Being a housewife was the best job, at least for me. I had never been in employment, I had gotten married as soon as I finished campus. I believed with every fibre of my being that there was no better job out there. You see, I was not just a housewife. I enjoyed life and I had no responsibilities. My husband, who I thought was the most generous man in the world, did it all. He paid for all the bills, including the two house managers that worked in the house. My work was to live life, and it was perfect.
I never at any one point felt lonely. I had friends, mostly housewives just like me. We lived lavishly, spent time shopping and finding fun things to do. We went on holiday every three or four months. Everything was always catered for and we never had to worry about money.
My mother and I had quarrelled about it over and over again. She warned me that my husband, the man of my dreams, would eventually turn against me and that it wouldn’t end well. It sounded like Greek at the time. Sometimes I think that she cursed me. We had not spoken in years, yet almost every day I recalled her strong harsh words.
“Will you will beg your man for money, like an uneducated woman? Men like hardworking women, not leeches. I raised you better than this, and now you are a disgrace to this family! What will I tell Mama Kui? How will my people view me? Just get out!” She said. I left and never returned.
Those words were piercing, and the more I thought about them, the angrier I became. I vowed to prove her wrong. To make her understand that she was just jealous of my beautiful life. I would show her that my husband Arnold was everything she ever wanted in life and never got.
Arnold and I had a perfect life. At the time, I wholeheartedly believed that he loved me to death. In our five years of marriage, we had not once had a serious argument. We were soulmates, and nobody was going to come between the two of us, or so I thought.
In our fifth year of marriage, I noticed that Arnold was spending less time in the house. He was almost always working late. But how could I complain, when he literally fulfilled the life of my dreams? If he had to work, then he just had to. He had, after all, won himself the trophy wife.
For this reason, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, some part of me was excited to have my lovely husband back home. That evening I took time and cooked him the perfect meal as though we were celebrating.
“Unfortunately I am still going to be going into the office on a daily basis,” he said.
It was as though he had read my mind.
“But…” I started to speak, and he interrupted me.
“Well, it is what it is. The nature of my job doesn’t allow me to work virtually. I have to supervise things. I’m a big man, you know that” he said, giving me a kiss on the forehead.
“Anyway, I’m not really hungry. I had late lunch and I’m exhausted. Goodnight my dear, I love you,” he said.
I stood in the dining room watching the lit candles for a hot minute. My appetite was gone. Some part of me sensed that something fishy was going on, but I had no evidence. So I chose to ignore it and to continue being the perfect trophy wife.
The next morning I woke up, embarrassed that I had been angry at my husband. He was a hardworking man doing the most to make me happy, and I was ungrateful. I had downed a bottle of wine to console myself. It felt just like a warm hug, and now I regretted everything.
It was now a few months since the pandemic started. I had been thinking of ways to show my husband that I loved him. I remembered my African aunties at the time around our wedding. They had advised me that the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach. That was the magical solution to my dilemma.
I requested the house manager to make some spinach ravioli with ricotta cheese for my husband. It was his favourite, and I wanted to surprise him in the office with something tasty. He always complained that the food at the office was tasteless. I would see to it that his lunch that day was perfect.
After what seemed like endless traffic, I finally arrived at his office. Coming here always reminded me that I did not want to work a day in my life. It seemed like slavery, the way the seats were arranged in an open plan with a supervisor by the corridor.
I got to the reception and asked to see my husband.
“Sorry, madam, who is your husband again?” The new receptionist asked, and I was very offended.
“Arnold,” I answered, making sure to show her that I was not impressed she couldn’t recognize me.
“Um, Maam, our staff members started working from home months ago,” she answered.
I was confused and shocked. I thought she was lying, but again I didn’t want to make it seem like there was any trouble.
“Ah, actually I was nearby and forgot that, thanks a lot,” I said.
I carried the food carefully down to the parking lot. It took me a moment to catch my breath and try to comprehend what was going on. My husband, who had been working into the wee hours of the night every day in the office, was supposedly working from home? Something was amiss.
That evening, I confronted my ‘perfect’ husband. I did not mince my words when he admitted to cheating on me.
“Her name is Stella, and we’re having a traditional ceremony in the next few months. I want you to behave. I have given you everything you ask for, for as long as I can remember. Don’t be selfish,” he said.
I couldn’t believe it, I thought I would faint. How would I ever accept to have a co-wife, and to willingly know that I wasn’t my husband’s only wife?
The next morning, I woke up, hangover once again. I had drunk myself silly and puked on myself. But there was a part of me that was now settled. I needed to leave that house. A polygamous marriage would never work for me.
I packed my bags and called an Uber. I went back to my mother, who embraced me even though she did lecture me. Arnold, the perfect husband, did not try to contact me again until months later when his lawyer sent me a notice to appear in court because he had filed for divorce. I was heartbroken but I knew I had it in me to get through this and get my life on track. I was looking for a job and I knew it was only a matter of time before I got a good job. I wish I had listened to my mother and worked all this time instead of depending on my husband to take care of me. It left me too financially and emotionally vulnerable.
This story is inspired by a story we found on Twitter.
For Years She Lived In Blissful Ignorance But One Day She Found Out That Her Husband Wasn’t Who She Thought He Was
The Singlehood Series: I Was Cooking For My Boyfriend During Lockdown And He Was Eating My Food With Another Woman
Her Husband Of Many Years Conned Her And Run Off With Her Millions
I Had An Affair In Advance To Avoid Being Hurt By My Husband Who I Suspected Was Cheating On Me
The New Girl At The Office Turned Out To Be My Husband’s Side Chick