The end of the road.

The hardest thing about being married is that there are rules and guidelines. You are supposed to act a certain way, feel a certain way. And because of this, it’s so hard to get help when things arent going well. The general “you’ll be alright” and “give it time” is said so many times that if I have to hear it ever again, I just might hurt someone.

So this is my dilemma. I’ve finally gathered the strength and courage to leave. But like one would expect, the finality of it all is very scary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having second thoughts or anything. This marriage has taken more from me than all the bad things that have happened to me in the last 25 years combined. And if it goes on any longer, I’ll never be anything, achieve anything. The little energy I have left after even the briefest of interactions with the man I married is just enough to get through the day. Sleep is such a relief, only to wake up and do it again the next day. I’ve done my best not to go numb, because I don’t think anyone should have the power to change another like that. I certainly won’t be giving out that power any time soon. I have sooooo much love in my heart, and I do pray that I will be able to share it with someone for the rest of my life.

That being said, my family seems to think that if I close this door, I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. I can’t lie and say I do not fear this. I do, more than anything else in the world. But fear of being alone is what got me into this mess in the first place. There’s not a single day that I have not woken up and thought that I should have waited. I should have said no when he asked. I should have listened to the voice inside my head when it said “cancel the wedding”.  But I was afraid of ending up alone, of what everyone would say, of eventually going astray. And yet here I am again at the exact same crossroad.

I’ve never needed support white as much as I do now. And yet it feels like my loved ones say and hear what they think they should say and hear. I do not feel heard, understood or empathised with. On more than one occassion, I’ve been made to feel like a deserter. Funny how I used to think the exact same thing about people who got divorced. But the thing is, we never really know people’s circumstances. Some situations should not be endured by anyone. And it’s terribly unfair of anyone of us to expect that of anyone. You know there’s a problem when death starts to feel like an attractive option or way out.

I’ve decided to make an appointment with a therapist. I think the unbiased ear and expert advice will help, both in terms of unburdening my heavy heart and perhaps making me feel a bit less disdained.

I need prayers and hugs and support and wine and all the patience and kindness in the world. I’m not a horrible person. I’m far perfect but I’m not horrible. As a matter of fact, I’d like to think that I’m a nice person with a good heart. And I just want to love and be loved in equal measure.  Is that too much to ask?

Anyway I’ve decided to trust the process.  This too shall come to pass.

And to everyone out there going through the same thing, I hope the words on this blog give you courage in knowing you are not alone.

Do you have a similar story to tell? I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for stopping by!

Yours,
Married African woman.

Advertisements

An Open Letter to the Mothers of Our Future Husbands.

“A man doesn’t become a king when he marries. He doesn’t become a king either. He can make his own tea and for goodness sake, he can make his own goddamn sandwich!”

Dear mamas present and future,

Please stop raising your boys to look at marriage as an escape to chores. This attitude not only belittles the marital arrangement but also creates impossible expectations which lead to disappointment. Teach your sons that your daughters are not maids; that their gender does not render them kings, that marriage is team work and putting your feet up infront of the tv while expecting your wife to be slaving away in the kitchen for you is barbaric and has no place in a modern home.
Teach your sons that there’s nothing wrong with getting their hands dirty once in a while; that their wives are weaker than they are and need twice the care and support they do. Teach them to be considerate, and to say no to chauvinism. Teach them that it is only through teamwork, not tyranny, that a family can progress.

Teach them to treat their women like treasures, and they will enjoy all the treasures this life has to offer. The good book said that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. We do not use our good clothes as rags, we do not use our good perfumes as air freshener, we do not use our good cars as wheelbarrows. Why then do we use our good wives as maids?

A wise man once said that when speaking to your mate, especially when angry, speak to them as you would to your boss or your very good friend. Think about it. When you disagree with your boss, or they do something you do not like and make you angry, the first thing you do is consider whether or not it’s worth mentioning. If not, we let it pass. But if we really have to bring it up, we’ll find the most diplomatic way to bring it up. A lot of the time, we’ll spend days pondering over how to address the issue. We might even consult different people on how best to go about it. Yet when it comes to our wives, we are as rude and careless with our words as can be. Do you see how this is a problem?

A man doesn’t become a king when he marries. He doesn’t become handicapped either. He can make his own tea and for goodness sake, he can make his own goddamn sandwich! And it is our role as tomorrow’s wives and mothers to remind our boys of this. Even maids get days off. So if your wife cooks 5 days out of 7, why can’t you step in the other two? Where is it written that a married couple cannot have sandwiches for dinner? Or that it’s the woman who must do all the cooking all the time? Stop encouraging them when they say things like “I havent eaten all day because my wife didn’t cook”. What kind of rubbish is that? Send them to the fridge! Send them to the cooker. Do not encourage this wife blaming and shaming. Are they lame? Have they forgotten where the fridge is? Let it end with you. And let it end now. Lets save the next generation of married women from this rubbish. You did not spend so much money raising and educating your daughters for them to serve and wait on another humanbeing just because he happened to put a ring on their fingers. Marriage should not be a punishment. Let’s not turn it into one.

Teach your sons how to speak to a woman, how to treat her, how to love and cherish her, and everything else will fall in place.

Sincerely,
Married African Female, present and future.