We got married in April 2014. I was a young graduate. All I had was my dreams and desire to make life better for myself, my family, and my new husband. He was also young. Four years older than I am but had the mind of a giant.
He was a young lawyer determined to take the world by the horn, make a mark for himself in the law industry, make enough money and later go into politics. The two of us were a perfect match because we knew what we wanted from life and were determined to get it.
A few months after marriage, I got a banking job. It was always there for me but was only a matter of time. I had the links. I had the qualifications and I had the pedigree for the job. I did my service with them and proved my mettle. Apart from that, I worked with them for a year. I wasn’t fully paid but I stayed to create links and relationships with people who matter and could speak on my behalf. It was those people who called my name at the high table for me to get the job. It was a lucrative job but demanding. I had a husband who understood me because he was also in a demanding professional field.
A year later, we were drifting apart. I saw it and brought it to his attention; “It looks like our individual profession has taken the center stage in our union. We care more about our work than building this marriage.
When was the last time we sat and talked? When was the last time we went out as a couple? When was the last time we had fun? We leave early in the morning and come late in the evening. You get home and get busy with your books. There’s always one case you have to learn about. It’s the same with me. I come home late and knackered. All I want is to sleep. No time to consciously build what we have.”
He agreed with me but thought it wasn’t anything we should worry about. I thought it was something we should worry about if indeed we treasure the marriage. So we started working on it. We made a conscious effort to be home early, whatever ‘early’ means to us. When we got home, we made a conscious attempt to talk about our day, and interact for at least two hours before we go to bed.
During the day, we texted each other when we couldn’t call. We brought awareness into the marriage and it was working. It was during that period that I got pregnant. He was happy but I didn’t know what to think about it because it was going to slow my progress at work. In the end, I got pulled into the emotions and became happy regardless.
I gave birth in 2016. It was a boy. A boy he named after himself. We hired a nanny to help around with the kid. The cracks started showing right when I got pregnant. It got deepened after the baby was born.
For all the months I was pregnant, my husband did not give me a penny as a way of helping me pay medical bills or buy drugs when I needed to. I visited hospitals often and told him what happened and what I was asked to buy. He didn’t bother to know. I paid for everything. When I gave birth and was discharged, he didn’t bother to ask how much I owed in medical bills. I paid for everything. All he did was come to the hospital and take me home.
In the house, he didn’t bother about baby things. All he did was give the weekly housekeeping allowance without factoring in the needs of the baby. I didn’t talk. He lived life as though we were still two people in the family. I resumed work and the nanny took over the care of the baby during the day. A few months later, I decided to bring those issues to the table.
The nanny had worked in the house for three months and I was the one paying her. I told him, “Our financial burdens are not the same as when we were only two people in this house. We have a baby. We have a nanny. They both come with their own financial burdens but you don’t do anything about that. Since pregnancy, it has always been me. Please start doing your bit financially. I can’t always be the one.”
He didn’t object to any of the issues raised so I thought he had consented to do something. The month ended. A week later, the nanny came to ask for her salary. I said, “You haven’t been paid? For a whole week?” When my husband came I asked him. He said he forgot. He told me he didn’t have enough on him that day so I should pay her and he’ll pay me back the following day.
He never paid back. We had a sit-down talk again where we split the financial burdens. Everything was clear from that day. He knew what was in his care and I knew mine. In fact, we split everything down the middle. When it got to the time to make payments, this man pretended he hasn’t seen money all his life. We were always talking about the same money issues until I got tired. I was the one paying for everything in the house. If he had to pay something, we had to fight for days before he decides to part with money.
Our child started going to school and I thought school fees would be one thing he would be proud to pay. He chose the school. On the first day, he drove the kid to school. He paid fees and paid for books and everything. I got the impression that he was going to continue.
The following term he pushed everything back to me. My child’s forms in the school had my details so I was the one the teachers were calling for fees and whatever our child was owing. It got embracing for me so I started paying for that too. We fought a lot and I even threatened to send him to social welfare. I didn’t understand why a man who has a good job would refuse to take care of his own child.
Whenever we fought about something, he would start doing it for a while and later stop. In the evening when he wants sex, he would climb on me and take it however he wanted it. I couldn’t stand his irresponsibility towards the family so I started reporting him to his own family.
They spoke to him but he never changed. At one of such meetings he told his family, “But she has a good job and she’s paid very well. What is wrong with it if she pays the fees of our child? I got infuriated so I told him my mind right there. I told his parents, “If it continues like that, I will have no option but divorce because I don’t see the need of having a husband who doesn’t do husband things.”
One day we fought. He said harsh things to me. He said I should be grateful to have a man like him in my life because many women my age are begging men to marry them so they could bear their names but they don’t get it. “You should be grateful because it’s not all rosy out there. Don’t you work? Don’t you receive a salary? What is wrong if you take care of some few things around here?”
Days later, I brought him divorce papers. He looked shocked. He stared at my face for several seconds without saying a word. I said, “Yeah, you leave me with no option. I’m taking care of everything around here. I want to continue doing it without you in the frame.” Even at that point, he thought I was just blowing hot air.
By the time he realized the whole thing was serious and sent people to apologize, I had already moved on and was thinking of what next to do. No amount of persuasion could sway me. I was paying the rent so I asked him to move out. When he tried to resist and fight me, I reported to DOVVSU. To save the little grace he had left, he grudgingly packed his things and left.
The only property we had between us was a piece of land we contributed to buy. For years I nagged him for us to start something on it but he kept postponing. During the divorce, he said he bought the land. I didn’t fight it. I said, “All I want is to escape from this. He can have everything, I don’t care.” It lasted over a year but in the end, we got a divorce. His responsibility towards the child was spelt out.
Two years later, he never defaulted. He even paid the amount before the end of the mount. He was coming home on weekends to visit. He would help the kid do his homework, hang around for a while, and later leave. Sometimes he would come for him and they’ll spend the weekend together. All that while he was asking for us to get back together again. I chuckled at the thought of it. “Me? come back to you? For what exactly? All I want from you is what you’re doing now and it’s sufficient unto me.”
I don’t know what happened that night or what I was thinking. Maybe it was loneliness or it was me longing for shuperu or something. I hadn’t done it for two years. I used to think about it but I stopped. He came around one weekend and it started raining heavily just about the time he was leaving. You know Accra and flooding whenever it rains. He told me, “It’s getting heavy. My car is small.
If I don’t take care the flood might carry my car away.” So he overstayed until late at night. I was lying on the sofa when he rushed to me and started touching me. Honestly, I didn’t fight it. Whatever would happen happened and he left. We never spoke about what happened. I only told him, “Don’t come around again. If you want him, we can meet in the middle and have him.”
One month later, I’m pregnant with his child.
My world is falling apart as I write this. How do I explain this to anyone? I haven’t even told him about it. We’ve been divorced for two years only for us to get pregnant again. Where does this happen? I have two options available to me currently. To get rid of it or have it. Both choices come with consequences that would be very hard for me to carry. I think about it and I break down and cry.
“How did I allow him to do this to me? To put me in such a difficult situation? One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want him back in my life. He had had enough of me and it’s all I can give. My headache now is how to handle what’s on my plate currently. I don’t know how long it would take before this story is published but I hope it’s published early enough for me to get the answers I need. Where should I go? Left or right? I’ve thought of having the child without telling him but can I hold such a secret forever?