Some years ago I was engaged to a man who meant the world to me and who I thought that I meant the world to. We started off pretty easy, but when he stopped loving me, I held on to the man that I fell in love with. I refused to accept that he had changed, that he had stopped loving me.
For every time that he treated me cruelly, I excused his bad behavior, simply deciding to remember him for the person that he was when we first fell in love with each other. Unfortunately, whether I chose to read the signs or not, they were there; and years later, when I had no choice than to pick whatever shreds of dignity I had left and walked out of the door, I was left with a toddler to take care of, all by myself.
Now, I do not reject my past and I am forever grateful for the gift of Isabella, but I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I had simply walked away when I first saw the signs. You want to know what signs I am talking about? I would tell you…
The first sign of trouble in paradise was when Kenny stopped telling me anything. I would ask what he had for lunch at work and the curt reply ‘food’ was what I would get. This was someone that would normally tell me how he ate rice and plantain with salad and fish, but that was only because Madam Selina’s beans was finished. We could talk about anything and everything in the past, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t even tell whether he had a good day at work or not. I chose not to read meaning into anything, and attributed his new attitude to work stress. When he bought a parcel of land without informing me, only for me to hear the joyful news from his sister, I excused his behavior again, saying it must have slipped his mind. Till date, I sometimes wonder why I was so gullible. Trust me, if your man has stopped sharing his problems and accomplishments with you, or you get to hear about his whereabouts from others, then there is a lot to worry about.
Spends more time with his friends
The story of how Kenny and I met is a story for another day, but in the beginning, the love was solid. When I say solid, I mean solid. Back then, if anyone had told me that we were not going to end up together, I would have rebuked the person seriously. I think the thing with men is that, they find it hard to tell a girl they are no longer interested. They just start acting up and expect you to read the signs and leave. But for some slow girls, like my former self; we either do not see the sign, we see and choose to ignore, or we see, acknowledge the signs and go about nagging, in the hope of re-setting their brains back to default. But it doesn’t work like that.
When Kenny started hanging out with his friends more than was necessary, I should have known that something was very wrong. He was going to the movies this night, to a bar the next, to a comedy show the following night, and then karaoke the day after….all without me.
In fact, it is on BBM that I would get to find out what he was up to. His personal message went from “Movie night with the boo”, to “Chilling with the boys” or “Elegushi beach loading” or “Rumours Clubs on Point!” I should have bowed out gracefully at that point, but no, I reasoned that a guy is allowed to have a little fun with his friends after all I am the one he comes home to.
Compares you to other girls…especially an ex
Now, since you guys are in a relationship, it means he chose you over girls, right? When he starts comparing you with other girls, its a big sign that something isn’t right. Kenny first started telling me how Sussy (it was bad enough that he still called her Sussy, instead of Susan) knows how to make Egusi soup without using palm oil, and I should find out how to do that, because he needed to stop eating oil. Me? I quickly started calling all my friends to find out how to cook Egusi soup without using palm oil. Sometimes I think about those days and get like “Chai, i don suffer!” We soon graduated to me being compared to Sussy in everything…and he always painted her to be better than I. On a very good day, I asked Oga what he was still doing with me if Sussy was so terrific and he had the guts to tell me, that he would gladly be with her, if she would take him. That should have been the night when I packed my things and went back shamefacedly to my father’s house, but I decided to sob and lament instead.
Gets really rude
You should know things have really gone south when he gets rude at the slightest provocation. Kenny did that to me a lot. He couldn’t correct a simple mistake or make a single suggestion without implying that I was senseless, lazy or useless. I ask for money to buy diaper, I am good-for-nothing. I am busy breastfeeding and yet to do the dishes, then I am so lazy and untidy. It was really bad, like really really bad. But did your girl leave just then? Oh no, I didn’t! I just assumed that our relationship was going through a rough patch, or he was getting stressed from the new financial responsibility of taking care of a baby. However, there is a difference between a relationship going through a rough patch, and one that had stopped existing. At this point in time, the Kenny that I fell in love with, the Kenny that proposed to me was gone…but I had a hard time letting go.
My reasoning made me endure over a dozen more ill treatment, battery, verbal abuse. I suffered a high level of depression, that I was almost suicidal…but for God and my baby Isabella, I wouldn’t be here writing this for you guys. In retrospect, if I had walked away when I saw all the signs; maybe we would have been able to remain friends. Walking out before the assault and battery crept in would have been the best choice for both of us.
He wasn’t man enough to say he was tired of the relationship; he chose to become a terrible person instead. But, I should have walked away sooner than I did. Glad for everything that I have been through though, if it helps one person out there make the right decision. Cheers!!
Jacy is a single mom in her late twenties. She works as a brand strategist in a Communications & Brand company during the day and as a writer at night; when she is not helping her daughter with homework or drawings. She is cheerful, friendly and spiritual. She is currently not in any relationship but she has a few love interests. Her world revolves around her daughter, church, movies and her career. She blogs at thelovelint.com