I have known him for more than a decade. That should be enough time to as well know all about him. Nothing about him should be news to me anymore. ‘Giggles’. I wish I prepared for the shocker that is about ruining my life. If I had known…
I met Chyke in my first year of college. October rush. New students everywhere. Girls hunting by fast track guys. It was in one of the campus fellowships’ orientation that we met.
He embodies everything I envisioned my man to be – tall, dapper, broad chested, dark skinned with those killer looks. To crown it all, he was the prayer coordinator for the fellowship. He was physically and spiritually sound, at least in my estimation.
Sis, Look past religious sentiments and make sure his DEEDS match his CREEDS.
When he walked up to me, I literally felt on top of the world. I must have felt like a queen because he was my king, even if he didn’t know it then, I did.
Chyke introduced himself. He was a sophomore student in the university. Perfect match I thought. We became friends and remained so all through college.
We concluded our studies and left to pursue other interests but still remained friends, very close friends. I got a job in Abuja while he stayed back in the east where he took up a job in a firm.
He was my boyfriend, my fiancé even though he has not proposed, my future husband, and the father of our kids unborn. It was only a matter of time before he proposed, that I was very sure of. It was only a matter of time.
To me, nobody else mattered but the love of my life. To be sure I was not in a fairy land, I ensured he also revealed the way he felt about me. The feelings were mutual to say the least. We were on the right part.
While I was lost in the euphoria of my love for Chyke, and the dream of a perfect future with him, a forever happy after, I played a blind eyes to some attitudes he displayed.
Never ignore warning signals. I ignored it and paid heavily for it.
Truth be told, he has been behaving funny from our early days as a couple, way back in school. For instance, you cannot hold him in conversation with his full attention for long; he always wanders off.
While I brought up my concern about his attitude a number of times, he always comes up with a satisfying explanation. It’s either he was stressed out or any reasons that easily comes in handy. Whichever it was, I was always convinced.
Another point of concern was the way he treats me when we go out and he happens to meet a friend or colleague. Besides introducing me to the friend or the friend to me as the case may be, he ignores me for the rest of their conversation. It doesn’t matter where we were going or what we were doing, I don’t matter as long as the other person is present.
Sis, you are of great value, DON’T let any man treat you otherwise.
Of course, he often apologizes when I complain. That is after he has made sure he made me feel bad and inferior, not just by his words but his actions as well. He often accompanies the apologies with gifts which easily casts off every worry I had.
Initially a matter of concern to me, I soon waived it as one of the many stresses of life. we continued and soon he started talking marriage. I couldn’t be happier.
He met my family with his intentions and was welcomed. Talks and plans were in place for our marriage. His family also accepted me. What more could I ask for: a good job, a good man, a wonderful family, amazing prospective in-laws, and a wonderful marriage in view. I am a blessed lady, I must confess.
While everyone in my family accepted my soon to be husband, my elder sister, whom I am close to had her reservations. They would have been mine as well but I was so in love to care.
I once disclosed to her that Chyke has some spiritual problems, which is familiar as well. The tune off during conversations is a trait I have also noticed with his siblings. Funny enough, he told me that he thinks he has some spiritual issues but i couldn’t care more. We would pray it out I reasoned, whatever it was.
Something’s you pray about, something’s you face and detach yourself from.
After all, did the holy book not say that one will chase a thousand and two, ten thousand. How we often trivialize serious matters. I wasn’t much of a praying woman myself.
You don’t prepare in battle, you prepare for battle. If only I had known.
My sister expressed her concerns. She advised that I take my time, to weight the matter that lay before me. I assured her I can take care of myself no matter what I encounter. If only I had listened. If I had been a little more sincere to admit that I can’t handle it. But it is marriage we are talking about, Chyke may be my opportunity of a lifetime. What if I remain unmarried if I left him. No, I couldn’t take the risk.
My mother didn’t see anything wrong with my suitor. Infact, she already loves him like a son.
Chyke, at the time we were preparing for our wedding did not have a house or even an apartment of his own. He lived with his family in rented apartment in town. He is the first son and until then, had been taking care of his younger siblings including an unmarried elder sister.
One of my early concerns also was that Chyke and his siblings had no relationship. The unwritten rule was whoever had more money at any given time rules.
I wish I had known that I was Marrying into a family.
Though he was living in a shared apartment, my fiancé promised me we would get an apartment immediately after our wedding. According to him, let’s get done with the nuptials first. I saw reasons with him and we went ahead with the wedding planning.
Also, I was to quit my job in Abuja so I could get in mood for my new stage in life, marriage. To me, there’s nothing in that. Living apart from my husband was never and will never be a part of my plans as a married woman.
According to Chyke, I would also have to shut the door on all jobs or work until I have at least a baby. This is to save me from stress and to ensure we begin our family expansion earlier.
I wish I had Known that expanding my family has nothing to do with keeping my job.
When I told my sister, she once again expressed her concern but I took it as usual that she would not understand, even though she is married, has a job and a child.
At that time, it didn’t occur to me that ‘A WOMAN CAN HAVE IT ALL’.
I was completely blinded by love. Nothing is wrong with sharing everything with your spouse, including your money, right? I couldn’t have been in the wrong.
My sister kept telling me to reconsider. She suggested I might need to reconsider my stance. She was always a loving sister and confidante. She also pointed out my incompatibility with my husband to be. I would easily blend in or he does, I reassured her.
I didn’t know that I was reassuring my insecurities.
The month leading up to our wedding, I quit my job and came down to the east. I also vacated my apartment and did not renew my contract; I was moving into a new house, as a married woman anyway. I also had close to Five hundred thousand Naira (N500,000) in my savings account. One of my greatest mistakes was that I told my husband about that money, and unknown to me, he had his eyes set on it.
My wedding day was the happiest day of my life. Festivities, celebration, pomp and pageantry everywhere. Finally, I am a married woman. Mrs Chyke. My joy knew no bounds.
After our honeymoon, we moved into the family house. Then my woes began.
I was thinking that the ‘honey’ in the ‘moon’ will get me through the rest of my marriage. funny right?
I had always known that my sister in law did not really like me, probably because I was married and she’s not yet, but I didn’t care. Now, staying under the same roof with her was the beginning of my misery.
One of the days, I cooked plantain porridge the way I always had. To my greatest surprise, she added water after I was done saying that the food was too sweet. I have not gotten over the shock yet. On telling my husband, he said there is no problem with that although he apologized on her behalf.
I became uncomfortable and started pressuring my husband to get our own apartment since we’re done with the wedding. This was less than two weeks after we became man and wife.
Eventually we got our own apartment. I was overly joyed. Bulk of the money for the apartment came from my savings as my husband was with my debit card but I didn’t care. It would just be the two of us from now, or so I thought.
We moved in. The younger brother joined us. On a very beautiful day, we went shopping. While we were out, we met one of my hubby’s old friends, a female. He was excited and introduced me as his wife. That was that. I became oblivious from that point. They discussed while I stood like an alien, for more than 45 minutes.
This was when I realized that marriage cannot change the patterns of a full grown man.
I was mad. Finally, they were over with their discussion. She went her way and we continued with our shopping. My husband, seeing my countenance asked why it was so. Since we were outside, I suggested we leave the matter until we get home or get in our car at least.
He flared up. What do you mean? You must tell me the matter with you now and here. Onlookers were of course in full observation. I was embarrassed. He then flung the car key at me and ordered that I go to the car. Visibly shaken, I went to the car and sat down. He joined me shortly afterwards.
Something in me knew this day will eventually come but I have always suppressed it.
Then, he asked again why I was angry. I explained to him and while he apologized, he asked why I should be angry. One thing led to another and he ordered me out of his car. Not minding that I don’t have any money on me, also said that he doesn’t want to see me anywhere near his apartment. That is our apartment, the one that was paid for with my savings. Did I mention that what was left out of my savings was 5k which I was lucky to get because I demanded for my card when I did, which he released in anger anyway.
The red flags I ignored while I was dating him, blew up in my face.
As I got down from the car, he drove off, leaving me stranded in the middle of nowhere. As I had no money on me, and the card also wasn’t with me, I had no choice but to flag down a kekenapep (tricycle). I had no money at home so going there would be a bad choice. I drove to my sister’s office instead. She helped me with the fair, gave me the keys to her apartment and I have been there since the incident.
Funny enough, my so called husband has not as much as called me not to talk of looked for me. It is going to one week since the event and he couldn’t have cared less.
The most he did was to call my sister to ask if I was with her. When he confirmed I was, he became macho once more.
He said to my sister that although he was wrong and admits so, I must come back to him and beg for forgiveness. For what exactly? For getting angry and being embarrassed. Then, I must say, “baby, I am sorry.” Until then, he will not call nor take me back.
I soon realized that there is no limit to which an egocentric man will go to feed his ego.
Now, I’m regretting why I quit my job. Why I relinquished my apartment in Abuja. Why I got married in the first place. Did I mention that he abuses me physically as well beyond the emotional trauma he’s subjecting me to. I wouldn’t say I didn’t see the signs or the red flags, I just decided to act blind to them. Now I can see. In just one month of marriage, I’ve had experiences to last me a lifetime.
To my sisters,
I wish I had known ……
That being in love is not a solid foundation for building a successful marriage.
That we needed to have a financial structure.
That His family does not disappear after the wedding.
That spirituality is not equated to holding a position in church/fellowship.
That Charisma does not amount to character.
That I can’t change a full grown man.
That Ignoring a red flag will cost me heavily.
That through knowledge is a house built and through understanding it’s established.
That emotions has the capability of beclouding my sense of reasoning and I should not trust it.
That I have the choice to either marry someone who can resonate with the highest version of myself or the lowest version of myself.
That marriage is a goal but NOT the ultimate.