Question by angelareut: Art versus Real Life?
O.K. I know this will sound crazy, but I really need advice.
I am 32, african american, ivy league educated, and married to a Kenyan national I met in college. My husband is very, very western (or else I would never have been attracted to him in the first place probably) but a year ago we decided to live a year in Kenya, in his village, as Kenyans, and he would make a documentary about it (he is an independent filmmaker). While I was there, I made a huge mistake one night and I had an affair–it was the biggest mistake of my life, and I am still ashamed and humiliated.
In his village (maybe more widespread than that, I don’t know) if a woman commits adultury she has to go to her parents house, strip naked, and walk (accompanied by her brother and law) through the streets to her husbands house in shame to ask forgiveness. This is, obviously, an antiquated and medieval practice……but I was so in the wrong for the affair, and so wanted to convince my husband to want to keep working to fix our marriage, that I agreed to submit to the ceremony when we were visiting his family this summer. It was the most humiliating and humbling experience of my life.
The problem is that my husband has put 2 pictures from this event in his film. He sees no reason to hide it, says I expressed my shame publicly, and why should I want to hide that now (unless I’m not truly ashamed), and that it is an integral part of our experience in Kenya. I, however, say that I agreed to do something very important to him in a non-western context to make things right…..but having this enter my very western life is not appropriate….rather I am the one who had the affair or not. I am a college professor, not a African wife….this could have REAL WORLD consequences for me.
I’m sure most of you will think I’m crazy to begin with, but for those of you who can take the question seriously (rather than attacking me for what I did) I would appreciate advice
Answer by MomSezNo
I think you put this question in the wrong category. But I’ll give you my two cents’ worth.
It sounds to me like your husband is not very respectful of your feelings, which should be a big red flag to you. I don’t think you’re “crazy”, but I do think he is being vindictive and cruel. This should be a matter of “what happens in Kenya, stays in Kenya”, IMHO.
That being said, what are the real chances of anyone who might hold it against you professionally seeing the piece of film? If you are concerned about that, you should speak with a lawyer when you return to the US. I think there are laws about distributing a film without the consent of those who are shown in it.
If your husband can’t see your side of this, or at least consider your feelings, you should seek counseling, either with him or without him. That could help you decide whether or not you want to be with someone who has so little concern for you.
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