At my traditional wedding, when mom was asked to give me and my husband advice, she said, “No one in my family has been divorced and it’s by God’s grace. So divorce is never an option in this marriage.” Everyone around clapped and shouted Amen. When it got to my father’s turn he said, “I’ve been married for forty-five years and indeed it isn’t all rosy but divorce had never come into our conversation. So as you go to live together, no matter what, know that this is forever. There’s no turning back.”
I’m the last child of four girls and all of my sisters are in a happy marriage. My mother had three sisters and they all are married for so long, they tell you how important sacrificing in marriage is. I thought I knew all about marriage and the twist and turns even before I had a boyfriend. I always said the same thing that whoever I get married to will be forever.
On our wedding day, our pastor stood in the pulpit and boasted, “I’ve officiated fifty-six marriages in my pastoral journey, and guess what, none of these marriages have ended in a divorce and I know this couple is also going to be under the grace.” Marriage is a beautiful thing I knew and I also knew it came with a lot of ups and downs but what constituted ups and downs, I didn’t really pay attention to them.
First two months of our marriage, I caught my husband cheating. From my own investigation, the girl was someone he was dating even before we got married. The girl didn’t know he was married and was banking her hopes on marrying my husband in the future. The day I found out, I broke down totally and for a whole month, I couldn’t eat. I spoke to him about it and he accepted his fault and decided to make things better. He was always informing me about the steps he was taking to leave the girl. Then one day he told me, “I’ve told her I’m married so we can’t continue again. It’s over and I promise this will never happen again.”
My feelings toward him took a hit but I loved his sincerity and acceptance of fault and his will to make things better. I saw through his effort and decided to forgive him wholeheartedly. He became very obsessive about my happiness so much so that he always came home with a gift for me. I loved the change in him and prayed it continues till our dying days.
A year or so after, I found him in the toilet doing a video call with a girl. I didn’t let him know that I saw him. Later that night, I found out from his phone that it was the same girl he told me he had left a year ago. I was so shocked I became weak at the knee. I fell on the ground like an empty sack. “Agyeman, how would you do this to me? Were you not the one who told me a year ago that it was over? Were you not the one who promised it was never going to happen again? So why are you still with her?”
I thought he was going to be sober or apologize or even knell down and ask for forgiveness but he asked, “What were you doing on my phone? If you don’t stop going through my phone, one day you’ll find something worse than this and it will be you who’ll be hurt and not me.”
I didn’t want to cry but tears found its way nonetheless. “What did I do wrong to deserve this?” I asked him. He answered, “I knew you don’t deserve this that’s why I was hiding it from you but you decided to go and look for it. It’s your fault, not mine.” His answer got me triggered; “You’re a stupid man if that’s all you can say after being caught. I didn’t know you’re an animal who chases everything in a skirt.”
All my life I hadn’t been beaten like the way my husband beat me that day. The next day, I went home to show my parents all the marks and swollen face. My dad said, “The devil is a liar.” My mom added, “The devil is trying to destroy a beautiful union but he can’t succeed.” They held my hands and we prayed for over an hour. They asked me to go home and continue praying. They didn’t ask my husband anything or even tried to talk to him. They only called every day telling me they’ve been praying for me.
I started digging to find out more about the girl. I found out the girl had delivered recently and my husband was even at the naming ceremony. That points to only one thing; my husband has a baby with her. I confronted him about it and that day he beat me again. He asked why I’m interested in knowing what I’m not supposed to know. He also boastfully said, “Yes I have a baby with her. Two years after marriage, where’s your baby?” From that point, I knew the marriage was over. I packed a few things and left for my parent’s house. My dad asked me to go back. He asked me not to allow the devil to win. My mom said, “Others are going through worse but they’re still there.”
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My parents were not helping matters so I ran to the pastor who officiated our marriage. I told him everything and added that I was no longer interested in the marriage. He said, “It hasn’t gotten to that level yet. I’ll call your husband, we’ll pray and resolve the whole issue.” He did call my husband and we met. He accepted his mistakes and promised not to lay hands on me again. “How about the child you have with the other lady? How about that? Are you going to unborn the baby?” I asked. Then the pastor came in, “That mistake can’t be undone but the most important thing is that he had accepted his mistake so take it from there.”
It felt like no one was ready to listen to me. No one was ready to hear me and understand what I was going through. I was suffering in that marriage but no one cared about that. All they cared about was how to force me to stay married. So one day, I packed my things and went to stay with a friend. I turned off my phones so no one could bother me. When my parents were desperately looking for me, they asked my friend and she told them I was with her. When my parents came around I told them point blank that I wasn’t going back into that marriage. I was scared and didn’t know what could happen the next time. My mother was trying to understand me but my dad was obviously fighting for the record of not witnessing a divorce in his family.
All through the trouble, my husband didn’t do anything to show he really cared about me. He didn’t call my parents or anything. He was just there enjoying his life. It’s been over a month now since my parents found out I was living with a friend but guess what, my husband hasn’t cared to come and look for me. My parents think he has been bewitched by that girl that’s why he’s behaving strangely. So they continue praying and assuring me that my husband will come back to his senses and come back for me but in my mind, the marriage is over. I’m just waiting for the right time to make the divorce official.
Susana Afrakoma is a Qualified Producer and a Senior Consultant at Herbalife Nutrition, and has also worked for companies including Amazon, Avon and Mary Kay. She enjoys the company of her 3 handsome boys. Shes on the journey of becoming a Philanthropist and an Entrepreneur.