Have you ever regretted decisions that have reshaped your life, whether for better or for worse? At a recent get-together with a couple of friends, we became so relaxed, some of us started discussing our dead marriages. Out of about 12 of us in the group, only three were currently in their ‘husbands’ homes, we’ve all fared pretty well after the divorce, but would any of us have wished she’s acted differently, knowing how mercurial the state of matrimony is now? “The end of my marriage came as a terrible shock to me,” confessed Abi, a pharmacist running a lucrative chemist. “But it shouldn’t have. Even though I was with my husband for over 15 years, the cracks had started shortly after the birth of our third son.
“We never really stopped to address the reasons why we seldom turned on each other, why sex had been so mechanical it had lost its pleasure. Instead, we limped along for another eight years when the end finally came. And it was because my husband fell in love with a personal assistant in his office and wanted to be free to enjoy a better relationship. He couldn’t afford two homes – he simply left us to be with his new heart-throb. He took only his things and left us to continue to enjoy the perks we already had in the home. As if that was enough to salve his conscience for letting us down.
“When he left, I found myself in a very lonely situation. The children had their own lives and I realised the reason I had clung to my hollow marriage was because of the fear of being on my own. It was Ngozi here who put a stop to my feeling sorry for myself, she always hated seeing me down and dragged me along with her to parties – even the ones she attended with her husband. Thanks to her efforts, I found a responsible man who’s since made a tremendous change in my life.
“Would I have stayed with a husband who didn’t even want me? I had no choice when we broke up but we would have broken up sooner or later – the love we once had died and I prefer my current partner. His input to my life’s been more than my ex-husband’s. Love4 dies. You set out to make the best of your marriage without reckoning on the negative forces against your happiness …”
“Stephanie agreed with her. A bit on the reserved side, we were all bemused when her marriage broke up only for her to settle with a toy boy less than a year after. We thought she was jumping into fire without touching the proverbial frying pan.
Jim, her ex, is a civil engineer who had worked for years with an oil company in Tripoli and only came back to Nigeria when he’d made enough money to settle down. “Very few people could guess the type of marriage we had”, Stephanie said sadly,. “Jim is one of a very small number of men who do not ejaculate every time they make love. We’d made love several ties before he eventually came. He got an erection, wanted and enjoyed love-making but only managed an orgasm every two months or so. A friend I confided in referred to it as having `dry’ sex, whatever that meant!
“By the time we decided to put an end to the marriage, our love making had deteriorated to a set way: Frequency was two or three times a month. We only made love in bed, even though we live in our own house. As our love life dwindled, he always refused to make love, politely giving the excuse that he was tired. He seldom expressed his feelings about the state of our sex life and left me frustrated, even though Id explained to him how unhappy I felt. I tried to compromise and accept the difference in our sex, drives in the hope that our sex didn’t seem t produce any clear fluid when he got really excited as most of my ex did, not to talk of really ejaculating. He later confessed he’d always had a low sex drive but believed I had exaggerated the problem and that there were couples who had lived successfully without sex. That was when I realised if I wanted children and a decent sex life, I should make alternative arrangements. Dele (her current beau) opened my eyes to how fun true sex could be and it was no con
text leaving my husband.
“You call him my toy boy, but he’s only seven years younger than I am. I was thrilled when I go pregnant right away, after we got together and now we have another one. I’m contented. The two children of the union is more than enough compensation for me – and Dele is a wonderful dad.
“I don’t want a second marriage. I’d had one and that experience has put me off the institution for good. I definitely have no regrets about past loves as I now have all the emotional stability I need and can handle”.
Mary’s story is quite different from the two whose endings were happy. She was married with a child when her husband sprung another girl’s pregnancy on her. “I was aghast”, she said. “We’d scarcely been married three years when this happened and when another man showed me affection, I wanted revenge. Labi worked near my office and it was easy having a relationship with him. He pursued me relentlessly with presents and clandestine outings – what I wished in my marriage.
“He ran a successful business and continued to spoil me rotten with gifts, money and foreign trips. I couldn’t care less if my husband got the whole neighbourhood pregnant, I ignored him, was hostile to him and nagged him endlessly about his late nights and infidelity. His friends tried to save our marriage but their wives were on my side. Unfortunately, I discovered Labi was consoling a lot of wronged wives, that I had no choice but to cut my losses. I don’t regret anything, however”.