I recently overheard my husband being threatened over some land deal because he had disappeared with all the commission. This is not the first time. We are concerned he may be putting himself in danger. What do you think we should do?
At the very best, your husband is a dishonest man and possibly, from your account, a thief. By definition, a thief is a person who steals another person’s property especially by stealth.
In the following typical scenario, your husband would find his place. “The diamond thief double crossed his partners and gave them only worthless fake jewels.”
The Ten Commandments are clear on the issue of stealing. Thou shalt not steal is a commandment that has no ambiguity. The Torah is similarly explicit on the matter. The Holy Koran states that stealing is the 23rd biggest sin and prescribes amputation of the hands. In general, traditional African societies look down on thieves and extolled those who worked hard and were honest. From the foregoing it should be clear that you and your husband have only one choice in the matter. Stop stealing from others or face the consequences.
It is with regard to the consequences that we must now turn our attention. A story is in order as it illustrates the point.
Many years ago, a lawyer asked us to offer an opinion on the mental state of his client who was in custody on the charge of having caused grievous bodily harm to an acquaintance. The story was fairly simple. A group of friends were watching football at a pub. His team lost. He became very upset, and in a fit of temper hit the man next to him with the bottle of beer he was drinking (he had drank many during the match). A fight ensued and at the end of the evening, he had stabbed the man from the opposing team several times.
When we saw him in prison, he was calm and was able to give a detailed account of the events of that night. His view was that the other guy provoked him by teasing him about the loss of his favourite team. He deserved what he got, and there was no sense of remorse or guilt on the part of our client.
As is customary in psychiatric assessment, we then moved on to establish who this person really was and how he came to be in his present life station.
As we were to find out shortly, the past is truly what informed his violent behaviour. His problems with authority could be traced to his childhood, perhaps even earlier!
His parents had dropped out of school, his mother because of pregnancy in Form 3, while his father was expelled from school for stealing from a teacher’s house. He had also been suspected of having set fire to the library after he failed his exams.
He was brought up by his grandparents for a few years, and when they died, he lived with a succession of uncles in the city. In one home, he was forced to sleep in the kitchen where the maid also slept.
In later life he claimed that she had sexually assaulted him. He also told stories of life in which violence from his uncles and their wives was a daily occurrence.
What he did not say to us is that he was often beaten for stealing. He had made a habit of stealing money and other valuables from his uncles. As a child, he spent the money buying sweets and biscuits for other children hoping to buy their friendship.
As a teenager he bought drugs for use with other boys. In a nutshell, the young man grew up in an emotional desert devoid of any love or affection to, or from any human being.
Our report concluded by stating that the man in custody had a condition called “Antisocial Personality disorder”. He served time in prison and was upon release, fatally injured in a robbery.
This rather long story is intended to wake you up to the reality that you must confront your husband now. Not doing so could lead to consequences you might regret.
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