By Tashinga Wazara, Zimbabwe:
I can't really pin point the day or the moment when my relationship with my husband Rob began to deteriorate. All I know is that we went from being a couple that couldn't keep their hands off each other to a couple that barely even touched each other. Maybe our relationship began to die the day when the doctor told us that Rob was impotent and couldn't have children. I remember that day. It was really hard on Rob, the archetypal guy's guy who had been in the army for five years and had always prided himself in his masculinity.
When the doctor said, 'Rob, you're impotent' all he heard was 'Rob, you're not a real man.' He really took it hard and didn't talk to me for over a month after that, as if it was my fault, when my only crime was that I was in the room with him when he got the bad news.
Ever since then he stopped having sex with me and when I tried to touch him he would roll to the other side of the bed and say, 'I'm tired Khuti'. I kept trying, and every night, I got the same answer. In the end I stopped trying, and he didn't seem to care. In fact he almost seemed relieved that I stopped trying. It broke my heart and I would go and tell my mother what was going on and her exhortation would always be the same: 'Marriage isn't easy my child. Hang in there, he'll come round' and so as painful as it was, I waited, and waited and waited. Eventually two years passed and I was still waiting; except that now, I was no longer waiting for him; I was waiting for a way out.
We went from having silent breakfasts and dinners together, to him coming home at midnight after I had gone to bed and leaving at 5am before I woke up. Our relationship was less a marriage than it was just sharing a house together. We both knew that our marriage was over and at some point one of us would have to pull the plug. And so I waited.
That is when I met Johnnie, my Business Management student who I used to take for extra lessons. At first our interactions were purely professional but in the end I would look forward to when he came for his lessons. He was eight years younger than me but we spoke as if we were the same age, and there was a way he used to look at me that made me feel beautiful, wanted. I also liked the fact that he listened to me when I spoke and that he actually cared about what I thought and how I felt. In a way, I guess I used Johnnie as an oasis in the desert that my marriage had become and I would lead him on so that he wouldn't stop doting over me because at least temporarily, for those sixty minutes he was at my house, he would fill the void that my husband had left vacant for years.
Yesterday though, Johnnie tried to kiss me, and I let him. I saw it coming. He was sitting on the couch next to me then he started getting nervous and fidgety and licking his lips. Then suddenly he leaned in and I let myself go for a moment and kissed him back. It was bad but goodness, it felt so good! As much as I enjoyed it, it was wrong because I was still a married woman and he was just a momentary indulgence; so I stopped it. I told him to leave and he did, but not without torturing me one more time with a kiss on my cheek before he left.
I tried to go to bed that night but I couldn't sleep. For some reason I felt really guilty, or maybe at the back of my mind I figured that this could be my way out. I could tell him what had happened and he could pretend to get upset and tell me he wanted a divorce. I would cry and tell him I was sorry but he would tell me it was over and six months later we would be divorced. Finally, I would be a free woman.
I decided I would wait up for him and confess my sin. I was really scared though, because Rob had a really short temper and could be unpredictable when he was angry. I was sure though that this time he wouldn't get angry because he didn't love me anymore anyway. Besides I didn't care. I was going to do it. Just after 1 am he walked in and he was taken aback to find me still awake, sitting upright on the bed. I didn't wait for him to say anything, and I said, 'Rob, I cheated on you today.' He looked at me completely shocked and said, 'You did what?!' Those were the most words he had said to me in about a week and I said, 'I cheated on you with that boy I have been taking for extra lessons. Johnnie.'
At that moment he became enraged. He came over to me and punched me in the face. I was really taken aback because that was the most emotion he had shown years. I couldn't understand it. He grabbed me and said, 'What is wrong with you? Have you lost your mind?! Are you trying to embarrass me?' It was then that I realized that there was something about jealousy which ignited passion in a man for a woman, even a woman he hasn't touched in a very long time. And that it wasn't necessarily about the woman, but rather the damage the woman would have done to the man's ego which was his most prized possession.
He then pushed me away and reached in his drawer and pulled out a gun. Rob was an army man and so he had a few guns in the house. I knew that they were there but I didn't anticipate this reaction from him. I expected him to be relieved that he finally had a reason to leave me. I didn't think he would actually get angry. I realized that I had made a big mistake and I started crying and pleading with him, 'Please don't shoot me Rob, please. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry!'
He then put the gun by my throat and said, 'I swear I'm gonna kill you tonight. I swear!' I then continued to plead with him and I said, 'Please Rob, don't. I'll do anything. Please don't shoot me'. At this point I was sure that those were the last words I was ever going to speak but I saw his hands relax on the gun and his face go from a scorn to a pensiveness. He then said, 'You'll do anything huh? Ok. Get your phone.'
I was crying and my body was shaking badly but I was relieved not to have the gun in my face anymore. I reached over the bed to my handbag on the floor and got my phone. 'Ok, ok Rob I've got it.' Then he said, I want you to text Johnnie and tell him to come here at 5pm tomorrow. The three of us are going to have a bit of fun.' There was a darkness in his voice that I hadn't heard before and it scared me to my core. Immediately I texted Johnnie and said, 'Come to my house at 5pm tomorrow.' Rob then took my phone to make sure I had sent the message and he said,
'Ok good. Now go to the bathroom and clean yourself up.' I went to the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror I noticed that my nose was bleeding. It was probably from the punch he had given me earlier but I hadn't realized it. I stayed in the bathroom a long time until I was sure that he was sleeping then I came out.
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