By Bunmi Sofola
PATIENCE and her husband had been married for five years when they moved into a posh bungalow on a better side of Lagos. As they both showed guests round during the house-warming ceremony, they looked the perfect couple and took in the ooh and aah gasps of admirers. The guests thought that Luke, the husband, must have made some appreciate progress in his job for him to be able to afford a pad like this.
Three years after, Luke was out of the house, the bitter feud that ‘d been brewing for a couple of years had now boiled over. One day, Luke came home from an all-night outing and found his suitcases neatly packed and waiting for him by the door. In the rain! Four fierce-looking men stood guard at the door, menacing looking cudgels in their hands.
“I was shocked and I guess the shock will never wear off,” Luke said a few months after the incident. “That’s what comes with marrying a rich man’s daughter I can’t see my children now, and my wife thinks I’m dirt, and it’s all thanks to my money-bag father-in-law. He wants you to roll on the floor with gratitude whenever he shows you the slightest favour. I mean, there are other ways of showing gratitude without licking someone’s hand like a dog.
Well, he has his daughter now, let him marry her!” Patience was at pains to talk about a marriage she described as a waking ‘nightmare.’ I sought her out to ask her side of the story. “That man is an animal,” she shuddered, remembering the things she said she had to go through to stay married to him. “Despite the good education he had, he had this giant complex about my parents’ wealth.
Daddy was very generous to us when we got married. I am his first daughter and he gave us a brand new car and furnished flat. Luke was quite happy letting daddy shoulder his responsibilities as that gave him extra cash for his twin obsessions: wine and women. I’d seen these traits in him before we got married and had naively assumed marriage would change him. The women he ran around with were obviously a deliberate attempt to belittle me. Very uncouth and classless, they thought they were having a stab at the upper-class by sleeping with the same man that I was sleeping with. I felt really inadequate and humiliated. My friends told me that I was probably a bit too straight-laced; that men prefer firebrands in bed and that I should be more adventurous in the bedroom. They gave me a few pointers. So when next we made love and I wanted to try some of the things my friends advised, my husband just stopped.