Our relationship began when I wished him a happy birthday on Facebook. We weren’t friends. We attended the same Senior High School but he was ahead of me. After I wished him a happy birthday, he sent me a message requesting my number. I sent it to him and we started talking. He was doing his national service in another region so our contact was limited to phone conversations and text messages. Communication between us flowed easily. We spent long hours on the phone talking and bonding. Within a month we were dating.
I hadn’t seen him since senior high school but I judged from our phone conversations that he was a cool person. Eventually, he finished his national service and moved back to his home in Accra. I live in Accra too so we were finally in the same region. We went on our first date and it was really fun. We talked about our past relationships and our future together. I really liked him especially after seeing him. He was everything I wanted in a man and I had high hopes for our relationship.
After our date, Ken found ways to bring up his ex in our conversations. Sometimes the topic of discussion wouldn’t concern his ex but he would steer the conversation in her direction and talk about her. He said the same things repeatedly that I remember one of the lines; “I really loved my ex but she really hurt me.” At a point, I told myself, “It looks like this guy still loves his ex? He is always talking about her.” I wanted to ask him but I didn’t.
Two months into the relationship he changed. His calls became infrequent and he wouldn’t text me back. Sometimes when I called in the evening his number was busy. One day I asked him, “What’s going on? You’ve changed. We don’t talk like we used to? Did I do something wrong?” He answered, “Oh no you didn’t do anything. I am sorry I made you feel that way. I have been busy searching for a job. Life after national service hasn’t been easy for me.” I understood him. I gave him space and prayed for him to get a job soon.
I tried in my own little ways to show my support for him. I sent him airtime a couple of times but he never called to say “I received your airtime. Thank you.” It happened four times. My efforts felt unwelcome so I stopped. Soon after that, he started asking me for money. I understood he didn’t have a job so I didn’t mind helping him out even though I was equally unemployed. While I was doing everything to help him, he was busy pulling away from me.
He said he was busy looking for a job. I didn’t buy into that. My instincts told me something else was going on that he wasn’t telling me. I tried several times to get his attention but he wouldn’t give it to me. I knew I deserved better so I broke up with him. It hurt like hell but I had to do it.
One month after the breakup he came to me with an armful of apologies. “I am sorry for being such a horrible boyfriend,” he said. “Forgive me for not matching your efforts.” He apologized for every little thing he did wrong until I told him; “It’s fine. I forgive you.”
“Do you mean it?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Will you take me back?”
“If only you won’t flake out on me again.”
“I promise I won’t.”
So, I took him back.
The only thing I did differently was to stop giving him gifts. In December 2018 we went out on a date and my battery died. I had to text my sister so I asked if I could use his phone. He gave it to me. I was typing my message to my sister on his WhatsApp when a message popped up; “I love you.” I was curious so I opened the message. I read all the chats. There was enough evidence there to prove that he was in a relationship with the sender of the message. I asked him what was going on and he snatched his phone from me.
I kept asking myself; “What did I do to deserve this?” I fought the tears threatening to flood my face and excused myself. I went outside, ordered an Uber, and went home.
He called to apologize; “I am sorry, please forgive me. It’s you I love. I will break up with her.” I hung up the call. He called me several times but I ignored him. After a few weeks, I finally answered his call. He said, “I’m serious about breaking up with her. We are over, I’ve blocked her everywhere.” He sent me screenshots of their breakup conversation and it appeared genuine so I forgave him and gave him another chance.
He got a job but he still asked me for money and I gave it to him. When he received his salary, he kept it to himself but when he was broke, he complained to me. In all our time together, he never gave me any gifts, not even a pin. Whenever I asked him for help he never helped. I was concerned about his behavior.
Somewhere in 2020, we broke up again. He went back to ignoring my calls and text messages. We lived twenty minutes away from each other but we barely got together. He made excuses about being busy with work. I couldn’t keep up so I let him go. I deleted his photos on my phone. I unfollowed him on social media and focused on my own healing and moving on from him.
Four months after the breakup he sent me a WhatsApp message with an unknown number. I blocked that number. He tried again with another number and I decided to hear him out. As usual, he came carrying a bouquet of apologies. I told him, “I have moved on. I’m no longer interested in whatever we once had. Move on too.” He said, “I understand. Can we at least be friends?” I agreed to it. The truth is, I still loved him and I held out hope that eventually we would get back together.
Many guys showed interest in me but I didn’t pay attention to any of them. I was passively waiting to get back together with my ex. I didn’t try to make it happen, I just gave it time. In 2021 he asked me to give him the last chance. I stretched him a little until I finally agreed to give him another chance in June. It’s been almost a year now and everything is good. He matches my efforts and he is every bit the man I first fell in love with.
Recently, we were having a conversation and I asked him, “You really have changed. What happened?” He answered, “My ex. She was the reason I couldn’t treat you right in the past. I really loved her so whenever she was single she came back to me and I took her back at any given time. The last time I took her back I thought it was going to be final but someone else came her way and she left me again. Her coming and going was the reason for my inconsistency with you. She’s gone for good and I’m also gone for good in her life.”
His answer made me feel very stupid and angry. I feel like I was his spare tire. He did to me exactly what his ex did to him. He says he is done with her and my instinct tells me he is telling the truth. His behavior over the past year has also proved it. But I am not sure I will be at peace in this relationship knowing the reason why he’s back with me. I will always feel like his ex is the one steering our affairs.
I am 26 and he is 28. We haven’t been intimate. It’s a rule we set right from the beginning and we’ve kept it. Should I leave him based on my fears even though he is a changed man?