What Nigerian Women Go Through In Their Marriages (1)–Emeka Ugwuonye

By Ikenga Chronicles November 12, 2016

What Nigerian Women Go Through In Their Marriages (1)–Emeka Ugwuonye

We can talk about domestic violence, but certain most people do not understand what it means. I share in parts the story that will shock you so much, you will not sleep tonight. It is the story of a Nigerian “wife”. She so wanted to be a wife that she nearly gave her life:

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Good evening sir. I love what is happening in DPA and I pray God will continue to strengthen everyone committed to this project. I am Chidinma by name and I will like to share this aching pain that I have carried in my heart for about 2 years now.

Sir, 3rd of December this year, will make it 2 years since I left my marriage of 8 years. Sir, all through that 8 years of marriage was nothing but a traumatic and painful experience, full of agony, pains and regrets. The marriage was childless for 5 years until God finally gave us a bouncing baby boy. This wait was mainly due to lack of sex in the marriage as my husband always had reasons not to have sex with me. I remember begging him on several occasions, to a tleast if not for anything, let’s make babies. He would always shove me off giving me excuses.

Usually, if my request came at night, he will promise me the next morning claiming to be tired from the day’s work. If it was in the morning, he will promise me when he got back from work. This deprivation would last for months and months on end. At some point, my fertility doctor had to start sending me for follicular tracking (ovulation tracking) which I did 3 times every month after my period, just so we could track my peak period and I could do everything possible to get my husband’s sperm to enable me get pregnant either by crook or hook. Still, after passing through these rigorous and uncomfortable procedures in the presence of both students; learning and professional radiologists themselves, on the said date, my husband will still find excuses not to adhere to the instruction of the doctor.

From the beginning of the marriage; I didn’t meet my husband rich. I met him a struggling young man, whom even though I had richer suitors, my wish was to marry someone whom I would toil and grow with. My thought back then was to marry someone I would proudly say I know the source of his wealth. I was ready to work together as a team with whoever it is that would be my husband. And so,finally I accepted to marry him after his long time and endless persuasion. When we got married, I was 21yrs old and in my 2nd year in the university.

So all through courtship and the early years of the marriage, I was in school in UNILAG while he was based in Port Hacourt. Our relationship was a long distant one and our seeing was based on whenever he visited Lagos or whenever I visited Port Hacourt, until I finished my school, then I relocated finally and moved in with him. I finally moved in after graduation in 2008 but we had our traditional wedding in 2006. From the first week I moved in with him, I started noticing somethings that were really strange about him. But I thought maybe with time, he would change, since we were already married and there was nothing much I could do again.

The very first fight we had that made me pack my stuffs that I wanted to leave was the first months of our marriage. His father loved me to bits. The man loved everything about me and usually called while I was in school to check up on me. Innocently, I will tell my hubby his father called me o, see see see. Afterwards he started warning me not to ever hug any of his siblings nor his father. Later he accused me blatantly of having an affair with his father. When his mother and sisters heard this, they got really angry with him. I packed my things that I was no longer interested in the marriage, but later, he apologised and the situation calmed, but still each time we travelled home and I greeted his father, his countenance and the way he will look at me said it all, but I pretended not to notice.

This attitude transcended to his brothers, friends, and even my own relatives. No one came to our house. He told me blatantly that everybody was a suspect. He said since my parents did not have a son–the  only son they had was adopted and was still a minor–that any guy around me was not family as far as he was concerned. For peace to reign, I agreed. He would come home with a new sim and a new phone and change my phone claiming he didn’t even trust himself so he trusted nobody. I agreed still.

Later on, I advised him to find a business and invest in rather than basing on his father’s business. He should remember his father has two wives and had children from the other woman. So the best he could do for himself was to have his own investment in case his father dies. He listened to me and decided he wanted to build a filling station.

That was how our days of hunger n starvation started. We toiled for days that rolled into weeks and months and years, to bring the structure to fruition. At some point, to feed was a problem because before any little money will come, we had already spent it on building materials. Time came, people he was owing were calling from left right and centre, his phone was always hot, his blood pressure was beginning to rise. I checked, I didn’t have cash as at then to help him but I had jewelries that were worth good money. I told him I was going to sell them. But he refused and told me that those were mine. That how can I not wear my trinkets? I told him that we should be thanking God we are actually selling them to invest and not to eat or cure any illness. That I believe that when we finish and start our business, he will buy me jewelries that are bigger and more expensive than those ones. That was how I sold my jewelries even to the smallest pin I had and gave all the money to my husband. The only money I removed from that gold money was my younger sister’s school fees, whom at the time, was to write her exams, and was being threatened in school that if she didn’t pay her school fees that they would not allow her write her exams. As at then, my father was not buoyant enough to pay her school fees as he had just had a major surgery plus the fact that his gratuity that was paid to him by university of Lagos as he retired, was given to my husband to still add to building the filling station considering that when the station stood, we all will benefit from it.

The money I got from the sale of my jewelries was almost a million as at then. I took out only 60,000 naira which was my sister’s debt to the school. The rest and even the ten naira the mallam gave me, I gave all to my husband who added to the money to buy the first truck of fuel to start business because by then, we had managed to finish building but no money to start.
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Part 2 to come…

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