Capital FM (Nairobi)

18 December 2012

Kenya: Talking Spouses - When Is Adultery Okay?

(THITU KARIBA) I have never been married, but I have been in relationships before and I have had the one with a cheat. One can never quite describe the pain that goes on within when something like that happens. Trust is broken, your love betrayed, heart crushed, and not to mention a friendship and relationship endangered. At times it could even mean your health could be risked. Many of the HIV infections and other sexually transmitted infections come by way of unfaithfulness or as we have come to call them mpago wa kando. The level of wrong that is done goes beyond making the wrong choice, and this is just in a relationship, how about in marriage? If cheating in a relationship is wrong, could adultery in marriage possibly be okay?

I am aware that in certain religions a man could have up to four wives and in such a case I am not sure if having a fifth then qualifies as adultery or if they have any clause concerning adultery, however, as a Christian and living in a Christian nation, adultery is when a married man or woman have an affair - physical, emotional or otherwise with someone other than their spouse. Adultery is biblically wrong and a sin and speaking as a human being, I am not sure many women or men would willingly opt to share their lovers/spouses with another. If it hurts in a relationship, it must hurt even more in a marriage and in a family. Don't you have to be in an extra marital affair for you to acquire a second, third or fourth wife? If you are going to marry the person does this mean it is not adultery? Does that then make It ok?

I cannot speak for everyone, though, I find that mankind has found ways, loopholes that rightfully allows for things that are wrong by calling it something else. Regardless of the title we give it, the effects, the feelings, the results are the same. Lately I have read the stories of two young women who have opened up to being second wives. The term wives or wife in this case puts a ring of acceptability on the whole matter but the means in which that end was reached is what is referred to as adultery. Marrying your mpago wa kando is not making an honest woman of her, but it sure is making life difficult for your wife and children if there are any. When trying to get a marriage license, there are investigations made as to whether one is already married, when getting married they persist and even ask for reasons the two would not be married, I am sure rising up and saying he or she is already married would be a reason enough. In countries such as the US, it is a felony or crime to be married to two people at the same time.

If men or women were to come to their spouses and say that they are entering into an extra-marital affair in hopes of getting a second wife would that still not be adultery? (Keeping in mind the earlier definition of adultery) Unless death or divorce happens to you, is there a need for another? Marriage is not like a car, you do not carry along a spare wheel just in case you get a flat. You stop, fix the flat and get on with your journey. If having a second wife is acceptable, should it not be across the board where a woman too can get up to 4 husbands or at least a second? If you marry them and make them your second spouse does that mean its not adultery? Does this then mean adultery is okay as long as you marry them eventually?

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