I looked at my wife anytime she was going to work. There was something different. I couldn’t point to what was different but there were some changes in her. She was overly excited. She was investing more time in her appearance. Her way of dressing was changing. It was becoming more flashy than it used to be. Our baby was only six months old but she was trying hard to stop her from sucking her breast. She complained, “Hey stop pulling my breast. Can’t you stay calm and suck?” Hey, stop biting. If you continue this way, I will stop giving you my breast. You’ll eat fufu instead.” I started getting uncomfortable. I started asking questions in my head, “What’s happening to my wife? Where’s this revival in appearance coming from?”
She was looking good so I didn’t complain. Who complains about what is good? Like telling her, ”Hey, you’re looking too good these days and I don’t like it. Stop dressing well. I prefer the rags you used to wear.” NO husband does that so I allowed her to flow. One morning she had finished dressing up and was turning around in the mirror, running her palm on her hips and pouting to see if her lipstick was in place. I asked her, “Who are you dressing for that you spend hours in the mirror these days.” She smiled subtly. “Is it a crime to look good? I returned from maternity leave not too long ago. I have to make them see the difference in me. I’m a born one doesn’t mean I should go about looking shabby and wretched.”
She made a lot of sense but it didn’t erase the feeling I was having in my heart. My intuition continued hunting for what has changed, what is causing the change, and the real reason behind the change. We were in the hall watching TV one evening when she suddenly got up and picked the baby up. She rushed into the bedroom and closed the door. I thought she was going to put the baby to sleep so I didn’t bother. About an hour later, I went into the bedroom. Immediately she saw me, she pulled her phone off her ears and started acting jittery. I didn’t say anything but it heightened the feeling that something was going on or maybe she was planning something she didn’t want me to know.
Not too long afterward another incident happened. It was around 8pm when she told me baby food was finished so she was going to get some from the shop across the street. She said, “She’s sleeping. Watch her closely for me. I will be back in no time.” Two minutes after she left, I remembered I needed a shaving stick so I picked up my phone and called her. It was a call waiting. She didn’t pick up my call. I called again and again until she picked up the call when she was at the gate of the house. We fought about it that night. She said she was talking to her father about something important. I was of the view that she could have excused her father and pick my call. “It could have been anything. It could have been something going wrong with the baby. All you needed to do was to pick up my call and hear me out.” Both of us didn’t cede grounds so it turned into an altercation.
I slept with a heavy heart. I was in bed all night but couldn’t sleep. I realized she wasn’t sleeping too because I didn’t hear her snore. She looked too calm than the way she looked when she was actually asleep. We resolved our differences and came back to talking again. We were good and laughing again but I was still thinking about all the changes I’ve been seeing in her. One night, I picked her phone up and went through it. Her call logs had one particular number that had been calling her often. The number wasn’t saved on her phone so it had no name. I was trying to go on her Whatsapp but she had a lock on it. My curiosity was piqued from that moment.
I tried all the combinations I suspected she could use as a password but it didn’t work. I didn’t stop trying. I monitored her hand movement anytime she picked up her phone. One day, she was sitting right in front of me when she quickly tapped her password and opened the app. I got it. I started counting the hours before night. I couldn’t wait for her to sleep so I could check things out. She slept, I went through her phone and the only message that came from that number was, “Good night.” That was sent around 8pm. She didn’t respond. I told myself, “There’s something fishy about this number. I picked the number.
I gave the number to a lady in my office and asked her to call him and pretend. I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I felt his name would be enough. This lady spoke to him on the phone for several minutes. By the time she was hanging up, she had gotten a name and his place of work. He is working in the same company my wife is working in. “Office mates,” I told myself. “What could be going on between office mates?” I gave myself time to find out and it took me three months until I finally laid my hand on something concrete.
My wife: “You were in a hurry. Was there something wrong?”
Him: “No, there was nothing wrong. I just didn’t want you to waste your time here.”
My wife: “Did you enjoy it?”
Him: “Yeah, why do you ask?”
My wife: “Just asking. Remember I just had a child so things may not be perfect now.”
Him: “No it was awesome. It didn’t look like what you’re saying. You know I enjoy you.”
My Wife: “I’m sorry for saying all that. Sometimes I feel I’m not good enough. I don’t want to disappoint you.”
It’s only God that gave me the strength to survive the shock that night. Every part of me was shaking as I read the messages. I woke her up and showed her the messages, “You see that your cup is full? I’ve been monitoring you and that guy for months now. You kept deleting chats between you two but I knew one day you’ll forget to delete them. How do you explain this? Is that the woman I married or this is someone different? Answer me. What is going on?” I guess my voice was too loud so the baby woke up and started crying. She used that as an excuse to escape for a while but I wasn’t going to allow her to free. I pursued her up and down. It got to a point I even threatened her with a knife. She said, “What do you want me to say now? I’m quiet because there’s nothing I can say to defend myself. I’m sorry. For some time now I don’t know what has come over me. It looks like I’m being pursued by some evil spirit. Please take me to a pastor let him pray for me. This is not ordinary.” Then she broke up crying.
I looked back today with a lot of pride in the way I handled the whole thing. My heart felt like it was bursting in my chest. I couldn’t stand and I couldn’t sit. I wanted to hit her with something but through it all, I told myself, “Calm down before you commit a murder.” The next morning I left home with a few of my things. I didn’t know where I was going but I knew I had to go somewhere to cool off my mind and my raging heart. I went to stay with my senior sister. She was the one I told everything to. She said, “Relax. Don’t make any decision until you’re calm and your mind is clear on what you want. Don’t talk to anybody about it. Just focus on yourself and the answer would come to you.”
Three days later, my in-laws started calling me. After talking to them our pastor also called. Later our chief counselor also called. My wife had gone to all of them and told them what she had done. They were calling me to come home so we see the way forward. I sat with all of them and listened to the apology from my wife and how she was breaking down because of her sins and all. “It’s affecting the child,” our pastor said. “I’m not asking you to forgive her. I’m asking you to decide on what you want so we can advise on that.” It took me months but I finally decided to forgive her on one condition; that she would resign from her position and look for another job. She accepted it and we were given the opportunity to go home and rebuild.
Three months later, my wife was still working at the same place. I wasn’t comfortable. I got angry anytime she stood in front of the mirror to dress up. When she turned to her right in the mirror, my heart also took a left turn. I told her, “It looks like you’re not ready to leave the job as agreed, right? You’re comfortable going to the same place that brought me hurt and almost collapse our marriage?” She answered, “I’m looking for a job. Do you want me to stop and come and stay in the house? Will you take care of us? Tell me right now that you’ll take care of us and I will resign. I’ve told you I don’t talk to him again. Because of you, I have no password on my phone. I’m trying to be transparent as I can be so you will believe me. Just give me time and I will get a new job and leave.”
Six months later, we are still in the same place. She still goes to work at the same place and the sad thing is, she doesn’t look like she’s putting in enough effort to find a new job. She doesn’t write applications and she doesn’t pursue the agenda of a new job search. She doesn’t put any urgency on leaving but when I raise the topic she asked me the same question, “Should I stop and stay home? If you promise you’ll take care of us, I will stop and stay home until I find a new job.”
It looks like she had moved on from the arrangements we made. She doesn’t care how I feel about her workplace and the fact that she still sees that guy. I want to leave the marriage to save what’s left of me. Every morning reminds me of the cheating episode and the messages I read. When she talks about her work, a piece of me dies yet she doesn’t want to find a new job. Is it too late for me to leave the marriage? Am I being selfish for pushing her to stop her work because I want peace of mind? Am I being too hard on her? For asking her to leave her job? Am I being too unforgiven? These are the questions that plague my mind each day when I think of divorce. Please help me answer these questions.