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A Letter To My Boyfriend's Wife

Please don't leave him

BY Joan Thatiah

Apr 01, 2021, 11:33 AM

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Sometimes writing a letter is the only way you can express what's in your heart. Three women write anonymous letters to  people in their lives, both past and present.

One confronts the man who violated her, the next writes to the woman whose child she is raising and the other pours her heart out to the woman whose man she's banging.

To The Man Who Molested Me

I don’t forgive you

I am writing you this letter on a warm Nairobi night almost a decade after you raped me because I am sinking to a dark place. 

I think it has something to do with the stories of rape that women have been sharing online these past two weeks. Did you hear about the girl who was thrown off the twelfth floor of a building because she wouldn’t have sex with a man she went on a date with? Did you laugh when you heard the story? Say that she had it coming?

I thought I had left all these feelings of anger and hate in the past but it’s all very clear to me now that I haven’t. As I write this, I am taken back to that terrifying Tuesday afternoon when you attacked me. I feel just as helpless and pained when I think about it.

You were my sister’s husband. My big brother. You were supposed to protect me but instead, you took advantage of me. Why didn’t she fight? Why didn’t she report him? Why didn’t she out him so he doesn’t do the same to other girls? I have heard people asking these past few days as women have continued to take a stand against rape.

I did all that. You know I did. And when Mum and Dad and the family elders were called, you twisted my words, said that I forced myself on you. Because you are a man, they believed you. Even my sister believed you. I was called a bad girl, my mother was admonished for not teaching me good manners and it was all swept under the rug. A family matter, they called it.

In a perfect world, you would be haunted every day by what you did. But the world is far from perfect and you probably never even think about me. I haven’t moved on. How can I when that afternoon altered the course of my life?

So many years later, I have trust issues that have led to a string of failed relationships. You destroyed my relationship with my sister. You made me hate myself for a while there. I am still filled with anger and hate every time someone mentions your name. You do not deserve any of the good things you have.

Forgive him, the few people I have shared my experience with have told me. But what does this mean? Does it mean trying to forget that it happened? Well, I can’t. Does forgiving mean saying that what happened is okay? It can never be. All I can do now is try to feel anything but this shame and anger and hurt which haunts me day and night.

Maybe one day, I will tell my story publicly. And you will no longer hold any power over me.

C.K is a 26-year-old small business owner

To My Step Son’s Biological Mum

I love your child

Someone asked me the other day if I would still choose to be a step Mom if I had another shot at life and I said I wouldn’t. Not because I don’t love your son but because nothing I have gone through in my life prepared me for this role.

From where I was coming from, it was simple. I fell in love with a man and he came with a child so I loved them both. I wasn’t prepared for the stepmother tag and the negative assumptions that people have about me long before they meet me. It’s like going to a battle that I already lost but I keep showing up because I committed. 

Now that we’re both in this boat, I need to get a few things off my chest.
First, let me just say I understand that we will never be besties. I have heard that your breakup with my husband was nasty and that there has been bad blood between the two of you for years. I witnessed some of it.

This is, however, is no reason for us not to get along. The issues that you and my husband had are now in the past. We did not choose each other but we are all on the same team now. I wish we could get along better. You know, collaborate, and communicate. If we could have more conversations about your son, I think he would be better adjusted. 

Cliché as this may sound. I love your son. I may not have birthed him but the day my husband introduced him to me is one of my best ones. We all want the same thing, to watch him grow into a happy, well-adjusted man. Talking ill about me and my husband is only hurting our son.

Second, I am not playing house. I am here to stay and I want to be in your son’s life. If you understood this, maybe you would stop treating me like an intruder. I know you take your duty as a mother seriously and you are great at it. I am not trying to replace you or to turn your child against you. I know my place and there is no reason at all to feel jealous or threatened by my presence.

I also know that many things aren’t done exactly the way you would like but I am doing my best. Cut me some slack.

M.W is a 30-year-old graphic designer

To My Boyfriend’s Wife

Please don’t leave him

Of course, you are not stupid. You smell my perfume on him, you have seen my sandals on his car and you know no man can work as long as he claims to. When it’s late at night and he tells you he is out with the boys, I know you know that some nights, he isn’t.

Before you begin throwing stones. Before you begin calling me all those nasty names you have for me, allow me to tell you that I love your husband. I do. I’m not a homewrecker. At least I didn’t set out to be. I met him, fell in love, and then found out he was married. He is a gorgeous, brilliant, and charming man. What’s not to love? My feelings got the better of me.

I read your Instagram Post. The one you were cursing out the woman who is trying to steal your husband. You said that you are ready to fight for him. Let me stop you in your tracks right there. There will not be a need for all that. You do not need to fight for him. He is yours.

I love him when he is with you. I love that he doesn’t demand all of my time and attention. I love that you have children with him. He loves children and I would never be able to give him that. Not at this point in my life. I think I love him because he is with you. I don’t want him for keeps.

Please don’t leave him. He loves you. You and the children are his priority. He has made sure I know this.

So stay because someday, I will not be in the picture. 

S. T is a 34-year-old Nairobi lawyer

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