I have everything going for me, wealth and children that I adore. How many women can say that and truly mean it? But in my 13 years of marriage, I have discovered that there is more to life than having a wealthy husband and children. I will explain this in a bit. You could have all the money in the world but not have an iota of happiness, not a smidgen.
I met my husband Jerimiah 15 years ago and if someone had told me then that my marriage to him would someday have dull moments, I never would have believed it. Jerry, which is how I refer to him, came into my life just the same way that a category four storm invites itself into the lives of people minding their own business. One day everything is calm and quiet and then the next day there is upheaval. I liked what Jerry brought with him. The day we met is still very clear in my head as if it just happened yesterday. I had gone to the bank to make a deposit in the Akowonjo area of Lagos and for some reason, there was a long queue. As you would expect, there was a bit of shuffling and before long I found myself apologizing for stepping on someone’s shoes and when I looked up, my eyes locked with those of a tall, dark, handsome man in his 30s who looked like he knew what he wanted out of life.
That would have ended there but I had some business to take care of in Egbeda so I decided to walk to the bus stop and take a bus. I had barely walked a few steps when a small SUV pulled up next to me.
“Hop in if you are going to Egbeda,” the man I had stepped on in the banking hall told me. The sun, the ac from inside the car led me to throw caution to the wind and jump in before he could change his mind.
He told me hs name as soon as I sat on the passenger seat.
“My own name is Michelle,” I said in return. There was silence for a while until we were approaching Egbeda.
“I’m off to Badagry, where would you like me to drop you off?” He said.
“My plan was Actually to head off to Iba after my stop in Egeda. If it’s no trouble to you, I would accompany you to on the journey and get off at Iba,” I said not knowing why I did considering that this was a stranger I just met. It must have been the prospect of the hot sun outside and the comfort that as his car.
“I’m Victora,” I said afterwards as a way of introducing myself.
“That’s my sister’s name,” he said clearly excited. In a nutshell, that was how our romance started. That is how I met my rich husband in the bank.
We went out to launch the next time and he wasted no time in asking me out. I said yes because I liked him and he was easy to be with, not in the least complicated. He was the man I didn’t realise I had been looking for.
“You are exactly the person I want in my life,” he told me. But it took us two years to finally settle on getting married.
Jerry was not only loaded with cash, but he was also fun to be with. He was not only in touch with his humanity, but he also told jokes that made me laugh endlessly. Being with him didn’t need any effort in pretence, you could be yourself and nothing would be amiss unlike what had been the case with not one but two of my earlier boyfriends.
“I’m not your boyfriend but the man in your life, the one who wants to make you happy should you allow it,” he declared at one of our outings when I referred to him as my boyfriend.
I was happy to know that I had landed such a big fish that was comfortable in my small pond that is why I said yes the moment he asked me to marry him one and half years into our relationship.
Being the first of five children who needed my every help since my parents weren’t really well off, Jerry’s coming to my life helped me in no small way financially. It is not as if I turned him into my benefactor, it is just that he would never take no for an answer when he offered to help.
“Why do I have all this money if I can’t do anything positive with it? I want you to be as comfortable as you could possibly ever be,” he often insisted. I also often obliged him so as not to offend him. Besides, when you love someone the way I love Jerry, you let him decide how the trajectory of your life takes. Jerry was much more than a dream come true for me, he was akin to a messiah sent to earth to rescue me and my family from the backwaters of poverty.
Even though his uncles and aunties did not sign up for our wedding since his parents had long passed on, he insisted and we got married in a grand ceremony with a roll call of the who-is-who in the Lagos mainland society.
He soon asked me to resign my job and become a stay-at-home mum. A suggestion to which I had no objection. He was, after all, going to provide for everything while I rear and take care of our children. Our honeymoon was something out of a fairytale. We went to Dubai long before it became the destination of choice for many a Nigerian. I accompanied him on some of his business trips around the world, I’m sure I didn’t tell you he is a businessman, but all that ended when I got pregnant for our first child. My hands were full with taking care of him after he was born. And in quick succession, our daughter came barely one year after and then another soon. So, in a matter of three years, Jerry and I had given birth to three children. Only women who have done this will understand the kind of toll it takes on you. For me, I had become like a pumpkin, fat, ripe, sitting in one place and waiting for the harvest. I was not only bloated but I could not help myself. I tried everything to go back to my pre-pregnancy shape but every exercise was a test in futility. I think that was what pushed Jerry away. Add the fact that I became clearly nauseated with the thought of getting pregnant one more time and you can easily make the connection that things were not going very well in the bedroom.
As the years wore on, Jerry’s nosiness trips increased in number and frequency. It was as if his one desire was to be as far from me as he possibly could. What is sad is that I didn’t mind at all. I only worried that our children didn’t get to see their dad that much and anytime I raised this, Jerry would say that he worked every minute of every day so that we could be happy and we, therefore, had no reason to complain. But it started getting to me when sometimes for six months I would not set my eyes on Jerry. In that time, if he even called, it would be a miracle. It is getting to feel like he has set up shop with another family elsewhere even if he says this is not the case. But somewhere in the depths of me, I believe he would not cheat on me, but I worry that things have taken such a drastic turn, I want my man back perhaps much more than I want what he is providing for us, his family. I want him in our lives. I want his affection for me and our children. I want him to be present, to experience most of the passing moments that can never be recovered with us.