Why do we share these stories? Divorce can be quite tragic. It changes lives and can create feelings of inadequacies, failure and lack of self-worth. We find that talking and sharing stories can be quite therapeutic. These are real stories of real people who experienced divorces under the age of 40 usually in the early thirties. We believe that via sharing, the individuals can get closure and healing. We also believe that readers can learn, people can get hope, learn pitfalls and become better at their marriages. If you feel like sharing, Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Divorce Story 8: Itohan- I bit more than I could chew
My story is quite a lesson. Sometimes we see the signs but believe marriage will straighten things out. It’s not always so. I learnt the hard way.
My parents were not married. My father already had six children with three women before I was born. My mother had my brother first and then I followed. I never had a relationship with him mainly because he was hardly available. I realize it wouldn’t be easy to be available to so many children. He eventually stopped at twelve children.
My mother did a little business which helped her take care of herself while my father paid our school fees. I must say that growing up this kind of environment made me tough and wild. I started dating from the age of fourteen and got pregnant at eighteen. My mother took care of my daughter while I returned to school.
I was at the university when I met my ex-husband, Osas. He was ten years older than I was and seemed to know it all. He was not particularly good looking but he had what people would call ‘swag’. We met at a nightclub and we hit off. He had other girlfriends of course but I was determined to be the main one.
We fought a lot; he was abusive and drank so much. We broke up, made up, broke up and made up again. I was not doing too well in school either because I partied a lot and had a lot of psychological issues. My mother was not helping matters as she was always in trouble for attempting to ‘snatch’ one woman’s husband or another’s.
I managed to graduate and did my national youth service. Then moved back to my mother’s house and tried to find a job. It wasn’t easy. My mother had been caring for my child single-handedly. I decided to go and ask my father for money. It was on my way there that I bumped into Osas. I had not seen or spoken to him in months. He was in his jeep and he offered me a ride. Long story short, we made up. And he proposed months later.
and now I was happy…
I was happy because I carried this stigma of a child born out of wedlock and worse was repeating the same mistake. The truth is I was a deeply troubled soul and I thought this marriage would fix it.
We had our wedding in grand style and I moved in with him. Well, nothing changed. He still partied and drank like a fish. Oh, and all the girlfriends still had his attention. He told me he did not want me to work.
I stopped job hunting. Then I took in. my pregnancy journey was smooth when I was almost due he permitted me to go to my mother for care. I had a healthy baby girl. My mother was overjoyed and my father came to see us for the first time in years. I felt happy for the first time in such a long while.
When I returned home, I met telltale signs of cheating and wild partying. I decided to ignore them and focus on my child. Then things took a terrible turn. My husband lost a lot of money in a business gone bad. Money became limited. I reached out to my father for help. He sent me a sizeable sum which was enough to start a small second-hand clothing business. I began to get little cash from there to take care of home needs.
My husband tried to get back on his feet but wasn’t so easy. He still drank heavily. The fact that he could not sponsor lavish parties or hangouts frustrated him. He started raiding my shop and collecting my hard earned profits. He also beat me if I challenged him. I could hardly save now for every amount that came in, he swooped in and grabbed it. He began to sit with me in my shop to monitor what came in and went out. Needless to say, the shop closed up.
..and my Divorce journey began.
By this time I wanted out, I was so sure I would not stay married to Osas. I started thinking about divorce. One day I went to visit a friend because it was so depressing staying at home. she was both happy and surprised to see me. You see, my lifestyle had kept me away from so many people. After we spoke for a while, she informed me about a job opportunity in Lagos. I had been to Lagos several times and locating the place was not a problem. The problem was how to tell my husband.
I began to think about what I had been through and how I was living at that time. I took my decision. I told my husband I was attending an interview in Lagos. As expected, he said no. I left anyways. I took my little girl to my mother and made my way to Lagos. It was a real estate and interior design company. With my friend pushing some buttons, I got the job. I was asked to resume in two weeks.
I came back to Benin and Osas did not let me into the house. He packed my things and dumped them by the gate. I happily moved to my mother’s house and prepared to resume work in Lagos.
After six months of working, I was able to get a mini flat for myself. I brought my daughters to Lagos with my mother visiting every month. One year after my move, I filed for a divorce. Osas did not contest when I demanded full custody of our child. Like my mother, I have become a single parent.
I’m however a better person now. Wild partying life is fully behind. I want my children to see a hardworking mom and take after that. Osas is still in Benin, life got better for him. He has since remarried and has two children.
I might consider marriage later. Right now I want to focus on building myself, my relationship with myself, my kids and with God. I want daughters to see a different side of life and not to grow up making the same mistakes as I or their grandmother. This is my Divorce story. Thanks for reading.