We met at the university. I was in level 100 while he was in level 300. He was running a business, a stationary shop near our school. That’s where I met him. I had gone to the shop to buy a few materials for school. He didn’t have it in the shop so he took my number and made a promise; “I will call you when I get new supplies.”
Our friendship began that very day.
Before he even got the items he made it a habit of calling me randomly. He would just call and say, “I haven’t gone to the market yet for your items but I want to know if you are doing okay.” I encouraged his calls and reciprocated them from time to time. When he bought the things he insisted on bringing them to my hostel. After delivering the items, his calls became more frequent. He visited me whenever he wanted.
I had the kind of friendship with him that allowed him to do that. It didn’t take long for him to tell me he liked me and that he wanted to be with me. I liked him too but I wasn’t in a rush. I wanted us to take our time to know each other better so I turned him down. Our friendship still continued and we got closer with time. Three months after his first proposal, he proposed again. This time I said yes to him. It felt right. My heart was at home with him. I fell safe in the shades his shadow provided.
Right from the beginning of our relationship, he introduced me to his parents as the woman he wants to marry. That made me realize that he didn’t come into the relationship to joke. He treated me with kindness and affection. No man had ever been like that with me. I felt loved and respected each time we were together. When we were apart, his care lamest through the distance and brought me closer to him. He would spoil me with gifts and indulge my silliness.
We’ve been together for four years now but it still feels like we are a new couple. My boyfriend and I share everything including the same phone password. We share the same password for our mobile money account too. That’s how strong the trust between us is. We started a business together and now the business has expanded into seven branches. I am currently managing our business and he is managing his own, the one he had when I met him.
We bought two cars together from the profit we made from our businesses: one for running the business and the other one for our personal use. We bought a piece of land and registered it in both our names. We have an architect working on our building plan currently. Things were going well between us. He went to my family for our marriage list and we’ve finished buying everything on the list. The only thing left is for us to set a date for the marriage ceremony to take place.
Everything was fine until he became protective of his phone all of a sudden.
His phone which was basically my second phone became something I was not allowed to touch. He didn’t want me looking at his photos or call logs. He took the phone with him to the bathroom and put it under his pillow when he slept. I understand the need for privacy but his behaviour was a little extreme, considering the kind of relationship we had. I started asking questions; “What’s going on with you? Why are you guarding your phone like a priceless treasure?” His only response was, “Don’t worry about it, it’s nothing.”
It got to a time he started closing late. He would come home at 12:00 am. Sometimes when I’m with him, he would sneak out to receive phone calls at night. He started deleting his WhatsApp messages. Then he would get angry over little things. He would shout at me and come home at 4:00 am when we had a misunderstanding.
I was concerned about his change in behaviour so I sat him down one day and poured out my heart to him.
I reminded him of where we started from and where we had gotten to and why we shouldn’t allow little things to come between us. He listened to me and promised me he would change. True to his words, he changed. Everything went back to normal.
One day he was in the bathroom while his phone was lying beside me. A WhatsApp message popped up; “You want to f-ck?” I opened it and went through the thread. I saw enough to know he was cheating on me with her. I read more of his chats and found out there were two other women he was sleeping with.
I confronted him and he didn’t deny it. He said, “I didn’t propose to them. They were the ones who proposed to me. I had never had a woman make a move on me before so it got into my head. I am sorry.”
I was hurt. When the one you’ve given your all to decides to spread what should have been given to you alone, it kills the soul inside and makes you see shadows even where there’s light. “Three women on the side? How did we get here and what did I do wrong? I thought…I thought…”
Words eluded me but I wasn’t going to sit still and watch things decay so I reported him to his mother who in turn reported him to his sisters. They called for a meeting with him but he has refused to attend the meeting. He said I am the one he betrayed so I am the one he needs to apologize to.
He pleaded for forgiveness and promised to cut ties with the women. His family also pleaded with me on his behalf. They told me not to let everything I invested into our relationship go to waste. I love this guy and I don’t want to leave him.
My problem now is that I can’t forget about what he did. I have forgiven him but the memory of the messages has left an indelible ink on my heart. It haunts me and stalks me like an angry ghost. I can’t be with him without thinking about it., without thinking about the confidence he had to do what he did with those women. I look at his face and see nothing but the memory of those cheating episodes. It’s eating into my happiness and everything that holds me sane.
I want to know how to get past it so I can go back to the way things used to be. I want to laugh and be happy with my man without thinking about how he betrayed me. I want to look at his face and see the love. I want to have a clean slate where nothing else matters but only the love the two of us share. How do I do that and how quick can that be? I need to free my mind but it’s not easy. How do I go back to being free with him?