Life Without Parole #7
By Iteti, Uganda:
I said it first. I love you. He looked into my eyes on his 30th birthday, with a cigarette in hand and said, Marry Me! …
I said Yes.
If our marriage counselling sessions were anything to go by, we would have fun being the unorthodox married couple we were hoping to be. We laughed at everything the priest said and criticised it because we were “open minded” and the Bible was demeaning to women, or so we thought. It was during this time in our counselling sessions that we privately declared ourselves agnostic and anti-religion but went on to have the wedding at church for the sake of our relatives. African aunts and uncles can cause quite a stir if certain traditions are not maintained by the younger generation, so we sucked it up and performed all the traditional ceremonies necessary to please the folks – and they were ecstatic.
We were married on a clear Friday afternoon at our local parish. The reception was lovely and such a blur. Marcus and I both agreed that we couldn't wait to get to our honeymoon so we could get high and laze around the beach all day, and that we did. Our honeymoon too, in Mauritius was beautiful but also such a blur. We were either high or drunk or both most of the time and completely happy. For two weeks, all we did was have lots of sex and party at the clubs around; We basically did everything we weren't able to do so discreetly at home. I didn't realise how much more of myself I was losing at the time.
When we got back from our honeymoon, one of my closest friends told me I looked thinner and exhausted. I quickly retorted that it was probably due to all the fun we were having and we laughed it off. Looking in the mirror that time, I did notice that I looked a little older than my age. We drank and smoked more than we ate; and if we did eat, it was only to kill the hunger from the high. Marcus and I were goners.
He was messy. I hated cleaning up after him. He was bossy; I hated taking orders from him. If I refused to clean up after him, he'd always revert back to the Bible verse about wives and submission. I hated his hypocrisy. We fought – verbally and physically. I was nagging and bitchy. I was impatient and uninterested. He was still flirting and it started to get on my nerves. He pushed me against the wall and I slapped him; he pulled on my ponytail and I tripped him when he was walking past. We never argued about sex though. We just fought about everything else.
Soon, our fights turned into loathing for one another. I believe that the worst thing that can happen in a marriage is broken lines of communication. Even if you're fighting, as long as you're communicating, you can try to salvage the broken things. We had stopped talking. We went out to clubs, together but apart. I had no one to talk to or to confide in about the lack of substance in our union. We just weren't connecting anymore. My desire for him began to fade and I started to wonder what on earth marriage was all about – I had failed to figure it out. So I read up on Cosmo and every other magazine to try to make my marriage work.
When Marcus started coming back late from work, I used sex to try get him to come back early. Unfortunately, I had gained weight from our first few months as a married couple and I felt fat and unsexy and it showed. Soon enough, sex was no longer an option so I confronted him about it. That night we had an unexpectedly honest and hurtful conversation in which I was informed by my husband that I had gotten too heavy for him to carry and that he wasn't too excited about walking into a club with a wife who looked like his mother.
I will inform you right now, that he was exaggerating. I had only gained 12 pounds. I felt the weight and I hated myself the more I looked in the mirror, but I didn't think it had affected him so. Marcus' excuse was that I was a perfect size 8 when he married me and he expected me to keep it that way. Now, he wasn't sure what size I was anymore. So I conceded defeat and decided to lose some weight for him. I joined a gym and started counting calories again but the weight refused to go. Instead, I got hungrier, lazier and unhappier as Marcus drifted further and further away from me.
I secretly decided to see a specialist about my condition. I went to see a psychiatrist. I know, right!?! Maybe I'd find some answers.
I was pregnant.
To Be Continued …