I felt superior and disrespected my wife
Being the breadwinner of the family made Collen feel more powerful and self-sufficient than his unemployed wife. He also had extra marital affairs and felt his wife had no right to challenge or question him about his lifestyle.
"I worked as a waiter, earned a basic salary and made good tips on the side. I also gambled and met many women that I dated. I sometimes took the money I won from gambling and rented rooms where I slept with those women. I didn’t care how my wife felt. I thought she had no say because she depended on me for everything. I always threatened to throw her out on the streets whenever she asked me where I’d been," he said.
Collen recalls an incident that ended up with him being fired after he had a physical fight with his colleague over shares in gambling winnings.
"I gambled and won for him, but he refused to give me the agreed share of money. We got into a physical fight and when it was decided that I was guilty, my manager fired me.
Most of my girlfriends left me because I no longer had as much money as I'd had before. I sometimes I could not put together enough money for our house payments and had to ask friends to help me. That's when I abused my wife emotionally even more, calling her a jobless and useless woman. There was no peace at home because I spent all the money I made from gambling on alcohol," he said.
One afternoon Collen was invited to the church by members of the Universal Church who were evangelising close to where he gambled. "I refused their invitation, but on the way home I thought about the fights and sadness in my house. I went back to the people who invited me and they directed me to a nearby church where I was welcomed by a pastor. After I explained all my faults to him, he advised me to confess my sins to God, repent and start living my life the right way, including being respectful to my wife. The next day I asked her to attend the service with me and she agreed. We soon engaged in the chain of prayers on Thursdays for our marriage.
I also attended services on Fridays to be delivered from alcohol and gambling. At a service, I understood that I was the head and leader of my family and I needed to demonstrate the life I wanted to see at home through my actions and behaviour. I apologised to my wife for ill-treating her. I broke free from gambling and alcohol after coming to the church for two weeks. I ended all the extra-marital affairs I had. I loved and respected my wife as I ought to. That same month I found a job. I now live for God and my family. There is peace in my home," he said.