When I moved to my parents’ home, it was just to step back and take a break from the constant quarrels I was having with my husband; I didn’t even know i would be staying this long but see me, see lock down.
I didn’t know the government was going to shut down and ask that there be no movement; and even in the first few days, when people were still moving about, I told myself I would just wait a bit before going back. My kids are calling but my husband is still adamant. To be honest, I want to stay a little more with my parents because I am really undecided.
Why did I go to my parents?
Because of social media.
Yes o. I am not a bored house wife; I work in a company that pays me good money; my husband is the type that leaves me at home to catch his fun and when he comes back, I must continue to be an old piece of rag.
To be honest sis, I won’t hold him responsible for this wahala.
I have a Facebook account that I hardly check, but one day, out of boredom, I opened it. Come and see messages from one of my old crushes that we went to school together before he moved abroad. That’s how we began to chat and send messages to one another.
Just messages. You know, at first catching up on old times; trying to find where the rest of our friends were; chatting about our spouses – he is divorced but has custody of his children.
We exchanged numbers, so we could chat via Whatsapp.
Then he began to send suggestive memes, suggestive videos, suggestive messages…for me, at the beginning, I would just lol, nothing more.
Then I realised he was using it to test me.
To be honest, I was just curious about it, I never thought I was going into any affair or anything. How can there be an affair when he is thousands of miles away? You get?
Ehen, after sometime, I became used to these suggestive videos, I guess, and I would forward to my husband. That’s to show you I had no ulterior motives.
But my husband would go like, ‘Who sent this to you?’ Because of course, he would see the thing was forwarded to me.
I would reply, ‘A friend,’ he would say, ‘What sort of friend is that, sending this kind of thing to a married woman?’
I am 45 years, not a baby, if I watch porn, should anybody say, “Why are you watching porn? Why are you looking at nude photos?”
So, I stopped sending to him. I would just read and delete or maybe just forward to some of my crazy friends.
Then this crush of mine began to send me his nudes; to be honest, I was flattered because I mean, he found me attractive right? It was a game, I sent him mine.
Again, you will say, ‘foolish woman, married woman, mother to some people…’ yes but it was harmless as far as I was concerned. I would never go to America, where is the money? This guy would never come to Nigeria, he told me that from the beginning that he had cut off ties from Nigeria.
So, when we send messages, images…for me, it was just a fun thing to do. I swear! I was getting jokes and stuff from someone I would never meet, have no plans of meeting or even leaving my husband for…that never came up, at all!
Now, all these began about two years ago.
My husband isn’t the type that snoops on my phone, I don’t snoop on his either.
Then this January, he began to snoop into my phone. I don’t know what gave him the idea that something was untoward but he began to check my phones.
I tell people something, if you go snooping, you will find what you are looking for. Though I delete most of the jokes and photos the guy sends to me, not because I think my husband would snoop but because my children often pick up my phone to play with, so most of the photos were deleted, thankfully.
I was charging my phone one day when I went to check where I plugged it by the dining, I saw my husband scrolling through my messages.
You know when you delete certain messages, or images, if you don’t delete in gallery, these things are still there, hanging.
That’s what happened o. My husband saw them, he didn’t know who it came from because he had checked my WhatsApp, which I already deleted from. He saw them and was raking, why did I keep nude photos, who was sending penis to me, as this wasn’t his own, he claimed his own was bigger…leave that one, let’s not talk about which one was bigger. He said the breasts were mine, this and that…
Since then, we quarreled on a daily basis.
It was always one quarrel after another before then, but after the photos, he was even more quarrelsome.
I didn’t deny the breasts, even if he was blind, he would know the breasts were mine. Long story short, he called my parents, told them I had a boyfriend and I was planning to dump him and the kids!
When did all these happen because me, I am still surprised o!
My parents begged him, told him I was not that sort of person, I also begged o. I said it was sent by a friend, and I didn’t know I hadn’t deleted the videos and photos; he asked me who I sent my nudes to, I said I didn’t send to anyone, that I just took them to check out what my breasts looked like. Abi I can’t take my own nudes again? Am I a child that is being prevented from taking her own nudes?
He got angry and said I should just follow my parents. I said ok because at that time, I was just tired. Why would my nudes cause my husband to send me away like I am a small child?
I pay half of the rent; half of the children’s school fees; half of the money for monthly feed; I do my bit. I don’t complain about him going to night clubs or going to the toilet to pick calls; I don’t check his phones, abi he thinks he is the saint? It’s this double standard that just got me really upset,
Why tell my parents about the nudes?
What sort of thing is that?
So when he said, ‘follow your parents, home,’ I was like, ‘ok, please, I need a break, jare.’
That’s how come I am with my parents o but I had not even stayed a a few days when Buhari announced lock down, so I just decided to stay and evaluate this thing called marriage.
Now, another lock down has come.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)