Why do we do the My Divorce stories? We believe and have found out that my publishing these stories, people can see the mistakes they are making in their marriages and make the necessary amends. We cannot help you after the divorce or when the marriage has failed, but if your marriage is failing or in a bind, even if your marriage is looking good, reading these stories would teach you how to value your wife, family and marriage. It would help us in achieving what our primary aim of publishing is, prevent the divorce and reduce the divorce rate. Please share and make your comments. Read my take on the story and the advice I offer after the story. Also, take out time to read stories from the widowhood chronicles. Much love
T.Ross.

My name is Naomi and this is my Divorce Story.

I had quite a happy childhood. My parents loved us and pampered us. There was hardly anything we asked for because they provided well. I spent most of my holiday’s abroad right from when I was eight.

Shortly after I graduated, I went abroad for my masters’ degree program. I had always dreamed of serving my country in an official capacity. So I applied to work with the federal government. I was blessed to get a job there; it came with a lot of benefits.

My parents relocated abroad and had actually urged me to join them but I preferred to stay back. You see, I had been sheltered by my parents for so long. They were with me at every point I made decisions and provided a shoulder for me to cry on when I needed it. So you can call me an ‘ajebo’.

My ex-husband sauntered into my life one day when the organization sent some of us for a training in another state. He, along with his colleagues was also in for that training. We all got talking and ended up introducing ourselves.

I must say, I enjoyed that particular training. On the last day, Lanre, my ex, came up to me. He asked for my contact after we talked about ourselves. He asked me several questions and also told me a thing or two about himself. I thought he was cool. He seemed matured and reserved. I had not been in a relationship for a year and I was not looking for one. I decided to just take it slow. Lanre worked and lived in the same city as I did so we were confident we would be seeing each other again.

Lanre began to ask me out weeks after we returned from our training. I accepted. Almost every day after work, we would hang out someplace, sometimes with friends and sometimes just us. I began to fall for him; I felt he ticked all my boxes when it came to a life partner.

After months of dating, he proposed. I had told my parents about him, sent his photos and they had spoken to him over the phone. They said they trusted my judgment. His parents were cool with me as well. We had a grand wedding; my parents flew in for it and my siblings that lived abroad. We settled into our new duties with love.

Our marriage began to deteriorate when my husband stopped being affectionate and became unreasonably jealous. I never saw that side of him before or so I thought.

Our journey to Divorce

I had a baby girl within the first year of our marriage; I took in almost immediately after we wed. He didn’t touch me for months after she was born even though my delivery had been a smooth one. If our baby cried, it didn’t matter what I was doing, he would call me to carry her. I had to report to his parents when he stopped touching me. His father called for a meeting with him but it only grew worse.

One day as I returned from work after a particularly hard day, he accused me of seeing someone else. I was shocked at his accusation even though I had every reason to cheat because he had stopped touching me. I never cheated. I began to suspect him of infidelity.

He just wasn’t the Lanre I used to know. He began to exhibit violence. I asked him several times how this happened but he only brushed me aside. Even our toddler could tell he was not behaving normally. If his food was not ready when he was hungry, I would receive several slaps.

Sometimes he would accuse me of dating a random guy. He could say ‘you are dating one Segun so and so’ and I wouldn’t even know who the person was. I endured for five years.  He grew increasingly violent. That happy child in me was lost. I became sad and lonely. I started staying longer at work. We couldn’t have another child because we were not intimate. My parents were concerned and kept calling me at intervals.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he beat up our little girl and burnt her fingers because she stained our white sofa with her coloured pens. I had gone to the market and left her in his care. I returned to meet a terrible sight. He had burned her hands with pressing iron as punishment for soiling the sofa.

That ended the marriage. I moved out that same day with my terrified daughter after I filed a report at the police station. I later filed and got a divorce.

Our daughter is afraid of her father even till now. I eventually relocated with my child. I still wonder where I went wrong. I’m glad I came out of that burden. Lanre has remarried that’s all I know. He spent a few days in the cell after which his family got him out. I’m living my life one day at a time. Thanks for reading my Divorce Story. I hope it helps.

My thoughts…

Dear Naomi,
thanks for sharing with us. It takes lots of courage to be able to open up especially in the environment you live.
Reading through your story, I could deduce that your ex-has undiagnosed mental health problems. What you have described here is akin to some form of bipolar mixed with schizophrenia ( click on the blue writings to read more). Because I don’t have access to your ex, I can’t properly diagnose him. These two illnesses have borderline cross similarities.
His, paranoia where he keeps saying you have someone else, his unexplained behaviour such as not helping out with the baby, his refusal to sleep with his wife, his burning of his daughter’s fingers. These aren’t random signs of wickedness, they are actually cries of a mental state that seemed to have gone unnoticed.

Because people with this sort of mental illness display dual behaviours, it could be difficult to pick up the illness during the dating period. There are small signs such as unusual mood swings, some irrational snapping and behaviour which could be dismissed and even said to be cute during courtship. His true self only shows when you both have to live day in and day out together. Suddenly, the husband and the wife you married seem to be totally different people from the person you dated.

Bipolar and schizophrenia are very common mental illnesses affecting lots of people. Unfortunately, the majority of cases go undiagnosed and untreated.

My advice…

Your ex-needs help. He could harm himself or a loved one very soon; see the incident with his daughter. It is not enough to say ” let someone else take care of that” He is the dad of your child and your ex. Look at it from the point of someone who can’t help himself and you would have better empathy for his situation.
I would advise you talk with his parents, someone close to him like his wife or even him if you still have access. Convince them that he needs to go for psychological evaluation, followed up with counselling and treatment. Somehow it is a taboo to try to suggest to someone in this parts of the world that they could have a mental health problem but that is really what he has and he needs help.

If his needs had been identified earlier, your marriage would more than likely still be intact and a lot of the drama would have been avoided. I truly hope and pray that more spouses would be able to recognise these signs in the mother spouse and seek help soon enough.

6 COMMENTS

  1. He is married and has moved on. Please don’t bother yourself about him. Thank God for saving you and your daughter. His family members should go and take care of his mental illness

  2. He is not sick i know his type. Maybe what he thought he will benefit from the marriage he didn’t get it.He is a bad person he never loved you.is good u left him.

  3. Davina dairies you obviously have little experience in marriage and are not fit to advice anyone. You might lead a woman to her death with this kind of advice. I know because I married a man with those mental illnesses you mentioned. His was so chronic that I barely left the marriage alive.

    In my case, I knew he was sick, I discovered that his family knew this and had tried all sorts of methods to heal him to no avail. They finally abandoned him and stayed away from him for the interest of their own peace. But they encouraged naive women to marry him, believing that a woman might cure him. I got to learn a bitter lesson. No human being can cure another human or change another human. Healing from mental disorder comes only with personal effort and resilience. Except the afflicted person accepts that he has a problem and consciously fight it, no other person can do that for another. You can only show them love, but if they are unwilling to accept to go for psychic treatment, your love is of no consequence. They will kill you if you stick around too long.

    In my case, I begged him to seek psychological treatment. He blatantly refused. I told his mentors to convince him, he rejected it completely. But when the crises begins, I was always the one in close proximity to him, I suffered terribly. Until I got the wisdom to walk out of that abusive relationship and never look back. Today he is married to another young naive girl. I Dont care about what goes on there, I thank God I am forever free. Please never try to change another human. Its an effort in futility. Show people love, but always draw a barrier, don’t let another person ruin your chances in life. Life is precious, use it well!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your kind words.
      I have actually been married for over 22 years.
      I have been a trained counsellor for over 20 years.
      I interestingly specialise in traumatic care and traumatic marriages so I would say that I am indeed qualified to counsel.

      I believe that you are so caught up in the pain and trauma of your past marriage experience that you didn’t take out time to read my counsel fully. If you did, you would see that it actually tallies with what you have said.

      My advice was for Naomi, to help her ex to get the counselling he needs to prevent him hurting himself or someone else. I would like to have your opinion on how that constitutes the wrong advice in your opinion.

      Interestingly, this Divorce matter is in our series of Look Before you leap. Stating that the signs are always there before the marriage. People don’t change after. If you are careful enough, you would see them.

      Thanks

      Ross, T.

  4. Sarah, you have truly spoken well, you took the words right out of my mouth. God bless you. Never try to change anybody, except they are willing to change themselves, only then can you be able to truly help them be better.

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