Mudzimba with Mai Chisamba: I ruined my neighbour’s marriage

I am a big fan of your column. I am a young man aged 37 and married to a very hot tempered wife who is 35. We are blessed with three kids, two boys and a girl. At times I feel sorry for my kids because the mother is very strict and nasty to them. I too am not spared as the head of the family.

ln most cases I am belittled and mistreated, in short, she has no respect for me. My neighbour is a trucker and at times his job takes him away from his home for weeks.

He has a good wife and children. My wife does not want me to socialise with other men after work, kungononoka ndinowana gedhi raiswa chihuri nemukati. She ignores my calls when I try to ask her to open for me so when this happens I climb the durawall and get in.

Believe it or not amai, I am locked out if I fail to come home before 9pm despite the fact that at times I finish work late. I don’t have a car, I use public transport. I am treated like a school border and my friends have nicknamed her the matron. Last month I came home around 9:30pm and found the gate locked so I scaled the durawall as usual and missed a panel and fell on my neighbour’s side.

Fortunately I escaped with a few bruises. When my neighbour came out with his wife and found that it was me, he fumed and asked me to tell him the truth. I told him that was the truth. I was man handled and he even slapped his wife in the face saying nhasi mairasa.

The truth is it was an accident, how do I make him believe? He has taken his wife to task but she is innocent. Even my stupid wife is sorry and trying to convince our neighbour who will have none of this. How do I handle this? They are a wonderful couple but now they have picked up a nasty quarrel isipo amai. He suspects that something between me and his wife goes on in his absence. I would never do that.

Response

I always say marriage is about trusting your spouse, if you cannot do that then you are not good for it. I am very sorry about your situation, considering that you claim you are innocent. Locking a spouse or anyone out of their house is both selfish and very inconsiderate. It can be very dangerous too, it’s advisable to open the door and then try to resolve your differences in the house.

One can get robbed or even killed, so many things can happen in the dark. It seems your wife is bitter about something because she treats her children in the same way. Love and respect are very important ingredients of any happy marriage.

People in most unhappy marriages affect their neighbours, family and friends’ lives as one adage so eloquently puts it ‘kamoto kamberevere kanopisa matanda ari mberi’. We cannot completely blame your neighbour for suspecting that you were up to something when you fell into his yard since he is away on duty most of the time.

The kind of job he does and what he sees or maybe experiences on the highway might be causing him to think a lot about the scene he witnessed. Slapping his wife before establishing the truth was uncalled for, how will he retract that? In this case, it’s great that your wife is on your side because she knows she is part of this problem.

It’s not safe to travel late unless it’s very necessary. Having meals with your family is one of the best things a caring father can do, kana kungoonana vasati varara is commendable. You need to face your neighbour, there is no way you can ignore this, you need each other.

I suggest you rope in a counsellor or a priest of good standing then have an indaba to iron this out. Working with professionals is good because they are trained to broker different kinds of issues and all this will be done in confidence.

Why do you let your friends nickname your wife as the matron? Ndochii ichocho?

You are exposing her, that’s not a hallmark of a good husband. Don’t be surprised if tomorrow the same friends call you ‘boarding master’ or something. It’s also a dangerous habit to scale the durawall, you may either get maimed or fall to your death. I wish you all the best. I hope you will make peace. Please keep me posted.

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