Thank you so much for your column, I enjoy reading the life stories. They are so instructive. I got married to a supposed childhood friend and brother. We grew up believing that we were relatives. It was only when we grew up that we got to know the difference. We lost contact after my family left the town only to meet again 25 years later. He used to be gentle and kind when we were growing up, he would always protect me from men’s harassments. This built so much confidence in me that I thought he was the same person when we met again.
My Divorce Story 13, Ngozi: His True Nature Showed Up A Day After
When we met again, we were happy for the reunion and communication about our lives generally started, it was there we realized we were both single. Though his life was in shambles (drinking alcohol, womanizing), he made me understand that it wasn’t ordinary (he told me he was under a spell) which I believed because I used to know him before.
As we continued, he realized that we could get married and that I will make a perfect partner for him as all the ladies he had met had squandered his money and run away. I took pity on him (which was the beginning of my foolishness) and I made up mind to help him out of the terrible situation he was in. He proposed and of course, I accepted, the change started with him as he left his place to be with me where I was, claiming that the environment also contributed to his problems. Marriage plans began and the wedding was successful with the support of my family and his paternal family.
The Day After…
A day after the wedding that same man I claimed I knew became another person entirely. He drank himself into a stupor; something he had stopped for the past four months of our courtship. He started misbehaving in my own village and that forced me to hasten up our leaving. On reaching his house accompanied by my brother and his family before they proceed to their home, he created a scene that couldn’t be condoned and he beat me up in the presence of my brother and his family. This made them angry and consented to my move for divorce immediately. Though people intervened and peace was restored.
It was then that we were advised that he should join me where I was based since I had a good job and he was doing nothing. We returned to my base and I continued with my job which had now become our major source of living. I heeded to counsel given to us during courtship and I will collect my salary and bring home for him to decide what to do with it.
Meanwhile, we were still paying some debts incurred during our wedding. After distributing the money, he collected the ones we had allocated for settling debts and because he was the man he had to be the one that would pay them off. Moreover, my work schedule did not give me enough time to do that. Little did I know he wasn’t paying them or paying just a part of it and pocketing the remaining for drinking and womanizing.
I continued to manage the situation, even hiding it from the public (another stupid mistake) so that I wouldn’t become a laughing stock. So it continued and grew so bad that immediately I left the house, another girl would come and warm my matrimonial bed. Whenever I confronted him he would apologize and pledge not to repeat it again.
It became so obvious that people around us got to know what I was going through because he would not sleep at night after getting drunk, he would keep me awake till dawn, threaten to kill me and disappear, call girls on the phone and tell them to give him children as I couldn’t give him any, the girls would also call me to warn me to give him a child or to leave for another to come. The neighbours would also come around in the night to warn him when they were been alerted by his noise.
Lest I forget, this same man later now claimed to have fathered 3 children with different mothers; something I had no knowledge of prior to the wedding. I started catering for 2 of them by sending whatever I could afford for their upkeep as their guardians were complaining that he wasn’t taking care of them. I also made efforts towards having my own children. I visited some gynaecologists, carried out quite a number of tests with and without his knowledge. I was proven okay, and when I managed to woo him for a test, lo and behold he had low sperm count! thank God that it is a treatable case. He was placed on medication and even though he cooperated by taking the drugs, he would neutralize the effect with alcohol.
My road to Divorce
I became tired of working on him to change as he was not even ready. I connected him to some notable people that I knew and they gave him jobs which he couldn’t keep because of his lifestyle. I paid off debts to the companies so he could keep his job but at the end, he would always be sent away. I started a business and put him in charge hoping that being given some responsibility would change him (stupid mistake). He would introduce his concubines as sales girls and compel me to pay them salaries even when they weren’t generating sales. These and such other torments I went through and tolerated for 3 years.
My final decision for a Divorce came when he created a scene and threatened to deal with me in the presence of my staff. That night, they insisted they won’t let me go home as they believed he was capable of doing what he said and would blame it on alcohol as he had always done. They refused to allow me to go home that night and I obliged to go with the married woman amongst them. The following morning she went with me to the house for fear of what he could do to me, guess what? we met another lady in my matrimonial home. That was how my anger was let loose, hence my decision to move out of the place that same day.
After some days he took to his drinking, telling people that I brought him to my base to disgrace him because I was the one working and making money. The same woman that took me to her house intervened as she was accused of being responsible for our separation. I heeded her pleas, I didn’t go back to the house again but I continued feeding him and got him a smaller place to help him. This place was close to the church and I hoped he could be mentored and disciplined.
He pretended to have repented, claimed to be fasting and praying, went for deliverance and in all these I was supportive and encouraging. People were still telling he had not changed that he was only pretending, I didn’t believe them until I caught him red-handed and realised that he was only pretending, hence my decision to let go of him completely. I served him divorce papers and went my way.
looking back, the warning signs were there; they are always there. I think we ignore the signs hoping somehow for a change that deep inside, you know wouldn’t come. I believe I was blindsided by the relationship we had enjoyed from childhood and maybe it was more of pity or an unwillingness to realize that my old childhood friend could be messed up. Anyways, I have learnt and I have moved on. Thanks for reading. My Name is Ngozi and this is my divorce story,