Teresa Wanza, a woman from Kenya, has described how learning that her husband had secretly wed another woman caused her to become unhappy and suicidal.
“We fell in love after meeting on campus. I had already become a mother by the time I was graduating. Afterwards, we got married and moved in together,” she told Standard Media.
“With a promising future ahead of us, we put in a lot of effort to accomplish our objectives. We moved from the Kawangare slum, where we were living in a shanty mabati house, to a gated estate as a result of my husband obtaining a decent position in one of the government institutions. Not only that, but my husband underwent a transformation once we were able to purchase a few cars.
“By the time we were moving houses, my hubby and I had agreed that I would stay home to look after the baby until a later age so this meant that I had to leave my job until she was enrolled in school.
Speaking further, she said; “I don’t know if it was money or my husband had concealed his character while we were struggling. The moment money checked in, he drastically changed. The man who used to come home early would come back past midnight and drunk,”
Theresa said she tried to find out what the problem was.
“I tried as much as I could but there was absolutely no concrete reason,” she said.
“In that process of on and off, I one day overheard him making an inquiry on the phone about a CT scan or ultrasound. At the time I wasn’t pregnant or planning to be. So I got curious and wanted to know for whom the scan was being organised.
“I tried snooping in his phone but I got caught and received an unforgettable slap. That didn’t deter me, I went ahead and started making inquiries from his close friends and relatives but no one could open up and tell me what I wanted to know, I just got scanty information. So with less evidence to tie him down, I decided to keep on inquiring.
“Luckily for me, he organised a come-together bash for family and friends in our house. During the event, one of his friends’ girlfriends asked how comfortable I was with a co-wife. I got curious about her question and I wanted to get a clear line.
“ When I asked her to expound, she just brushed me off and told me to inquire from her relative. Eager to get the details, I approached her cousin and he confirmed.”
“I was furious! When I confronted him, surprisingly he didn’t deny it. we escalated the matter to his parents and surprisingly his parents firmly told me that polygamy is allowed in their community and if I felt uncomfortable, I was free to walk away and let those who are ready step in. At the meeting, he also brought another woman whom he introduced as his third wife.
“I felt like the world had fallen on me. I couldn’t even contemplate anything other than separation. Immediately we returned from the village, I picked a few of my items and called it quits.
“Starting from scratch wasn’t that easy. I sank into depression, which almost cut short my life. I tried to commit suicide thrice before I was rescued and taken to a counsellor,”
She said it took her almost a year to recover.
“I think almost a year. I really struggled to move on, especially when I reflected on the hurdles we faced before succeeding. But I thank God I’m now okay and able to share without feeling hurt.
Theresa advised other women to put their mental health first in any relationship.
“Your mental health is important, never kill yourself or get mentally unstable just because of love. If you feel like things are not working out completely just walk away. There are many people who will love you unconditionally. Personally, I moved on and I’m happy with my current relationship.” she added.