Thursday, 8 October 2015

Does Celebrating The End Of A Marriage Count As An Anniversary?

While most married couples like to remember their wedding anniversary with some even celebrating it with fanfare, I personally like to remember and celebrate the day mine ended. Sounds somehow right? Well apologies if I offended your senses somewhat. 

I got married in December 2002 but October 2009 is my anniversary because that was when I left my marriage and decided to carry the umbrella of "separated, married before, divorcee and single mum". Although it might seem like I am handling it well, I can tell you for free that it was not an easy decision or step to take.

As far as I was concerned, the marriage had been over about 2 or 3 years prior to that time but I was hesitant to take the step of physically walking away. Initially, it was because of the "what will people say syndrome" as I was raised by a single mum and people will say I am being like her. Another reason was that I didn't want to admit the fact that I had failed at marriage.

My life had always seemed to follow a pattern such that after primary school I got into secondary school without any issues, next came university also without any hitch in fact my name came out on the merit list so I didn't have to lobby to gain admission. After that came NYSC and despite the fact that I was posted to Kano state, God made a way for me there and I enjoyed myself and even lived in one of the best parts of town. So of course after service and getting a good job came marriage right? 

Well...that is exactly what I thought which is why I didn't particularly take extra caution to even analyse who and why I wanted to get married. It just seemed like the next thing to do and of course I went ahead with it and like the saying "make haste and repent at leisure" unfortunately my repentance was far from being leisurely.

As at the time I finally moved out on the 2nd of October 2009, I had left him twice before but just for a few weeks and then I come back because I was squatting with people. However, this time, I decided to rent my own place and suddenly I started to get cold feet. 

Was it because I was thinking about trying to make my marriage work? Nope...that door was already closed forever. It was more like being afraid to start out the new phase. The day I moved out was like a nollywood movie with different actors in place. I pretended to go to work and hid in a corner of my street until my husband left home, even then I waited an extra hour to be sure and then called him to re-confirm again.

I ran home with people from the moving company and we started packing but honestly it was very difficult. This was 7 years of material stuff and my heart was just beating like it wanted to burst out of my chest. About an hour into packing which I was doing in slow motion, I suddenly got a call from my husband asking where I was, this got me wary and later on I found out a young guy in the area who used to help him wash his car, had tipped him off. 

To now make matters worse, he was on his way back home! What!!! Then the James Bond moves began and I started to grab whatever I could lay my hand on and throw it into the waiting truck but of course I became so afraid because I didn't know what would happen if he met me at home and with his temper and penchant for violence, I decided material things were not worth my life so I left the rest of my stuff and just ran out and told the truck to leave without packing everything.

Looking back now, 6 years after, I can't help but thank God for how far I have come. The road has not been easy I must confess but I have decided to take it one day at a time. I still struggle with the stigma and vulnerability that comes with being a single mum. Among which is the issue of handling the children, knowing when to be firm and soft with them, settling bills with little or no cash, issues of emotional trauma when you even wish there is a man around to make you feel loved without wanting to take advantage of your situation and the list goes on and on.

However, like I tell people at such crossroads, if domestic violence is not involved and you still love the person, explore all options of reconciliation prayerfully and with wisdom because the truth is that marriage is a mystery and God is the binding cord that keeps everything together.

Also be very careful about the people you go to meet for counselling especially people that are offering you textbook or Google advice.....sometimes they do more harm than good.

For me, God has been my strength through it all even when it seemed like I will not survive the next minute, He has been my strength and fortress. Yes some people might be there for you but they can't be there 24/7, God is the only one who NEVER leaves you and that is what keeps me going from day to day.

Another thing to note is that sometimes we can explain our failures in life and sometimes we can't BUT we have to keep trusting God and keep moving forward!

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