Spouses Living Double Lives…

Posted on September 19, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |


Many wives have come to learn of their husbands’ evil ways only when police catch up with them. [Photos: MARTIN MUKANGU/Standard]    


Husbands are not always what they appear to be, and it is only advisable you know what secrets your spouse carries around with them, writes EVELYNE OGUTU.

It can be disheartening, even traumatising. For years you have been living with this to-kill-for-spouse; everything goes on so smoothly your relationship and family are the envy of the neighbourhood. And you understand the neighbours. Reason? You couldn’t ask for more. The package you got in the form of a husband or wife is so perfect. But one day, something happens and the secret is out, your spouse has been leading a double life.
That is what Jane Njeri encountered recently. Njeri (real name withheld for security reasons) says she is yet to comprehend it all. Patrick was a loving husband and father who led a comfortable life as a matatu owner cum driver until two months ago when his bullet riddled body was found at the Nairobi City Mortuary.

Many wives have come to learn of their husbands’ evil ways only when police catch up with them. [Photos: MARTIN MUKANGU/Standard]

That is when his wife of five years learnt for the first time, that she had been leaving with a gangster. The matatu business was just a disguise for his other life. At home in Kayole, he was, as Njeri describes him, a good father and a soft-spoken husband. Outside, he was a ruthless criminal who betrayed trust and killed mercilessly.

Her late husband was part of a gang, which had planned to carjack a matatu along Jogoo Road unaware that the police were tracking them.

That evening, as Njeri watched news of gangsters having been killed, she had no idea that one of the two lifeless bodies was that of her husband. The police described Patrick as a “ruthless gangster who had killed many people”.

Besides Patrick, many would remember, the notorious gangster, James Matheri Ikere, who was killed in Kitengela as his wife and children watched helplessly. Later, his wife Felista Wanjiru would describe the man, whom police had described as “most wanted criminal”, as a humble man who never argued with anyone. “He used to ask me to trust his word, which I did,” she said in a past interview. Wanjiru, who was then due to deliver Matheri’s baby when he was killed was later arrested and charged with harbouring a criminal.

How many men and women out there are living with a spouse whose source of income they don’t know; or whose movements and place of work are a mystery?

Double families

The stories about a criminal spouse are not the only ones we know of double-life spouses. It is nowadays a rare phenomenon to have news without a story of a picture-perfect husband who happens to have two wives, or a model wife sharing a bed with another man. Worse still, not even the advantages of Information Technology seem to have helped the affected spouses unravel the mystery.

Just a month ago, my friend’s mum had to pack and leave her matrimonial home after she found out that her husband had another family in Kiambu. The mother of four, and a businesswoman in Nairobi, had been married to her husband for more than 20 years. Two of their daughters are married.

However, the husband, who used to be very cagey about his architectural job, forgot his laptop at home one day. What followed left a family, which had been happy, in tears.

“My mother accidentally, found a receipt in dad’s laptop bag. The receipt showed that he had paid Sh20,000 school fees for a student at a school in Meru. The name of the student was similar to my brother who is named after my paternal grandfather,” says my friend.

Posing as the boy’s mother, her mother called the school and asked to speak to the boy. When he was put through, she enquired about the names of his father, which were the same as those of her husband. A domestic row thus ensued after the wife demanded the truth from her husband and sadly, her marriage of many years came to an abrupt end.

Many men worldwide are leading secret double lives. A month ago, it was reported in the media that over 16 per cent of Kenyan men have sired children outside their marriages, whom they have managed to hide from their wives. What leads to this, however, is not clear.

According to marriage experts, part of it stems from human nature and the urge to procreate and the allure of variety. Recent research findings seem to make matters worse by citing polygamy as natural to males. Psychologists also say there is a subset of the population that is especially well-suited to leading secret lives because they thrive on risk and do not believe they will get caught or hurt anyone.

“It’s got to be pretty thrilling to have a woman who loves you enough, a second wife, in a sense to have a baby with you in secret,” said Frank Farley, a psychology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia who studies risk-takers and politics.

But while most of these reasons are just excuses, spouses need to know how to find out whether their spouses are who they say they are.

Tell tale signs

According to relationshiphealth.wordpress.com, people with double lives are often very good at keeping personal secrets. But there are a few signs that could spell ‘double life’ for you, if you observe keenly.

He/she has reason to travel frequently or regularly

If your spouse has a job or hobby that requires frequent or regular travel, watch out. This is the number one cover for a second, or even a third, secret family life. Most men and women who are leading double lives, would always come up with job related seminars and assignments, but if you investigate they just want to be away to attend to their other lives.

By Evelyn Ogutu





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