My name is Agnes and I’m fifty-four years old.  I’ve been divorced for ten years now. This is my divorce story.

My Divorce Story 11, Agnes : I Became Too Bush For Him

I got married shortly after my secondary school final exams. I was eighteen and very naïve. I wanted to be a nurse and I hoped my parents would support me. They rather excitedly told me about a young man who had come for my hand in marriage. He was from a very good home and had gained admission already into the university they gushed. I was happy because it was like a privilege to marry such a man.

The first day I met my husband, Kalu, I was making my hair. My mother had given me money to thread my hair which was the in style then. Now I was quite beautiful with long hair and light skin. After my hair was done, my mother gave me her most expensive George to tie and her gold earrings. To be fair, Kalu was quite good looking and I was excited that he chose me.

While my parents could not be called poor, Kalu’s were more comfortable. They had been to the city several times for business but mine had not. They were simple traders who were able to care for their children moderately. Kalu was studying medicine at the University of Ibadan. We only spoke briefly that day before he left.

We had our traditional wedding two months later but didn’t get married in the church until after his studies six years later. I stayed with my in-laws birthing three children within those six years. It was tough for me because I had to depend on them for everything.

Dear Davina: How do I cope With An Absentee Husband

After my husband graduated he got a job almost immediately at the teaching hospital. We had our church wedding and then I moved in with him along with our three children. This was my first time in the city and so many things were new to me. While my husband worked, I took care of our home. I had two more children and it was really a full-time job. I learnt how to drive and so was able to pick them from school.

As my husband climbed up the medical ladder, he became rather arrogant towards me. If he had friends over, he would ask me to serve them and stay in the room. He complained about my grammar and my looks (I had gained weight after five children). If there ever was a gathering at his place of work for staff and their spouses, he never informed me or took me with him. I only got to hear from spouses of his colleagues who attended the gatherings. I told him I wanted to get myself busy especially as our youngest child had started primary school and his older siblings could keep an eye on him. He laughed at me and asked who would hire me.

My husband regularly travelled for trainings and on one of such occasions, I decided to learn tailoring. When the children had gone to school, I would sneak out. I had made friends with some of the women in church and one of them encouraged me to. I did it for a year and became very good at it. My husband got an opportunity to leave the country for a two-year course. I used the opportunity of his absence to fully go into fashion designing. By this time some of my children had gained admission into the university while others were in the secondary school. I did really well and started making some money for myself.

When my husband returned after two years, he was amazed at my transformation and began to accuse me of infidelity. He reported me to my parents who advised me to close my shop in order to keep my marriage. I told my parents of how badly he had treated me before he travelled just because of my educational qualification. How he never took me anywhere with him. I was more like a maid taking care of children.

Little did I know that my husband had married a younger lady while abroad. My refusal to close shop made it easy for him to file for a divorce. I fought back too. The judge made him pay heavily for what he did.

Divorced in my forties, the next thing for me was to focus on my business. My children are all grown and two are married now. My business is booming, I’m more exposed now and I can say I’m in a better place now than I ever was. My ex is no longer resident in Nigeria. He has since fathered three children with two other women apart from his wife. I don’t speak to him anymore except if it concerns any of our children.

Thank you for reading. I hope my story blesses you. It is not all about gloom, Most of my friends are still in their marriages. I think my choice just turned out wrong.

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