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MY STORY: The man I thought was the love of my life turned into an abusive husband

My mother had a very close friend whom she met at church. She seemed like a nice lady, always asking about my two sisters’ whereabouts and achievements, observing us at a distance.

At the time I thought she really cared about us – turns out she had other intentions: She wanted one of us to marry her son.

My elder sister was already in college when it emerged that the woman had planned that she would marry her son. Unfortunately, my sister found her current husband while she was in college, so the woman missed her opportunity.

My other sister also did her “O” level, and went to college to study nursing. While there she also met her husband. The woman had now missed two chances; her attention was now focused on me, this I came to find out later.

She joined the church so that she could draw my mother’s attention, which she did. Because her son was getting old, she needed to get him a wife from a God fearing family, it was as if, I was her last hope.

He was my first husband. I got married to him after I did my KCSE exams and moved to their home to start my new life with my new family.

He wasn’t eager at all to be with me intimately. He would pretend he wasn’t in the mood or that he was tired. This continued for a long period of time; I just wondered what could be bothering him. Was he not in love with me or was I not his type? Or was I just a cover up and he had a lover somewhere else?

Then I realized it wasn’t my fault; he had erectile dysfunction. I think he was so embarrassed of his body that he didn’t even want to share that secret with anyone.

PHYSICAL ABUSE

The moment I found out, he started acting hostile towards me. Abusing me physically and emotionally; it was torture. To make it worse, his family started treating me as an outcast too. They overburdened me with work and wouldn’t even talk to me despite the fact that we were family.

My husband continued to drift away from me romantically as we were never intimate. The only time we would come in contact was when he was abusing me. I decided enough was enough. I knew that abusing me was his way of letting off steam but I decided that I would not be his punching bag anymore.

One night, he came home and out of nowhere, he started hitting me. He took out a knife and said to me “Leo Nitakuua” (I will kill today ).

I ran out of the house and fled without looking back; I hid in a nearby thicket beside the road. In my heart I was praying and hopping that he doesn’t find me there.

Then I saw headlights in the distance. I ran towards the road and waved down the vehicle. I begged the driver of the car to take me to Kisumu (where my father worked) but he declined thinking I just wanted a free ride.

But I begged him incessantly, almost crying, because I knew if he left me there I might not see the next day; I already knew my fate. I told him my father was a businessman who owned two famous buses plying the Kisumu-Bondo route. Eventually, he agreed because he recognized the brand name.

My father was shocked to see me my terrible state; I was confused and scared. He took me back home and I told them everything. They wanted to take action against him and his mother but I declined.

My husband might have taken all his anger out on me but I wasn’t about to do the same. I left him, and I’m now happily married with four children.

Caroline Kagose writes for Content Production Media, a Nairobi based Media Company that creates content for print, online platforms, film and television.
Twitter: @CPMBelieve1
Email: [email protected]