Greetings bAw Family
I hope you had a wonderful long weekend for those in South Africa, and that you managed to celebrate your roots and beginnings.
Today we share a post by an anonymous married woman. She opens up about the heart-ache she has experienced in marriage. I honestly thought long and hard about sharing this post because of how raw and unbelievable it is, but remembered that this platform was created for the everyday black African woman to be able to share her story and encourage another that they are not alone in their pain.
As you read through her journey, I hope it evokes your empathy towards the reality of numerous women today. I hope you are able to suspend all judgement and listen to this woman’s heartbeat. I hope it challenges you to grow cognizant of those who are in devastating circumstances around you in order to offer a prayer, listening ear or direction to professional help. There is definitely hope and a way out for women who find themselves in these situations, but more of that at the end.
August was Women’s Month. Ha! What a laugh! As women we are quick to blame men for most if not all our troubles… l agree and disagree at the same time. Yes some men are rubbish. Not all though. There are also some women that are in that same rubbish boat. The women that cause heartache and pain to other women – I am unable to celebrate those women. Below is a story of my life: married for over 14 years to a Christian man. I have suffered emotional, financial, physical, spiritual and verbal abuse at his hands. I have suffered as well at the hands of the women he has brought into our lives (some of these women have known about me as his wife and some haven’t).
Back to where it all started. I was brought up in the SDA (Seventh-Day Adventist) church believing that sex should only be in marriage and l wonder if l should say unfortunately like most young adults, l didn’t listen and l got a beautiful baby girl before l got married. I had a good job and was taking care of my baby and mother without a problem. Then came along the guy I met in the church. A poster boy for all the good things mothers want for their daughters… We got married and he accepted and even adopted my baby girl, and l thought he was God-sent. What could go wrong? Boy was l wrong and was I in for a rude awakening.
We had our 2nd child in the first year of marriage and as he turned 1, my husband already had a girl. Yep l know – why didn’t l leave then? I told his family and they spoke to him and he apologized and promised never to do it again. 14+ years later and I am in a bigger boat – same boat, just bigger.
During the days of Mxit he would have 5+ women that he was chatting to; transferring money into their accounts; sending airtime to; and buying bus tickets to different destinations. All the while l am struggling financially to make ends meet for me and the kids. When l would ask about this, the fight would not be about what he is doing but about how l found out… It turns out his stuff was his and mine ours.
So while he was sharing the family money with other women, his time was shared between his singing ministry and communication with the women. Rarely was there time for family and worse for me. My tongue became sharper in a bid to get the man l fell in love with back. The more l complained (nagged) the more he pulled away. The more l prayed and the more l fasted, the further apart we grew, and the more significant others came into our lives. I was and still am convinced he was physically intimate with them but l have never had tangible proof.
“The abuse of women and girls is the most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violation on earth.” – Jimmy Carter
I then decided to find a person to talk with as well and that person turned out to be a male from my past. Our conversations were fun and they made me happy. They even put the kick back in my step. Unfortunately because of being stupid l guess, hubby somehow got my password to my FB account. Every conversation l was having with this person was being read by hubby. I didn’t see anything wrong with our conversations as they were harmless in my eyes. But oh no, l seemed to have opened Pandora’s box. He has been angry and unforgiving for over 10 years because of this incident. This person l was talking to is on another continent and all the women he has are in our hometown and some even in our church.
In trying to apologize for the wrong he said l did (up to today l don’t see anything wrong) l lost myself. In trying to please him l forgot all about me. I lost touch with friends. I even lost touch with and started questioning the validity of God. Almost every year for the past 9 years l have found evidence of a girlfriend of sorts: text messages; Skype messages; WhatsApp messages of their love for each other; and planned trips that l never get. I have seen confessions of love that l only see in movies.
There is a time l even found female underwear in his bag and the reason given for that to me was a stupid senseless one. I wished at that time l had Nkabinde’s number from Isibaya! I can laugh now but it wasn’t funny then. I have found questionable pictures, intimate pictures that are justified as pictures of clients and there being nothing there. Funny enough, l have always called the girls l find on his phone and one was told by hubby that he is single even though his Facebook clearly says married with wedding pics on his profile. She was told that l am a single mother that he was just helping with raising the kids.
How do you meet someone on Facebook and not go through his Facebook profile to make sure that what he says is true? He finds most of the women on social media and uses it to chat to them even in my presence, while hiding his phone from my sight. Most of these females were and are women from the church that know me and know that we are married, but still go ahead and entertain his advances. He gives them a picture of a saint and yet at home he is as mean as can be. He is unfortunately also teaching our son that it is ok to mistreat, abuse and cheat on your wife and teaching our daughter that this is how married men behave. Sadly, by staying for so long l have agreed for him to do this to our children.
The verbal abuse has increased with me being told that l have an un-attractive character. How do you do that if you really love a person? At one point l was even told that l was not a good person at all as if ngiyaloya. Like l do not deserve to be loved at all. The financial abuse would range from taking my money under the pretence of paying it back, and then being shouted at for asking for it to be paid back. In terms of the kids, school fees would not be paid or the kids would not have clothes that fit. There would not be enough food at home to eat while a person eats lunch and sometimes supper from Woolworths or Kauai.
When the man that was once loving changes to be narcissistic or instead shows you their true colours, you get confused for a bit (years sometimes) before dusting yourself and learning to be the strong woman you once were. I am so anti-marriage. I have actually summarized my story: Married on paper but single in every other form. I haven’t been kissed in over 5years. I haven’t been made love to in over 6 years. I haven’t been sexually touched in over 5years – yes we have had sex but sex and making love are very different. I have not had sex in over 2 months and yet we sleep in same bed. I ask myself how long can a healthy young man stay without sex? I guess we all know he is getting it from somewhere. And where am l getting it from? Asazi…
Dare l get a friend, but he can have girlfriends. Dare l not perform wifely duties of cooking, cleaning blah blah blah, but he can go without performing his husband duties of the household upkeep, changing sink taps, replacing light bulbs and so on. Dare l use my real name and maiden surname on social media but he can use a nickname. Dare l not wear my wedding ring for about a year, but its ok that he has not been wearing his for over 5 years. The dare list is endless. Those who know me and don’t know him, know me as Mrs X married to him. Those who know him and don’t know me, know him as a single person. We have tried counselling but it didn’t work. He is narcissistic. It’s his way or the high way.
Why do l still stay? I don’t know. Do l want out? Yes please….
This is a start to a new life, this is not a competition with anyone else. This is just my story…
I just want to thank this woman for being brave enough to share her truth. For being brave enough to become vulnerable and begin to honestly face herself and her situation. They say that the first step to recovery is acknowledging the issue.
Anonymous, I hope and pray that you grow to understand that you deserve a life that is filled with joy and contentment whether single or married, and I pray you begin the journey to getting there. I pray that you choose to be selfish in this season and seek out the help that you need, not just to benefit you but for the well-being of your children too. You are worth it because Christ says so and showed it already by willfully dying for you.
Ladies, thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please do feel free to leave a word of hope, love and encouragement for our Anonymous. If you find yourself in or know anyone in a similar position as Anonymous, please do reach out to the relevant helplines here. Alternatively, feel free to drop my team and I an email and we would be more than willing to walk with you to a place of hope and healing.
In that same breath, I just wanted to remind you about our retreat at the end of this year sis. You may not be in an abusive relationship/marriage but you may still find yourself struggling to find true contentment and joy in life. You may just be feeling drained emotionally, spiritually, mentally or physically. Or perhaps, you are just missing contact with like-minded women as you look to arm yourself to have a better 2019. In that case, I want to invite you to join us at our H.E.R. Retreat at the end of the year. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more.
Until next time sis.