When The Green Is Not So Green
Anyone I tell my story, uhmmm… would say I had a perfect marriage and even if I now realize I had a perfect marriage, it took me two years and a journey through hell to figure that out. And this is my story:
I got married to the absolute sweetheart of my life, Michael. I wasn’t naïve and I didn’t marry him out of pity because I got married at the age of 23 while he was 28. He worked with a firm that paid him above average and all my life I just wanted to own a supermarket and I got it. I have a little girl. I drive a Toyota Camry 08 while he has a Toyota highlander. So basically, I was comfortable financially and happy. And in my marriage, there was enough love to go around, enough understanding even for the whole family.
Four years into my marriage I was happy until I met with Aisha and Precious in my supermarket. They walked into my supermarket giggling as usual and they reminded me of when we were in university; it used to be three of us, Aisha, Precious and Moni in a clique. When I stood up to them, I was actually proud of myself, who wouldn’t be? I had everything I wanted, a home and a business. But when they looked at me - more like scrutinized me, I definitely felt smaller. I wore a buba and a very comfortable slippers and I felt totally good that morning but apparently, in their Nike and adidas sport looking “costumes”, they depicted women who just went out casually to get something but definitely classy type of women, even the weave on their heads screamed money and for a tiny second, I wished I could just vanish, like disappear with the wind.
“Aaah moni, where have you been” screeched Aisha “I just thought about you recently and I reminded Precious about you – or precious can’t you remember? It’s like you just disappeared after you got your degree”
“But at least we still communicated during NYSC” chirped in Precious.
And I just stood there smiling sheepishly because words just failed to come out of my mouth but I knew I needed to say something, to defend myself and everything I took as a big deal in my life.
So I told them, “Well, I have been busy married. You know, being a mother, a wife and a business woman”
Like they planned it initially, they just looked at each other and laughed. I was so embarrassed; actually, embarrassed is an understatement.
Precious with her tiny loud voice said “and that is what you call living? Aisha please explain what living is to her because she keeps talking like the rest of us are not married. Like we do not have families and husbands but still rock our joggers and Mercedes. Aisha, please stop smiling and defend me because it feels like I’m lost here.”
At that point, my supermarket that had two split air conditioners started blowing heat. I didn’t know where the shame and heat came from. But lucky for me, we just laughed and dropped the topic and we ended up exchanging numbers.
The embarrassment and shame led to anger and I just couldn’t let go of the anger till I got home. Usually, my husband gets home from work earlier than I do. So when I walked in and saw him on the bed, my head almost divided into two from the anger in my head.
“Baby, what’s up with you?” he asked
I just hissed and walked away. I mean, my husband is a sweetheart and so he still walked with me into the room and was asking for the problem……
I ignored him and went to the kitchen, prepared him a bland meal and left it on the table for him without the usual “lovey-dovey” and that went on for over a month.
Meanwhile, all this time, I was still talking to my friends and they were introducing me to the real life making the previous life I chose totally average. They were married too –“happily married” and they were still having fun and cruising in the most expensive cars. What was I doing with my life? You needed to have been there to listen to what my friends had to say about their marriages. And that was all I wanted in my life – not only in my marriage. Aisha’s husband gets her the most expensive cars, bags and shoes. She even has time to travel to as many places as she wants. Precious has everything she wants to while I was totally stuck with one man, in one house and with one car who was always demanding for sex. Like I practically had to tell him everything and seek for his permission.
Two months after meeting these friends, I was already leaving the house without permission, keeping late and started becoming aggressive towards my husband – always picking fights. My marriage was virtually crumbling and my home just became a big house. Aisha and Precious introduced me to Williams already, and I wished I had met him earlier. Gosh…he had everything, the money, the sex and everything a woman could ask for. The only thing was that he was not my husband and my husband was close to kicking me out of the house. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Williams for all he had to offer but I couldn’t accept the thought of Michael leaving me. But I was totally blindsided by everything I got from Williams to the point where the vows I made no longer had any value to me. Williams and I had planned a three day “personal moment” so I told my husband vaguely that I was going on a “business trip”. I can’t deny the fact that he is a sweetheart but even the nicest guys have their limit and so I remember Michael warning me that if I decide to travel, I should not bother coming back. I weighed my options actually but at that moment I chose Williams and I travelled out of my marriage.
My three day holiday with Williams was horrible. It was a moment I can never forget in my life. Leave the money and the handsomeness that represents the surface of Williams, but beneath, he is a total monster. Spending three days with him showed me so many things I didn’t know about him. He was a total monster. He wouldn’t allow anybody see me or speak to me, he wouldn’t allow me argue with him, he basically just wanted to dominate me. To make things worse, He drugged me for sex because he had some kind of obsession for that. I couldn’t just deal.
I got back into the apartment I rented with William’s money and my friends were still supporting me. They told me I could make it as a single woman just hanging out with new men and making my money and that didn’t seem like a bad idea to me. This happened for like two weeks until my friends invited me to their homes. It was simply disastrous. Aisha’s husband beats her – mercilessly. We visited and he didn’t even have the shame to keep the beatings till we left, he actually took her to the kitchen furiously and beat her till she screamed and we got there to take in the whole scene. Immediately he saw us, he just left and Aisha was left with us sobbing her destiny out screaming; “for how long will I deal with this”
I took the words in and asked her how long she had put up with it. She was like since a week after her marriage and something in me just died there. I didn’t know what to say and Precious in a bid to pacify Aisha, told her she has issues in her marriage too. That was how I got to know that Precious had issues with her husband; her husband was a drug peddler and EFCC was after him. After her own story, I just couldn’t handle it anymore…their marriages were not perfect too, they had issues too and I had left my own marriage that was closest to perfection for total rubbish. At that moment, I desperately wanted my husband back – I needed my marriage back and I needed my home.
So in tears, I drove to my mother-in-law’s house. I explained the whole story to her without missing anything. She was disappointed but that woman is a good one…, it felt like she was reading through me and she didn’t need me to explain because she understood. Several meetings were held for my husband and I. it took a lot of pleadings and meetings and prayers and whatever anyone believes in before he accepted me back. We got back together and even though my marriage has totally deteriorated, I mean, it feels like we have to start all over again, me being careful around him trying not to say anything wrong or something, I still feel we can pull through this. But sincerely, mine feels like a fairytale because not everyone can survive this and so it’s better to actually just stay put….