We Agreed Not To Have Kids. Now He Wants Kids Before Marriage
I had my first kid when I was twenty. It wasn’t planned but it wasn’t an accident too. I was madly in love with Jay and he didn’t do anything wrong in my eyes. I followed wherever he went, even when my parents protested. I didn’t listen to anyone but him. I was young and in love. Our relationship started when I was eighteen and he was there for me through it all until the pregnancy came when I was nineteen. I thought he was going to be there for me but when the issue got hot, he vanished from my life.
He didn’t show any concern and didn’t give any clear sign that he had me in his future though he accepted the responsibility of the pregnancy. At some point, my young heart learned to give up on him. All I had were my parents—those whose advice I threw to the dogs. Thankfully, they didn’t abandon me. Mom was there. Took care of the child so I could go back to school again.
When I started my national service, I met Lovebridge at the place I was working. He was the one I reported directly to and because of that we built some sort of relationship. Things turned steamy between us and along the way he proposed to me. I loved him. He was Lovebridge so I thought his love would be the bridge towards a perfect future.
We dated until I completed my service. Two months after my service, I realized I was pregnant. I didn’t have fears because I was old enough and the man I was dating was also old enough to carry the responsibility as a father. The day I told him that I was pregnant, he said, “How can you be pregnant? Didn’t you learn any lessons from the previous one? I thought you knew how to protect yourself?”
I said, “This is not the time to talk about what you thought I knew. Things don’t go according to plan all the time. I thought I was safe but that’s not what’s important now. What are we going to do about it?” He said, “We won’t have it.” I asked, “Why won’t we?” “Because I’m not ready,” he said. I told him, “Don’t worry, I will carry all the responsibility until you’re ready. Come around when you’re ready.” He said, “You are not even working. How can you do all that?” I said, “I had one when I was barely a girl. She’s alive and doing well though I had no job. This one too will do well.”
He spent the rest of his days convincing me not to have it. When I didn’t listen to him, he confessed, “I have a serious girlfriend in the UK. We are getting married soon so you can’t use this pregnancy to trap me.” I should have been shocked or pained or even disappointed but it didn’t bother me because I knew the relationship was over the very day he told me we couldn’t have the baby.
Lovebridge’s bridge got broken and I was left in the middle of a broken bridge. The only way for me was the way back to where it all began. I saw less and less of him until the girl was born. He brought few family members around to name the child.
Over the years, I’ve been able to go through thick and thin to raise these two children the best way my strength would allow me. They’ve become my everything—the center around which my life revolves. My mom has been an angel in the lives of these two kids and by God’s grace, I have a job that pays me well enough to give a better life to these kids.
Three years ago, I told myself, “I don’t need any more children. These two had become my everything and they are enough. I can live the rest of my life with these two and I would be fulfilled.” When I told my mom she asked, “You mean you won’t marry?” I said, “If the man will understand that, then fine.” She said, “What man will marry and not have children? Then why would he marry you in the first place?” I said, “Then I won’t marry.”
I started turning down proposals—from known faces and from unknown faces. I could be friends with a man for a very long time but immediately I realize something is developing, I will disappear. Maybe I lost a lot of good men through that but I didn’t care. My happiness and the happiness of my kids were the priority.
Through my mom, I got to meet Mr. Osei, a man who is almost twelve years older than me. He had lived all his life in the UK. He married a white woman and had two children with her but their marriage collapsed. He got married again to another white woman, had a child with her but the marriage couldn’t survive. He had come to Ghana looking for a Ghanaian wife he would live the rest of his life with. When he proposed to me, I told him, “I’m done having kids so if you are not looking for kids then I’m ok with you.” He said, “I have three kids already. They are all grown up. Look at my age, why will I need fresh kids?”
So, we started a relationship together. He’s the sweetest man I’d ever known. “Date them old and they’ll give you the best,” is not a lie. He kisses the very ground I walk on. When I’m with him, nothing else matters to him. All his attention would be on me. When I’m quiet, he’s worried. When I laugh, he laughs the loudest.
Our relationship is two years old and recently he had started talking about children; “The way we are, if we get a child between us, don’t you think it would make our relationship more beautiful?” He talks to me for a minute and he’ll mention kids several times without a number. He wants us to get married which I said yes to only for him to introduce a caveat that, “We should have at least a kid before the marriage.”
I don’t even want the marriage any more and I’ve told him. He kept coming back asking me to change my mind. He used my mom and used some people I know to make me reconsider my decision. Starting all over again is difficult. My kids are dry and are able to take care of themselves. I’m thirty-six and this man is doing everything to get me to start again.
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Weeks ago, I told him, “Ok, I’m ready to do it but not until we get married. I have two kids, one more kid won’t destroy anything.” He said, “Not one, I want three kids.” I said, “to make it five for me? No, I can’t. I told you everything from the start and here you’re trying to change all the rules. I’m not ready. We’ve come far enough but it’s ok if we let things go.”
Just when I’m trying to move on he came back again, “Ok, one is not a problem but can we do it before marriage?” He’s behaving like he doesn’t know what he wants in life. I’m over him and not ready to bring him in again. The problem is my mother. He’s using my mother to get to me. My mother thinks he’s a good choice. I think he’s confused. Now my mother is fighting a fight that’s not for her. She calls me strong-headed and selfish. The man also calls me every day, reminding me of how selfish I am.
The way he’s behaving, anything at all can happen. I don’t trust his shaky mindset and don’t want him in my life. I can even marry him today and tomorrow he’ll change the goalpost. I’ve seen some before. They were all sweet until they turned sour. I’m over it but my worry is my mom. How do I win her to my side? She’s been everything to me and I don’t want to lose her support because of that confused man.