Becoming the man you want to marry

So. If Peter Kiprotich Murrey is to be believed, it’s Pamela Jelimo’s fault that their union failed. He has accused her of being a track-obsessed, money fiend who refused to bear him a child, while secretly creating a real estate empire.

If you take his word for it, the former celebrity athlete is a heartless shrew, who took him for all he was worth (which wasn’t much) and then dumped him without even the whiff of ceremony.

His ‘aki woishe’ tale of tears and heartbreak, paints the picture of a childhood romance, which started out on nothing but a dream and prayer, only to be shattered by success.

Well, hey. It’s funny how money changes situations. Jelimo had been holding out for a proposal from a man she had been living with for four years, but none was forthcoming. So when she won a million dollars in the 2008 IAAF Golden League, their makeshift marriage was shattered into a million little pieces.

The woman had become a star athlete with the world at her feet and American dollars in her bank account. She had become the man she wanted to marry. What did she need him for? He had been stoic in his refusal to put a ring on her finger. And to rub salt in the wound, he had gone ahead and married another man. Worse still, they had a child.

Any woman in Jelimo’s place would have done the same thing. But here’s the complication. If you’ve been living together for four years, legally speaking, you’re as good as married. So technically, the property you acquired in that period would be matrimonial property, shared equally between the two of you. So if Murray is determined to get his pound of Jelimo’s flesh, he may have a leg to stand on, shaky though that leg may be. Those four years notwithstanding, by all accounts they did not register their union. And without some kind of registration, there is no proof of marriage.

But legal considerations aside, obviously this is a classic case of ‘he-said-she-said’ and being a woman; I’m more inclined to believe well, the woman. That said, only the two of them know exactly what the truth is. Bystanders are rarely privy to true nature of the relationship between a man and his wife, whether or not their union is recognised in law. Who knows, maybe Murray is the victim here, and if so, tough luck. By his own admission, he and his new wife (let’s hope this one is legal) have moved on with their lives.

I will say this though: If you’re a ride-or-die dude who has your woman’s back, big-up. If you’re a strong man thriving in the shadow of a successful woman, thrive on brother. Much respect. But if you’re a philandering leech, sucking one woman’s blood to transfuse another, no self-respecting human being would call you a man. On that positive note, the world is marking International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8. Turn to your neighbour and tell her to have a good one.