IS DIVORCE BAD? I LEFT TO SAVE MY LIFE.

by Onyinye Ogbuka
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I am a survivor, a divorcee, a woman who chose to take a walk. It was hard but I made it out alive. Is divorce bad? Society would paint it as wrong but I have come to understand that it’s he that wears the shoe that knows where it pinches. I didn’t leave because I felt like it, I left to save my life and my sanity.

IS DIVORCE BAD? Common grounds

I met my husband while I was in transit to my place of work, his phone rang and it turned out that we were using the same kind of phone and funny enough, the same kind of pouch. I guess that was a common ground with which he could strike up a conversation with me. We had an interesting conversation and afterwards, we decided to exchange contact so we could talk further. I liked him, I liked the crinkle around his eyes whenever he smiled. We said our goodbyes and parted ways. 

We began talking on the phone and could not meet up much because he stayed in another state. He had just come to visit his sister in my state. When he asked me to be his girlfriend, I was reluctant because I was not a fan of a long-distance relationship. However, he was so caring and wonderful to me. I finally said yes and thus, we began a long-distance relationship.

IS DIVORCE BAD? A wine flag

When we were dating and doing the long-distance thingy, I noticed he talked harshly whenever he was angry. I did not really see it as a bad thing, I was a calm person. Most times, whenever he talked harshly like that, I would not engage him, I would just keep quiet and allow him to calm down. I liked that he would apologize each time and say how sorry he is. That was enough for me.

We dated for a year and he asked that I marry him, I loved him so much and did not see any reason to say no, so yes it was. When we met again, he was warm and nice and I took him to go visit my parents and I visited his too. In a short time, we had completed the marriage rites.

I resigned from my job since he earned more, moved to his state and moved in with him.

That was like opening a trunk full of snakes.

IS DIVORCE BAD? A good wife

I discovered that where we lived was not well furnished. I wanted to furnish it but he said he did not have money. Tunji claimed he had spent a lot of money on the wedding. I took out of my savings to give the house a little bit of life and colour. When I had renovated it to my satisfaction, he complimented me and I felt good.

Two months after we got married, he went out one evening to watch football with his friends, and he came back angry because his team had lost. I tried to soothe him and he harshly told me to go get his food. It was Egusi soup and pounded yam. While taking the first morsel, he asked why there was no meat in his soup. I told him meat had finished and I was planning to get meat from the butcher around us but I did not have much. He started yelling and asking why I would serve him without giving him meat.

A first

As usual, I did not try to engage him. I was standing before him with my head bowed, he toppled the table and the hot plate of Egusi poured on my foot. I shouted in agony and that was when he stood up and came towards me. I was scared because he was towering over me so I retreated in fright. In a flash, he struck me on the face while insulting me. He seemed to have frozen after striking me. He hurriedly made his way into the room. I could not sleep in the same room as him so I passed the night in the living room.

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The next morning he apologized to me and said I was at fault; it was wrong for me to have served him like that without meat because it made him feel like he was not a man. I felt sorry that I made him feel like that and we reconciled.

A pattern

That would not be the end of it, rather that was the beginning, it was difficult to argue with him because he would slap me. I had to do as he said or he would slap me many times. I was getting scared of him. I had to start looking for a job because asking him for money had become a problem. He would refuse to give me money sometimes and when I did not serve him the way he liked, he would beat me.

Six months into our marriage, an older woman in our compound jokingly asked when we would give birth. In the presence of my husband, I told her it would happen when God wanted. She faced my husband and told him she was waiting for him to score a goal with me. I laughed heartily, little did I know that my husband had taken offence at my banter with the woman.

IS DIVORCE BAD? Pain

I felt something in between my legs and suspected it was my cycle. I left my husband and went inside so I could clean myself up. I was in the bathroom cleaning myself up when my husband barged into the bathroom, his eyes fell on my stained panties and he struck me, I narrowly missed falling on the toilet bowl. He dragged me out by the neck of my cloth screaming that I was infertile, I was wasting his sperm, I made him made feel less of a man in front of the older lady. He kicked me in my stomach, pulled out his belt and started to whip me. I was crying at the top of my lungs. After some minutes he was done with me. 

I managed to get myself up, I was injured. I could not go outside for two weeks. My compound is occupied by people who are rarely around so people were not quick to find out. I was scared for my life. I started praying to get pregnant and I was lucky. I got pregnant the next month. 

IS DIVORCE BAD? A bundle of Joy

When I announced it to him. He picked me and twirled me around, that was the happiest I had seen him in a long time. 

I had the baby and that was when the beating increased. He earned money but the money never came home. I was still looking for a job and baby food had to be bought. Each time, I asked him for money, he would claim not to have. The money my family had sent me to congratulate me was what I was using to provide food for us. He would go out and get nice things for himself and conveniently forget about the baby’s needs. It was tiring. On one of such occasions he said he did not have money, I lost my cool and and flared up. He beat me to an inch of my life that day. 

IS DIVORCE BAD? Drastic measures

I could not stand my baby always crying for food. I went to a building site and begged them to allow me to work. They were reluctant at first but when I told them I had a baby to feed, they gave me work and at the end of the day, paid me double for my labour.  I went back home and had to brainstorm on how to use five thousand naira to the best of my knowledge. I decided to make meals and sell them to people.

I made spaghetti and uploaded it on my WhatsApp status, before I did that I had blocked my husband and our mutual friends from seeing my status. Five people ordered the spaghetti and I quickly made it and delivered it. I asked people to refer me and soon I had more people patronizing me. My husband found out and requested that I remit my revenue to him so he would use it to take care of the house.

Exodus

I disagreed with him and he beat the hell out of me.

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Is divorce bad

That was when I knew I was done. After delivering the next day to my customers and collecting my payment which I added to the little money I had saved up, I gathered a little luggage for my baby and me. I took the next bus to my parent’s house. When they saw how bad I looked, they welcomed me.

I settled in quickly and doubled down on my hustle and soon I was making six figures from my cooking. I was cooking for high profile people and cooking for events. My business had expanded, I had people under me and had gotten a place for myself. My husband came back three months after I had left to beg and I refused to go back to him. He was crying, my parents tried to force me to go back to him and I threatened to end my life if they put any more pressure on me. I was mentally broken and struggling to pick the pieces up, I sought a therapist who helped me heal. It’s been three years and I am glad I left.

IF YOU HAVE A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE, WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, REACH OUT TO US VIA sextherapist@mildstrings.com

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