Question by Amanda: at what point does the transgressor become the transgressed?
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 kap
Um, in this village do HUSBANDS have to do the same thing if they have an affair? Why do I think the answer is a big fat NO!!! You should have confessed the affair to your husband, but never should have submitted yourself to that discriminatory practice. You sound like an intelligent woman and are IVY LEAGUE-EDUCATED, for god’s sake! What were you thinking?! And if your hubby insists on leaving the pics in his film, threaten to divorce him. If he wants to hold it over your head that you went through that ordeal, he’s not worth keeping.
What do you think? Answer below!