My marriage started as a situationship. I know it doesn’t even sound possible but that’s how it started. We were good friends then we got into the situationship for about 3 years before we even started a relationship. My attraction was mainly because he was smart and we got along pretty well. I was also dealing with abandonment issues so it was easy for me to get attached to people which I did.
At first, it seemed harmless. We would get together when he was in between girlfriends but then he started seeing me even when he was in other relationships. I was somehow like his side chick or his comfort when he had problems in other relationships. In my mind, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. After all, he was the one cheating on his girlfriends, not me. I didn’t owe them any loyalty.
Additionally, I was a bit too in love with the guy that I would do anything for him even if it meant being his side chick. He realized this early on in our situationship so he would do anything knowing that he could get away with it.
Whenever he would break up with his girlfriend, I would think that was my chance to prove myself to him. That was the first red flag in the relationship. If he truly cared about me, then I shouldn’t have had to prove anything to him. Nonetheless, I was too smitten to realize this.
“I think this time will be different,” I told one of my friends.
“He keeps doing the same thing to you. You need to cut him off.” She advised.
Most people around me could see right through the messy situationship that I had gotten myself into. However, I believed that he was the one and no one could convince me otherwise.
Eventually, we started dating but it wasn’t the fairytale I expected. He asked me to be his girlfriend while he was still with his previous girlfriend. Though I knew about it, I acted like I didn’t know just so I could give myself the fairytale I always wanted.
It was all fun and games while we were in a situationship. During that time, he was super affectionate and romantic towards me. However, when we got into a relationship, all hell broke loose. He started to show his true colours.
“Why are you so skinny?” He asked, persistently comparing my body to other women’s.
Apart from body shaming me, I also learnt that he had an addiction to porn. He would constantly watch porn and when I confronted him about it, he simply started doing it behind my back.
I experienced so much mental and spiritual warfare while in the situationship which affected the way I communicated with God. I found myself torn between my spiritual world and this man but decided to stick with it since I felt like I was already too deep to back out.
He was constantly cheating on me emotionally. I would find flirty messages on his phone and social media accounts. He would also manipulate and guilt trip me into having sex with him even when I wasn’t in the mood.
“I’m studying for my exams,” I said in protest.
“Please, babe. Or don’t you love me anymore?”
He would beg until he cried. In fact, this was the only time I saw him cry despite everything we had been through in our relationship.
After completing my degree, we got married and at the time, it felt like an answered prayer. The relationship was challenging but I was hopeful that marriage would make the guy more mature and responsible. However, I was wrong once again. We were only married for a year but it felt like a decade.
Nothing had changed. In fact, things got worse. The disrespect, the manipulation and the emotional abuse got worse. I also learnt that he had been keeping some parts of his life a secret.
He was deep in debt and one day, his phone kept ringing endlessly. When I asked him to pick it up, he would say it was a scammer. Eventually, I picked it up and it was one of the people he owed money to. A few weeks after that incident, I went to check our joint bank account and there was nothing in it.
Since he had been telling me so many lies since we got into a situationship until we got married, I found it hard to see reality for what it was. When I finally decided to leave the relationship, my mental state had deteriorated so much. I was depressed and anxious.
“I can’t do this anymore. We should get a divorce.” I kept telling him.
He started to see that I was actually serious about getting a divorce and he changed drastically. He would get angry at me and things took a violent turn. The last straw was when I was asleep and he raped me. It caused a lot of confusion in me and it took a while for me to open up about it. That was when it hit me that my husband had not only raped me but had emotionally abused me for years.
I no longer felt safe with him and moved out of the apartment to a friend’s place. That was the end of the relationship and I started taking steps to get a divorce from him.
Despite the pain and trauma, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. I got a happy ending. It just wasn’t the one that I was expecting. I was so focused on finding my soulmate and building my life with a man that I didn’t realize that I had to heal some past traumas to have a healthy relationship.
This situationship made me realize that and I was able to focus more on myself and my healing before getting into another relationship. It’s easy to get stuck in these stories that we tell ourselves and we need a reality check to make us see the mess that we’re actually living in. Though my husband and I got a divorce, the relationship was a learning curve for me and it made me strive to be a better version of myself.
This story was inspired by @brownandbendy’s video on YouTube
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