A few months after marriage, I realized my husband had lost interest in shuperu. He wouldn’t touch me like he used to and wouldn’t kiss me even when I tried to kiss him. I made excuses on his behalf; “Maybe it’s tiredness. That man works too hard for too long. Maybe I should advise him to tone the work down.” So instead of asking him why he had changed towards me, I told him to take some time off work. “ We need to spend a lot of time together to rekindle what is missing, don’t you think so?”
I did all I could but this man didn’t stop working. He wouldn’t even take a few days off for us to wind down somewhere. He complained there was a lot of work to do and he couldn’t leave the work for anyone.
Just when I was fighting him on that, I found out that I was pregnant. He said, “You complain about our shuperu life but see the results. You see you’re pregnant? How many times we do it doesn’t matter. That quality is what matters.” I joked, “I would rather have lousy ones all week than have a good one once a week.” My mind shifted to the pregnancy so I didn’t worry him a lot about shuperu. I was going for antenatal, I was visiting specialists every now and then, and he was in the house talking on the phone or working on his laptop. My pregnancy was almost seven months old when it occurred to me that we hadn’t done shuperu all that while.
I told him, “Uncle P, I’m only pregnant. I’m not sick. I’m not suffering from any communicable diseases so why have you stopped coming closer to me?” He brushed it off as if it didn’t matter. I pushed him to the wall to talk about it but he did his best to run away from the discussion. I was getting worried. My hormones were all over the place and needed that to calm me down but this man denied me. I got agitated. I was fighting him over little things. If I cooked and he didn’t eat all, I attacked him as if he had murdered someone. Little things got me so angry because I felt starved and underutilized as a woman.
One evening he was on his phone busily chatting and smiling when this thought dropped in my head; “Why is he happy? Who is he chatting with and what are they talking about that he’s so happy? Or this man is cheating on me?” It was just fleeting thoughts from a jealous mind but as the days went by, the thought became entrenched in my mind. “Yes, he’s cheating. If not, then what would make a man stay this long without touching his wife?” I started looking for opportunities to get hold of his phone. That was when I realized that my husband guards his phone with all he had. One evening, I asked him, “Can I have your phone? I want to use the light to check something at the back of the house.” He answered, “What’s there to check? Don’t worry, let’s go. I will turn it on and follow you with it.”
I stepped out and he followed with the torchlight. I asked him one day, “I don’t have data. Can I use your phone to check something online?” He asked me, “What do you want to check online?” I answered, “Oh nothing really. Just pregnancy things.” He answered, “Give me the word and I will search for you.” I looked at him quizzically.
“Seriously?” He answered, “I’m also online checking something. Maybe you can wait till I finish.” He stayed on his phone all night. He didn’t give it to me. In the bedroom, he put his phone off and placed it under his pillow. My husband is a light sleeper. Any little movement can wake him up so it became impossible for me to get access to his phone.
He left his MacBook in the hall one evening and I went into it. I’m not good with MacBooks but I was determined to see what I wanted to see. I went through his Facebook and went through his messenger. There was nothing of note there. I checked his iMessages and that was when I saw all the evidence I was looking for. My pregnancy was old, I could have had a miscarriage. All of a sudden my baby started kicking violently. I was sweating and feeling dizzy.
My husband was having an affair. His affair mate was another man. Their messages had explicit content about how they had lived their lives and the places they’ve been to. Between him and my husband, my husband was the woman. That was what hurt me the most. All the pictures the guy had sent were revealing. He was muscular with the chest of Johnny Bravo. He had everything a woman would fall for but he preferred to have an affair with my husband. I screamed at him as if I was in labour. He rushed out to see me behind his computer. He screamed, “No, no, what are you doing with my computer?” iMessage was still open. He saw what I was reading. He kept saying no without giving me any explanation.
The pain was too much. My baby was kicking violently and my heart was beating faster as if it was coming to a stop. Maybe I passed out or maybe I was too weak to stand on my own. The next time I opened my eyes, I was at the hospital with a drip on me. He was there next to me, looking directly into my eyes. He said, “Please keep calm. Just keep calm and get better. I will tell you everything. I’m sorry. I’m deeply sorry for everything. Please don’t make the situation harder than it already is. I will explain everything once we are out of here.” I kept calm. I couldn’t look him in the face. I was embarrassed. I even regretted going through his laptop. Two days later, I was out of the hospital. He was the one who drove me home. We were quiet throughout the journey back home.
In the evening I asked him, “So how long has this been going on? Before or after marriage?”
“I met this guy after marriage. We haven’t been going out for too long.”
“Has it always been like that? You like men too?”
“It hasn’t always been like that but along the line, I picked it up. It was a craving that developed into something else as time went on.”
“So you were seeing other men even when you were seeing me?”
“Sort of but it wasn’t serious. Months before our marriage, I vowed to stop and I did until this one came along.”
“If you want men, tell me today and I would walk out of this marriage peacefully like a stone falling in a river. Splash-less.”
“I can swear with all my life that it’s over. I’m not going back to that character again. I can swear with any deity of your choice. There’s no turning back because it’s you I love.”
We had this conversation two years ago. I didn’t leave him. I trusted his words enough to give him another chance. It was a little bit easier because Uncle P is a good man. He knows his responsibility and roles in this marriage and he performs them without being asked. I considered all these things and gave him another chance.
Two years later, has he changed?
No! He hasn’t but I’m still with him.
I love the way he adores our child and is ready to do everything for the child and me. He would be home pouring all the love on us and later step out there and stoop for another man. I’ve caught him thrice since the first one. He doesn’t need help. He thinks he’s ok the way he is. At some point, he told me, “Why don’t you accept it just the way it is? That’s who I am and trying to suppress it makes me suffer and makes you suffer too. Why don’t we let it go and live life like that aspect of me doesn’t exist?” I told him, “The day I accept it the way it is, that day, I will walk away with my child and come no more. You can change P. You can.”
He hasn’t changed but I believe I should be the one to change. I have to walk away but I need a reason to walk away. I can’t go to my parents and tell them I’m walking away because my husband is into men. It’s a story I’m not ready to tell. It’s a story I’m not ready to explain. It’s the reason I’m still with him after two years of finding out who he really is.
No one knows my story except you reading this. This gives me some sort of closure knowing that at least someone out there has heard my story. I will continue to stay here with him until one day courage will hold me by the hand and take me out of this house for good.