‘Mpango wa kandos’ aside, have you heard of swingers?
By Bella Kerubo
The phrase mpango wa kando is quite familiar to most of us. Its society’s simple way of branding a woman or man involved with a married individual; it also translates to – sidepiece. Infidelity has taken its toll among us. The institution of marriage is, but a mere escape of dying alone rather than a soulful commitment as per tradition.
Some people have embraced the notion of mpango wa kando, with the belief that an extramarital affair will make things better. Being married over 10 years or so becomes ‘boring’ as they put it.
Sidepieces aside, have you heard of swinging?
In addition to the side pieces, have you ever heard of swinging? Swinging is the practice of engaging in group sex or the swapping of sexual partners within a group, especially on a habitual basis. It’s considered a recreational or social activity.
Believe it or not, people between 28 and 50 with the average age falling around 39 years engage in swinging. Among swingers, there is a strong belief that this strengthens a marriage.
Reasons for infidelity and swinging
Some of the reasons may include
- To improve the quality of sex – most married couples look for other partners to satisfy them better than their current wives/husbands.
- Fulfilment of fantasies – some are looking to explore their sexuality since they are bored with their normal sexual routine.
- The excitement of living a taboo lifestyle – others are just thrilled to engage in deviant sexual activities that are not in line with societal norms.
- Exploration of new sexual partners – this may include trying out sex with same-gender partners.
We consulted Grace Kariuki who is a marriage and family therapist. She doesn’t recommend the practice of having a mpango wa kando or swinging. According to her, relationships are guided by values that stem from traditional beliefs, religious beliefs, and societal expectations. Each couple would need to identify what set of values to ascribe to in making sexual decisions. Couples need to identify guiding values whether religious or moral.
The idea of mutuality is important to the health of a relationship. Each person needs to submit to the other so that they can develop oneness in what they desire in a relationship.
In our culture, it is considered morally wrong to have a mpango wa kando or to participate in swinging activities. Our wedding vows dictate that we “forsake all others.” There’s an unspoken expectation that the relationship is strictly exclusive. Doing the opposite causes emotional hurt or puts a strain on a relationship.
Grace Kariuki goes ahead in recommending ways to strengthen a marriage.
Ways to strengthen your marriage
Develop effective communication skills
Learn active and deep listening skills. When your spouse says something, repeat back what you have heard and summarize what you have understood and respond accordingly.
Agree on financial goals and process
Know each other’s money personality, for instance, is money freedom or security? Freedom means one uses it to support a certain way of life, so they are spenders. Security means one will be more inclined to save and invest than spend. Couples who know their money personality will be better in handling and managing money issues.
Increase overall intimacy
Know each other’s love language, which are words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. This way couples can recognize when they are communicating love and care.
Develop a valuable friendship
Increase your social and recreational intimacy. Social intimacy is where you spend time together with others and grow together in the community. Recreational intimacy is where you do recreational things together like hiking, exercise, hobbies, a sport, travelling, etc. Find activities that increase your closeness and add value to your enjoyment of life.
Celebrate, respect, and cheer each other on
Show interest in your spouse’s goals, hopes, dreams, fears, and desires. Encourage them as well as offer effective and appropriate feedback that helps them grow and improve their self-worth and value. Don’t belittle, minimize or ridicule their thoughts and feelings. Instead, learn to validate and affirm them.
If you wish to know more about how marriage or a relationship can work, you can contact Grace through.
YouTube: Grace Kariuki