“Will the average person experiencing problems in their relationships know whether or not to walk away?
It goes without saying that divorce now is quick and with little rancour, single parenthood is on the increase and more men now opt for the single life despite the fact that eligible women are two a penny (seemingly).
Yet, never before has there been that fear of uncertainty in abandoning a relationship that was obviously going nowhere than now. A few months ago, I ran into a friend’s daughter and asked after her mother.
Sheepishly, she told me it was a long time she saw her mother last as she was now living with her fiance. That would have been perfectly in order if it was what she wanted too. “I would have preferred for us to get married”, she shrugged, “but he doesn’t want to commit himself until I’m pregnant”.
What happens if she gets pregnant, gets married, and later has a miscarriage? Will the man abandon her some two years later if she can’t conceive again?
These questions and lots more ran through my mind but I didn’t want to make the poor girl more miserable than she already was.
She is currently hopping from one gynaecologist to the other and when I asked her if the lover of her life had gone for a test too, she said it wasn’t necessary as he’d already fathered a child. I wanted to tell her that was no proof.
That I knew a few ‘surrogate’ fathers who’d made a few ‘barren’ women mothers. The legal fathers are none the wiser and the mothers are now free of criticisms and jibes from their in-laws. Their marriage seems to be on an even kneel.
The situation that gives a lot of concern is where the couples know that their marriage is lying on its back with its hooves virtually in the air but sit tight and hope that things will get better.
Unfortunately, they seldom do, Boma, a retired industrial nurse in her sixties now sits alone in her lovely house, wishing she’d had the common sense to kick her wayward husband out of their matrimonial home when she realised he was a bum despite the fact that he was a medical doctor.
“I had a very shrewd father who believed in putting a bit by for the rainy day”, she said.
“When I was working after my training in England, he was always urging me to save and send whatever I could home so he could buy me some property.
His letter bothered on an irritation at times but his insistence goaded me into doing temporary jobs – and petty trading along with my regular job so I could send him money. He always made up for the balance and thanks to him, when we came back, I had a few plots of land here and there.
“My husband went into one of the armed forces and there was a house thrown in with his job, I got a good job too as an industrial nurse, and thanks to my family connections, I was able to get quite impressive contracts.
“In no time, at all, I had developed the two-plots I had in choice areas then sold the other plots to build another one house in Victoria Island. My darling husband, in the meantime, was having the time of his life sampling the delight of the dames around him. It would have been alright if he hadn’t been obsessively jealous.
“Any man I talked with was a potential lover and he was often violent with whoever he suspected. I’ve lost count of the black eyes he gave me, the disgrace with which he’d marched me out of parties because he believed I was too friendly with men.
“There had been occasions, when he’d come to our official clinic to rough-handle senior colleagues I was attending to because he thought they’d come under the guise of having quickies with me in my office! The man’s imagination was dangerously fertile.
“I was often regarded with pity and the children too were fearful of him. But as long as he had his Cognac and Benson, he was alright until he got drunk – then it was bedlam. When I left regular employment, I started travelling and he would pinch shoes, costume jewelry or any fanciful female things I had to sell and give them to his girlfriends. I actually saw one of them wearing a set of jewelry and exclusive shoes that I’d earlier imported, but found missing, at a party and challenged him. He called the lady over and boomed for everyone to hear that she got her shoes from as I thought they were mine. You can imagine the type of reactions we got from other guests.
“I had a few flings of my own, of course who wouldn’t under the circumstances? But I never had peace of mind and my kids didn’t have much respect for him. When he died suddenly five years ago, I couldn’t believe the number of women that showed up as mothers of his children!
“There was even one spotting an advanced pregnancy! It was hard convincing them that the love of their lives was so busy enjoying life he didn’t even bother to buy a piece of land not to talk of building a house in spite of his connections. Tongues are now wagging more furiously than ever before that I’d sat on the property my husband acquired in my name when he was a public officer, that I was denying his other children fund out of spite. Whereas, if I’d left when common sense dictated I should, all these wouldn’t have happened. How many accusers would I show documents!
“These days, I look at my married children and marvel at the ease with which they communicate with their spouses. I’m glad they’ve learnt from the harsh treatment I received from their father. Whenever any of their friend’s tel of the ill-treatment they receive in their matrimonial homes and I tell them not to stick any abuse that could rob them of their pride, they look at me in wonder, believing old people like me should advocate matrimony at all costs. Well, I don’t. You should always stick a situation, good or bad, as long as you’re comfortable with it. Once you’re not, you should think of an alternative – otherwise, you’ll be bitter for the rest of your life…”