I’m so heartbroken

I have a big problem and I need your assistance. I am a 27-year-old lady and I am married to a very abusive husband.

I dated this guy for three years before we tied the knot. We are blessed with two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. This guy has not changed, even when we were dating he used to beat me up for petty reasons. He would insult me every now and then but I stayed put because he said he loved me. I told my tete about his character when we started the formal introductions and she said this would stop after marriage.

She went on to say “Watombowana hako anoti anoda kuroora, shinga mazuva ano vanoroora vashoma.” I took her word, but I always regret. I am so used to abuse that I no longer know what kugarika means and my skin is hardened. This is just a brief background. The reason why I am writing to you is because I am heartbroken.

I do not even know where to start. My husband went to my tete to complain that I have a very nasty odour, hudzi and he was finding it hard sharing the same bed with me hence he did not know what to do. My heart missed a beat, I just could not believe it. The worst came when I shared this with a close friend at work. She confirmed that it is true but they did not know how to tell me. I remember this was once brought up at a ladies meeting at the office, I had no idea this was about me.

Why did my husband not tell me? I cried at my mother’s house when she admitted that I have always had this problem since I was young and she used to bath me with certain herbs but the problem prolonged.

I do not know about it because it is part of me saka vanhu vaingondireva vasingandiudze and that is the most painful part. Now everything is falling into place. I can understand why I was treated differently everywhere but it hurts, my spirit is broken. I am no longer comfortable going to church, working or mingling with others, I am now an outcast.

Why did he marry me if he had a problem with me? Could this be the reason for the abuse? Please help, I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get rid of this problem. Nyika yandiremera ndibatsireiwo.

Response

I felt so sad and your letter made me teary. Your problem is two-folded. Let’s start with the abuse. I personally do not understand why after the abuse you suffered as a girlfriend you proceeded to marry this guy. Maybe it was a case of love being blind because it beats all logic.

For your information a man/woman who loves you will under no circumstances beat you up and let alone ill-treat you. Domestic violence is unlawful and this guy should have long been brought to book. Marriage is about love and respect. I am sorry to say tete got it wrong.

It’s not about ndawana anoroora. In your case it is like kurumwa nechekuchera because you knew this guy well and you even complained about his character back then.

Remember a leopard does not change its spots. The sad thing is you have brought two innocent kids into this unhappy marriage.

You need to seriously work on your marriage and the way forward is to engage a counsellor who will work with you as a couple. The expert will take you back to the drawing board and see what can be salvaged. Your second and main issue is very sensitive and I think people should learn to move with the times.

In our culture it is not commonly acceptable to tell someone that you smell or have a problem with hudzi.

Your mother knew about this but she never told you, why? Your husband dated you for three years and married you and never mentioned this to you directly, why? This was gross injustice. When people are married they are one flesh and there is no secret between them saka kutenderera ndekwei?

The secret for any successful union is to find a spouse who truly loves you, not just anyone with the means to marry you. A close friend from the office confirmed the body odour problem but never told you before, how sad. Relationships are there for people to be open and help each other.

I will refer you for grooming but in the mean time use bicarbonate of soda in your armpits and other sweaty areas each time you take a bath. Bath more than once a day, preferably mornings and evenings before you retire to bed.

Use cotton wool, dip it in water mixed with soda and wipe. Have a candid talk with your hubby about this, I know the counsellor will be of great help. Do not cry and look down upon yourself, it is an issue that can be rectified.

For friends and families please let us help each other in times of need. Gossiping does not pay. Let us call a spade, a spade. I wish you all the best. I will make a follow up to check on your progress.

I rushed into marriage

THANK you so much for this platform. The situation I am in has taught me to love and respect my parents even more.

I am a 24-year-old guy and I’m a teacher by profession. When I left college I felt this urge to get married immediately. My parents told me that it was not a good idea for I needed to fend for myself first and set up a few things before I got married.

I did not even have money for lobola but I banked on my parents and siblings. I am the youngest in a family of five composed of three brothers and two sisters. My older brother is not yet married. Nobody supported my proposal but I bulldozed until my father begrudgingly granted my wish.

I got a place to rent a few blocks from our house, which gave me an illusion that I was winning. My parents refused to let me take the bed and dressing table they had bought for me. My mother said, “teacher, tengai zvinhu zvenyu makura.”

I used a scheme and bought the basics on account. But as I write to you, I am desperate. I want to make peace with my family but I do not know how to go about it. My in-laws are putting a lot of pressure on me since they want me to pay lobola because takangotizisana. I cannot pay the bills on time.

I have rent arrears and the land lord is threatening to kick us out votora zvinhu zvangu zvandisati ndapedza kubhadhara. Also, my 19-year-old wife dofo zvaro, always asking for money to buy airtime when the going is so tough. We have stayed together for six months but I am now opting out so that I start afresh. I now feel my parents were right.

My wife is not pregnant and I think she can go back to her parents’ home. Life is tough these days and I think one needs a woman who has a job. At least this way you meet half way. How do I engage my family because they are just watching from the terraces and do not want to be involved?

When I asked if I could go and show them my wife they said, “pedzera mahumbwe ako ikoko.” Ndaomerwa please help it’s affecting me and my job. I work with a beautiful single lady of my age, she agreed to be a shoulder for me to cry on. She is very kind and she brings me lunch.

Response

Most parents want the best for their children so it is in one’s best interest to seriously consider their advice. You are lucky because they managed to put you through school. You have somewhere to start from.

You did not tell me the reason why you wanted to have a wife soon after your programme but as an adult I can read between the lines but for now ngaisiye matambo. You are a teacher, you should have known better, life is not about banking on family and friends, we are all individuals we have to act responsibly or we face the consequences of our reckless actions. Yes, your parents were right. You needed time to find your feet.

The pressure you are talking about is self imposed. I do not think you even looked at your salary pawakano koromora zvikwereti plus mukadzi pamusoro.

A teacher is supposed to be a role model, the children you teach look up to you but you are not leading by example. The woman you are referring to as your wife is not, she only becomes that when you pay lobola because that is what our culture demands.

For now she is your girlfriend and muri kubika mapoto. You are not official because you have not been accepted by your families. Life is not as easy as you think, please do not be self centered.

You have stayed with this woman for half a year zvaomesesa you now call her dofo and because she is not pregnant you think she can easily go back to her parents? Muri kurasika papiko mudzidzisi?

Where on earth have you seen this? Wake up and smell the coffee. Your idea of a marriage is wrong.

A real marriage is about true love and not only about having a spouse who is gainfully employed and helps generate money for the household.

You develop your own wife/husband in a marriage, that is why it is good to always seek to improve your spouse’s position in life. For now forget about the beautiful lady who brings you lunch. Engage vana tete and mbuya from both families and they will help you correct what you have messed up.

Take it one step at a time, please itai dzungu shoma, you and your stay-in girlfriend sound very immature, you are duty bound to pull up your stockings and please concentrate on your job, you owe it to the children and their parents. Zanondega akasiya jira mumasese, so be warned. I would be happy to hear from you again.

***

On the verge

of beating up

my brother in-law

Mai Chisamba I follow your column religiously and I enjoy it.

I am a young man aged 28 and I am married to a 25-year-old lady and we are blessed with a daughter. I am employed as a gardener.

At times my employer asks for my wife’s services when they have visitors or functions. They have their maid so it is just them needing an extra hand from time to time and she gets paid for it. When I am off I sell air time just to make ends meet.

Life is not easy for us but we do the best we can. I believe we have true love for each other. My sister is married and they are quite well off. The reason why I am writing to you is I do not know why my brother-in-law looks down upon me, murume wasisi vangu ivavo.

Each time he wants to dump his old torn faded clothes, he packs and gives them to me. Last week he brought a bag full of marengenya. Ma trousers asina mazipper mashirts ane ma missing buttons, majuzi akadhamba zvanzi, “tsano batsirikai”. I did not say anything because I was so angry and decided to keep quiet.

As if this was not enough, my sister phoned complaining that I am a very ungrateful person because I never show any sign of gratitude when her husband brings me the tattered clothes. Mai Chisamba hupenyu hwemabhero kusada kuchena unenge wagara uri wetsvina and the things are so cheap so that is where I go.

These guys are taking me for a bin. I am happy with the way things are going, I take good care of my family. Please help. I feel like punching my brother-in-law and returning back all his clothes. Yes, I may be a gardener but I do not bother anyone. I can take care of myself hence I do not want to be looked down upon. I have three Ordinary Level subjects and I am content with that. My wife is saying let us just dispose of these clothes but amai Chisamba ndiri murume, handidiwo kuramba ndichijairirwa. Please help what should I do about this?

Response

Being self sufficient is key to one’s happiness in life. You are a major, a father and a husband, that is the way to go. It is refreshing to hear of a marriage based on true love. Well done. This ingredient is very important, it gives you peace of mind and a strong foundation.

Each and every job is important in its own way, as long as you enjoy doing it and getting paid at the end of the month or whatever the arrangement is. You sound like a very hard working couple, keep it up. Your brother-in-law is a very mean person, how on earth can he do such a thing to a family member? When you give, you should always do it from the heart and one should always make sure that the gifts are still in a useable condition. Kudada ikoko kupa zvinhu zvisingapfekeke. I wonder what goes on in his head when he does that.

I also blame your sister. She should never allow such a thing to happen, blood is thicker than water. I think your sister needs to see the stuff you are given before she is quick to blame you for not thanking. You are family go and talk to them, tell them how you feel. People are different from animals, they solve their problems amicably, only animals fight when they are in conflict. Why are you so sure that you will defeat your tsano in a fist fight?

Komukadhandwa imimi? Please do not escalate the situation further by starting a physical altercation. Domestic violence is unlawful so you should always control your temper even if you are the one who feels wronged.

Three Ordinary Level subjects is a good factor to motivate you even further, please do not be content because you have the potential to do better. Carry on and improve yourself academically, remember the sky is the limit. Life is full of surprises. People who are looking down upon you today may have a rude awakening tomorrow zvinhu zvakunakira.

In this case, I do not think you need a third party, just make an appointment to go and see them, take your wife with you. The most important thing is to calm down first and pray about it then go and resolve this issue. Talk over this as family, kuonesana sevana vanyamunhu you need each other, you are family. Be of good cheer, it shall be well. I would be happy to hear from you again.

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