I am 29-year-old man and have been in a relationship with a colleague at work since 2014. When we met, she was pregnant with another man’s baby. At the time, she was emotionally disturbed because of her relationship with the father of her child and relied on me for emotional support. I was there for her during that difficult period in her life but, unfortunately, one thing led to another and we soon became an item. Later, she had an affair with another man and even asked for a transfer at work and relocated to another town. Due to this, we did not see each other for an entire year.
I managed to move on with my life and even got another partner. I am serious with my current relationship and want to take it to the next level by marrying my girlfriend.
The problem is that my ex is now back claiming that I am her man and she will not allow me to marry another woman. She has threatened to never allow my fiancé and I to ever live in peace if we go ahead with our plans. She pops in at both my house in Nairobi and my rural village unannounced and whenever she likes claiming both are her homes. This is regardless of the fact that she has never contributed to buying anything in either homes apart from curtains and beddings. How can I tackle this issue? Please help.
As I read through your e-mail, I could not help but notice that many issues pertaining to your problem seem unclear.
First of all, when you met your ex, she was carrying the baby of another man. It is not clear how this was resolved. This was soon followed by her cheating and taking off. I fail to see any form of trust and faithfulness — key values for the survival of any relationship. The fact that she moved both her residence and work station are clear indications about her feelings towards you.
I therefore fail to comprehend why she would still claim to be in a relationship with you. For you to claim that she can’t allow you to marry your current partner is odd because, from where I stand, I do not consider your dysfunctional relationship with your ex-girlfriend to be one that can lead to marriage.
It appears like she is good at using threats, manipulation and intimidation to control you. It is, however, your decision to evaluate this relationship in light of previous actions.
Personally, I feel that this lady is wasting your time. In addition, you need to be mature in the way you deal with your relationships so that you avoid being taken advantage of.
From what you have written, I see nothing that should hold you back from entering into a relationship that will guarantee your future happiness.
Work towards protecting your son from emotional control and manipulation
Hi,I am a single dad of a 6-year-old boy. The mother of my son and I used to live in different towns. After having the baby, she became careless and abandoned the child to enjoy life.
I decided to be a better parent to my child and took him in when he was almost 2 years old. I have lived with him ever since. We have had bad and good times, I have spent sleepless nights in hospitals and almost pulled my hair out over worry.
This is our fifth year together, he is a happy, well-adjusted boy and is performing well in school. Over this period, the mother has been hardly in my or his life. I hire the help, bathe him sometimes, go to the market for food, buy his clothes, discipline him, take him to hospital and play with him — I practically do everything.
I have only introduced one woman whom I dated for close to two years to my son. However, since she left the country and our relationship ended, I have struggled to meet someone new who shares my values. I feel that I sacrificed a lot to raise my son and have always wondered how single mothers do it.
This year, I met a single mother of a 5-year-old girl. We are madly in love but haven’t introduced our kids yet. I want to marry her.
The problem is, the mother of my son has suddenly become very visible in our lives. She pops into my house without notice and brings clothes for my son. She even attempts to bribe him emotionally. I hate that woman.
I feel like she is a distraction in our lives and doesn’t deserve my time nor that of my child. I want to ban her from my house and my child’s life. Is this the right thing to do?
Having a child out of wedlock is not easy. The responsibilities of single parents, and particularly single dads, can be difficult and complicated.
However, you did well not to abandon your child and instead offered him a place to lay his head and the love of a father. This is commendable, albeit with the accompanying troubles.
I do trust that you have come to the bottom of the issues that were keeping him in and out of hospital. The love of a parent helps immensely in bringing balance to our growing children.
My prayer is that you make time for him to draw encouragement from you. As he grows, what you are investing now will be crucial of his survival in this cruel world.
It is strange that even when you feel madly in love with her, you also do not approve of her actions towards your son. The problem here is the rush you had in introducing her to your home. Did you expect that she will not try to be close to this child? I suggest that you two have an honest discussion of the boundaries you expect of each other.
Right now, the freedom she has when she is with you has extended to your house and to your son. Until you place the boundaries, it will continue to drive you crazy.
The moment you allowed her into your life, means that the close-knit relationship you had with your son would be affected. Time and commitment given to one would affect the other.
There are two options available for you, remain a single parent and enjoy all the fun and closeness you desire with your son; or understand that having someone in your life will affect what you previously had. There is no place of keeping things the way they were while having two other people in your house. Here is some guidance that would help you make better of the situation:
Accept that the closeness you have built over time with your son will be affected at some point — particularly by him growing up and spending more time with his friends.
Ensure that your current investments will not rob you of personal enjoyment.
Evaluate your love life in light of your current responsibilities. You have to know that a woman who you claim to be madly in love with will desire to return the favour by loving you and your son. In fact, this is the ideal scenario.
Place boundaries that will protect the child from being exploited. Boundaries help place limits on what can be done and what cannot. What you lack is the communication of the type of values you embrace so that it does not appear as though your girlfriend is bribing your child.
Exercise caution on how you evaluate the way other people relate to your son. Be careful not to end up denying your son the mother that could love him just because you are being overly protective. No one can deny you your place. What you need is a great woman who will truly love you and your son and vice versa.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.