The Emperor’s Naked

   473    
894

We had lunch: she had grilled pork and something. I had chapatis and something. She wore a long flowy dress and silver sandals. She had a tale about her marriage. I wrote it the next day at dawn while it rained outside and I didn’t stop writing until someone called me – a man – and said, “Mathenge, umesimama wapi?” I said, “ati?” He said, “Niko hapa kawa duka.” That made me so happy on a Sunday morning. [I know, random.]

                              ***

I have three boys and two girls. Which means I live in chaos from the moment I wake up right up until the last light in our house is switched off. My nights are short and snappy. Dawn stalks me constantly and with it comes another fresh wave of unabating domesticity. It’s complete madness. It’s loud. Things are always breaking. I bought so many glasses but they kept breaking them until now everybody drinks from plastic cups. Someone is always crying. Someone is always fighting someone else. Nobody can find their school diary. Or socks. Or underwear. Or their tennis shoes. I only have to count to five for someone to fall off something, because nobody wants to operate from the floor like human beings, they prefer to climb things like monkeys. 

The TV – when it’s TV time – is always at the highest volume but nobody watches it like a decent person, there is constant bickering over whose turn it is to change the channel to something else. I’m always settling disputes. Or reassuring someone that they are not bad. Or threatening someone else. Or giving a speech about loving each other as siblings. Or patching up a bleeding hand. I have had two major runs to the emergency room because of a broken hand and someone who swallowed a coin. 

Birthdays come fast, like grand prix vehicles around a bend; so more candles, another happy birthday song, another cake that I have to make sure isn’t bigger than anyone else’s or else it will be seen as favoritism. Over all this bedlam, one of my sons is always blowing his saxophone as loudly as he can (to get our attention or to irritate us), producing a constant, disjointed soundtrack to this chaos. He’s not particularly good at it, but he’s my son and he loves the sax and he can blow it until his lungs shrivel. Maybe he will get better at it, but for now it sounds like an elephant masturbating. 

I’m a mother. This is the environment I live in. It’s highly unhealthy for your heart.  I have not known silence in a long time. I have not taken a holiday alone in ages. I don’t know what the sand feels like between my feet. I don’t know how it feels like to lie on your back, by the pool and not worry about where one of the children is and if they are sailing off to India on a dhow. If I sneak an afternoon nap, I feel like I can sleep for a week. Sometimes when I’m leaving work at 7pm and I find myself alone in the lift, riding down the 17 floors, I lean my head back on the cold wall of the lift and I try and soak in as much silence from the moment as I can. I never play the radio in my car. I always drive in silence. However, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining because I love being a mother, I love my children. Our home is filled with love and blessings because of them. I’m ordained to be a mother.  I love to serve my children, to nourish them with love and watch them grow. They are so different, sometimes when I sit and watch them eat at the dining table, I wonder who they belong to. 

I grew up as an only child. 

We lived in a big stone house, built for civil servants. My parents tried to fill that house with love but it was lonely. I had my own room. I’ve always had my own room. I’ve never had to fight with anybody for anything; not clothes, not the TV remote. I had most things I wanted except another sibling; a brother, or a sister. I craved a sibling. I envied other kids in school who would wait for their siblings to take the matatu home together. I loved to see how they shared their break-meal. How my deskmate’s brother would hang around outside our classroom waiting for her. How you always knew that that there was someone else who would defend you when it came right down to it, and fight for you. I craved to share blood with someone else. I vaguely remember how when a part of our school caught fire in 1982, while other kids ran to other classes to look for their brothers or sisters, nobody came looking for me. 

As I result, I always wanted to have many children. 

There was a 50 percent chance I was going to marry my husband. There was also a 50 percent chance that I was going to marry my fiancé who had gone for further studies in the US. I liked two men. Well, I liked the first one before I liked the second one and the only reason I liked the second one was because the first one made me realise that I was waiting for Godot. (That’s a Beckett play, read it). He wanted to be an engineer and he was taking a long time in the US. I was getting tired of the Skype calls during those terrible days of bad connection, so his image would often hang on the screen, his mouth twisted mid-sentence like he was having a seizure. I’d stare at it for long and wonder if this is what he looks like when he wakes up. I was afraid that if I got married to the wrong man I’d not like how he looks in the morning. It’s important for a woman to know how the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with looks in the morning. There are men I dated who looked like inmates in the morning and I just couldn’t go through with it. 

I met my husband at a budding farmer’s meeting. This is a place where they teach you about fertilizers, seeds and things. I was thinking of trying my hand at farming. We sat next to each other on old plastic chairs. I remember stealing looks at his thumbs and thinking how they looked like carrots. Farmers are friendly people, so we started talking, mostly about strawberries, which I was keen to grow. When we went on a coffee date I told him that I had a fiancé in the US studying to be an engineer and he said, “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” I didn’t do very well in languages, I’m a science kind of girl, so I thought he was encouraging me to stay true to the one in the US. Funnily enough, that’s what attracted me to him, this miscommunication, or rather, ignorance. How dare he preserve me for another man?

Our wedding day – a year and a half later – was just at the edge of the weekend, on a Friday. It’s a wedding that happened on the ashes of a broken heart; the heart of my fiancé in the US. It was a small shindig; 100 or so people in a garden. He was handsome in a very dark suit. His shoulders stretched his jacket. He smelled of powerful aftershave. I love men who use aftershave. I was a few months pregnant, but it was not very visible so technically I carried a secret into the marriage. I wore my mother’s pearls around my neck, they felt like drops of angel tears around my neck. My father held my hand with his warm one. He kept squeezing my hand. That’s what I remember most about my wedding; my father’s playful squeezes. I had my baby not long after. Not long after here doesn’t mean after the cake was cut, but months after. Then somehow they started coming out of me, these babies. If it were up to me I would just have moved into the hospital because they just kept coming until my husband raised his hand after the third baby and said, “Hold on a second, I think we have had enough.” 

We? 

So I added two more. 

Babies are wonderful, but they change your body. At least my first two babies did but after that the change was not so significant. I actually think I look better now than I did during my wedding, mostly because I’m not suffering from morning sickness. I’m fuller, rounded, curved, smoother around the edges. I’m thick at the hips. I’m more confident about my body. Of course there is the small matter of my love-handles, which I’m currently working on, and the bit of my ass that shakes and shivers vigorously when I climb the stairs. Otherwise I’m “peng.” The other day, the intern in our office, this sweet 21-year old boy, more than half my age, came up to my desk and after some small talk (because I have a face that gives the impression that I love small talk) said, “Do you mind if we have coffee outside the office tomorrow?” 

Aww. 

I told him, “Oh, I’d love to,” then lifting my hand with the wedding band, “but I’m married.” And he said, “Oh, sorry. But you are so pretty.” 

Aww. 

I would have gone for coffee with him had he been 32-years and didn’t still live with his mother. There are many of those nowadays, who live with their mothers or with women who act like their mothers. I would have gone for coffee with him because I’m single, even though I’m married.

My marriage changed about five years in. It changed because my husband changed. I also changed. We all changed. Ours was a gradual change. It’s like a small patch of weeds in the garden, which you look at and think isn’t that important, until one day you find it spread all over, choking your plants.  

It started with the small things. It’s how he’d wake up and not say good morning. Always say good morning to your wives, guys. You are not waking up next to a stuffed teddy bear. If you forget to say good morning today, you will not remember tomorrow and before you know it, it will be a year where you just get out of bed like it’s boarding school all over again. He started waking up and walking to the bathroom without a “good morning.” I’d be the one to say good morning. Then I got tired of having to be the one who keeps saying good morning. I also noticed how he’d no longer look at me in the morning. How, even if we were talking while dressing, he’d not look at me. I’m good to look at, I know this because I look at myself in the mirror. So why wouldn’t he look at me? If you don’t look at me, I imagine you don’t notice me. If you don’t look at me, I’m invisible in your eyes, I only exist in a voice. Look at your woman, guys. 

We had a good marriage even though he wasn’t saying good morning or looking at me. He was a provider. He bought children things – toys, clothes. He played with them occasionally. 

Then life started happening fast, children getting into school, pressure of fees and the pressure of investment. He was taking care of the big bills, I was taking care of the home and other things. We invested together. Then we somehow just got too busy. He was less at home and more at work. He’d come home tired and not want to do much else with the kids but sleep. On Sundays he would be at home, nursing a hangover. I taught my children to ride their bicycles because he was too tired from work. Or he just didn’t bother. Slowly I  found myself taking care of things he should have been taking care of; calling plumbers, stressing over what school who went to. As our children grew older, I started pushing him to be more involved in their lives because that window is small and it closes fast; go out and ride bicycles with them, take them camping, go to the game park, talk to them, show them the heart and ways of a man, of a father. He always seemed to have another pressing meeting to run off to. Then I started making decisions in the house for the family. Then he started paying the fees late then defaulting. The school called me, I paid for that term hoping he’d pick it up the next term. He didn’t. 

I will never know what kind of a husband my father was, how limited he might have been in the eyes of my mother, but I know what kind of a father he was. He was a man who took care of his business. He pulled his weight. He was a proud man. I remember once when – unbeknownst to me at the time – auctioneers came to our house when I was 10 or 11 years old, on a Saturday morning when we were having breakfast. He stepped out to talk to them and I could see him through the big living room curtains. A big lorry loomed outside over our fence waiting to gulp all our household belongings. My mom sat in her seat, never moved a muscle, never joined my father outside. Somehow, her sitting there gave me the reassurance that whatever was happening outside (and it looked ominous), Dad would sort it out and he would come back and finish his breakfast. And he did. He led that day as I witnessed him lead many other instances to come.  And so my expectations of men have always been pegged on that; their ability to be men, to be the one to step outside and face whatever is threatening what’s inside. To be proud. 

I wanted to raise children and keep a home. I wanted to follow, to be dutiful and honourable and to hold up the title as wife. But then slowly I found myself doing his bits as well. Man bits. Making the decisions he should have been making. Paying school fees for his children. I started seeing him differently. He was no longer a man I admired. He had lost direction, and I can’t follow a man without direction. So one day we woke up and we were strangers. The sex is sporadic like the rains in Turkana and when it happens my mind drifts to my dream to own a strawberry farm. When we speak, he seems to be someone from a different part of the world, speaking in a language I don’t understand. 

This could be because I’m no longer the most welcoming wife. I no longer sit and watch him eat when he comes home late, keenly listening to his war stories from the boardroom. I get excited when he travels for work for a few days, because the house expands, the rooms are larger, I breathe better. When he’s due to come back from his travels I don’t rush home so that he finds me and a hot meal waiting. (Mostly I’d be the hot meal). I used to know what flight he’s on and what connections he’s making in what countries to get here at what time. Sometimes I’d even go pick him up at the airport, a hot cup of latte waiting in a thermos mug because I knew what he liked. Now? Now, I’m excited when he travels. Because I don’t have to see him in the house, walking around like he’s the man when he isn’t taking care of his business, when I don’t know what he does with his money and he won’t tell me. 

We show up at family functions together and I serve him food there like a dutiful wife because it makes his parents happy, it makes his mother proud to see her son in a thriving marriage with a dutiful wife. Everybody admires us. We are a team, some say. But the reality couldn’t be more different. We don’t talk. We hardly fight because fighting would mean someone cares enough to fight. I don’t care if he comes home at dawn anymore and I care even less whether or not he has a girlfriend out there. If he does, I’m comforted by the fact that I know what she’s getting and it isn’t much of a man. She’s getting a facade. A tale. 

I have become the wife who covers the emperor’s nakedness, the custodian of all his faults. I have mine, no doubt: I might get quick on the mouth and he has said – more than once, I believe – that I’m critical. I might not be interested in what he does anymore, or even know why he does them. One time walking through a big airport in Europe, I remember walking next to the walkalators and seeing how the travelers stood on them, looking tired and blank, moving along on those things and I thought, “That’s exactly how my marriage is.” 

Not long ago, I found receipts in his pocket. They were from a night out with his friends. He had spent 75K on bottles of whisky. Seventy five thousand Kenyan shillings on a working day in the middle of the week! Looking at that receipt stabbed me in the heart. Here was a man who could spend so much on alcohol and refuse to pay school fees for his children. Here was a man who speaks proudly of his children’s education to people – his parents, relatives, friends – yet he takes no part at all in their education, isn’t bothered whether they go to school or not, even though he earns much more than I do. Yet, I continue to be enable this bad behaviour. I let him polish this lie. I continue to let the world believe that he’s a responsible father and maybe even a loving husband. I continue to carry his lie for him. All this makes me a lie, which is worse than being a liar. 

I’m not seeing anyone, if you are wondering. Not yet. And not because of lack of options; I have tons of offers coming out of my ears. I’m married officially, but I’m also single. We are running a business together, this business of marriage. 

I have stopped looking towards him for any interventions when it comes to my needs as a wife. I have stopped following him as a leader because he stopped leading. My respect for him has floundered. When I pass him brushing his teeth at the sink, shirtless, something that I found manly and desirable, now it only evokes regret. How long will I live like this? I can live like this until I can’t but for now what breaks my heart is that I’m here in this caricature of a marriage, one where my children have started noticing that their father is not the guy who leaves the table and steps outside to handle his family’s business. I worry for my young sons, especially. These poor boys who look to him as the lighthouse of masculinity. If this is the model, the brand of man they are fashioning themselves around, then my poor boys are lost at sea. 

It breaks my heart that I continue to leave the table and step outside to do the work of a husband. I’m the one who seems to worry how these children turn out. I don’t enjoy it. It embitters me. It enrages me. I don’t know what to do to change this narrative because I can pay the bills, I can spend a lot of time talking to my children, I can sit in their school activities and cheer and encourage them, pray for them, but I could never show them how to be a man. That, only a man can do and the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair. 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

473 Comments
    1. I know right? There are days I experience tough moments then Biko’s notification pops up and I’m like “nope, not today”.

  1. I didn’t see that curve ball coming up at the end but i know this,

    1.Biko still loves Chapati and was baptized mathenge on a rainy Sunday
    2.The lady knows the sound of a masturbating Elephant

    198
  2. Biko, you had to do chapos and something, haha!

    This marriage is so dead, she knows it, but she is hanging on, I don’t know what she expects.
    A man who can blow 75k on whiskey but doesn’t pay fees, Aaaaaiiiiiii!

    96
  3. I certainly have mixed feelings about today’s story. Especially seeing as this is a norm in a lot of households. What would happen if women stopped enabling their husbands and sons’ bad behaviors?

    135
    1. Wait, what??! Norm? Aki no. It can’t be be, though I ain’t married yet. But come to think of it, I know quite a couple of guyz where it’s the woman who pulls the weight. I think I’d leave

      21
        1. Charles,
          Some women pull their weight yes, but only if the man is trying or is completely unable to…..but for someone who is earning more than me, and secondly, blowing 75K on whiskey in one night!
          As my sis in law would say “huyo ame korogewa”

          19
        1. The women have allowed men to get away with their shenanigans and irresponsibilities for too long. This sad state of affairs is on women.

          27
          1. What would you have them do? Not pay bills, not buy food, not provide for their children an education. Please try that as a mother of even 1 child then come and tell us how that panned out. Men should take responsibility for their own behavior and stop scapegoating women for all their problems

            42
          2. James even in the comments, as a man you are laying all fault on the woman… Why? Where is the fault of the man in all this???

            13
          3. I agree in part with you. Women contribute to this when they do not stand up against such silly acts in their marriages. If the man stops being man enough his nakedness should not be hidden but exposed…However married men also need to style up, respect themselves and their marriages as well. Responsibility…

            14
          4. I forget who’s the head of the family, if it’s your wife then we blame her but if you’re the head it’s in you. We’re called to be helpers and not vision carriers and that’s why God questioned Adam after eating the forbidden fruit and not Eve.
            So men you just can’t be a ceremonial leader and expected to be treated as a king and blame it on women. I wonder what you teach your children, both boys and girls

            7
    2. Whenever men behave badly, women are blamed.

      What if men just put their heads together and quit the boy’s club?

      What must be done for the irresponsible ones to man up?

      Must a man be enabled to mature or to take up responsibilities by his woman? Similarly, if he absconds, its not the women’s fault.

      A responsible man is responsible regardless of situations… Period.

      May the men man up!

      52
    3. The sad truth — which even the good lady admits to — is that women for some strange reason are the leading Enablers of these kind of men. This is actually a deadbeat dad having the best of both worlds, because s/he has helped him keep up the facade of a responsible husband,

      5
  4. “I can spend a lot of time talking to my children, I can sit in their school activities and cheer and encourage them, pray for them, but I could never show them how to be a man. That, only a man can do”

    30
    1. manners maketh a man and this “man” here lacks manners. Your own children aki yet you spend 75k on whiskey! Okai na mutigoke kuria ndii!

      6
  5. Hehehehehehe…waah….this is deep….the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can ust remove and hang on the arm of a chair…..

    31
    1. Hahaha nice one . Women are creatures who leave space for a comeback, once the door closes especially for a resilient woman, not even the ancestors can change her resolve. So she is keeping to her vows but remember she said “yet” it is coming, it will not be sudden just like the return of our Lord but it will be a decision that bears no regret.

      60
  6. My mama always tells me that if i show a man that i can handle all the home business, he will relax and let you. I hope she finds happiness because she deserves it.

    72
    1. And she also cant sit back and see the kids being kicked out of school and lacking in material things when she can..
      She is indeed single yet married.. sad sad sad

      9
    2. Your comment made me incredibly sad! Because imagine having to constantly remind your man to do what he needs to do, what he actually signed up to do! That’s just exhausting!, call me naive but that’s not a partnership.

      29
  7. I think you should leave and parent from a different place. He may or may not up his game as a father but if he doesn’t, your sons may turn out better by not seeing how shriveled he is as a man….my thoughts

    58
  8. MOVE on lady!!! The relationship is stale…you’re not doing anyone a favour, neither yourself nor your kids. The kids need a better environment to thrive (non-toxic)…you will sow what you plant.
    Interesting story Biko, but plead with my sister to change the status quo…either by having a candid talk with her so called husband to patch up the gaps, or just plain walk out and never turn back. I abhor men who cannot be there when you need them, who think if they pay bills they love you, who think their presence is the very breath of fresh air on this planet without moving a muscle…
    LIVE…LOVE…LAUGH…Life is too short to be miserably married.

    21
  9. Jail is not just a room for law offenders… It can also be a house that is not a home or a situation such as this one that is not one of contentment or happiness… Sad that this marriage faded!!

    65
  10. I’m fourth, yeeeaaahhh!!! …, quite sad though… Please God, let me be man enough, so that no one ever says… ‘my poor boys are lost at sea’

    13
  11. It hurts right?
    Should I say expectations or diversion of attention?
    I’m not even sure if you should continue giving it a true and holding on but then again the ball is always yours
    I wonder what this give is up to?!?
    Indeed..The Emperor’s Naked

    6
  12. Its so sad that the men we look up to fail us the most. My father failed the first time,and when i gave him the second chance he failed too. I decided to love him at a distance.

    32
  13. I was raised in such a family. It breaks my heart to think this is my mother. She would tell a similar tale. I am so proud of her though. I am because she was. I hope this madam keeps at it. And not give up on her kids. They will live to tell a tale. And it will dawn on her that it was all worth it.

    32
  14. That, only a man can do and the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair. This hits deep

    3
  15. Well, What could be the solution to this? I don’t know…I’m also the type than never quarrels or demand for answers. I think, for me, I would move out with my babies and assume he dead!. Afterall widows do take care of their boys and gals too, this should be after consulting God..then hear what He says. But I would be in Jamaica right now! and become a Jamaican maybe… Pole dada; PRAY!

    10
  16. Arent many of these men turning out like that? She needs to allow the boys’s relatives who are good men to step in and teach them how to be men. Especially her father.

    16
  17. This woman is just a proud one. A wise woman builds her home with her own hands…in her pride she has decided she wont talk, and will just pay the bills because she can instead of communicating with her husband. He probably stopped saying good morning because when he used to say it he was met with a sneer, or some other derogatory remark..what kind of man are you sort of..
    Pride is bad. pray, and God forbid, if she ran out of her income due to the many reasons in our nation, would she still talk the same way? Would she humble herself to her man? The same man she says is a useless guy? This guy is nit buying whisky worth 75K because he loves it…he has been ignored in his home. He is in a way venting. No sane man earning what is being portrayed here will ignore his blood, unless only when the wife has alienated him from them.

    Men, be responsible. Women, talk to your men

    39
    1. Yes women should talk…but talk and say what. Uhmmm excuse me but you forgot to pay the school fees for the kids again…does he not see they go to school? He is proud of the schools they go to and their education…does he not know it comes at a price? Does he not live in that house and know the needs that need to be met..He used to do this things before and suddenly just became irresponsible. Why do we need to remind people to do what is actually supposed of them? The children do not belong to her alone.

      94
    2. I agree that this is only one side of the story and he might have stopped saying good morning or paying fees because of the reasons you pointed out. I would like to point out the fact that neglecting his duties as a father cannot be blamed on him having a proud wife. She talked to him about being more involved with them but “he always had another meeting to rush off to” failing as a father is wholly his fault. We are all free to form our opinions after reading a story but let us not form them from only parts of the story but all of it.

      43
      1. Great that you admit first this is a one sided story. In a court of hyenas you do not expect the goat to get a fair hearing.
        This guy was a sane responsible man…most likely with time his income has increased..he just cant learn how to be irresponsible one day. The line that he boasts about the achievements of the kids could have been used by the lady to stir up emotions as they are now. I believe this man loves his family, you don’t sire five kids with a person you don’t love..but there is a missing link we are not being told..what drove this man to this behavior which was not there before…there must be a reason..and this is the reason I brought up here

        15
        1. Manze aren’t some men special they just decide to withdraw from their responsibility because they feel grieved. Regardless of it affecting his own flesh and blood. Children always feel the energy plus no matter how much we want to pretend, marriage takes being intentional by both parties to work. But Africanism in us has taught us it’s a woman’s task. We can only do much, let them find ground for communication

          7
        2. Sorry but you are making a lot of excuses for this guy… Maybe the wife sneered, maybe the wife alienated him, maybe bla bla bla. Maybe he just needs to take care of his business and interact with his kids regardless of the state of the marriage

          21
    3. I don’t think she is proud. She is a responsible woman. And big ups to her! However, she needs a solution to this as it is NOT HEALTHY for her and everybody else involved; especially HER.

      15
    4. Well some even if you talk will never get it, their ego is bigger than the corruption scandals.
      And by the time they are getting it, it’s pretty too late for everyone involved

      4
    5. Funny how its always the woman to blame…. Or is it funny at all?

      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      Boys will always be boys….
      Men do mature and separate from the boys….

      An irresponsible man will always be irresponsible even if you served maturity with a syringe and injected him am overdose.

      46
    6. Younger me of 2015 would have probably agreed with all that you have said. But clearly you haven’t met all kinds of people (not that I have) but I have definitely seen men who are capable of blowing up 75k in a night but are incapable of spending a quarter of that on fees or on a family’s day out. And maybe we need answers or even solutions. Is it because at some point you feel you(the man) comes first or you have met people you believe are definitely better or worth more than your family?!?
      This is a heart wrenching reality the children and her need better. I believe why she sticks around is because of her children but my sister move on, with your children. That man doesnt deserve any of you.

      13
      1. Unfortunately, this story is similar accross many households. I have lived with families that are experiencing this and truth be told, if you ask your friends, you will get 1/3 sharing this either from their pasts or are currently experiencing this.
        Talk to your boys, find a mentor. It is his loss. He can never make up for the lost time.♥️

        5
    7. Interesting. You say that he probably stopped saying good morning because she must have done something wrong. Just because its hard doesn’t mean we stop trying.

      5
    8. Nope, nope, nope Kinns. What pride do you see when she was the one encouraging the husband to spend time with his own children and even provide? What pride of hers do you see when she was the one called by the school due to non-payment of fees and he couldn’t care to step up even after? This is what festered her resentment and ultimate distancing from the man or what you lamely call “pride”.
      The man is ultimately making his own children suffer and that right there is the heart of the matter and that right there is what she highlights as her issue with the man.

      10
    9. No matter what the wife did or didn’t do to alienate him doesn’t make it right that he his not meeting his responsibilities as a father. Those children are his as well…what you are basically saying is that it’s ok for him not to provide because he’s annoyed or frustrated or whatever. How come that doesn’t apply to the wife, why shouldn’t she also have the freedom to not do anything or do something and has to be the one to talk to him. Conclusions such as these are the reasons we have such a huge divide between men and women and why we have situations such as this lady is living in her marriage because we would rather blame the female in the story than objectively look at the facts as presented from the wife’s point of view. If this was the man’s story your comment would have still battered the wife. Society needs to rethink how we relate to each other and stop this them vs us narrative otherwise nothing will change

      24
    10. Unbelievable that you are are condoning the man’s behavior. And what the children’s crime that he doesn’t provide for them? Is he punishing them because of their mother?

      1
    11. Whatever issues the man has with the wife is between them! Not the children.. if as the man feels ignored at home find ways to deal with your wife instead of punishing innocent children by not paying school fees! Playing with them! Like who does that? YOUR OWN BLOOD???

  18. Wow!! You need to stop enabling him and go see a third party (hopefully he is willing) who is impartial. Not friends not relatives!!! Stop enabling him. Sometimes even something as small as the kids getting sent home for school fees and them staying home for a couple days might shock him back to reality!! But you need a plan on how to stop enabling his behavior that and maybe you seeing a counselor!

    15
  19. This line is deeper than corruption in our country, “….and the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat….”. I am not raising any kids but I could say being a model man must be a priority for any father.

    I was raised by a man that remains my role model for marriage. Pulling his weight constantly like that Sunny tractor that was doing the thing to buildings on riparian land. He did not have much but he had much at the same time. And that is admirable in a father.

    73
  20. My heart is breaking into a million pieces for this lady.
    I’m so sorry.
    I feel like Biko should have asked her if she sometimes regrets not getting married to the fiance. The one who was studying engineering in the US?

    I hope this husband gets an epiphany and mans up.

    Throughout this story, a little voice in my head kept wondering “Why won’t she just leave him?”
    But I know it’s not that easy. You don’t just leave someone you have 5kids with. Someone you’ve shared a bed with for the longest time.

    Getting a good partner is truly a gift from God. That is something that life is constantly teaching me. You can get married to or marry an angel then they turn into a demon. Someone you can’t even recognize.

    PS: I thought the 21 year old intern asking her out for coffee and telling her she’s beautiful was really cute and brave too.
    God knows how many 21 year olds are too shy or afraid to say how they really feel.

    63
  21. I really feel this story…I can totally relate to so many aspects of what she is going through as I had gone through…It reaches a point a woman gets tired of handling “man” business for the family and resentment creeps in when you see the man you envisioned to be winning in life with is no longer in the same path with you. No sense of direction and you are in that journey alone.

    8
  22. I wasn’t laughing at the end of this.
    Always wary of stories that start off so well….

    What a sad way to live just to keep up the facade of being ‘happily married’.
    She would teach her sons a lesson on how to be men by just walking away from a ‘man’ who has abandoned his responsibilities, a ‘man’ who is being enabled to certainly have his cake, and eat it too.
    Those very children know who is the present parent and it won’t be too long now when they make it known to him that he’s not welcome in their lives.

    13
  23. This is deep-when it comes to my needs as a wife. I have stopped following him as a leader because he stopped leading. My respect for him has floundered

    2
  24. “It breaks my heart that I continue to leave the table and step outside to do the work of a husband. I’m the one who seems to worry how these children turn out. I don’t enjoy it.”…..men have totally neglected their role in the home ☹☹☹

    2
  25. Men what’s happening to our men?? My heart aches when i read this. Men lets be better custodians of the little gifts gifted by God. Our fathers did better by us, lets reciprocate

    5
  26. Hers is not unique most marriages are on this level. She will probably celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary with this man. We learn to live through it.

    3
  27. Wow. I don’t know how to react.
    To feel I unpretty, unwanted, undesired, by the one person you want to find you that way, is tragic. Especially when you know for a fact that you are a beautiful sight. You deserve to be affirmed. I hope you guys work through this eventually, if you’re willing to.

    11
  28. This one is profound. Many women are suffering from being enablers in the quest of holding up a home and bringing up kids in some semblance of normalcy. What is normalcy, by the way? Who defines it? Kids are The glue to many marriages; even ones that are in a thousand pieces on the floor. I long for a day when women can be selfish for once and do marriage because they want to not because they have to.

    What stood out for me was “ walking around like he’s the man when he isn’t taking care of his business”. Take care of your business men.

    18
  29. “It’s important for a woman to know how the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with looks in the morning.”

    That statement carries all the weight, both literally and metaphorically. I have a feeling that the way she sees him in the morning changed with the expectations, and this man has not been doing her part to meet her expectations. Vice versa is also true.

    …. and it scares me as well as push me to want to be better as a man.

    20
  30. Cling to it madam. Things change. People change. Men change. Husbands change, for the better. I have hope, a feeling that things will turn out right….like it often do in many marriages.

  31. Heart-rending.

    Wondering whether outing him may help salvage the situation?

    Sometimes we get burnt because we hide coals under our skirts.

    Very proud of her though, for stepping on the plate and taking charge of the situation, even as the captain bails out. Kudos girl!

    Sadly, this is the reality of so many women…

    2
  32. Maybe this fiance guy is the engineer from Dear D and he ended up getting married to the “wrong” person and now he’s drinking himself away because his marriage feels off.

    Then there’s this siste here who’s stuck in a dead marriage because the were meant to be.

    I don’t even know what to wish her. Happiness? A man who’s proudly rocking his manhood? A man who says good morning and looks at her? I don’t know.

    Halafu, masturbating elephant? Men who looked like inmates in the morning? Ha ha!! This siste has a great sense of humour

    7
  33. Funny enough, women still finds reasons to hang around in toxic relationships. Don’t be surprised if these two die together as a married couple. If she was the kind to give up, she would have picked her things long time ago. But the fact that she is even scared, or unwilling to confront him over his shenanigans, then I doubt if she will have the courage to ask for a divorce. She is a woman who has accepted her fate, sadly. And he is a man who rejoices in her fate, cringy.

    5
  34. “Here was a man who speaks proudly of his children’s education to people – his parents, relatives, friends – yet he takes no part at all in their education, isn’t bothered whether they go to school or not,”

    This statement has described 90% of men in Kenya today.

    16
    1. My young- unmarried self thinks she should leave him and sue his ass for school fees. she’s babying him too much. I think.
      My take home to this story is, women- lower your expectations considerably. You only have yourself and your God.

      8
  35. We all know this lady isn’t wearing this shoe alone. This is the perfect description of most marriage out there. Which us why most of us who should be in there choose not to. Because living a lie is far worse than being a liar.

    12
  36. Being a Man, A Checklist:
    *Hardworking: are you ambitious? Do you go for what you want? Do you give your best at everything?
    *Responsible: Do you do house chores? Do you take care of your friends, your family? Can you be trusted?
    *Brave: do you take risks? Do you roll with the punches and get back up? Do you let fear dominate you?
    *Sensitive: are you in touch with your feelings? Do you know that it is okay to cry, to feel, to be human? Do you make fun of others for things they have no control over? Are you cruel to the weak? Are you good to animals? Do you apologize when you are wrong?
    *Ever-learning: are you aware of the world around you? Do you bother to know why people are the way they are? Are you open-minded, willing to step into another’s shoes? Are you willing to let go of what you know once you know you are wrong?

    The good thing is, where we are going, it is your goodness and humanity that determine whether you are man enough or woman enough, not gender roles. Once you show these basics to your boys *and* girls, they will be just fine. Also, it is better for kids to know love and respect than it is for them to come from a house with both parents who are just caricatures of what they should be. Kids notice these things and the subtleties we try to cover up with hugs and presents are what mess them up eventually.

    18
  37. “The man I chose has shri=ugged off his manhood like its an old coat..”, unfortunately, this is the scenario in many homes the world over God help us

    1
  38. This marriage is already on the rocks. Walking away and taking care of her boys, as she has always done is the only option. It’s so heart wrenching

    2
  39. 6 MONTHS LATER ………

    Today I left this poor excuse of a man, husband and father.
    I am officially SEPARATED.

    For all intents and purposes we have been practically separated for years.
    Today I decided to actualize it physically.

    AS FOR DIVORCE??? I am not sure.
    Let me see where the separation leads.
    I hope it leads to restoration of the marriage.
    I hope against hope.

    Because the reason I left is to give him time to rethink his position in the family.
    The real reason I left is to make him miss us, miss home, miss family and miss his status as a “family man”

    I left to force him to find himself.
    I left hoping that he will come back groveling, begging, remorseful, repentant and transformed.

    I did not leave to find myself.
    I am sorry for myself.
    For not loving myself enough to leave for myself.

    17
    1. You cannot live life waiting for a man to catch up. Think about your daughters and how you woukd like them to think and behave if they were in a situation like yours, then act in a way that would make you proud. Make you an example. While you’re at it, get this man to court and get a judge to determine the child allowance due to your kids. Or if not court then get relatives involved if you are so inclined. He can’t be wasting money in clubs while you struggle to raise kids you didn’t get by yourself.

      7
    2. I pray it be a good break for you, even if this wasn’t your intention.
      Let me tell you one tiny secret every divorced woman hides: it wasn’t easy to walk out. In most cases, they leave and go back severally before they finally call it quits… (True story).
      And it helps… You get acquainted with a drama free life (even for a short period) and when you go back, you’ll sense the suffocation…. Coz you have a reference point…that time you separated. And you’ll draw strength from that.

      Then one day, you’ll kunja jamvi once and for all. When you’ll walk out of that door for good;
      -you’ll not bang it, coz you’ll not be doing it out if emotions or anger
      – you’ll not steal yourself away like a jailbird breaking free, no!
      Rather, you’ll;
      – walk out with your head held up high, probably walk out in his presence….coz you know you’ve played your part right, only that it wasn’t meant to be… That you are walking out of a cage onto a more productive life
      -you’ll calmly lock the door and thrown in the key through the window….coz you want to leave an intact door that will Barr you from going back…..coz you’ll be totally done.

      Then when you get to your space, you’ll suffer mixed feelings… You’ll cry tears of joy mingled with tears of pain…. You’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision in life, yet you’ll second guess yourself…
      Then you’ll hate him for making you go through it all… You’ll re-live it all in your mind and speech (if you are the talking type)….
      Then after sometime you’ll realise you are stagnating by giving him so much power over you, yet he’s not worth it… This will be your turning point.
      You’ll resolve to live and thrive and you will do so…

      A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step…… You’ve started yours and I wish you all the very best….
      You can do it.

      I pray you get as much support as you need from your inner circle….. Slay your dragons mama….

      19
        1. Thanks for the complement…I should join Mathenge’s …..oh Biko’s master class (which I have been postponing) and start earning from this art

          3
  40. …………………………………………..the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair. The sad reality in many homes

  41. Hey Lovely Lady, I love how you keep affirming yourself and how you know you want to follow a man with direction, everyone deserves to have a man with direction and a vision for his family.My heart goes out to you and while at it,Hugs, Love and Light to you. I have observed the trend where women pull up the weight in so many places that it breaks my heart. I’m worried about your sons because their father’s behaviour could shape them but mostly,it will destroy them.If their father is failing at being a man to them, get them men in the family who can man up for them and teach them to be men.Importantly also, your enabling of this man will also affect your daughters judgement on who a man should be,they will settle for less because you showed them its alright. I’m not married hence my advice might not be the most sane here, but, talk to him about it or talk someone, his parents maybe or village elders and let them help you settle the matter with him. It he doesn’t step up,Leave, You deserve better.
    Sometimes staying in a marriage trying to keep it together for the kids ends up hurting the kids even more than the decision to leave. The beauty with kids is that they smell BS even when parents struggle to hide it. When you decide to leave,talk to them about it and explain why you are making that decision, You will be fine darling.
    Love to you Ma’

    17
    1. Excellent advise on talking to him to be a good example to the children as they are likely to project same behaviour in the future.
      Relatives are not very helpful in solving marriage issues though. Because different sides tend to downplay or exaggerate.
      Let them sort it out among themselves, last resort a counselor (a stranger).
      Spoken from 9 years of marriage and from being called to solve many marital differences.

      3
  42. “‘….the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair…..”‘ very sad

    2
  43. the ‘Waiting for Godot’ comparison is very apt. I’d tell this woman to make the separation official, this man is an anchor, he’s making a liar out of you, and he’s dragging you down. Don’t wait around to see how much more you can take, or how much more he can hurt you and yours.

    3
  44. I hope future me learns from these stories of Women and marriage and that they shape me to be a better man for my wife. And even though I shudder at the sight of a mouse in my house, my prayer is for that to be the only hamartia in my marriage and that hopefully she’s a vet or a Jungu with a love for rodents. I do

    11
    1. LOL..its time to face your fear. aki vile i FEAR rats. i cant imagine being with a man who fears them too.But i know a couple of women that dont fear mice/rats.My nanny holds them with her bare hands like its a banana and kills them like its nothing same with snakes.i call her wonder woman(i used to leave in a house with a rat problem.it was next to a bush. i had to move!!) so dont worry. there is hope for you.hehehehe

      2
  45. This is so heartbreaking yet sadly a mirror of many marriages out here. men say women are selfish but women are just tired of being EVERTYHING in a relationship. the nurturer. the father. the mother. the provider.its exhausting. i feel her story almost to a cellular level.
    Men ..nothing turns on a woman more that a present father(not physical presence).and a man that handles his ish…

    4
  46. The weight of a woman! Hopefully, those boys will learn yo be men by not being what their father is… Your efforts are not invain….
    That said, the fact that you actually know the sound of a masturbating elephant is mind blowing!….

  47. Sadly i agree with part of the story (“as its only one partner in the business sharing”)……. that we as men are leaving our GOD given responsibilities to our women and showing our sons…… a bad example…… A man should handle his business period!!! My father taught me that i should never be fed by a woman, it will never be well with me…. if i do, no matter the situation am in i should pull my weight….
    This is what happens when we the men do not pray and put GOD first in our lives and let Him guide us ….. (Psalms 37:23)

    12
  48. Has she talked to anyone one about this situation? Maybe a close confidant or someone she trusts? or even his parents if need be. Sometimes these men need jump starting like literary!!

    2
  49. what kind of friends do most men have ,who can’t hold you accountable drinking down a 75ksh whiskey without asking about your life,family.

    7
    1. birds of a feather flock together. if his friends were in happy marriages they would call him out on his behaviour. they are probably just as bad as him.if not worse. be weary of the friends you keep as you grow older. they will either add value to your life or help you destroy it.

      11
  50. This is what we call doing what the society wishes us to do, kill yourself and let them be happy use u as a role model yet inside you are a wreck of person

  51. He has said not more than once ,I believe-am critical
    But I think she is strong and critical in her own world.very strong
    75k on whisky .the ukuyu in me can’t keep calm

    4
  52. I will say something that most women don’t agree with. When a man says he doesnt want more children,believe him. If you want to add sit and talk about it.
    I saw my aunt almost thrown out of her house because she wanted anf did have another child while the husband was done having children. There was a massive intervention.
    Yes children are blessings but don’t force them on your partner.
    I dont know when the rains started beating this marriage but IMO this could have been the start point.

    5
    1. Having kids is a two way discussion it should not just be up to the man to decide . that his word on that is final. after all they seem financially stable.if the man can drink 75K he can support 5 kids.dont make excuses for him or any other man that dsnt want to step up. GET a vasectomy if you dont want more kids. women are out here pumping themselves with hormones not to conceive.men can pull their weight on contraception too. he could have used condoms or pull out if he realised his wife was “not cooperating”. family life is overwhelming but once you have kids you cant afford to just check out.

      9
      1. Reread my comment I said if you want more then discuss it with him. I dint say stop coz he said he had enough. That 75k should be paying his kids fees but unfortunately he has already checked out and we cant force him.
        Unfortunately we women think because we carry the pregnancy then he should be okay. We forget there will be emotional,physical and financial input requires of him. Even the first child sjould be discussed.

        4
    2. …besides, something else stood out for me too; that she is too critical. Criticism, esp when it is repeated for a log time can crash even the best of us. It does not matter if you are a man or a woman, but too much criticism is not good for ones growth

  53. Hehehe funny some comments apa…ati pulling his weight(we should rate this in horse(s) i.e horsepower)its some pple will get married apa to get there bills paid…then y marry one if u can buy booz worth 75k..

  54. For those of us who haven’t gotten married yet I guess we’re in for it ,it’s just seems hard to be in marriage‍♀️
    This made me sad but I applaud her strength

    2
  55. Oooh God what happened to our men !! I really resonate with this lady At least she still has lots of energy to cover up for her husband I got tired You will cover himuntil he refuses to get covered and shows everyone his nakedness Waah men man up Will you ?

    5
  56. The society has alot of expectations from women. She has to serve him at shags to make his parents happy,how about her happiness? Staying means her children will pick their dad’s character. One who sits and lets the mother go talk to tha auctioneers. Why not save them as early as possible? Let them learn from you instead, a fierce mum who can stand in as a mum. He can still be seeing the kids anyway,occasionally.

    3
  57. I am so pained by this story.
    This is a resentment stage, The shirtless self of the handsome man moves her not, I bet she feels like spitting on him while passing by the bathroom sink. The conversations in her head are a whole book compared to the exchange between her and the husband.
    The admiration is long dead, he did not communicate when stepping down from his position as THE man and so she struggles to look up to him, leave alone submission.
    Its sad. She engages in the inner needs of the children yet the hubby just catches a glimpse and let it lie. The publics sees a marriage yet her home is disconnected.

    Sad.

    7
  58. I think sometimes you have to love yourself and not play to society’s expectations. My advice would be to be strong enough to put yourself and your children first, especially if this has played out over years.

    4
  59. There are always 3 sides to a story, hers, his and the truth. We shall never know the truth but am sure am not alone waiting for his side of the story.

  60. It breaks my heart that I continue to leave the table and step outside to do the work of a husband. I’m the one who seems to worry how these children turn out. I don’t enjoy it. It embitters me. It enrages me. I don’t know what to do to change this narrative because I can pay the bills, I can spend a lot of time talking to my children, I can sit in their school activities and cheer and encourage them, pray for them, but I could never show them how to be a man. That, only a man can do and the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair. ”

    Deep. I can relate when your dad leaves all the responsibilities to the mum. It’s sad and you grow up resenting and hating the dad. When kids are grown ups you then wonder why kids care only for the mum treating her well and ignoring the dad

    12
  61. I actually have a friend who married a man like this one. You have to shoulder all the bills yet he has a job and can’t be bothered. There are only so ma y times you can ask or remind someone to do something they should already be doing. I am sure there are many women who live this reality and I’m so sorry because it abuse. It takes a toll.

    1
  62. 75k for drinks but no school fees?!?! Do not continue to enable his behaviour, pull the kids out of school and let him figure it out. It will take a bold move for both of you to address the elephant in the room. If you wont do it for you or your marriage, do it for your children. They deserve better.

    2
  63. This sounds like my story and the man my father.
    I prayed everyday that my mother would leave him but she never did.
    Took all the abuse and raised 8 kids on her own.
    I swore if that is what marriage was all about then I wanted nothing to do with it…
    Part of the reason why am still single todate.

    3
  64. Heart breaking….. I feel you mama. And today we celebrate you for being the world to your children.

    Such a read on the international women’s day…. Oh sorry men’s day.
    Someone was ranting on WhatsApp with a forwarded message that read, ‘how many women have recognized that today is IMD?’…. And I said to myself, what is there to celebrate about?

    Men have absconded their duties….they might as well change their title from men to boys… (Of course not all….but most have)

    If it were international boy’s day, I would celebrate them…. How they party hard with the boys and forget there is life after the drinking, how they drive recklessly and forget they have loved ones who care…. How they sometimes even have the audacity to batter their wives and blame the alcohol (as if a wine bottle ever lifted a rod against someone)….

    Women have been forced to take up roles that men have shunned…
    Such a shame to men.

    May the real men please stand up!!
    ~end of rant~

    Happy international men’s day to the men worth that title

    13
  65. He is male but he is not a man. A man comes with substance behind it. He has no substance.

    She is more of a man than he will ever be. Personally, I would work on leaving him. He will not teach the children anything good or positive.

    But then, that is just me.

    1
  66. By virtue that your nice stories are from women who sound opportunistic, unsettled and one sided i guess this blog is becoming a social incitiment rather to a social solution provider. Men are portrayed extinct to women. Sad.

    1
    1. Did you ever read the men series? How relieved we were that it was over….because of the sad things that men went through?…//

      Let’s just accept that we are living in a broken society… That both men and women need to up their game in this institution called marriage.

      That marriage takes two mature adults, each outdoing the other in kindness, and each keenly playing his/her role.

      Its so sad that a blessing (marriage is a blessing from God) has been turned around to cause so much untold misery and suffering.

      Let each strive to turn around his/her marriage and well have better narrations.

      PS: don’t shoot the messenger…

      11
    2. Now really Seth….its women in marriage, we read the men in marriage without the other side of the story. Same rule applies. Take the lessons that you can.

      2
  67. Ok……….”Over all this bedlam, one of my sons is always blowing his saxophone as loudly as he can (to get our attention or to irritate us), producing a constant, disjointed soundtrack to this chaos. He’s not particularly good at it, but he’s my son and he loves the sax and he can blow it until his lungs shrivel. Maybe he will get better at it, but for now, it sounds like an elephant masturbating” this one gave me watery eyes just by an imagination of an elephant masturbating

  68. I will never understand, why people force things that do not work, in the name of the children. Parents have no idea what impact this has to the children. You are raising kids to understand that that is the way someone should be have., which you know very well that is not the way a man should behave, based on your experience with your own Dad. It is okay to be a single mum in real life if the man does not play his part.

    1
  69. Wow! Am lost for words. A marriage under attack. Like most marriages of today. But you gotta act strong as if you’re happily married. Even though you’re not. Sigh!

  70. Oh women! There is no life in it, yet she hangs on. Give the best to your children gal..they need you.

    * BTW Biko how is Boyi doing?

    1
  71. Biko, this lady reminds me so much of my marriage. My husband is always in women’s DMs, telling them how sexy they are, yet he never compliments me. He recently got a job in a different country and is trying to get me a job so that I can join him there, but I am nonchalant about it. I rather enjoy my space at home and the joy of being around my children. I always have to pick up the slack for him -financially, emotionally and socially- yet he makes makes more than me, more expressive than I am, and more social than I am. Now I feel like I am maintaining a facade that will one day come crashing. Recently, I have started thinking about divorce. My children are not even excited about their father. Yet they are always so excited when I come home. He feels bad about our young ones’ behaviour, but what does he expect if he is never there for them? Parental responsibility is showing up for your children.

    14
  72. I care even less whether or not he has a girlfriend out there. If he does, I’m comforted by the fact that I know what she’s getting and it isn’t much of a man

    This is deep.

    A strong woman right there, but a sad story. I worry about the boys growing up; to be aloof in relationships. Its so sad.

    2
  73. only a man can do and the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair.
    Never disappoints

  74. If I was in your position, I would seek help from the parents or close friends or the best couple. If the situation still remains ‘salty’ I’d butt off faster than the a cheetah in pursuit of his dinner. It makes no sense. If the children have notices and he’s not changing, then I think he’s even more tired than you. Save yourself from heartaches and also you might end up hating him and he’s not worth this effort.

    1
  75. Look,I feel for our lady in this story but I also think she has somehow empowered her man to misbehave.I haven’t heard that she has had a sit-down with him….maybe she should. As it is the guy is enjoying a ride something he shouldn’t be doing.

    2
    1. It was the international toilet day as well….. I bet so many women celebrated their toilet by giving it a good scrub and letting it sparkle… These are much more cooperative than humans…..

      To the ladies married to kings who squarely place their butts on the throne, I hope you celebrated him….esp by pointing out the responsibilities he does that may seem mundane and go unnoticed…

      5
  76. I want to say all the politically correct things; but the truth i hold deep down in my heart is that women are ungrateful. until i hear the side of the story from the man, i refuse to sympathize with the lady. ION, Sigmund Freud lamented that even after 30 years of research into the feminine soul, he could not understand what women want. Who am I to give prescriptions and advise here???

    1. No one will judge him for abandoning his wife, we don’t know what happened between the sheets. But he will be judged for abandoning his children, those ones didn’t ask to be born and he can only be a man if he is a responsible father.

      6
  77. In all her sadness she still lives on, with so Many hopes of seeing her kids succeed. A true figure of a mother. What an intriguing story, The emperors naked!

    1
  78. One sided stories have the unfortunate though unintended consequence of cementing views whilst leaving out the other half. Given the half story, it s easy to condemn but the other half needs to be heard. It s a blessing that these stories are anonymous. The libel suits would have hit haaaard.

  79. Sad how it begins with a skipped good morning then suddenly one drifts away while the other is busy taking care of the family business.

  80. Girl, you exude a degree of confidence that is rare considering your situation. good on you
    but perhaps it’s time you channelled it toward a solution that actually works for all of you.

    Look no one can tell you what to do because deep down, you know it already.

    But what I’d say is you can only ignore the stench of a dead rat for so long. At some point, you’ll need to call it.

    Open the curtains and allow the sun to penetrate.

    5
  81. Sad story. But the paragraph describing the dad made me smile for its beauty. As a man, pride is what I have always looked for even in those who became my friends. PROUD men have SMARTS and believe in HONOUR. This trinity is the ultimate in a man! It does not matter his station or circumstances in life. Her description of her dad made me remember my late grandma who named me after her late husband. A strong and beloved woman, still, everything started and ended with her husband. I am yet to meet anyone who ‘worshipped’ her husband thus. But mostly she ‘sang’ of his pride as a man. It stuck in my mind.

    1
  82. I loved the first paragraph….i love grilled pork ribs..and chapos too (though not together) ,,only to get into a poignant story…hoped to see a happily ever after ending..sadly not to be..this marriage described is a worrisome work in progress, with a sad ending reality looming in the horizon, that need not be narrated…

    1
  83. If you know a man can pull his weight comfortably don’t try to help,unless it’s really necessary.
    The moment a bit of weight is released from a man’s shoulder he realises the comfort and adopts to the feel good,then the problems start.
    Maybe let the children suffer abit,it might awaken him.

    4
  84. Shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang at the back of a chair……… Aptly describes today’s manhood and womanhood.

  85. ‘And so my expectations of men have always been pegged on that; their ability to be men, to be the one to step outside and face whatever is threatening what’s inside. To be proud.’ that shit hit home hard.

  86. Hmmm… best advise from my mum- a man will never read your mind- have you tried asking for help? As the Lady of the house I have learnt to steer and let my man lead(or rather let him think that he leads) Talk to him you will be surprised how much he yearns to get out of the comfort zone you have both created…

    1
  87. She’s enabling the fellow. Why keep up the façade? Worried about how the children will turn out….either they deal now and work on accepting life in reality or continue with the illusion and watch them crumble as adults. Or better still how about seeking help to get the marriage back on tracks?

    1
  88. I hope the lady in this story get’s to read this and it will somehow be of help.

    My husband of 9 years had at some point gotten to where yours is. And i was so mad and resentful. We have one child and i kept on getting these messages from the school about fees balance. I paid once, then i learnt he had paid school fees for his sister (haki Biko, it should be possible to add emojis to our comments). I would also hear about the things he was doing for his relatives yet where i was concerned he was always broke. I kept telling him to teach his son how to ride a bike which he never did. He was taught by my sister. I always had to ask him to get the plumber, the lawn mower and keep reminding. This would go on and on. Then i also learnt he had loaned a friend of his money to pay rent because the friend was struggling..he he he.

    We would go to a supermarket and he would put things into the shopping basket and then when we get to the till he would stand at a distance so i pay.. which i did.

    I paid for holiday trips and he would then go telling friends how i took him on holiday (why was he not embarrassed by this?) I enabled him.

    I stopped serving him food. Why would i buy the food, pay the househelp, the gas and still serve him? At some point i stopped talking to him. I only talked to him about the child. But i was so angry. On the outside… we still were “couple goals”. People always thought we were so good together.

    Things have however changed dramatically…and i’m very happy. I hope it is possible for your marriage to get a turnaround as well.

    What did i do:
    1. I told him i was not paying school fees again as long as he was the man in our house. How do we go picking the child from school with our big cars yet we have fees arrears? I also let him know i knew about him paying school fees for his sister. I told him he could pay schools fees for whoever but only after he sorted out his son’s first.

    2.I told him that i was capable of calling the plumber, the lawn mower (the person not the machine) and all the other things he could do. But he was the man, and where i came from, a man did those things.

    3. I could make my hair, fuel my car, pay for shopping and meet all my financial needs comfortably. But it would make me very happy if he surprised me from time to time. It would make all of us very happy. If i’m not happy he can’t be happy.

    4. I told him i had forgiven him. The ball was in his court. He could choose to change the things i had told him or not. If he did not, we would continue living as co-parents. The only expectation would be for him to continue being a father to his son and pay the mortgage. I will maintain the house and pay all my bills.

    I have a scathing tongue but i was very calm when having this discussion. I was ready for whichever choice he made. I’m happy to say that he chose to change and we are now “couple goals” for real.

    25
  89. Oh dear. This is very sad… I wonder what happened to change him that much…. Hugs to you lady. Keep doing your part. My heart breaks for your kids… They see more than they let on and will either admire him and be like him or despise him for being as he is. Not good either way. All the best!

    1
  90. Am glad today I’ve added a new word to my vocabulary-Walkalators. I’ve always referred to them as “stairs in motion”.

    2
  91. The Farmer was fertile. I see the fertilizer classes/meetings bore fruits. A bumper harvest season-of kids-it was. Hail the rains of marriage and showers of love. Then a storm came and withered all the plants in the garden. Turned the gloomy flowers into weeds that spoilt the decoration. Everything crushed and the fertilizer expired, leaving the gardener disappointed.

    7
  92. Wow…this is a knife right through the heart…. I’m married officially, but I’m also single. We are running a business together, this business of marriage….is this what it comes down to?

    1
  93. Clearly madam wants to be Mrs. X and that’s all because the man has nothing else to offer. Mama, you’re enough. Move out and live your life. The children will grow but don’t show them the bad side of their dad because they can’t change that he’s their dad.
    It’s a hard decision but it can be done.

    2
  94. You know, the more I read on women and marriage, the more I realise what a crappy marriage my mother has endured. I just wanna hug my mom so bad right now

    13
  95. Wow!! true reflection of many homes out here. The mood in the story…..serious resignation!! I feel they both deserve better of what they deserve.

  96. Lets face it, today’s woman is the Man of the house.
    Look at our clubs, the men are wasting away their salaries while the lady at home operates with Fuliza, okolea etc after catering for the big bills. Even worse, she is the one who takes the mortgage as the man drinks his dues even when he earns more.

    4
  97. Biko, we should have “couples and marriages”, this is one piece of one sided story. I don’t think the man changed out of the blues. There is a trigger.

    2
    1. Regardless, he should have taken the lead to address the triggers. the reason communication is key in a marriage. And even so, absconding his duties like school fees for the kids has no justification…

      10
  98. She needs to kick him out of her house and out of her life. That’s a toxic environment right there. Bad for her, bad for the kids. Waiting for him to travel so you can breath?! Why? For what?Wish she waited for her Engineer fiancée. I’m here waiting for my soulmate 5th year now. will invite u Biko as I pick him from jkia soon so u write to tell ppl what a ten year love looks like . What trust faith and hope can do. Thank u.

    3
    1. And rewrite the song, ‘ nilikuwa na mchumba wangu….tulipendana kama nyama choma’
      Hopeful there’ll be no futi nne mjapani in tow

      5
  99. Totally feel you My dear.
    Hang in there for those lovely kids.
    They will turn out just fine…
    But guess who will be full of regrets later in life…..
    Definitely not you!

    1
  100. Laughed my head off at the explanation of the kids. the rest is very heavy. but i say it again and again, if as a woman you stand out to do a man’s job, that is the day he stops doing his job. to change a bulb i can do, to pay school fees on his behalf its a no no no. the children will accompany him to the office until he pays it!

    5
    1. Once upon a time, I was married.
      The dude would do nothing, not even load the electricity token…. If we run out of tokens, we’d stay in darkness till he comes home (sometimes taking even 2weeks..coz he was a philandering man…..I was a housewife…difficult situation there…)
      Then one day, he needed work done… Typing work…which I used to help with (without pay or appreciation)…so I was mid typing… With a tight deadline, even typing the night away as with interruptions in between when my son needed to a feed (he was still breastfeeding in the night).
      So its in the afternoon, the client is breathing down his neck, he’s promising the work would be done and submitted before sunset… He’s 7km away from home and I am typing my fingers away….then tut tut tut…we’ve ran out of tokens and the desktop roars to sleep.

      I call the guy…and he frantically buys tokens and sends me the number.
      Guess my reply when he calls to tell me he’s sent the number?
      ‘Lakini sijui kuload tokens….’

      Na saa hizo, before we married, I was loading my own tokens and I knew he knew I know…..

      If he treats you like a fool, be foolishness itself…..:D

      5
        1. waaiii hahaa,,,be foolishness itself,Imagining the face of terror on the guys’ face on “..sijui kuload token”,,hahaa,I am no longer able to can,,the way people are built so different that goodness and kindness are no longer a standard,,sigh…

          1
  101. “If he does, I’m comforted by the fact that I know what she’s getting and it isn’t much of a man. She’s getting a facade. A tale.”
    Sad. Dude needs to put his shit together.

  102. We show up at family functions together and I serve him food there like a dutiful wife because it makes his parents happy, it makes his mother proud to see her son in a thriving marriage with a dutiful wife. Everybody admires us.

    I can confirm “kwa ground vitu ni different.”

    2
  103. Why does she stay you think? Why do so many? The external fake validation? The disillusioned kids who can see through the faşcade?

    1
  104. “to be the one to step outside and face whatever is threatening what’s inside”…I don’t know why I’ve found comfort in this phrase. Not many men are willing to do that nowadays. Sigh…

  105. “My marriage changed about five years in. It changed because my husband changed. I also changed. We all changed”…… and i dare add that, we all change

  106. The distance slowly sneaks. In my case after the birth of my son, it made more sense to have the bed to herself, (space, frequent feeds etc. Now we are so used to our space i think it would be odd to share a bed. Upside no one steals the covers. Downside no sex in a year.

    I suppose if I was giving advice, don’t enjoy your space too much it becomes hard to let go off later, (for both of you!).

    5
  107. This is a wake up call to us men, we ought to be the leaders in our relationships and marriages. Provide for them, protect them and give them a sense of direction.

    si ndio?

    5
  108. If we are willing to accept it, we really need to learn (and muster the courage) to address the various elephants in our rooms. 

    Ours was some kind of infection (we did not know about it then) that made her pussy stink like a skunk. Sex was neither spontaneous nor enjoyable anymore. She now had to demand for it, and then I would very reluctantly go through the motions, if only to have her appetite satiated. I never broached the subject for fear of offending her and especially for the assumption that she obviously knew about it and was probably doing something about it (I mean, it was so strong you could feel it whenever she came near you). And to the best of my knowledge, it had something to do with her personal hygiene.

    Days went by and nothing changed. It seemed as though she was contented with the situation and this peeved me. I started talking too little and became hot tempered whenever I was around her. I found myself flirting with other women out there. We went our separate ways soon after. 

    God is gracious though, we are now back together, after about three years, stronger than ever. Be that as it may, it is noteworthy that we both brought back with us stuff we did not have before…a child and a disease to top up the baggage.

    That said, this empress should continue to do good and not lose heart while at it. For it is written: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

    The empress also said they are running a business together, the business of marriage, so I googled “simple advice for partnership business owners”. They could check out 7 Tips for a Successful Business Partnership (https://www.businessknowhow.com/startup/partnership-tips.htm). Perhaps something there  could help them keep their business afloat.

    4
  109. Time is constantly proving we are now, the children we were, just in bigger bodies.
    And if we do not constantly reach out to heal traumatic circumstances of our past, our future will have a shadow cast of it all. And as an African country, we think some problems are normal while contrary to it all they form major psychological problems. Which are very hard to self diagnose, especially coz it is very hard to know yourself like that.

    The menace that has been narrated by most women is too common to ignore. But majorly It is too common to not attribute it to the same thing. The need for men to talk more. To express themselves.
    To see professionals so they can unwire what they cannot to their wives and friends.
    Because society has done a number to our men retrogressively. Yet still it has held them up with so many expectations. So where do they draw the line? Where are they safe just being?

    1
  110. What sticks out to me with this story is not even the changing. After the marriage series by Biko I have accepted that I will change, he will change , the marriage will change and there is no escape. What sticks out is how people now give up, maybe at the first sight of inconvenience?. Things will happen! Life happens. But what happened to fighting for marriage if you believe in it? Try, try and try harder. Don’t just operate on neutral as woman or give up your man card as a man. It won’t get any better that way me thinks. But what do we know anyway…..Winter is coming!

  111. For a long time the picture of an African woman would always include a big load on her head and children tagging her skirt. That picture has not changed much, just that now she spots a manicure and the load is no longer visible. We lie to women that it is their responsibility to keep households together. We lie to women that it is their responsibility to cover their husband’s nakedness. We tell them a dutiful wife is one who never answers back her husband and who continually sacrifices her happiness and her dreams for the good of the family. This story represents a lot of marriages. Husbands who are married bachelors and whose worth can only be measured by how much they spend in the bar.

    12
  112. Love the fact that you wrote this story in her voice. For me, they make the blogs so much better. This is the best post yet.

    1
  113. I look around and most marriages tend to end up that line of loosing that companionship …although the man does not neglect their duties…the absurrdness of life!

  114. And so my expectations of men have always been pegged on that; their ability to be men, to be the one to step outside and face whatever is threatening what’s inside…..love this picture of a man! But hate how it’s fast fading from our Kenyan society going by stories all around us. May you find happiness as defined by you, mama.

    2
  115. 1.
    “My marriage changed about five years in.” I’m interested to know how many kids they had by then. My guess is 5! 5 kids in 5 years.

    2.
    ” “Hold on a second, I think we have had enough.”

    We?

    So I added two more. ”
    Useless opinion but shouldn’t they have stopped at 3 kids? They?

    To summarize maybe our “irresponsible” brother was forced to sire more kids than he wished just because our selfish sister wanted to compensate for something her husband had no hand in. Maybe (again) if you asked him, it’s her kids not his.

    3
  116. These two; “We hardly fight because fighting would mean someone cares enough to fight” and “I’m single, even though I’m married” really hit home. Marriage sometimes gets tiring and you just make an effort to be comfortable; a day at a time.

    Good thing is at least they are intimate, even if its irregular . When that goes you are just roommates co-parenting.

  117. This is so sad. A father that doesn’t fully understand what comes with that title. The first father is our Father in Heaven. The same one that gives rain to all regardless of our actions.

    1
  118. Sounds like an analogy of ‘the walking dead’ to me… save for 2nd and 3rd chances, whoever said only a widow knows where her husband is, might have been their neighbor

    2
  119. Biko you have no idea how many women are taking care of men and these men floss out there like they are chipping but they aint doing nothing. I was one of those women…nowadays I would rather stay single then stay with a man who doesn’t bother to chip in at all. I don’t think I even need a man in my life…a dildo would suffice!! Men should step up period and as women we should stop enabling them otherwise they continue been wussies!! Ni hayo kwa sasa

    4
  120. Please teach your son to be a gentleman,he is not losing out on anything from that man.This generation of chauvinistic men is as a result of being raised by the same kind of men.My husband was brought up by a single mom and is an amazing provider and one of the most amazing Dad’s I have ever met.

    4
  121. The pretence level in marriages is so alarming. The last sentence really got me but the truth is we should never settle for less than what we deserve

    2
  122. Sad state of affairs, but such a glaring reality lately. “Cover your man” is what we’ve been constantly reminded to do but to what end? So so many are stepping up, but there’s this other group. Sitting back, oblivious of who they need to be; what they need to do for their families. & this goes way beyond monetary… Just sad.

    2
  123. This both saddens and scares me! But she needs to get herself out of that toxic situation before it destroys her. Such situations poison you slowly and by the time you realize, the damage is already done! All the best to her

    1
  124. The thought of ending up in such a marriage scares the hell out of me. I always say that I’d leave but I also think that I can’t be sure of that until I find myself in such a situation. I know she has thought of leaving countless times, I wonder what’s stopping her?
    I would love to know what comes to her mind whenever she thinks of quiting this business called marriage.

    1
  125. Happy International Men’s Day for men who have or create time to show their sons how to be men… It can never be delegated…

    3
  126. Oh this is a sad story… Wow..all this yet people outside cannot detect anything wrong.. you’ve mastered the art of covering his nakedness Mum.. not sure if that’s good or bad ..but .. all I know is that it takes a very strong woman to hold that weight! Keep your head up Mum of 5!! All will be well..

    2
  127. Got stuck at sounds like elephant masturbating for a while……… This one is so close to home similar to what my sister in law is going through with my brother difference is they’ve been together longer and at times her brother pay for their kids school fees and bails her out when she is stranded yet out my bro doesn’t allow his friends to pay for their drinks

    1
  128. Long post alert!!
    There is such a thing about a one sided story..and one should always be circumspect with such a narrative..so take my one sided response with a great degree of objectivity.
    To the Gentleman here..while you may feel that your woman is capable of meeting the school fees expense (it seems you’re both capable..She alludes to him taking care of the big bills…) at least meet her half way…and split the bills…re-adjust your big bills. It’s a fair assumption that they both earn well / make good earnings..there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t meet in the middle. Things are different today..when you have both husband and wife earning almost equally, each should contribute relative to their capacity.
    Today’s working wife cannot surely expect the husband to foot all bills + major investments- same way she does not cook meals, clean or maintain the household..she outsources because she has an income and her time is better spent making a living..but if you cannot outsource being a woman to your husband. Women and Men are different and we play different roles..and cannot be equal. Men cannot give birth or nurture children the same way a woman can.
    Truth is, a man’s psyche is inherently biased to take care of a woman. And to be listened to (which by the way is different from agreeing with him). When he senses that she does not need him, does not listen to him..and can take care of herself anyway (and there’s nothing wrong with that)..he will wander off to find the next thing to take care off…work, extended family, career, friends, his ego..the list is endless. This guy wanted to stop at three children but She decided she wanted more..I wonder if She took his opinion seriously here..and in a lot other things too.
    Today’s society has produced a woman that’s more than able to access the same or better earning opportunities as men…that dynamic means that men will need to re-adjust to the new reality..and it will take time..just like it took to change attitudes about women’s rights, to put in place the affirmative action that followed and to see the results. In the meanwhile, these conflicts will persist. FACT.
    Maybe in the new reality, Women and Men need not be shackled together permanently in marriage..it’s already a phenomenon in the Western world and its inevitable here. Women and Men do not need each other in ways of days gone past. The man is no longer the provider and the woman is no longer limited to nurturing. The traditional family is a thing of the past..go ask the empty towns in Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal that are now paying immigrants to live there (of course the mainstream media doesn’t tell this story).
    The relationship between men and women continues to evolve and new ground rules are needed here.
    While Fathers of past generations played their role in providing, they were rarely at home..i for once (and none of my friends , relatives and acquaintances) remember playing with their Dad’s: that guy only came in to discipline, to dish out hard labor and to give you a cheque for fees and make sure you went to school. .FACT.( And also to slaughter goats and give speeches at functions.) I hear no complaints about how they were not present.
    So, i beseech the men..provide to the best of your abilities, share the load equitably (after all we are all striving for equity and not equality) You will be judged harshly if you allocate your spending to exclude children’s upkeep…even if you pay the mortgage and other big bills!
    Ladies, you cannot have your cake and eat it..if you’re already outsourcing domestic duties & responsibilities, do not let your money stop working for you at that level but play your share in the bigger burdens too..without losing your femininity..do not outsource affirming that man. Seduce him once in a while..Men want to know that their Queen wants them and thinks the world of them..it just how we are. That inspires us to embrace you and love you truly…and to want to take care of you. Do not play for the gallery…serve him at family functions to keep up the facade..really? it matters more to the man how you relate when no one is watching.
    Women can thankfully access the same or better income generating opportunities. Men have unfortunately not acquired the distinguishing abilities that women had as their preserve for the longest time. You can provide too but please do not forget you’re the glue that holds the family unit together.
    And you can tell the Emperor that he’s naked.

    10
    1. I like your way of thinking…In this case, I believe the critical empress had a major role to play in converting a man who cared about his children to someone who literally did not give a ‘fact’….

      1
  129. This is too painful. Women we are failing by taking men’s roles that first time. Dont!!! Let the children be sent home from school and nag their father for school fees and other basics. Let them sleep hungry because he didn’t buy food if that’s his duty. The minute you carry out his duties; he hands you the mantra. You show him that you can do it better than him. Let the emperor stay naked and dont cover him up coz you will be living a lie which is worse than being a lie!!!

    3
  130. The question that begs in my mind is “what if?” What if she had waited just a little longer for her US guy? But then again, if wishes were horses…..
    May happiness find you.

  131. ….but I could never show them how to be a man. it’s not easy for any man who was raised by a woman. I really appreciate how she recognizes the essence of a father responsibility.

    I am a victim of absent father. It’s hard for me when people say “ be a man “. A man that had a woman as a role model.

    Men please play your role .

    2
  132. “I care even less whether or not he has a girlfriend out there. If he does, I’m comforted by the fact that I know what she’s getting and it isn’t much of a man. She’s getting a facade. A tale. “

    A facade is what a lot of women are getting out there. A facade.

    8
  133. ‪Don’t let the fear of being alone keep you in a relationship you don’t belong in.‬
    Get out. Don’t stick around like the previous lady who wasted 20 whole years. 20 years. After all you’re already doing everything by yourself while he’s entertaining his friends with whiskey.

    8
  134. Aaah Biko! My goodness! I’m sad! Yet again! Because I can relate. I read this story with my heart in my throat. It’s not as easy to walk out of a marriage. And there is nothing you can do to a man who has chosen to be elsewhere emotionally.You can cry rivers, talk his ear off and bend backwards naked and it still wouldn’t move him.It is his choice. Unfortunately it is her choice also to stay,until the day she gets tired of being single in a loveless marriage. It is true that no one can make a woman leave a man other than her self. One day she will wake up and realize he isn’t going to change! until then she will continue being the man, and he will continue being the guy that chucks 75k for botiz!

    4
  135. This is good. Really good. It sheds light on why family will always be the defining unit of greatness..being a real husband and father to the kinds and wife doing the checks and balances..I love it.

    2
  136. Elephant masturbating

    I know she is wondering what happened, what changed, what did she do wrong… and when. And she might not even know and at the end she might be forced, by the situation- looking for her happiness, to do what Rosa did:

    *Rosa* watched his sleeping form beside her, how peaceful he looked now, unmarred by the demons that haunted him in his waking hours. And she wished that he could stay asleep forever. At least he would be at peace that way. Supporting herself on her elbow, she lightly traced a finger down her husband’s face, taking great caution not to actually touch him. She could see the now many scars that adorned his handsome face, feeling ashamed because some of those scars were from her nails. Cephas groaned in his sleep as he turned and Rosa almost fell off the bed as she scrambled back into her side, sn…#More>>https://www.sawalife.com/rosa/

  137. I just got tired !
    Is she expecting to live like this till the kids leave or forever!?
    She must decide when it is enough!
    For now, we sympathize .

    1
  138. This is the second time am reading this heartbreaking story, I I have been having this disturbing voice in my head asking whether we still have men to cereblate in men’s international day, I think we should celebrate women twice more than we already do.
    Where did men go, men who never shrugged off their manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair???

    2
  139. This man is no emperor. He is a fake, frayed coat (although I do think not stopping at number three may have worn out his inner coat)! But letting the woman of the house bear most of the load? That 75 K whiskey bit broke my heart.

    5
  140. Wow!

    Is there any point in these series where something positive is said about men?

    Is it that men are generally just terrible and disgusting beings, or is it that satisfying women is just an impossible task?

    Either way…to all men, Happy International Men’s day.

  141. This is a challenge to every other guy, can we step up and keep it up? Keeping up is what makes your stepping up count. Don’t slack off. And wives please remind Us if ever we forget.

    1
  142. It breaks my heart when I come across such tales of Men hanging their manhood on a chair’s arm.

    And what worries me is how those three sons will learn about being a man seeing that the one expected to lead the way is absent.

    We can do better as men.

  143. no one has sat the king down to ask what the problem is. if everthing is okay but on condemning the king on his failures a story is written. maybe he is depressed that we do not know. let him count as a statistic…Good read though..

    2
  144. I’ve never really liked the phrase “men will do anything if they like you” because not only is it false, it is often always used to shame women when mistreated in turn absolving men. It is also often a direct attack on a woman’s “worth” as determined by men.
    This man is not uplifting you in any way. Men slow down good women. Don’t allow it.

    1
  145. I relate with this so well. Only difference, I decided enough was enough and walked out. I am a mother of boys, and what I’ve done is to have a male figure around them showing them how to be great men. I wish her all the best. I know it’s not easy

  146. That, only a man can do and the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood like it’s an old coat you can just remove and hang on the arm of a chair…..

  147. It’s sad that this is the story of my om’s life…As a woman she tried so hard to cover him up but sure enough when children grow up,they see their father for who he is.

    1
  148. Very sad state of affairs in this marriage. Even so, there are still some men out here who value and cling to their manhood and the responsibilities that come with the title. This was quiet an eye opener to appreciate such good men more.

    1
  149. I have been married for 10 years…and believe me I know every story has 2 sides.Before you crucify the Naked Emperor,..I have learnt that removing weeds in your marriage garden requires both partners getting their hands dirty to protect their crop..Marriage is no fancy fairytale. I smell some resentment due to constant critism by the empress towards the emperor at one point in the marriage that literally changed the relationship….Watch ‘The Affair’ on Netflix..and you will get the picture..

    4
  150. And you are still standing! I am proud of you. The biggest pain in Marriage is right in this story, leaving is a very personal decision and the day it hits!! You will feel jerk!! A partner who drains you with their behavior and making your life stop that the word pain cannot suffice the feeling.

    1
  151. Great read, the world we live in is very crazy, I can’t understand it at all, you get the best today and tomorrow you don’t any audacity to show respect and love, and then again looking for “the best” and the cycle continues until you have nothing left in your life, your health, energy, wealth, family and of course your manpower (manhood power)

  152. Society don’t like it when married men are held accountable for wrecking their own marriages and it’s extremely ridiculous. I place him in the same dustbin with men who have children and walk away thinking they are punishing the woman, and damaging the children while at it.

    10
  153. A relationship that leaves you feeling drained is not worth spending an additional minute in. Get out and raise your children in a healthy environment before he brings a disease home.

    12
  154. Wow! This is so heartfelt and the reality that most women are living out here. This has to be shared with a few women I know. Thanks Biko, this resonates with a lot of “us”.

    1
  155. I’m glad my dad, even though he sorta limps when he walks, ensured we knew how to ride bikes.
    He pulled, still pulls the weight. God preserve him because I know how much I need to do to honor him.

    I dunno what to feel for her; I’m so conflicted. She is so dutiful. Her ceremonial husband has failed. He has but, he can turn things around. I hope he comes to and wears his shoes. I feel like God should send him a reality check and jolt him back to his former self.

    *sigh*

    6
  156. “We hardly fight because fighting would mean someone cares enough to fight”
    Give thanks if you are lucky enough to have those spouse fights. The day they stop could mean someone gave up on you.
    Good piece Biko. Write on!

    1
  157. This man reminds me vividly of an old friend of mine who thrives in chaos and lacks intelligence understanding. A while ago as we were sending off one of our close friend, he disrespectively sat during the funeral service on his phone, let’s all assume here that he was replying to his emails. I always say the true colour of people come out at the strangest time. This lady is killing herself slowly.

    5
  158. Am married officially,but am also single.we are in the business together ,this business of marriage . That sounds so familiar in so many households

    1
  159. I see two people who need to Up!

    Man up!

    Woman up!

    And unfortunately when she woman up’s, she will up and go. It’s horrible to have to clean the diapers of a whole grown man. Coz this is what she is doing, effectively.

    Our socialization is a bit wanting and contributes to these abusive and dead marriages that must be dragged on and on. To keep appearances.

    However, seeing that this is how most modern homes look like, girl fight on day by day and do what needs to be done. Kids grow in a flash. Then you can have more fresh air as you begin to live life on your own terms.

  160. I rarely comment on such articles I just read but this one hit dead center in my heart…. why do the dedicated always lands the ones who are wolves in sheep’s skin? am somehow living such or on the verge of slipping in to it and unfortunately i cant change it cos the other person is still hang on to their past in guise of pent up anger that flares out immediately she is cornered…. May God have mercy on us all but trust you me, Marriage is not a destination but a really rough and narrow path journey….. I wish well for this lady and may God opens her ways for the suffering to stop….

    1
  161. Every day I get to see the World through the Stories You tell…
    Reading your Stories through People You meet give me another Eye to see the World from Turkana.
    Thanks, Biko for Writing about these Stories….it makes me Understand Life from another Angle.

    2
  162. Awah! may Good God , give me a man we connect in three things:
    1. Spirit
    2. Soul
    3. Body
    which make prefect match. . ..

    thanks Biko …

    1
  163. This is the worst place to be. You have a partner yet you don’t have a partner…aaargh! Better when you’re single you know you’re alone and you don’t expect anyone to do anything for you. It’s much lonelier when you have someone that’s not catering to your needs and the needs of the home than when alone. And the kids have already started noticing he’s not pulling his weight. If that doesn’t awaken him I don’t know what will.

  164. Divorce his sorry ass and sue him for child upkeep. Spending 75k on his idiotic friends is a direct ticket to divorce….
    PS: Get yourself a fun loving 3oyear old have the time of your life.

    6
  165. The truth always has a way of revealing itself, even when you don’t actively go looking for it. I hope when it does it will eventually set you free.

    9
  166. “It’s how he’d wake up and not say good morning. Always say good morning to your wives, guys. You are not waking up next to a stuffed teddy bear. If you forget to say good morning today, you will not remember tomorrow and before you know it, it will be a year where you just get out of bed like it’s boarding school all over again.” That’s when it starts to rain

  167. This is very familiar……many women stay put in the fear of what the society will say……..if he is not playing his part especially with the children and bills yet he is able financially then you mamaa and your children are not his priority.
    You and your kids can have more peace without him until he realizes that he is actually naked. Stop covering the Emperor’s nakedness, let him walk naked in the streets and we shall all see…..sad

    2
  168. So many lines hit me so hard in this one. “We hardly fight because fighting would mean someone cares enough to fight.” and “That, only a man can do and the man I chose has shrugged off his manhood”. She chose this man for herself. Out of her own will. Chose him to be the one she’d wake to for the rest of her life. Chose him to be the father of her children. Walked down that aisle with so much hope for what lay ahead. Everyone wants the best for themselves and I’m pretty sure she knew he was her best choice and yet…What’s more scary is that nothing dramatic happened causing them to drift apart. They just did. Isn’t love more than just the emotions but the intent and will to love? Why did they just give up? I’d really like to know what’s keeping her in her marriage.

  169. This is the sad state of many marriages today and it applies across the board even to the point of involving men of the cloth. I really don’t know what is happening and neither do the men who are involved. God have mercy on us.

    3
  170. The troubles in that woman’s marriage, or rather her struggle is an evidently uncaring and unconcerned husband aren’t any different from what other married women are going through. Many married men long abdicated their duties and wives are painstakingly taking charge. What is happening to my fellow men? Has somebody jinxed us!

  171. I used to do things because of the people i love,family. Nobody dared do anything in return to make me happy. Doesn’t seem like it,but you need ‘happiness’ .

  172. You have options.
    Staying shows your children they can take crap.
    It tells your boys it’s okay to be mediocre.
    Maybe it’s time to think about yourself and your children only. Not about what people think!
    You are enabling his behaviour and it will not change. After all, you’ve picked up after him and even saved his face among your relatives and his.
    Please see a counsellor. It will help you see your issue more clearly and from the outside.

    3
  173. Manhood can be shrugged off like an old coat… How I pity these boys who’s only example of manhood is this. Women raising children know this. A sad state of affairs..

  174. Women, I do hope you find the strength to walk away from any lover who only chooses to see half in you, because they can’t handle all of you. you deserve love that doesn’t pick and choose when you should be considered worthy.
    Incase you’re not sure here is a list of traits of these type of men:
    1. Irresponsible
    2. Habitual liar
    3. Habitual cheater
    4. Irritable
    5. Mistreats
    6. User
    7. Narcissistic
    8. Chooses when to be good to you
    9. Treats you like a yo-yo

    9
  175. Seasons of loneliness don’t come to punish you, but to beautifully transform in you. Trust the solitude. Women would rather be in a toxic relationship than be alone. Stop it. Love yourself enough to know that you’re worth much more than mediocre love.

    8
  176. With each waking day the dynamics of being in a marriage changes and somehow one doesn’t fancy being in one anymore. They slowly turning to be prisons.

  177. I have observed in a number of occasions that when you don’t settle down with your first option (at heart, the one you love), that marriage has an 80% chance of failing. The lady loved the guy in the US, she couldn’t wait so she settled down with the next available option. The dutiful relations as a wife becomes a facade to cover the fact that at heart, she is comparing him with the love of her life n her father. The man on the other hand, also from his settling with his next available option falls out so hard that whiskey seems to be a better option than his kids. My take is people should marry for love n avoid societal pressure, if not, have the courage to get into a behavioral agreement that binds their relationship (only the two can decide what it looks like). No relationship is an exact replica of another so it’s not a men vs women thing it’s basically a decision made for the general good of the two involved heart n mind in tow..
    Pardon my disjointed prose.

    3
  178. So relatable that the story cut too deep, conjuring up emotions of a past. A year ago, I would be in tears; today it’s a life blessing.
    Love it!

  179. Waar!! I feel bad for this lady! It might or might not be a one sided story but there is something that doesn’t change! This man has completely given up on being a father, we understand marriages die down but there is no excuse to being a non father figure to your kids! and you wonder why the rate of single mother hood has gone up in Kenya? Am 26 and considering how i have seen marriages are, i am not planning on getting married! Kids yes but NO to marriage.

    Men no longer provide, they no longer think of the future, they want instant gratification, there is cheating, violence, jealousy , there is no love, no partnership. So why should i get married ?

    Its even more sad that the younger generation is worse in terms of handling their responsibilities. It is the generation the “rangi ya thao” and “sportpesa” generation! WE ARE DOOMED! On the flip side, we have options outside Kenya!

    3
  180. This is exactly my growing up, a funny father in my eyes nwai my brothers got affected in a way but we girls are aggressive in life in a way.

  181. After two days I get to finally finish reading this. Never saw this coming. This is the marriage reality of alot of wives. Men who are so selfish or lazy that she does everything for the kids. I wonder why they choose to stay married.
    Biko, can you share a marriage that has worked from the woman’s perspective. In all honesty I dont think i am missing out on anything.

  182. Lord help me to not only make more than enough money to sustain my family when I marry but also to be the kind of man who steps out of the house and handle the shit that’s threatening my family because I really want to be that kind of man.

    2
  183. Sadly a lot of heterosexual women are used to giving 110% when it comes to love, while receiving a fraction back. So when women like this date men who prioritise them and treat them like queens, it can be a shock to the system. Get the hell out.

    6
  184. Stores like these just makes me cherish & adore my single hood. I can’t even start to imagine how it would feel to just stick it out with someone while parts of me are slowly decaying and dying. I feel for these two!

  185. It is dead. Walk away. Don’t waste the young and lovely moments of your life wondering. Walk and be free and you will have done your kids a favour. you are already a super mum. Free Yourself, who knows what the future holds…Good Luck

  186. That’s what my mum has done for us for the last 9 years. She always picked our calls, even when it’s 2 am and you in the hospital E.R.

  187. Another story of a woman enabling a capable man to be mediocre.
    News flash – your sons will most likely turn out like their father.
    Your daughter’s will most likely be attracted to and end up with men like their father.
    Uamuzi ni wako.

    2
    1. Spool true @Gathoni, boys become their fathers. Dads with bad behaviour, sons with bad behaviour. And how he’s treating someone’s daughter is how his daughters will be treated by men.

      5
  188. this is the third time am hearing of a man who neglected his family because he wanted children but not so many of them. whats happened to men? our grandparents used to raise more than 10. i hope she finds happiness

  189. Having grown in such a family, I would never want my kids to experience an absent father. It has so much effect even on a girl’s dating life. You notice a drop of your dad’s character in a man doesn’t matter how amazing he is, it is a total turn off.
    And you end up cooling your ovaries as you pray and wait.
    I cry for my babies, yes i Do!

  190. Truly heartbreaking….. if you loose interest in your partner at least be there for your kids..thank God for the mother..I love that she aspired to have many kids…i want many kids too haha

    2
  191. She might call you for Part 2 of this; it might be messy n noisy coupled with those lunch hr n after work cheating moments in downtown hotels. Marriage becoming very predictable nowadays…. May b the farmer will come into the picture again.

  192. She might call you for Part 2 of this; it might be messy n noisy coupled with those lunch hr n after work cheating moments in downtown hotels. Marriage becoming very predictable nowadays…

  193. If you are doing everything, leave what is holding back? He won’t even look at You have your own money, your beautiful but here is this pepo of a man anakutharau. Then ask God for forgiveness for betraying your fiancée because the sins and hurt you commit come back full circle.Have you heard of the saying whatever you are going through it’s your fault… It’s not only you muko wengi women that mashetani wana zalisha only to be left single na watoto.
    Ladies don’t rush to get married or sex before serious praying and fasting for God to guide you and reveal the man’s true nature to you. There are many wolves walking around looking for lives to destroy.
    *Acknowledge God in all your ways and He will direct your Path.
    Ps. Please buy yourselves and children copies of Students Companion all this wou not have happened if she knew the meaning of the proverb.

  194. Biko, this is really sad, but almost exactly what is happening in my life. I am 7 months pregnant, and what i wish right now is for my husband to die. He keeps drinking with his brothers and a lot of the time they will drink up to 30k worth of alcohol at once. So one day he comes home late (he has been doing this for some time now) and i decide what the hell let’s see what this man has been up to.

    So i go to his watsapp, his texts, his photos. Long story short- he is fucking some chich from the University of Nairobi in that hostel called box – i was in KU. Yaani a guy walks out of home daily in a suit and finds himself in box with a campus chic in a hostel? wow – okay. I Next is one chic from the barbers. So i wonder eish kwani how may are they? so the exact same way he has saved the first chic there are like 11 others saved that way. I have been wondering- is my husband a prostitute? ( i think he is). His brother in the village sleeps with widows- or so i hear, his wife lives far away and he does not provide. And ooh guess what i saw in the photos- his other brother has a side chic who is pregnant- yes they have a watspp group these bros and pics are posted there. The nerve!

    So yesterday he comes home in the morning and says ooh i have been working ooh nyef! yes i have known for the past 2 months he is cheating and i hate him for it. I go through his phone quickly coz he is drunk and just gets to bed and lo and behold, a 3rd chic he was with yesterday night. I do not know what has become of men but i am planning my exit, meanwhile, is it wrong for me to pray that he gets hit by a car or chokes on his alcohol or gets paralyzed or dies? That is the only justice i wish for the father of my children, a man who does not provide, a man who abuses me emotionally daily. I am tired, and yes, i wish him death.

    3
    1. This husband has the moral compass of an amoeba. He is exposing you to diseases at the least. Wishing him death doesn’t help anyone since you’re still having kids with him.

      6
    2. While I sympathize with you for all that you have been through, wishing ill (death, paralysis, or whatever else) will not take away the torment you’ve been through. Neither will it reverse all those wrong doings. I’ve been where you are and I know too well how it feels. But trust me gal, just let go and walk away. He’ll eventually screw himself over and over and if its any consolation, men go from bad to worse to worst after separation/divorce(if my case is anything to go by).

      Pick up the pieces and heal. The rest shall work out well swery. And I hope God shall give you a front row seat to witness his misery.

  195. A one-sided kind of a story. For a marriage to work and thrive it’s a two way traffic and so is it when the marriage dies. To me the woman has given us a front page story leaving so many deep details.to us she’s the hero because she has given us a clean side of herself. she has not personified the husband hence we are left to demonize him. Not fair. Am sure before everything went south for them there was a turning point, a transition. What changed? I need more!

    2
  196. We men go through a lot to take care of our families but we don’t show it nor do we shout about it. But when it comes to a woman’s turn to do all we did, they think we are lazy or aloof. Sometimes it takes for us to sit back and watch how women handle things around. Not that we neglect the family, but we also need a break to hold our shit together after long years of sacrifice for families……so ladies, that’s exactly how we feel when you sit around and we do all. After all we are also humans

    2
  197. This is sad to say the least but a common occurrence and norm in most marriages today.

    Women mostly do this to protect their children. We say she is an enabler, what would we rather her do? Not pay fees and let her children stay home? Not buy food and let them die of hunger??

    Hats off for this beautiful lady for her courage and perseverance. Despite all; she has kept her dignity. I know a couple of women doing the same. God is watching my lady, all shall be well.

  198. I pray that you never become so familiar with pain, that you reject anything good that tries to find you. Get out before you loose yourself in this mess.

    3
  199. The one thing that our advisers fail to tell us is that a marriage grows stale with time, especially after the children come. Sometimes men grow cold, sometimes women grow cold, but we must be taught to keep trying. Nobody teaches us how to persevere, how to try, we just walk into it, knowing that the fire will always burn.

    But it does not. It is very easy for a man to feel alone. Just one mistake and everything goes cold. Nobody advises us anymore, nobody reminds us that just one missed step and the man is lost. What happened to our parents? What happened to their parents? Where are the elders that we visited, the elders who brought a flame into our marriages with a small joke here and there?

    3
  200. I concede that men have failed the society. Ghastly.

    Certainly, we have abandoned our duties and resorted to trot in drinking dens and spend a fortune on debauchery at the expense of our family and/or loved ones.

    It is high time that we change our ways. Needless to say, our fathers and fore-fathers were “wakoloni’ but never neglected their manly duties.

    I pray to God that we morph for the greater good.

  201. I wish Biko would interview a man who wakes up one day and chooses to completely ignore his duties as a father and husband but can gladly blow 75k in a bar. Just a genuine explanation. Cuz that behavior baffles me! I’m sure even the devil says ‘ nope, that ain’t me’

    3
  202. This story is heart breaking. And it could be redressed before the mighty crash. I can’t help but agree with those who are saying this is becoming too common. Three reasons why.. #1. Ignorance #2, Ignorance and #3 Ignorance. I would suggest that this man goes for the’man enough program at Chapel/All Saints/ICC.

    Friends, many have not been taught us to be men the way God fashioned us to be. You are male naturally but man by design. A real man is a king, a warrior, a mentor, and a friend. A real man takes initiative, lives responsibly, leads sacrificially, loves faithfully and lives a legacy!

  203. is this marriage,are things this hard?but how do you take such amount and drink whisky yet you cant even pay your children’s fee nor rent? i am tired for “marriage” i think you are married for yourself

  204. i know men who have stepped up due to being shamed. let everyone whose opinion he values know hes slacking at being a father. you have enabled his behavior by shielding him. embarass him a little

    1
  205. Great read. I would really be interested in hearing this story from the guys perspective. It takes great effort to neglect a wife and 5 kids..

  206. Hi Biko, and then? Whats her plan, whats her future. Kwani umeanza suspense?

    Ask her for part 2 of this☺️
    And also, tell her to follow her heart, leave her life and have more peace. Ask her also to collect child support .

  207. ”I have become the wife who covers the emperor’s nakedness“
    Sadly many women are covering their emperors’ nakedness. It breaks and shatters them to a point when they completely lose themselves. You need to run for your life and your children‘s. Run before you do something you may regret more than the way you probably regret marrying your Emperor. You deserve to be happy.