If you haven’t read the first part of this story, here’s the link. Kindly read it before starting this one.
One morning his mother called me to the kitchen. It was about a new concoction and new ways of taking it. She said, “One cup—morning, afternoon, and evening. In the night when you’re about to sleep, you’ll fill one bɛntua and push it down. Jump up and down several times before going to bed. I frowned immediately. I told her, “But mom, the one you brought the other day isn’t finished. Why don’t we finish that one first?” She said, “Too much meat doesn’t spoil the soup. Remember, we need quick results to shame our enemies.” I simply turned around and left.
When I went inside, I told my husband, “Say something to your mother. I can’t be made to drink new concoction every day for something that I’m not guilty of.” He asked, “Has she brought new drugs?” I said, “Go to the kitchen and see what’s happening there.” He went there and a few minutes later I heard him arguing with his mother. Her mother insisted she was doing the right thing. He said, “At least give her a breathing space. Each day new herbs. It’s too much.” His mother said, “You two don’t know what you’re fighting against.”
From that day, I decided to stop taking in the herbs. I was too tired and my body had started revolting against the herbs. Sometimes, only the smell could make me throw up. It wasn’t once and it wasn’t twice. She would call me at dawn to ask me to come for the dawn dosage and I will refuse. She’ll call in the afternoon and evening. I will refuse to oblige. One day, she picked a severe argument with me. She started screaming and shouting at me. I said, “Mom, I’m not the problem here. It’s your son who is. From now on, direct all your attention to him.”
She got angrier; “How could you disrespect your husband in front of your in-law? Aren’t you ashamed that you haven’t been able to give him a child all this while? Does it not bother you?” I said nothing. I only put on a dress and left the house. My husband was home when I came back. He was angry. He said, “Why did you insult my mother?” I said, “Is that what she told you? She was forcing me to take the herbs and I told her I wasn’t the issue so she should shift her attention to you instead.”
He was clearly on his mother’s side so he didn’t spend a minute to investigate the issue. He also got angry. While his mother cast angry snares my way, my husband also walked around with cold shoulders toward me. I was tired of everything. I told him one night before sleeping, “You and I know I’m not the problem. I’ve spent all these years saving the face of our marriage and in the process have become the punching bag. From now on, I refuse to be that wall you hide behind to save your face. I’ll start telling the truth so they leave me alone.”
He said, “Let me give you a slot on Peace FM. Go there and broadcast it for everyone to hear. What nonsense.”
That day, I knew I had to do something drastic for them to take me seriously. I called my mom. I didn’t know I was going to cry but I did. I told her everything I’d been through since marriage—the concoctions I had to take, the gossips I had to deal with in the church, and my struggle to get his joystick to function at night. At some point, my mom laughed. She said, “I’m sorry to laugh at your suffering. You mean all this while you’ve not been touched?” I said, “How can I lie to you?” She asked, “And you know for sure that your husband is the problem?” I told her, “He knows he’s the problem and he had been trying to work on it.”
I told her I was coming home. She thought it wasn’t prudent. My dad also thought I should live with him and help him solve it. I told them, “He’s comfortable. When I leave and he wants the marriage which I know he does, he’ll work on himself.”
A week later, I told him, “I will be staying with my parents from now on. If you want me, you know where to find me.” He got angry. “What’s the essence of the marriage when you’re living with your parents?” He reported me to our pastor but I didn’t listen. I packed few things and left. That day when I was leaving he said, “If you leave this house, you’re not coming back.” I said, “Yes, I’m not coming back until the problem is solved. I’m no longer going to be your shield. Face your problem.”
He didn’t call for days and I didn’t call him for days. One day he told me, “I’ve started therapy. It’s pastor who showed me the place.” I asked, “Have you seen any improvement?” He said, “I just started. They said I should see improvement after one month.” I said, “I wish you well.”
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Another time he called; “My mom is leaving tomorrow. Won’t you see her before she goes?” I said, “I will call her this evening after work.” That evening I called his mom. She said, “I’m leaving. Will you come and take care of your husband?” I said, “I will. Just leave that to us.” One month…two months later, he said, “How would I know there’s an improvement when you’re not here?” I asked, “Have you seen anything that tells you it’s working?” He said, “Yes. Now it stands for long.” The following weekend, I told my parents, “I’m going home. Something is happening.”
I went home and that night we tried. Well, it was better than it used to be but still useless.” I encouraged him to take his drugs. I made sure he never missed his appointments and insisted he followed all instructions to the letter. We were not leaving anything to chance. I woke up at dawn and cooked his breakfast and lunch because there were a lot of foods he was asked not to eat. One dawn, I felt a hand on my thighs. It was consistent. It kept moving to unexpected places. I was awake but lying still. When he hugged me from behind, I felt it. My heart stopped beating for a while. He went in and it stood stronger. I said in my head, “Oh my God it’s happening…”
We didn’t want to stop.
We couldn’t wait to get home every day after work to continue from where we left off. We had our first child in November 2019. Currently, the second one is on the way coming. My husband leads praises and worship in church and you could see a different ray of light in his voice. The passion behind his expression is different now. If you know our story, you’ll understand why he praises God differently.