I started suspecting my husband when he started being protective of his phones. He didn’t know I was watching him but I watched the way he tucked his phone under the pillow when sleeping and how he hid his phone in his towel when going to bathe. At first, I gave him the benefit of the doubt until I woke up one dawn and saw him typing on his phone. Immediately when I turned, he quickly threw the phone under his pillow and pretended he was sleeping. I didn’t say anything. I decided to wait and probe later.
I remember asking him; “What has changed in your line of work? Is there a new employee at your establishment?” He answered, “No, there’s no one new.” “Do you have new friends you go out with?” I asked. He answered, “No, there is none. Why all these questions?” I told him, “I’m only asking because you’re changing around here. You were not like this a few years ago but these days you’ve become secretive. You hardly tell me what’s going on in your life and you hardly ask what’s going on in my life. That’s the change I’m talking about.”
I intentionally avoided mentioning the phone. I didn’t want him to develop new strategies for concealing his actions. His answer was, “Things have changed around here. We come home from work very tired and there’s little room for us to talk. It’s all about our child these days. Don’t worry, now that you’ve brought my attention to it, I will make an effort to talk to you about things.”
After that answer, things got worse. He started seeking solitude from me and our child. Right after work, he would enter the bedroom, lie on the bed and be pressing on his phone. When he sees me coming, he would act jumpy as if something was wrong. I was buying time. I was waiting for the right time to act. I didn’t want to try and fail. I wanted to get it right on the first attempt.
He travelled one day for a whole week. He said it was a business trip and it was impromptu. He was rushing to leave the house as if he wasn’t going to return again. I helped him pack, walked him to the door and he left. He left on a Sunday. The following day, I sent a friend to go to his office and enquire about him. When my friend returned, she told me, “They say he’s on leave and he would be away for a week.” I smiled to myself and told my friend, “Men think they are smart but they are just an open book with sticky pages. All one needs to open them up is a finger to the tongue and their pages would flip open.” This is a friend I tell everything. She’s also married so we share issues in our marriage. Her husband is out of the country so I’m the one who keeps her busy. She told me, “Be patient with him. Don’t rattle him off.”
While he was away, he would call me in the morning and ask about the child. I will tell him the kid was doing very well; “He’s in the hands of a mother.” He would talk to the kid sometimes. In the evening, around 7pm, he would call me and say good night. I won’t hear from him again until the next day. Sometimes he would call and complain about how stressful the events were. “Long meetings but nothing gets resolved. I’m even tired. I can’t wait to run away from this hell.”
He came back on a Sunday evening looking like life had beaten the juice out of him. I made him his favourite food but he said he had eaten. He complained of tiredness so he went to sleep. I went through his bag. I found three packs of condoms. Unused. I went through the other side of his bag, there were receipts of payments made at the hotel; the food they ate and the drinks they enjoyed. Everything on the receipts came in pairs. I was patient. I was only waiting to go through his phone and I got my day two days later. His password was unchanged. We’d been married for four and a half years and I’d never gone through his phone. I didn’t even go near it but that night there was a reason to. I needed solid evidence.
He was seeing a married woman who was going through a divorce. Looking at the length of their chat and some of the things they talked about, they had dated for over two years. The woman had been married for eight years and had three kids. She had caught her husband cheating on her on four different occasions and it was the reason she was seeking a divorce. My husband said, “How can a man have a beautiful woman like you and still cheat? What don’t you have?”
I asked myself the same question; “Maybe I’m not as beautiful as this woman but what don’t I have?”
It was that woman he travelled with for a whole week. The pictures they took, the interesting places they visited. The video of the two of them on the dancing floor, holding each other. They were both wearing their rings so someone who didn’t know them would stand aside and say, “This is the couple goals I’m yearning for.” Going through the videos and their chat I told myself, ”Oh so my husband could be fun like that? Why is he not like that with me? What don’t I have?”.
The answer is money.
It looks like the lady had a lot of money. There was evidence in their chat where my husband had asked for GHC6,000 and the lady sent the money just minutes later. She had her own and was ready to spread it on someone else’s husband. I didn’t wake him up but I kept his phone. When he woke up in the morning and was asking about his phone I told him, “It’s here. I’m using it.” He jumped on me and snatched it away from me. “Don’t you have a phone? How can you use my phone when yours is there?”
I said, “Don’t worry. I’ve read everything and I know what you’ve been up to. The places you’ve been with that married lady. I checked your bag. Even when you were away, I went to your office to ask of you and they said you were on leave. What do you have to hide from me now?” He stood there like a statue, unable to say a word. I said, “Go ahead. Explain it to me. Or you’ve lost your voice?” He opened his phone and started going through it as if he didn’t believe what I was saying. I was waiting for him to say something but it looks like men always lose their masculinity and macho when you catch them red-handed. He didn’t talk. I was expecting him to apologize but he said no word.
We went to work and came back and he was still playing hide and seek with me. Anytime I asked him a question he said, “What do you want me to say, huh? Who asked you to go through my phone? I have no explanation to give you. Think of it however you want to think of it.”
So I called my parents and told them I was walking out of my marriage. They thought I was joking. Even when I told them everything they said, “Wait a little bit. He’s only embarrassed that you found out. He’ll come to his senses and apologize.” I told them, “I don’t need his apology. He should keep it while I keep my sanity.”
I left home one day and never went back. He didn’t call for three days until my parents called and asked where I was. I told them I was with a friend and I wasn’t going to disclose where. One day he came to the office with my parents. They wanted me home so I can listen to him. I went home with them. He knelt down and begged. He said he was caught off guard and he was sorry for everything. He even tried to cry but the tears didn’t come. I told him, “That’s ok. I forgive you but this marriage is no longer on the table. Have fun.”
We’ve been in court for a year and a half now. He’s the one slowing everything down, thinking I may change my mind. This mind is made up and I’m not ready to face the ghost of what should have been dead long ago. Guess what, through all this, he still talks to the woman. They go to places together. I have the woman’s number so I see her status. The photos she posts have the same background as my ex-husband’s. Cheats don’t change. They are only sorry because you caught them.