One day I wasn’t feeling well and I went to the pharmacy to buy some medication. I didn’t have enough money to cover all my expenses but the pharmacist was kind enough to give me everything I needed. He asked that I return later to pay the balance. That was the beginning of our acquaintance. The next time I went to buy medication he asked for my number. One evening he called and asked to see me at the pharmacy. I didn’t know what he wanted but I was curious. When I showed up he looked happy to see me. He told me, “I have watched you for a while and I really like you. I want you to be my girlfriend. What do you say?” I told him I will think about it.
I was new in town. I didn’t know too well to make a decision. I talked to my brother about him. He told me he was a good guy so I should give him a chance. I called Kofi and told, “I will date you on one condition. You have to introduce me to your parents.” He answered, “When are you available to meet them?” We fixed a date and he introduced me to them as his girlfriend. They welcomed me with open arms.
A year into the relationship I bought school forms so I could further my education. I told him of my plans and he offered to support me. When I gained admission, I didn’t allow him to pay my school fees. My family did, but he helped me in other financial aspects. He bought me provisions and gave me money for upkeep. He often said, “After all this money I’m spending on you, you better not leave me.” I promised him I would nowhere he unless he leads the way.
Somewhere along the line, he told me he had a daughter with his ex. I wished he had given me that information before he proposed but I accepted it and told him I don’t mind.
Out of gratitude for his financial assistance I spent time in his house during vacation so I could help his mom with chores. One day I realized that his relationship with his baby mama wasn’t platonic. It seemed they were sleeping together so I confronted him about it. He told me, “The lady is someone I love very much. The only reason I am not married to her is because my parents don’t like her.” He didn’t confirm or deny any affair but his answer was all the confirmation I needed.
I became insecure and started monitoring him closely. That was when I realized that he was involved with other women too. My love for him started deflating. I opened my ears and started hearing stories of the women he took home in my absence. I spoke to him about it. He accepted his shortcomings and said he would change.
He promised to marry me after school but his womanizing habit made me unsure of my future with him. When I completed school, he asked me to move in with him and I did that. Then he went for his daughter to live with us. We were living as a family, the three of us.
One day his brother told me that Kofi had hacked my phone. I thought to myself, “The only reason this guy is monitoring my phone is that he is doing something nasty on his own phone.” I got hold of his phone and went through it. The things I saw made me wish I never did that. I was emotionally drained after seeing the chats and some pictures on his phone. I didn’t confront him about it. I told myself that things would change after marriage. I knew I was lying to myself but I need something to believe in at that moment.
I met a guy in my hometown during my national service and he proposed to me. Initially, I turned him down but on second thought, I accepted his proposal. I didn’t break up with Kofi so I was dating the two of them at the same time. Six months into my new relationship, Kofi realized that I had changed. He started asking questions but I gave him very little information. In order to put his mind at ease, I went to visit him. He went into my phone and discovered that I was cheating on him.
He took the guy’s number and called him. Later the guy called me and said, “Your other boyfriend called asking me a series of questions. Listen, I love you and I want to marry you. I can see he doesn’t treat you right so I won’t leave you for him.” I was worried that things would turn out badly for all of us.
Out of the blue, Kofi suggested that we visit my parents in my hometown and I agreed. When we got there, he told my parents I was cheating on him. He mentioned the guy’s name and he asked my parents to arrange a meeting so we could set things straight. My parents tried to calm him down but he said he wouldn’t let things go until he meets the guy. The meeting was arranged. Questions were asked and my new boyfriend didn’t deny our relationship. He told everyone that he was ready to fight for me.
My parents got angry and asked him to leave. Then they told me never to speak to him again. They apologized to Kofi and begged for forgiveness on my behalf. Everyone was angry with me. They said I had disgraced my family. My mother said she didn’t raise me to be an “Ashawo.” I was so hurt and embarrassed.
Kofi told his family what I had done and they started treating me with cold shoulders. I was shocked. When their son was cheating on me they were there. Nobody said anything to reprimand him. Yet, one indiscretion from me and I had become the Delilah in their eyes. They reminded me of how much money Kofi had spent on me. I overheard them saying “She is such an ungrateful girl. Kofi should leave her.”
Perhaps the mistake I made was to allow myself to be judged and shamed when I could have just walked away from him. I tried to save the relationship. He requested my SIM cards and I gave them to him. I went out of my way to make things up to him but he still didn’t trust me. He started ignoring me and telling me I don’t matter to him. One day he even said, “The only thing I care about right now is my daughter and my work. I don’t care about you.”
He cheats openly now. When I complain he blames me for it. He said he can’t get over what I did to him. We’ve been together for five years and it’s hard for me to walk away from him even though I know I should. He assisted me in school so I feel indebted to him. If I leave him my family and his family would call me names. I feel like I’m stuck with him until he decides he doesn’t want me. The other guy is lurking in the shadows. He is willing to marry me if I’ll say yes but I don’t think my family will welcome him. How do I get out of this mess?