Recently, a university employee admitted in an interview with Parent magazine that her daughter snatched her husband.
“I share the circumstances under which my marriage split up hoping it will inspire someone to start her own journey to forgiveness and restoration, as opposed to bitterness, anger and death,” she says.
In 2006, while working as a teacher and counsellor in a local high school, Mercy met an orphan girl. She took her home and adopted the girl who was three years older than Mercy’s first born.
Mercy says the girl bonded very well with her family and her problems began when she had to resign from her job to recover from an accident that left her with multiple fractures.
“I enrolled for an undergraduate degree in education in Meru. I would be away from home sometimes up to three weeks or longer at a time because of my studies.
It was while travelling back from one of these trips in 2008, just after my daughter had finished high school, that I received a phone call from one of my neighbours. She told me, ‘Just know that girl you are living with is not your daughter but your co-wife. I was shocked.”
Mercy says she decided to investigate and discovered clandestine correspondence between them.
“In anger, I confronted them and to my shock, my husband blamed me for the affair, saying I had brought the girl to him,” says Mercy. She has since forgiven them.
Not surprisingly, cases of older women snatching husbands from their daughters, or daughters snatching men from their mothers are hardly reported due to embarrassment and stigma. Experts say such deviant behaviour is among many modern ills placing the traditional family unit at risk.
Mid last year, when an Embakasi woman, Hannah Mwenje, caught her husband and mother in her matrimonial bed one morning, her tears sent the nation reeling in shock, particularly because she was forced to endure the indignity of watching them.
“It was a Sunday. I went to church with my two children. My husband was still sleeping when I left.
During the church service, my baby became restless so I decided to leave before the service was over because he was making so much noise and disrupting the service.
I got home and found the door open. I could hear voices from the bedroom,” she says, pausing to describe their two-room house in Pipeline, Embakasi.
My husband heard me walk in and came out of the bedroom naked. He dragged me into the bedroom and I found my mother naked in bed. I was dazed,” Mwenje recalls. She says the two went ahead and finished their ‘business’ as she stood shell-shocked watching them.
When they finished, my mother told me that a man like my husband didn’t deserve a woman like me. She then dressed and gave my one-year-old son five shillings to go buy sweets. They left with my husband as I collapsed on the floor,” says Mwenje.
Mwenje wanted to kill herself but she didn’t have the energy to stand up. She stayed on the floor for hours before she sent her three-year-old elder son to call a neighbour.
“The neighbour came and helped me stand up. I had no strength. She took me to her house and took care of my children,” says Mwenje.
Her husband, who is a plumber, and her mother went and started living together.
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