I was almost twenty years old when I had my first boyfriend. I was in nursing training college at the time. I only agreed to be with the guy out of curiosity. Everyone around me had boyfriends and I felt left out. I didn’t have a lot of men expressing interest in me and that made me feel ugly. So when someone finally proposed love to me, I accepted him. I told him we wouldn’t do shuperu until marriage and he agreed.
I was determined to give it my all so I could experience being loved by a man. I introduced him to my parents and they disapproved of him. He had a baby with someone else and I didn’t mind, but my parents did. They told me it wouldn’t work out but I insisted on being with him. One day we were making out and he tried to go all the way but I said “No.” He didn’t stop. He forced himself on me and had his way. I was so angry that I broke up with him. He came to apologize and I took him back. Things were not good between us but I was naïve. I felt if I gave him my all, he would treat me right. Three years into the relationship I caught him cheating on me for the second time. I had had enough and I knew I deserved better so I walked away.
I took my time to heal from all the trauma he put me through. Five months later, I went to church and a guy offered me a lift when we closed. He took my number before I alighted and we started talking. After talking on the phone for a while we met in person. During our conversation, it came up that we attended the same nursing school. He was a few years ahead of me so our paths never crossed. We also found out that we had some mutual friends. I enjoyed his company because he made me laugh a lot. Before we parted ways he asked me to marry him. It was so sudden, we barely knew each other at that point. I told him, “We just met. Let’s take our time to know each other better before we start talking about marriage.”
He called often to try and get me to accept his proposal. He said “I am ready for marriage. I don’t want to spend a lot of time dating.” He brought in his friends and our mutual friends to help him make his case. They told me, “We know Kweku, he is not a bad person. He will be good to you. Look into your heart and give him a chance. Their words took root in my mind until I started to believe them. The next time he proposed to me, I accepted it. After that, he started putting pressure on me to introduce him to my parents.
I liked it, it made me feel he was serious about me. I told him, “I think we should get to know each other better before we involve our families.” He responded, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine. I love you.” He was so sincere. It was hard not to trust his intentions. A month into the relationship he brought his family to meet mine for an official introduction. In less than a month, they returned for the marriage list and my father gave it to them. They told my dad they would perform the marriage rites within a month.
I started to see myself as his wife because of how things were going. We had agreed to no shuperu before marriage, but after the family introduction he persuaded me; “We will be married in a few weeks so let’s do it. You know I’m serious about you.” I gave in to his demands and allowed him to have his way. A month passed, and there was no sign of the marriage rites taking place.
He started giving me excuses. Today he would say, “I am very busy right now.” Tomorrow he would say, “I am waiting to be posted for work before I get married.” Another day he would say, “You know I am furthering my education, I just paid my school fees so I don’t have money.” While he was doing this his father was constantly calling to ask if we are ready to receive them for the marriage rites. My dad became concerned. He kept asking me questions, “When is Kweku coming? Why haven’t we heard anything from him?” I didn’t know what to tell him. It seemed like I brought someone home to make a fool out of him.
Kweku kept up with his excuses while he kept coming to me for shuperu. He said he wanted me to get pregnant before we get married. Maybe I was still naïve because I fell for it every time. The marriage that was meant to happen within a few weeks ended up not happening even after we were together for a year. To make matters worse, his dad got sick. He spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital, so Kweku used it as an excuse to delay things further.
I made up my mind that if we were not married by October 2020, I would move on with my life. When October arrived, I found out that I was pregnant. He was not in town at the time so I called to tell him about it. He was elated, and he called his parents to inform them. They called me and assured me that they will make sure their son does the right thing and marries me. When he returned from his travel he came to my house with his brother to inform my parents about the pregnancy. They promised to come back soon to make things official between us.
A week after that his father passed away.
I understood that the marriage plans would have to delay further. I was home one day when a strange number called me. It was a lady. She introduced herself as Kweku’s girlfriend, “I caught him sneaking around to answer your phone calls, so I took your number from his phone. What’s your relationship with him?” I told her that I was his girlfriend and we were getting ready to get married. She said, “Then I will leave him for you. I wish you all the best.”
I confronted Kweku about the other girl and he denied it, “She is just a crazy ex-girlfriend who won’t leave me alone. There’s nothing going on between us, I swear on all that’s sacred. I’m with you and that’s enough for me.” I didn’t believe anything he said. The fact that he stood before me and lied so confidently broke my heart. Whatever trust I had in him was lost that day. I pretended to believe him for the sake of peace. After all, I was pregnant with his child. What choice did I have?
By the grace of God, I delivered a beautiful baby without any complications. After delivery, I found out that he was still talking to the lady who called me. When I asked him about it he denied it. This time I gathered evidence so I showed it to him. That was when he started apologizing and begging me not to leave him. My work posting came around that time and it was in another town. He told me he was ready to pay my dowry just around that time too. My parents told him to wait until I settle into my new workplace with the baby.
It took me three months to find a comfortable place to rent. I asked him to help me pay the rent and he told me he didn’t have money. I was surprised. This is someone who said he was ready to pay my dowry and he is telling me he doesn’t have money to help me pay my rent. After I settled into my new place, I found out through a friend that Kweku was cheating on me with another girl. It was a girl he had introduced to me as a friend who was more like a sister to him. That was the fourth girl I had caught him cheating on me with and I had had enough, so I broke up with him.
He showed up at my place with some respectable people we both knew to come and apologize to me. He cried and begged and told me it wouldn’t happen again. He promised me again that he would perform the marriage rites if I gave him the go ahead. I didn’t believe him anymore, the trust between us was broken beyond repair. I asked him to give me six months to decide if I want to marry him. I told him, “In that period of six months, we will see if you’ve truly changed.”
This month of June is the sixth month. He is very serious about our relationship right now. I have seen him put effort into gathering money for the marriage ceremony. I almost believed that he had changed until I went through his phone. From his phone, I saw that he was dating other people. He had gotten smart about hiding evidence but I still caught him.
He doesn’t know that I know what he is up to. I put up with him all this while in hopes that he would change but here we are. They say old habits die hard and I say old cheating habits die harder. I know he will not change even when we get married. I want my son to grow up in a home with both parents but I don’t want to end up with a cheating husband. I keep hearing that all men cheat and I’m beginning to accept it. My ex cheated on me and now my fiancé is a chronic cheat. Right now I’m wondering if I should just stick with the devil I know. Or if I should take my chances and be a single mother.
I am so scared I will make the wrong choice and everything is confusing. I don’t know what to do.