They Don’t Tell You to Leave.

Mudatthir Olayemi Adewale
4 min readDec 31, 2022
Photo by Catalin Pop on Unsplash

There is a thing society says about men that makes them evade accountability, escape commitment, and reeks of disrespect to humanity; men are naturally polygamous. When a man cheats, it is in his nature and that should be overlooked. It never makes any sense to you. Neither the biological sciences nor the psychology modules you took in the university provided a justification for this. So the first time your husband cheated on you. It really hurt you, to the marrow of your bone. You thought about how and if you had suddenly become not-enough for him, where you had gone wrong; in the discharge of your duties and everything else. But nothing occurred to you. You didn’t know when tears began to roll down your cheeks as you sobbed.

Your met your husband, Akinwale, while you were in the penultimate year of your undergraduate programme at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He tagged along with his friend- one of your room-mates’ older brother- who came visiting his sister to deliver some items at your hall of residence on OAU campus. With a skin colour of dark brown, tall frame that stood with a broadly built muscle, and a scent like that of an after-wash with shampoo. You were caught off guard as his countenance swept you off your feet. You already fell for him even before he wooed you, so when your room-mate told you about his intentions towards you. You were overtly excited. You later found out he works as an audit associate in one of the big four in Lagos.

Of all your suitors then, he seemed the most perfect. You both didn’t drag things for too long, and got serious with each other since you were both already in love. In about a year after your university education, you got married to him at age twenty-five, in an elaborate event somewhere on the island. You’ve always told yourself that your wedding ceremony was one of the best days of your life as you smile whenever you relive that day. And getting married to Akin was one of the very few decisions you’ve never had any course of regrets. He worshiped the ground you step, treated you like a queen whom his entire world revolved around, never failed to cherish you at every chance or gave you any reason to doubt his affections until that very first time you caught him cheating on you.

You didn’t hear it from any talebearer, you caught him red-handed, in your living room. As he thrust deeply into a lady on the couch from behind. That day, you had left home earlier on a Saturday morning as you both had decided the day before to visit his mother — your mother in-law- who was ill and had just been discharged from the hospital. You were supposed to be away for till Sunday evening but you had returned that same day because you left some items you were supposed to take to her, and she insisted that you return to get those items. You returned to that sight: of your husband committing an act of infidelity with whoever that lady was. You couldn’t utter a word, it didn’t look real until it did. You broke into tears, picked yourself together, walked into the room you both shared and shut the door locked as you wept uncontrollably. Your husband on the other end -at the door- pleading and saying all sorts of those apologetic and repentance words.

When you told your mother about it, her response took you aback. “Men will always be men, my daughter. There is nothing we can do about it, you should be grateful he’s not abusive, that he doesn’t hit you. You should be grateful he still cares about you and provides for you. It is just cheating. You can live with it, just ignore it”, She said with a faint smile as her face crests. You could see the glaring look of tiredness in her eyes, a sign that she’s getting old. You were totally disappointed in her. You just could not believe she would say those words. That she’s among those enablers-with archaic thoughts- who enjoin people to endure their marriages so society won’t stigmatize them. That moment you vowed never to tell her anything about your marriage anymore.

Your mother was wrong anyway, it was only a matter of time before Akin became abusive, and added other vices to it: he started to keep late nights, stopped caring about you, hardly planned out dates and other romantic gestures. The first time he raised his hands on you, although, he narrowly missed. Your heart thumped so loudly, you thought it would explode. You got so scared that you could not move an inch. You have never been that scared your entire life.

You were trying to address the issues with him, get him talk about his actions and be held accountable. But it seemed it never bothered him to any length. That moment, you knew it was over. You won’t be in a marriage you have to endure: if you ever have to endure anything, it won’t be a marriage that does not longer make you feel cherished, secured and loved. Not for any reason, the society can call you woke or whatsoever. But you’ve decided to choose your happiness above anything else; to choose yourself above any toxic relationship that no longer serves you a purpose.

THE END

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