I knew when things began to go wrong in my marriage. I knew because my wife began to attend to me as if she had turned into a robot. There was no emotion, she was very clinical, in fact.
I’m on a wheel chair but you see I didn’t start out life like this. Years back, while on official assignment, I was involved in a motor accident that almost took my life along the Lagos Ibadan express road. I was flung out of the vehicle when a tyre burst and unfortunately for me, when rescue came, I was left behind. It was a day later after they realised there was a missing passenger that my office contacted vigilante groups that found me.
Yeah, I lost consciousness, came to, lost consciousness again and thought I had died when I woke up and found myself in the hospital. That’s how come I lost my legs, I was told if help had got to me the first time, doctors might have been able to save at least one leg.
I spent 5 months at the hospital and the reason I am alive today is first God and because of my wife. She fought to keep me alive, she was beside me from the get go, from the time I opened my eyes at the ward that day; she never left me and for that, I will always be grateful.
A little about my wife and I.
We met on campus and we decided we would get married just two days after we met. I was in my final year, she was a jambite! I mean a first year student of Theatre Arts. After my NYSC, she was already in her third year then, we secretly went to perform a vow, an oath of sorts that we would remain loyal to one another.
One of the reasons we did that was because my wife at that time did not want to sleep around. She wasn’t sure I would eventually marry her and so, she didn’t let me have any intimacy with her, so I was the one who muted the idea of an oath, that way, I could…yeah, we could have sex and she would be sure no matter the outcome, I would not desert her.
We were a very physical couple; we both enjoyed sex and so had a lot of intimate moments even after marriage and after our twin girls; 14 year olds now. We kissed constantly, we held hands we were that couple that people thought would soon be tired of each other but we never were.
We both worked so we lived relatively in comfort with our girls; we are not rich, rich like that but we are not poor either. You know, we had three cars, we travelled every years we lived in our own home.and we didn’t owe money. So you could say we were doing ok. I mean, yes, we had our fair share of quarrels but we always made up and because we enjoyed intimacy a lot, touching, kissing, making love, which was really very good, we were quite happy. I’ll tell you that.
Then I had the accident; 7 years ago. I had the accident and I didn’t want to live again. The pain I was constantly in was just not worth wanting to live. I have scars on my face, I underwent 11 surgeries on my legs, my arm, my ribs were broken, my skull, almost shattered, half of my face is gone…I was in pain 24/7…for months and I prayed for death, I told my wife to let me go but she wouldn’t release me, so I hung in there, barely alive.
We suffered a few setbacks, financially because as you know, both our incomes were affected, particularly when my wife was with me at the hospital. I didn’t lose my job because I was on official assignment when the accident occurred. My office took care of my medical bills while I was in the hospital and after one year, began to pay half my salary instead of full…they still do to date even though I am not fully back to work; I work for just three days a week. And for these, I am also grateful, other companies would have kicked me out as I am no longer as productive as before.
After all of these, I just couldn’t get ‘my man’ up. This worried me for some time, particularly after about three months in the hospital, I suddenly realized I wasn’t rising in the mornings, even for a piss!
I asked one of the doctors attending to me, he told me my body was body traumatised and that in time I would be a man again. 4 months, 6 months, one year…ha! Nothing!
I didn’t want to tell my wife because the woman had been through a lot, caring for me, our girls, her business…I didn’t want to add to her burden.
Over time, I began to get it up but it would fall back almost immediately…you are not a man, you can’t understand, but I would rise and fall.
At first, I figured, yeah, it will take time, but I wanted to be intimate with my wife again, to hold her, to kiss her to get on back with my life, our lives…
After the second or third year, one time, I tried to you know, ‘do it’ with my babe, my wife but I was in too much pain, she begged me to stop. It’s when you find yourself in this position you realise all the muscles in your body are connected, I just couldn’t contain the excruciating pain that came with the simple task of getting ‘my man up’ and working it.
In all of these, in all of these troubles, I will never forget my wife’s sacrifice, caring for me, nursing me back to health, scooping my vomit and poop, changing my clothes, bathing me, spoon feeding me…for years, until just two years ago when I began to do a few things for myself…
But I knew when she began to sleep with one of her staff; a young guy, probably in his late 20s.
My wife started her own company; events/catering, planning and stuff and she is very good at this. The boy is her assistant/ PA/ supervisor…whatever…this boy comes to our house regularly; there were a couple of times he even helped me off my wheel chair into my bed…yeah. He’s that close to the family. Muscular, the type that spend their spare time in the gym…yeah, that type.
I can’t confront my wife; I can’t ask that the boy be fired, I can’t make any demands…I have to live with this or I die. But I have my twin daughters to think of; I want to live for them. As for my wife, what more can I ask of her? Tell me? What?
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)