My husband’s mistress is a widow but let me backtrack.
I met my husband in church. One of those fellowships they invite you to because they think you are desperate to have a man by all means. I was desperate, I admit. I was turning 33 years old and no man. My mother had prayed and fasted, she had tried to match make but I was just not going to settle for any man. Do you understand me?
After working hard, climbing up the so-called career ladder, and earning considerably enough to buy myself a three-bedroom flat in Anthony Village, I didn’t want to marry just any man.
So when I met my husband, he ticked more than a few boxes. And because I was also getting anxious and my mum had been saying, “Nobody is perfect, you sef, you’re not perfect.” I settled for him.
See, the point here is this. I am not trying to make my husband the monster just because of what happened, ok?
I am not going to paint him black because I too have my own issues.
We got married, o.
Then the first year passed, no child, second year, no child…I was looking 35 years in the face and my mother became worried…I was desperate!
I went from doctor to doctor and they said there was no reason I couldn’t have a child.
Barren woman that I am
True, there shouldn’t have been, because all my siblings have children. There is no history of infertility…I too have got pregnant on one or two occasions that I had to take something to bring it down…one or two occasions, I said, so…you know.
And to the best of my knowledge, my husband too had had one or two babes tell him they were carrying his child. They found a solution to it…as he couldn’t marry them at that time.
So, both of us were now serious Christians and such things shouldn’t be named among us, right?
No child, three years down the line…at that time, I was considering adoption of one of the many children cousins and some family friends couldn’t afford to care for. When I told my husband about it, he said no. That we should keep trusting God.
What I didn’t know at that time was that he was busy sleeping with one of the choir members.
You know, sometimes I think about it, why is it always choir members these so-called church men sleep with?
I no sabi, o.
Anyway, before I knew what was going on in my marriage, one Saturday, I saw two deacons, and the pastor come to our house. They came to talk to me.
I was surprised because, I mean, what’s going on here? If any church member needed to see anyone, it would be my husband, not me. Of course, that day, my husband was conveniently not home. So when the church elders began to talk, I knew it was all pre-arranged.
He got a widow pregnant
Long story short, my husband is responsible for a child delivered by one of its choir members, a widow. Who was older than me…had two other children none of her husband’s people were willing to care for and she died during delivery! They want me to take the baby and raise it as my own! Of course, as per say…I am barren. Why won’t they think I am the best person to raise this child?
I mean, what the!
So, while I was praying and fasting, he was between the widow’s legs and now, I have been “blessed” with a child!
I was broken, I’ll tell you that. And I didn’t see it as “God wanting to test me.” For what? Am I Isaac or Jacob or Abraham, for that matter?
I told the so-called “elders” to get out!
So if I were their daughter or even sister, would they come to me with this kind of request?
They were trying to protect the dead widow and maybe her children, me nko?
I didn’t even want to know who the woman was. I simply told them to send the baby to the woman’s family or even to my husband’s family. They have been asking me “How far?” since we got married. How far as per, ‘Am I pregnant?’
At the end of the day, I was accused of not being Christian enough…not being humble enough…
But you know, I wrestled with this for several months after the child was brought home to me.
So the many times we managed to have sex…was he just coming from the widow? Did he wash before coming to our bed? I know you think I am mad but girl…I was plagued with these crazy thoughts.
How come a widow, who can’t even take care of the children she has, is older, she was I think 44 years old or so, still able to bear more, when I can’t even have one?
My husband and I quarreled for several months over this because I felt betrayed. He got someone pregnant and didn’t even have the liver to come clean with me.
So it means he can have a child, what about me?
All that “I am going to the church for weekly service…” was go to some seedy place to have sex with the widow?
How was the sex?
Did he ask her to do things he asked me to do to him?
My legs often ached for days after having sex with him but…no bi me dey look for pikin?
I wan craze!
What if the widow had lived?
Would I have qualified as the child’s mother? I mean would the elders have asked me to give her a room in our house, after all, I am a good Christian wife?
I would be raising a child who will constantly remind him of the relationship he had with his mother. He would grow up with my love and attention from a father who will likely repeat the same thing if, at my age, the chances of having my own children diminish. I would labour for a child they will remind me over the years that isn’t mine…
Oh, I wrestled with these thoughts.
And you know what’s worse? My husband didn’t even have a good job. So it’s not like if we separated, he would be able to care for this child on his own…but who says he won’t get a better job? Who says he won’t pick up his acts and earn more?
To these, even I knew, the chances were slim. He is just a man who uses God to cover for his many shortcomings. I was going to be the one to provide for both him and his child. And would I have mine…later?
And you know in these months, my husband’s arrogance galled me. He acted like he was doing me a favour bringing his child to our home and asking me to raise the baby as mine. Like, “take you barren woman, never you say I didn’t help you in life.”
I got tired
No. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Nobody is seeing him as the cheat.
Nobody is seeing him as the one who broke our home…
I am the one everyone expects to just suck it up and move on like a true Nigerian woman who should have a man over her head.
One day, I just packed up his things, the baby’s things, and waited for him to come home…
“Leave my house, you and your child, leave my house.”
Of course, he called my family, his family, the church…I didn’t pick up any of their calls. I forbade the security guy in my office to let any “visitor,” come see me at the office.
Well, it has been just 3 months…early days, I know but I am at peace.
I would prefer to move from my area but the flat is mine. I can find another flat and rent out mine, use it to pay for the new flat but I am too tired to even begin to move house…you know. The trouble is too much for me right now.
So this is where I am at.
Peace…even if I still have a few regrets.
That’s my story!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)