I was in a relationship with someone who borrowed money from me to pursue some projects. When it was time to pay back the loan he refused to pay and then dumped me. That was when I met Larry. He knew my ex so I poured out my heart to him. After comforting me for a short period of time he proposed to me. I accepted it immediately. I had a plan that I was going to get married before I turned 30, and that’s what I saw in Larry, a potential husband.
He was a taxi driver and I was a teacher in a private school. The car he was driving was old and faulty. He took it to the mechanic shop every week. He had a work-and-pay arrangement with the owner so I helped him pay off the balance of GHC3,000 so he could own it. He said he would pay it back but that never happened. Six months into our relationship I introduced him to my mother and she didn’t like him. My entire family didn’t like him because of his tribe. I told myself; “In this day and age, you want me to leave someone because of his tribe? I won’t do it.”
I ignored all of them and pushed for the marriage to happen. I married him a week before my 30th birthday and it made me really happy. I could finally tick marriage off my list. It didn’t matter that I was the one who paid for everything. His car had broken down so he didn’t have money to contribute towards the marriage ceremony. I paid for the items on the marriage list, the rings, the clothes we wore that day, my dowry, and the reception. What I mean is that he didn’t contribute a dime to the ceremony.
Two months later, I heard rumors that my husband was going about telling people; “I don’t need to work. I have a woman with a monthly income who takes care of me.” That was when I started regretting the marriage. He was lazy, ungrateful, selfish, and a drunkard. When we were dating I never saw him drinking alcohol. I was shocked the first time I saw him drink. Slowly, he slumped into serious alcoholism.
I asked his friends about it and they said, “We thought he stopped.” It turned out he only stopped drinking when he met me and resumed after we got married. If I had known he had a drinking problem I wouldn’t have gotten myself tied to him. He tricked me. He hid his colors and later put them on display. I was unhappy about the turn of events but I tried my best to make things work.
I spent GHC4,000 fixing his car so he could sell it and buy another one. After everything, he refused to sell the car and he refused to work with it. I typed application letters for him to get a job but he always rejected the jobs that came his way. This man is a JHS leaver so his options in the job market are limited. Somehow, he didn’t see things that way. He said, “I can’t work as a security guard. What if armed robbers kill me?” Another time he said “I can’t work as anyone’s driver. I am my own boss.” I finally got him a job looking after someone’s shop. He quit after two months.
I was practically a slave to him. I cooked stew and soup during weekends and stocked the fridge so he wouldn’t starve while I was at work. Every day I left the house around 4:30 AM in order to keep my job. My husband on the other hand would sleep and wake up at whatever time favored him. I took a loan to buy a piece of land and started a building project. I was hoping to complete a single room before our rent expired. Unfortunately, the Corona Virus came and dashed my hopes. Schools were shut down and I lost my livelihood. I could barely afford food let alone finish the building project.
To add to my marital problems, I was having difficulty conceiving a child. I went from one fertility hospital to the other in search of a solution. My husband didn’t care about that either. I asked him to at least stop drinking until I get pregnant. He answered, “Alcohol doesn’t affect fertility. Don’t blame your infertility on me.” Eventually, I was diagnosed with fibroid. The doctors recommended surgery. I had the surgery and two months later I got pregnant.
I went to live with my sister so she could help take care of me. While I was there, my neighbors and some friends called me; “Where are you? Why have you left your husband by himself? He is not doing well at all.” I went home to see what was going on. Apparently, our rent had expired and he couldn’t pay for an extension. I didn’t have the money to pay either. The landlord gave us an extra three months and when the time was up, I moved in with my mum.
My husband threatened me several times, “If you don’t rent a place for us to live in, I will kill you and take over the building you have left uncompleted.” At that point, I didn’t want to find out if he meant the threats or if he was just bluffing. I sold the building and used the money to take care of my health needs. By the grace of God, I delivered a beautiful boy.
As I’m writing this, I have gotten a new teaching job. I teach in a private school just like I was doing before the Covid. My son is now thirteen months old, and I still live with my mum. Once in a while, my husband shows up at my mum’s place heavily drunk. He’ll insult who he has to insult. He would make noise to attract the attention of others. He’ll make a scene and display in the presence of everyone. He will tell me, “Go and rent so we can live together again. A man and his wife shouldn’t live apart.”
I try not to let his actions bother me. I pay him no attention. I’m used to it by this time. Our church does not permit divorce. It’s the reason we are still married. Currently, we are separated. That’s how far the church would allow us to go.
Things haven’t been easy since I met Larry but through it all, I’ve learned my lessons. I learned it the hard way but it’s still something I will keep until my dying days. That no matter what, an alcoholic isn’t a man to marry. No matter what, a man who can’t hold on to a job isn’t a man to marry. I’ve also learned to take my time because marriage isn’t something we run into. It’s something we nurture. It’s a garden we patiently tend until it grows in our favor.
I will never go back to him, that I’m very sure of. I am looking toward a brighter future and praying that things get better.