I am in my 40s, a second wife and stepmother to four children. Sincerely, when I met my husband in Port-Harcourt, I didn’t know he had a wife, let alone having children.
He gave me the impression that he was single. Although, I wasn’t desperate for marriage, something about him communicated itself to me and before I knew it, I was pregnant. He didn’t take me to any of his family members and when I mounted pressure on him as to when we would get married, he kept telling me soon.
My mother and siblings didn’t like the arrangement one bit. They never liked him from the beginning for reason that became obvious to me later. From the day I introduced him to my mother, she told me to investigate him that he looked like a married man. When I protested that he wasn’t, she asked why he wasn’t married at that age. Irritated at what I termed undue interference, I told my mother to let my man and I be. That she should be happy that I was at least considering marriage, given the fact that all my younger ones were already married.
She wisely kept quiet but not before telling me that I would regret my decision.
I had a set of female twins. Still nobody came from his side to see me.
I also noticed that at a particular time of the day, he would either call a number or when some calls came in, he would excuse himself to answer the calls. Whenever I asked him who he was calling or those calling him, he would tell me they were his business partners. He also didn’t spend weekends or public holidays with me. He would always find an excuse to travel out of town. To keep me quiet, he brought some people home, he introduced as his parents. They apologised for their son’s behaviour, went to see my people and chose a date for the wedding ceremony.
Two weeks after, they came with more people, paid my bride price and performed other marriage traditions. I was happy at the turn of events. Still my mother’s attitude towards him didn’t change. She kept insisting that what we did was fraud. She accused me of deliberately ignoring all warning signs because of fear of what I might find out should I investigate further. It was partly true. Despite the wedding, certain things still bothered me. Things got to a head during his annual leave last year. He deliberately kept the information from me but I found out when a friend of his called to know if he would be travelling during his leave.
It was through his friend I knew about the leave. I was shocked he didn’t tell me about the leave but only informed me of his pending official journey to Yola for eight weeks. When I demanded to know what he was up to, he said it was a working leave and that he has some unfinished assignments in Yola.
He left the next day without informing me of where exactly he was going to in Yola. He called later that day to inform me that he had arrived Yola and that he would be proceeding to a village where he cannot be reached. He promised to call me whenever he could.
Four weeks passed before he called to ask after his children and to know if we were okay. I told him we were missing him. He didn’t bother to call until he came back. Naturally, I was livid with anger. I also did some investigations and discovered he wasn’t on any working leave. That was all I got from his office.
None of them volunteered any more information. As a matter of fact, the secretary told me to go back home and wait for my husband, that she was only his secretary not his keeper.
It was too much for me to tolerate. So when he came I demanded to know what was happening, why he doesn’t spend time with the children and I. He told me he was working hard to ensure we did not suffer in future.
Just before Christmas, I discovered I was pregnant again. When I told him, he was happy. I naively thought the news would keep him at home but, again, he told me he was travelling. Hurt, I told him we would all go together. That if he thought he would spend another Xmas away from home, he should have a rethink.
That incident exposed my husband and shattered my world.
On the 31st of December, my world cracked with the arrival of a woman and four beautiful teenagers, two boys and girls.
I didn’t need anyone to tell me who they were. Looking at the girls, it was like looking at my own set of twins. I told them to come in and went into the room to call my husband, who was too scared to come and confront his predicament.
Strangely, I was calm throughout the ordeal of being beaten up by the other woman, called names by her and thrown out. Though the children didn’t join her, all telling her to stop misbehaving, my husband who initially was pleading with her, later summoned the courage to redeem whatever pride he had left.
It was a long while before sanity returned. She apologised for her temper but it didn’t erase the mess I have found myself in. He has since relocated to Lagos. The people he brought to my family were hired.
Although he sends money, bought the house in pot-Harcourt for me, comes to spend the weekends with us, my mother is piling pressure on me to quit the marriage; that it is wrong to marry another woman’s husband.
But my husband is insisting he won’t let me go. I have attempted to terminate the pregnancy but it failed.
What do I do now? Your help is urgently needed.