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I CONFESS: No way out of unhappy marriage


I CONFESS

I CONFESS: No way out of unhappy marriage

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I JUST DON’T know what to do with myself. If it wasn’t for my children, I would walk away from my husband, my house, his family and all the stress I now have because of them.

I keep asking myself why my life has to be so hard? What did I do to deserve this? Why couldn’t I have found a husband who would treat me with respect and love me?

Instead I’m with a man who calls me all kinds of terrible names in front of his two children and anybody when he gets in a rage. He accuses me of sleeping around with other men because I have a lot of male friends who gave me money to feed and clothe me and his children when I was not working. This happened because though he was working, he refused to contribute.

Yet he is the one who puts on his clothes at least four nights a week and goes out with a woman. He never returns home to the next morning.

He accuses me of being a bad mother and trying to turn his children’s mind against him because I tell them that he is not a good example of what a man, husband and father should be. I tell my daughters all the time that a real man looks after the financial and emotional needs of his wife and children.

He would not gamble or drink away his money like their father does. He would not sleep around with other women like he does. Nor would he curse his wife and call her derogatory names in front of anyone. Most important, he would not beat his wife like their father has done to me repeatedly.

I am sick and fed-up of him and how he has turned my life upside down. I feel sad all of the time. I no longer smile. I hardly eat as I have no real appetite, so I’m losing weight. And I feel trapped because I have nowhere to go. I have no one to turn to.

I got into this mess because when I met this man I thought he was precisely what I was looking for in a partner, and did not take the time to really get to know him.

He had ambition and was a jack-of-all trades. He worked every day and his only focus was on making enough money to build a small home so he would have a place of his own. His parents and siblings all thought he was a lost cause because he did not do well in school, was rough in manner, would curse at the slightest thing, and always seem ready to quarrel or fight. They didn’t like him very much and just wanted him gone as soon as possible.

But after speaking with him when he did a job at my mother’s house, I realised that his behaviour was primarily a result of his environment. He was among people who consistently ridiculed him and told him he would amount to nothing, so his aggressive approach was to deal with that.

That was made worse by his inability to communicate effectively. For him a conversation was telling you what he wanted, full stop. No pleasantries like “good morning” or “good evening”; not even, “excuse me”. He did not give compliments, just insults. And he did not read the news or listen to it on radio or watched it on television because it did not matter to him.

He only cared about getting money in his pocket so he could buy food to eat, and hopefully save enough to build a house on a dead relative’s land that he got permission to do.

I found this demeanour an exciting challenge. Coming too after the break-up of my long-standing relationship with a married man, I wanted a real connection with someone I could walk around with and proclaimed as my own. So I got involved with him knowing his shortcomings and worked hard to soften his approach and attitude in the way he dealt with matters.

As part of that process I introduced him to some of the finer things of life, like keeping his hair well-groomed, dressing in a suit and tie, going to a classy restaurant, drinking wine, holding hands while walking, listening to news so he would be informed of what was happening around him, and speaking without using a curse word every four words.

It was not easy, but after four years of real hard work with him there were noticeable changes in his personality, so much so that even his family started saying that I really made him into a man. So we got married and had two lovely daughters. Everything seem to be going good between us until he got a job at a major establishment to ensure he made a stable salary as work in the construction sector was on the decline, and I did not have a job after my last pregnancy.

Within months of getting that job, one of the women there took a fancy to him and in no time he was driving her car and living with her. Not satisfied with that, he picked back up with his first child mother. It was from then that our relationship went down the drain.

I know for sure he was having an affair as he gave me an infection – the first in my life. So he could no longer deny anything. He reverted to his curse bird attitude because I constantly complained about what he was doing. Then the blows started.

I now have a Protection Order against him and we do not sleep in the same bed anymore. Before that he would force himself on me and beat me if I did not give him sex.

Now we say little to each other. There is always tension in the house and the children feel it. They, too, are sad.

As I said, my situation is really bad, but I have no way out. I just don’t know what I can do.

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