It wasn’t until I heard the judge say “I hereby pronounce the marriage between Mr. Akinlabi Adio and Mrs. Kafilat Adio dissolved today, both of you henceforth cease to be husband and wife” that it dawned on me that my 33-year-old marriage was really over.
My husband and I had been estranged for over a year before our separation was finalized. Even though we hadn’t been Seeing Eye to eye for quite a while, I never wanted a divorce. At 54, what was I supposed to do with my life? I had just lost my marriage as well as custody of my last born to my husband. Where do I start? How did I get to this point in the first place? Let me take you back a bit.
I met my husband Akinlabi while working as a receptionist for a friend of his. He had come to the office where I was still a new staff and took an interest in me. Then began our relationship which led to marriage. My husband had 3 wives before me. I was the last and lived separately from the rest of his wives because I didn’t want all the drama that comes with having co-wives and living in a polygamous home.
Our 26-years of marriage produced 4 children and I was fine with the way things were. When I got married to Akin, he stopped me from working and rented a store for me where I sold clothing materials. Since he wasn’t living with us, my husband had days he visited and gave us money for upkeep.
The problem started when my husband began to limit the days he visited and we rarely saw him or got anything from him. I also realised he gave preferential treatments to children of his other wives and treated mine as second class citizens.
Soon, he began to call me wayward names and branded me adulterous. He claimed he had been getting reports of my affairs with a particular man. Initially, I didn’t take his claims seriously until he started calling my kids bastards and voiced his doubts of his being their father.
Trouble from my ex
To be honest, I knew he had reasons to be suspicious. One day, my ex had shown up at the house while Akin was around to claim that my first son belonged to him. He and I had only just broken up when I met my husband and took in a few months later. My ex claimed that I left him for Akin because of money. He claimed that I had given his baby to another man. I confidently asked that a paternity test be done to clear my husband’s doubts but he wouldn’t have it and since then became hostile towards me my children.
One day, while I was in the compound gardening, my husband stormed the yard and asked what I was burying in the ground. I was shocked at his allegation and took offence which led to a nasty argument followed by threats. Akin branded me a witch and a fetish person and said he would avoid me from then on.
Just as we were about getting past that incident, I woke one night to find my husband’s brother in bed with me. I had thought it was my husband who had come to the house the previous night. There had been no light that night and he came into my bed just as my husband usually would. Additionally, I was quite sleepy and he had come in well after midnight when I was asleep.
Thinking It was Akin who had come to do makeup sex after all the quarrels, I went along without any suspicions. It was after I woke up that I realised it was not my husband.
Thankfully, none of my kids were around to hear my horrified screams. In horror, I asked my brother-in-law why he would do such a thing. The idiot replied that he had been fantasizing about having sex with me for a long time and he thought what he felt was mutual.
I almost stabbed him on hearing his stupid talk. The whole affair made me feel stupid. It was just a bad case. How do I explain myself in this case? I kept lamenting. Immediately, I reported the matter to my husband’s sister whom I regarded as a confidant. She usually was the one I would run to whenever my husband acted up. This time, she advised me not to tell my husband so that peace could reign in the family. She rained abuses on the other brother, calling him all sorts of horrible names.
I took her advice and kept mute about the incident. You can imagine my surprise weeks later When my husband stormed into the house and asked me to pack out. He called me a harlot and accused me of luring his brother to bed while he was away. He immediately instituted a divorce seeking custody of the child he felt was his.
As of today, I really do not know if it was my brother-in-law that told my husband or his sister in whom I confided. I had no one to defend me so when the matter was brought before the court of law, it was ruled in my husband’s favour. Our marriage was dissolved and custody of our last child was awarded my husband making me a divorcee at 54 with a tarnished image. That is the story of my life.
There is so much to learn from Kafilat’s divorce story. The entire story is built around trust and the breakdown of trust in marriage.
1. Ex’s and marriages don’t mix. I do not know how Kafilat’s ex got to her place. I do not know how he got an audience that day. However, his appearance was what set the wheel of mistrust that eventually ended in divorce rolling. Yer it is likely that this is one ex that Kafilat couldn’t dodge. However, keep exes out of your marriage. The reason they are ex is that they had the chance once and it didn’t work. A number of the divorce stories we have published have ex’s as a major cause of the problems that led to the divorce.
2. Always make every attempt to dispel all doubts and suspicions in marriages especially where you have a spouse with trust issues. This is one divorce that could have been avoided. Kafilat should have insisted on the paternity test for the children in question. If she didn’t have the money, she should have found it and after dispelling the doubts, found a way of collecting it back from her hubby. The marriage started falling apart and went south from the day the ex made his allegations. Even though the marriage continued, it was just a matter of time because divorce was already lurking.
3. Deal with all discomfort head-on. Kafilat should have reported the issue with her brother in law to her husband immediately after telling his sister. In the end, it was her word against theirs and the trouble, as well as the divorce she was avoiding eventually, came to pass.
Kafilat should pick up the pieces and live her life. I would advise she goes ahead and does the paternity test just to clear up that end of the matter. This would ensure that the kids can get the benefits from their dad unhindered. It is kinda sad but the mistakes are already made.
One day, the truth about the brother could come out. This coupled with the paternity test could turn things around. For now, however, there is so much evidence against her. Remember that this evidence was what informed the divorce judge to rule against her.
Please do take the time to add your thoughts and comments to this discussion. Your thoughts and comments add a dimension that aids us to get other angles to the story. If you do have a story to share or need relationship advice in your marriage, please send me an email via email@example.com.