapping her and wondering whether to scream for help and deal with his fury or remain silent. . Things slowly changed and peace came back year after year. Now there’s no tension in our home. We share freely and even if dad came back, we are strong enough to stand up for ourselves. There’s absolutely no pride in preserving through abuse. Get out and give your children a chance at happiness.

      1
  169. What a heart wrenching story. Thank God the ending is very happy!! Wishing M a long life of happiness and freedom!! And D deliverance from the addiction

  170. Waaaaaaah….can’t agree more.i got married at 19,had to fight for my marriage for 20 cool years,the problem was alcohol,till I couldn’t take it any more.i had to leave with my two daughters,n God has been faithful can’t regret at all.we are at peace n I thank God my daughters are doing very well.

  171. They put the responsibility of your demons on me. Deep.
    I’m happy you got out and had the chance to rebuild yourself again❤️. Not many people get to do that.

  172. ”I knew about your three affairs, but only the first one hurt me because you would spend on her while your children lacked.” This line is very Painful!
    Whatever happens, Children deserve the best and the good thing with them is that you can never predict who they become in future-CHILDREN DESERVE THE ABSOLUTE BEST!!!

  173. Pain in Phases. Lessons to Learn.
    While the suffering is viewed from one perspective, there was something wholly missing about the marriage that never had conversation or a willingness to seek help from without. The victim had no friend or family to confide in. She might not have done the 20 years of joylessness. She needed a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. There is plenty of help out there, but she didnt seek any. Why?

    It is profound though that she picked up the pieces after being knocked down for so long.
    Marriage is an ocean full of lessons.

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    1. I have asked the same questions during our reading group. Why did she see the need to stay for 20 YEARS. Why?? And there was no support system, friends or family? It buffles me.

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  174. this is just like my life my mum”s marriage exactly the same just my dad was violent we eventually left but that damaged him more i tired to reach out to him and try help him which seemed to be working but kept going back to alcohol and finally left us on 14th Feb 2019 till hurts me till today wish he could stay much longer and let us be part of his life maybe he would have found something to live for. i miss him big time my twin brothers too do and above all my mum also. may god help us all.

  175. I feel like it’s my mother telling her story. My mom gave birth to me and my sister at age 15 and 17 respectively. Both my dad and step- dad were alcoholics, violent, the fights in the house were endless,not to mention the abuse physical and emotional. It’s harder for the kids because mama is dealing with so much and being the first born I had to grow very first. Many people can relate with your story, I just wish young girls can be taught to make better choices early in their lives. People change because they want to, not because someone else want them to. Thank you for this inspiring piece, I now understand why my mom is happier now that she’s taking care of her needs first. I’m proud of you for having the courage to rise up above…….now live your best life mama. With love, a daughter that understands what you’re talking about.

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  176. I am very happy today with my family. My name is rose sarah living in USA, My husband left me for a good 3 years now, and i love him so much, i have been looking for a way to get him back since then. i have tried many options but he did not come back, until i met a friend that darted me to Dr.Jude a spell caster, who helped me to bring back my husband after 2 weeks. Me and my husband are living happily together today, That man is great, you can contact him via email virgolovespell@gmail.com… Now i will advice any serious persons that found themselves in this kind of problem to contact him now a fast solution without steress.. He always hello, now i call him my father. contact him now he is always online email (virgolovespell@gmail.com) or contact him on his whats-app mobile line +2348034062173

  177. I am very happy today with my family. My name is rose Sarah living in USA, My husband left me for a good 3 years now, and i love him so much, i have been looking for a way to get him back since then. i have tried many options but he did not come back, until i met a friend that darted me to Dr.Jude a spell caster, who helped me to bring back my husband after 2 weeks. Me and my husband are living happily together today, That man is great, you can contact him via email virgolovespell@gmail.com… Now i will advice any serious persons that found themselves in this kind of problem to contact him now a fast solution without stress.. He always hello, now i call him my father. contact him now he is always online email (virgolovespell@gmail.com) or contact him on his whatsapp mobile line +2348034062173

  178. Same story luckily I managed to move out after 4 years hoping he will change but it got worse every day. 2 years now since I left his house and am very happy and bringing up my daughter the best way I can. It’s so sad that alcoholism is breaking young marriages.

  179. First, Lady M. Give your brains some credit! You went ahead and got a PhD! Through it all! You are sharper than you know and the kids inherited that too!
    Second, I pray the next decades of your life will be filled with laughter, new memories and travel!Be deliberate to seek happiness.

  180. I have a challenge to women especially those bashing on men.if you have/happen to have a son who turns out like D(God forbid)what would you do?what would you say to your daughter in law?whom would you blame?how would you like your daughter in law to treat her husband(your son)?I don’t mind a reply.

    1
  181. Time to release the guilt
    associated with…
    -focusing on yourself
    -asking for what you need
    -taking space
    -prioritizing your health and well being
    -saying no
    -enforcing boundaries
    -choosing difficult relationships
    -not leaving sooner
    -not settling
    -loving yourself more.
    I pray for you M to heal. Children too need to heal.

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  182. ” I hope GIRLS like her make their own money because it’s easier to make decisions when you have the means. I hope they learn to have a plan B, plan C and plan D. And lastly I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.” Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not”
    I am that GIRL!!!, THANK YOU M.

  183. I have read this story to the last and it’s so beautiful to see a girl who became a mother and a wife,then stopped being a wife and became a mother to her husband.
    I am so proud of you and I wish one day I will be able to write my story.The happy thing is I left and though I didn’t leave early enough,i left in my 20s.
    This was a beautiful read.

  184. Cutting people out of your life doesn’t mean you hate them, it simply means you respect yourself. Not everyone is meant to stay. Sometimes you have to tell people…. it’s not personal it’s purpose!

    3
  185. I can totally relate. I was once in such a relationship that led to the conception and birth of my son. I helped the guy get a job, I housed him, I fed his ego thinking that I would help him get rid of his demons. When I got pregnant he showed me his true colours, he would bring ladies in my house when I wasn’t around. He would buy and drink alcohol and not spare a single cent for me or even for the clinic. I went to the clinics alone, I was alone in the hospital when I went to give birth, the last straw was when his mother called me to ask me to get a job and feed my kid when my baby was barely 3 months old.
    I understand, leaving wasn’t that easy, but I had to make the decision for my own sanity and for the sake of my child. He’s turning 3 now, he’s the make version of me, can’t imagine a day without him.
    I wish him all the best in life. I just hope that he’ll have put his act together that day when my kid will ask about him, else I’ll declare him dead in my ‘how I met your father’ story. I’ll not let him break my kid’s heart.
    ION, there is so much peace and satisfaction that comes with leaving a toxic relationship.
    Hugs to you

    3
  186. Ladies, we will not tire of repeating this, “You are not a rehabilitation centre for badly raised men.”
    If he is not keeping up his end of the bargain, return to sender. Drinking like a fish, leave him to his bottles. You can’t compete with addictions. You really think you will pray him into transformation? He has a father, mother, brothers, sisters, cousins yet you think you are a magician that will turn his life around 32-teeth later? Dear Women, there is only one Jesus let him do his work and keep your distance. I will not feel sorry for you for trying to be the ‘Savior’ that you are clearly not meant to be and failing miserably at it.

    1. Much as I do not support staying in an abusive marriage, I can understand why she stayed. She is a good wife! she must have remembered the man of God during their wedding day repeating, For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer and like every committed wife she thought her vows were being put to test. She must have wanted to say, she gave it her all; She did. Unfortunately in such situations, there are no winning trophies everyone looses, everyone is scared for life. She is strong.

  187. The Bible say, God allowed them to divorce because of the hardness of their hearts. Human hearts are hard. sin makes the human heart hard. God had to deal with the hearts of Israelites for 40 years.. You are not a Messiah so save him, hand him over to God to change him, and leave that marriage for the sake of your sanity and children. Again,
    Ladies its good to have some money of your own, or a skill…however little. Money will enable you make decisions. Money answers all things…money is a shelter…it is the love of money that is the root of all evils.

  188. And lastly, I hope our daughter doesn’t listen to what “society wants.” Society made me throw away my youth. Don’t “stick it out.” Leave if you want to, society will decide whether it will follow you or not.

  189. Leaving is never easy but when the time comes , you just know is time to close that chapter and start a new one . It can take 2 years , or it can take 20 years . There is no standard time frame. no benchmark.
    Thank you for sharing . These stories give hope and courage to those who still have no roadmap on how to leave.

    1
  190. M, you speak for others like me who are voiceless. I have wasted 20 years of my life being beaten, abused, dogged and I finally left 1 year ago. I have never been as happy as I am today and will never go back to that madness!

  191. I wish you well. I hope you beat those demons of alcoholism. May God always watch over you.

    This is just powerful, after all M. has gone through, she still wishes D. well. Power of forgiveness.

    1
  192. “the thing about having
    an alcoholic parent
    is an alcoholic parent
    does not exist

    simply
    an alcoholic
    who could not stay sober
    long enough to raise their kids”

    Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

    1
  193. That letter is fully poured out,mindblowing too, am glad she wrote it this way..
    Am glad she’s moved on which is always hard but as she said it was God timing in which she n i are grateful
    I liked this sentence ” I checked in my emotions, they were going to meet me at the final destination”..
    Hope you met

    1
  194. I can’t imagine what 2 decades of an emotionally draining marraige did to you… You are strong heart to not have sucuumbed to all that weight and pulled through…and got your PhD! Seems like those composition stories we’d make up in ryma till you realize someone actually went through all this. Beautifully written Biko. This one’s definitely a favourite

  195. Nice read Bikozulu. Just that I noticed some typos here and in previous posts……Magunga…… But all together, it’s a nice read.

    1
  196. By far my best story, I hope women can learn to put themselves first and society last. i was reading a book titled the subtle art of not giving a f*ck….. this reinforces my beliefs further. Dear M, all the best in your coming years.

  197. Painful.
    But that’s life. Some of us have never known happiness all our lives. We are only however thankful that we are alive.

    Keep praying for him. Obviously it wasn’t him. He had been swallowed by those forces. It was no longer him.

    Lastly, please ensure that the kids (now adults) maintain their respect for their father. They have none else. This for their own good.