Why People Improve Themselves After A Divorce But Not During The Marriage?

At 23 I got married immediately after my first degree. Had my first kid at 24, got a master’s degree in my area of study, yet without a job. My ex was doing well in his business and he carried all the financial responsibilities of our home while I shoulder all the manual work; ranging from cooking, laundry, cleaning, buying groceries, making sure that every bills are paid, school runs, etc. All he does is to provide the money to carry all of those. I’m all- must -be -tidy kind of person so I made sure to maintain that.

I’ll make sure I keep the house clean, prepare his favorite meals which I do by following the meal time table cos he loves three different meals for each day. Most times he will come back with a different meal to be prepared for him after I must have made dinner. This must be accompanied with fruits or nuts to crack, extract, slice and serve. As this continued I became perplex and may complain but he never listened or appreciated all my efforts.

As years come by our population increased and I begged him to buy a washing machine. This is a no go area as he believes it makes one lazy. After much begging and no compliance for about two years I stopped washing his main clothes, but washed only his inner wears. I saved some money and got myself one. He was happy I did so and gave me 25% of the amount I bought it. I later learnt that that was a bribe to start washing his clothes again. All my married life I never had a full house help. His relatives will come, stay for some time and leave. Even while they’re still around I prefer to do some things myself for some reasons.

Now this is my round the clock non paid job from from year to year. I’ll wake up by 4:00 am to prepare children’s snacks or meal for school, wake everyone up by 5:00 am for morning prayers, bath the children and at the same time have clothes rolling in the machine while breakfast sits on fire simultaneously. By 7:15 am I’m with the children on the road to school. Keeps them at school and gets back home to continue the outstanding works. I may come back to meet ex still sleeping or brushing his teeth. I will serve breakfast, help him choose his day wear and most times look for one document or car keys.

I tried to get a teaching job which can help me continue my “rat race” at home. None of them lasted for more than four months, reasons I couldn’t figure out till today cos I believe I’m very good at that.

By the time I could say “ehee, time to rest” it’s already 3 to 4 pm, time to get the children back from school. Preparing dinner, helping in homework, correcting complains from teachers if there’s any, bathing and feeding them. Sometimes I still find time to play and tell stories with the kids. I buy everybody’s wears including ex’s, especially during festive periods. I guess that’s the only time I have to get new things for myself. It never bothered me cos I’m happy putting smiles in the faces of people around me. I’m always preparing home-made groceries cos I’m good at most of them.

I could remember vividly a friend advising me on improving in my outward appearance which I gave little attention to.

By the time I’ll retire to bed, it’s already 11 or 12:00 midnight. And so it continues.

I never received any form of appreciation; either in kind or in cash. And to worsen it all, he became so abusive; verbally, physically, emotionally and would complain and blame me in every misfortune of his life. Life was so terrible living with him. Yet, I did not complain until he pushed me out and finally left.

Most times we focus all our energy into building our homes, that is wonderful, thereby neglecting ourselves which should come first, it’s not being selfish. I celebrate every member of my family every year but I was never celebrated for the thirteen years we lived together.

After reading a book, “what kids need most in a mom” by a retired white nurse; Patricia Standforth, I started changing my status but things have started going sour in my marriage and I was kicked out by hubby. He got a nullification note from the church, refused me access to the children, etc. Though I’m working towards getting a civil divorce from the court.

It’s been two years now and alot of people could not believe it when they meet me, as a mother of five who’s so young looking, energetic and sophisticated. I’ve got a lot of space and time to travel, learn new things, meet new friends and recently working towards getting an MBA.

And more importantly, I wouldn’t want to be seen where I was left.

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