Today is Saturday. I don’t want to wake up. Once upon a time when I was single, Saturdays and Sundays were my best days. I screamed on top of my voice, “Thank God It’s Friday” because it had meaning. I will get home on Friday night, cook my favorite meal while playing my favorite song. After cooking, I will pour myself a drink, serve the best portion of the meal to myself, eat while watching my favorite movie, and all the while Thanking God for taking me through another week successfully. I will sleep late on Friday night because I knew I won’t go to work the next morning. Saturday will come and meet me in bed. The cock will crow, the cars on the street will honk, motor bicycles will make a loud noise, the world would come to an end but none will wake me up. On Saturdays, I shared the best moment of my life with my bed.
Then I got married to a man I loved with all my heart. He didn’t promise a lot. His life and the way he treated me while dating was the promise. He was perfect. He didn’t put a step wrong. Our first night together, he watched me while I was sleeping. The next morning when I woke up, he was already up and was staring at my face. I asked, “You didn’t sleep?” He said, “I slept a little.” I asked, “You had the whole night to sleep and you decided to sleep just a little?” He said, “Yeah, I couldn’t take my eyes off you. That was my problem—a problem I enjoyed having all night.”
I swooned. I said, “Stop flattering me.” He said, “Forgive me but you started it first. You flattered me with your presence here.” I asked myself, “God, what did I do right to have you throw such a man my way? Just tell me and I will continue to do that all my life.”
The day he said he will marry me I said, “I can’t wait. Just marry me tomorrow. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.” A woman in love is a different kind of human. I didn’t know that until I found myself in one. When a woman is in love she doesn’t hear words, she hears poetry. Every word that dropped from his lips sounded different in my ears. I wanted more. I wanted to hear more poetry so on the 15th of June 2013, I held his hand and made a vow to be with him for better, for worse until my dying days. Immediately after my vow, it started raining. The pastor said, “God showed himself the rain to tell you that he had accepted your vows.”
We came home, started a life together and then the poetry in his voice began to fade.
My husband is the man and he wouldn’t waste a second to let you know that he’s the man. He takes his role as the head of the house seriously. He wears it around his neck and expects me to carry mine on my head. So in the house, he doesn’t touch anything. He wakes up in the morning and expects to see a perfect morning. Someone has to wake up two or three hours earlier to put the morning on a perfect aisle before he wakes up. He wants to wake up to see his clothes ironed and arranged in a way that he doesn’t have to move to get anything. Shirts and trousers in the hanger, sox tucked in a polished shoe with his belt laying around. He wants to smell his breakfast from the bedroom before he wakes up. Sometimes I look at him and his eyes say, “I wish you could take me to the bath and bath me but because I love you, I will bath myself today.”
His hands don’t touch anything but expect everything to be touched and made right by the woman because that’s a woman’s role. In the beginning, I thought it will change. I thought he would see through my suffering and offer a hand. When I realized he was taking too long to change, I tried giving him a clue. I tried bringing his attention to my plight. He didn’t care until I told him, “I need a hand around here. Could you iron your own clothes while I cook your breakfast? Could you clean the sitting room while I wash and cook?” He said, “It’s a woman’s job. Do you know what I go through to make money?”
In actual sense, I didn’t need his money. I was making my own. It was his idea to pay for everything in the house while I use my money to support him when the need arise. Each time that need arises, I had to pay a chunk of money out of my savings. When our first child came and we needed a car, he asked for help. I paid close to 50% of the cost. When we had to buy land and start our building project, I paid over 49% of the total sum. My money wasn’t meant for domestic use. It was meant for higher things which I did without complaining. So in essence, I’m contributing a lot when it comes to finances but because he takes care of the domestic stuff, he thinks he deserves to be worshipped.
It got to the tipping point when the children started arriving. He promised we would get a house-help when children start coming. When the first child came, he shifted the goal post. He said, “It’s too soon to waste money on a house help.” My mom came to help until she left. I was still the one doing everything. Then the second child came. I told him, “We need someone to help. Don’t worry I will pay. After all, the person is going to help me do my chores.” He agreed. I brought in a girl in her twenties. A few weeks later, he sacked the girl for no tangible reason. He said, “Bring in an older person.” I brought a woman in her forties. He sacked her a few weeks later because she burnt the tip of his trousers while ironing. He said, “Forget it. They are all useless anyway.”
Back to square one of me doing everything in the house whiles he wanders around like a prince in his little castle.
The kids are a little bit older; six and four years old. They need more attention at this stage than ever but he doesn’t care how or where that care is going to come from. All he wants is to see it done. Marriage to me has become an endless chore that robs you of your Friday nights. Takes away your Saturday morning. Makes your Sunday look like a baby Monday and makes you work your soul out only to deserve a meaningless title called “A good wife.”
So a few months ago I told him. “I’m tired. Do something around here or I will do something with my life.” He reminded me again, “Do you know how I suffer before I make money? I don’t complain about that so why do you always complain when it comes to playing your role? Go to other houses and see how other women are suffering. Thank your stars that God brought someone like me your way.”
My husband was like an unbaked bread when we were dating; white and well-formed with its own fragrance. I thought going through the oven will make him better. He went in and came back with a burnt bottom. How do you deal with burnt bottom bread? I don’t know. I didn’t learn how to deal with that so after eight years of putting up with his antics and princely attitude, I’ve decided to make something out of my own life. I make money. I save it until he comes and takes a lot out of it all in the name of support. If I leave today, I can take care of myself and be able to enjoy my Friday nights again.
People say communication solves all in marriage but here, communication makes everything worse. We talk today, tomorrow it gets worse. The more you talk, the more it gets worse. I won’t talk again. I will rather take action towards my own peace. I pray no woman meets a marriage like mine where she has to endure everything. Marriage ought to be enjoyed but what I have here doesn’t look like one.