When his wife moved out of their home, John Mokaya, 34 was worse than a train wreck. He was longing for attention and affection. What began as an innocent friendship grew into something more, with his colleague, Josephine. “I guess she made me feel alive again,” the father of three says. Soon, and barely a week after the wife left, she moved in with him.
Six months later, he wanted his family back. “The grass wasn’t greener on the other side, “ he says. Mokaya realised that the wife played a more important role in his life than he ever thought. After talks with both families, they were back together, the problem is Josephine was already pregnant. Onetime, she bombarded him in his office with his baby.
“From then on, I began supporting her knowing too well what she’s capable of and as they say, the rest is history,” he says. Mokaya’s mother and child sister are the only ones in the know about this other child.
He’s not planning to reveal the same to his wife. “Not in a million years. It would really hurt her to know that I betrayed her, I don’t think my marriage would survive this.”
Another, Joel Mutuma, confessed through a pseudo account in social media about his relationship with an older woman. The accomplished businesswoman takes good care of his needs in exchange for a discreet intimate relationship. She’s married and has an image to protect.
As well, Mutuma is a ‘happily married’ man with two children, but he’s jobless. “My family, leaves, eats, drinks, drives and enjoys the money the woman gives me,” he says. The wife has no clue of what and where the money comes from. According to her, the husband is an accountant at a local bank.
Currently, Mutuma is planning to ask his sponsor to help him start a business, so he doesn’t have to depend fully on what she gives. Then will he be able to lose her and concentrate on his family? How true this is, only Mutuma knows. For his wife, the “accountant” lie has been working so far, she doesn’t need any truth now or later.
So could keeping secrets or lying really save a marriage? Sociologist and relationship coach, Sammy Baya says “yes.” “I think so because it is not the lies or secrets that break a marriage, its the truth,” he says. “People find it hard to handle the truth and this is where the problem lies,” he says. This, according to him, maybe sound advice in some situations and marriages.
“If your marriage is only based on romance and intimacy, then this is good advice for you. But if it goes beyond that, if it’s built on friendship, then honesty and openness is the foundation and lies and secrets will only spell doom for you,” he says.
He paints a scenario when one of his clients had a dilemma whether to reveal or keep secret the fact that he was gay. “The first question I asked was whether he loves his family or the other side.
He chose family, and with that, however, much I hate to say it, it was better cheating on the other side than messing up the main side,” he says. “There are so many ways secrets and lies that might save a marriage, but truthfully, it’s not always the best path to follow,” he adds.
Marriage counsellor Syaviha Mulengya thinks otherwise. “No matter how you define your marriage, lying or keeping secrets is a no-go zone,” he says. Secrets or lies will always catch up with you and when it does, the result will be two-fold worse than if you were honest. It’s not always easy, to be honest, and open with your spouse, but avoid lies and secrets in marriage at all costs,” he says.