I met him at a picnic organized by my church. In the spirit of festivity, I was open to socializing. When he approached me, I welcomed him with a warm smile. It was an instant connection. We spoke as though we were old friends. This guy was down to earth and he behaved toward me in a manner that made me feel special. By the time the picnic was over, we had each other’s contacts. His texts always put me in a light mood. As for the phone calls, they often left me in fits of laughter.
Our friendship grew slowly and we watered it with daily communication. As time passed, we realized that our feelings for each other had grown beyond friendship. We entertained thoughts of love and romance all in hopes of marriage. From the way we clicked and understood each other’s needs, we believed we could build a happy home. We talked, planned, and prayed for our dreams to be realized. Two years later, we stood before God, our families, friends, and uninvited guests, in a simple yet beautiful ceremony and vowed to love and cherish each other until death.
The first few weeks after our wedding was amazing. My husband continued to be the man I married. He was the kind of man who shut off the entire world when we were together. He always made me feel like I was the only woman worth his attention. It was one of the reasons I fell in love with him. I’m not saying that our relationship was filled with roses and sweet wine. No, we had our sour moments too. But one thing that helped us sail through them was our trust in each other. I trusted him with my life, even. Some people will call it crazy love but that was just how we were.
He is also one of those people who are obsessed with social media. He is always online making posts and sharing memes. I didn’t like that at first, but I got used to it because it never interfered with our quality time together. The only thing I had a problem with was how protective he had always been with his phone and his computer. He guarded them as if they held the secret to the whereabouts of the infinity stones. And he treated me as if I was Thanos, seeking to destroy the world with the stones. We always argued about it but nothing changed. The passcodes on the devices were too complex for me to figure out. And he wouldn’t even leave them anywhere near me.
During premarital counselling, I brought it up but he said, “Our relationship is built on trust. I never go through your phone because I trust you. So if you truly trust me, you wouldn’t want to go into my stuff either.” I remember telling him, “You know I trust you but if indeed you have nothing to hide, then give me access to your phone.” He said, “So you want me to give up my privacy to prove that I am worthy of trust? Then it means you don’t trust me.” We went back and forth but the issue never got resolved. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, I did. But the way he protected the phone and the computer unsettled my nerves. I just wanted to go through them so that I could rest my mind.
Exactly a month after our wedding, we were watching our wedding photos on his computer when he dozed off. I saw my chance to check his Facebook messages and I took it. The things I saw baffled me. My sweet and attentive husband was out there flirting with almost every woman he was chatting with. He flirted with these women the entire time we were dating until a few weeks before our wedding. I couldn’t help but to cry and confront him. “Why did you do this? I believed in you. I trusted you.” He couldn’t answer me. He just sat there and watched me rant on and on about the things I did for him. I reminded him of the time I took a salary advance and helped him to pay his rent. And all the times I came to his rescue when he was broke. I saw that he had potential so I chose to support him. Not knowing that he was going about flirting with other women. All the things he used to say to them that made me feel I was special, he said to them as well.
I questioned if I was ever special to him or if he was just flirting with me like he did with the other girls and I fell for it. “Don’t say that.” He said. “You mean the world to me. What happened with those women was just harmless flirtations. I never slept with them or had any physical contact with them. I never cheated on you.” I told him, “Flirting is also cheating. You were having emotional affairs with them.” What pained me was that I found out who he was after marriage. If it was just a mere relationship I would have ended things and moved on with my life. That night he begged for my forgiveness and I forgave him, but the damage was already done. The foundation of trust we had was broken.
I confided in our marriage counsellor, and he allowed me to vent and cry till I felt a bit relieved.
We are trying to take things one step at a time and rebuild our trust but it’s difficult. He gave me his phone’s password and I read his messages occasionally. Every time I did this, I found something to pick a fight with him about. Recently he told me, “I have tried to be open with you but it’s not working. Your lack of trust makes you see every conversation I have with women as suspicious. For the sake of peace, I am changing the password to my phone and I won’t let you have it.” I just replied, “Go ahead. I have even decided to stop reading your messages because it’s bad for my heart.” He makes posts on social media admonishing men not to cheat on their wives. Whenever I see this I get angry. I am trying to trust him again but I take a step forward then I take two steps back.
We’ve only been married for six months but I have become indifferent to his efforts. He is still the man I married; kind-hearted, attentive, and compassionate. Right now I am the one who can’t get past what he did. I am the one holding the happiness in our home hostage with my indifference. How do I fix this? How do I put the past behind me and move forward? Please I need suggestions.