I married a man whom I dated for more than ten years. We married 18 months ago and suddenly he decided to grow a ponytail, which is unattractive and displeases me. Initially I thought this was a joke but it is now clear that he will not budge. This is shocking but it is the plain truth. I have now come to terms with it and what to get on. My lawyer says getting a divorce at this stage and on such grounds is not possible. However this is the same lawyer who my husband has been using and might be conflicted. Can this lawyer’s guidance be true? Can I secretly cut his ponytail at night? Kindly guide me.
The Law of Marriage act of Tanzania is indeed outdated and does not provide for consensual divorce. The law provides that there must be reasons inter alia adultery, sexual pervertness to mention a few that are valid grounds for divorce. Looks or rather change in looks, as is the case here, is not a solid ground for divorce and may not hold under our laws.
Moreover, since you are only married for less than two years, unless you can prove exceptional hardship, our law disallows divorce within that period. There is a kind of cooling off period which is, in todays era, perhaps quite outdated.
There are initiatives of changing our marriage law but for now the above holds true. We suggest you meet a marriage counselor who might be able to talk the two of you through this.
On cutting the hair, we cannot see how you can do this cutting ‘secretly’ and how it will help you. Moreover, cutting someone’s hair without consent can likely amount to an assault under our penal statutes and you could be fined or imprisoned or both. Hence move with caution.