I was brought up not enjoying some of those things people of my age enjoyed. I used a pair of shoes for years, patched my school skirts on different places, and shared a bottle of coke with my sister. My dad did his best in his own little way, but we wished things were different from what they were. My parents did love each other no doubt; but they had their terrible moments. Who says money is not relevant in terms of building a happy home? My dad gave my mum all the affection and love a woman could ever ask for; but not so when it came to providing the best things money could buy.
Who says you can’t have it all; money, love, and happiness? That was the exact question my mum asked me the very day I completed my secondary education in Aba. She advised me not to marry based on love alone because she no longer considered that to be enough in marriage. She advised me to be careful when choosing a man to settle down with as my happiness in the future depended heavily on taking the right decisions. I didn’t ignore her words that morning, and moved swiftly to ask God to bring me the man that would provide all I needed to be happy my way.
From then on, every man that came my way was viewed from material perspective alone. It had to be money or what you can provide before love. Love didn’t matter much because it won’t guarantee or put food on my table when I wake up in the morning or before I go to bed every night. Love did sustain my parents for over twenty years; but not without fighting over money for food, clothes, and other domestic necessities.
My wish or prayer for a rich husband did come to pass as my parents eventually gave my hand in marriage to Okechukwu a few years after my mum asked me that question. Though, my dad was a bit sceptical about the man I wanted to get married to at first; my mum was able to convince him. Okechukwu and I got married and immediately relocated to Port Harcourt where he continued his business (he sells auto spare parts).
Okechukwu was unable to complete his secondary education before dropping out of school; but this was not a problem for me at first. I just wanted a man who could provide for my basic needs, and extend a hand of benevolence to my parents as well; and I found one in him. Well, I also didn’t conclude my education because I didn’t go back for my HND program due to lack of money. My parents were able to extract a promise from my husband that he would help me complete my education as soon as we settled down. He did fulfil his promise though, as he successfully secured a place for me to start my HND program. However, securing me a place in the polytechnic didn’t come on a platter as my husband insisted that I had to go to school everyday with his sister hanging around the school premises to watch and track my movements. He did this because of some of the stories flying around about how undergraduate live their lives while on campus. It got to a stage when I couldn’t take it anymore and had to complain. He said I either do it his own way or forget about going to school again. Finally I bowed to his wish and continued going to school with an escort; but that was only the beginning of things to come.
The problem with my husband is that he is way too jealous and is always on my case because he feels that my decision to return to school is a threat to him as a man. Things are beginning to get out of hand because even with all the beautiful furniture, nice and quiet apartment, and cosy environment; there is nothing to be happy about. I can’t go out on my own I can’t make or receive calls without my husband getting jealous, and I can’t even spend a few minutes longer than necessary without having to face a panel at home. I am 4 months pregnant as I write this; and yet my husband treats me like a nobody just because he can’t seem to tame his jealousy. My fear is, if Okechukwu is doing all these now that I am still in my first semester of HND1; what happens when I graduate and want to go for my youth service? My husband calls my family all sought of names because he feels he spent above his expectations during our traditional marriage. I am just fed up, and I feel like running away from this slavery that is called marriage.
Dear readers, please what should I do? I know I had a have a hand in what is happening to me; but is there nothing I can do to bring peace, love, and happiness to my home? Please I need your advice.