A couple of months ago, I walked into our living room and told my wife of three years that I was leaving. This did not come as a surprise to her, and after three months, we had finalized all the divorce papers. The decision was however shocking and somewhat surprising to many of our friends who considered us destined hearts. Some time down the line, I still meet my friends who ask me what went wrong. The desire to give them a full account of what happened chocks me but the depth and breadth of our problems prevent me from giving a complete account. Just as Shepard, J. & Robert W. G. (2003) observe, effects are as a result of a particular cause hence some actions are unavoidable when subjected to a stream of causal events. I am not trying to justify my actions but I believe the decision I made was long coming.
The reasons which led to my leaving were the constant quarrels, financial issues, constant pressure to deliver beyond my ability, and my ex-wife’s constant mistrust. Moreover, the later realization that my ex-wife had been cheating on me devastated our relationship. This particular awareness made me re-evaluate my position in a marriage where I was neither trusted nor respected as a husband. However, two years later, I ask myself why I made the decision to walk out. Was it the right thing to do? Did I walk out on my wife or did I walk out on my responsibilities? These were the questions that kept permeating through my mind.
To begin with, the financial reasons were somewhat insolvable. My family had a weekly average income of $859, mainly from my work and her allowances. This income was split to carter for rent, education, healthcare and recreation. We had little to worry about rent and food but the demands of healthcare services, especially for my wife who was asthmatic, strained all our finances. Moreover, my ex-wife began getting suspicious of me thinking that I was spending all our finances with other women. She got convinced that I earned more than what I told her, and one day she even confronted my boss.
Secondly, the quarrels started in my family. If it wasn’t about my wife demanding money for household goods, school fees, house help, then it was the hospital bill. The work that supplemented our weekly income had gone and therefore I had to deal with the idea that my wife preferred that I stay with her at the shop and help her sell instead of finding myself a job. I also resigned to this situation because of a desire to save my marriage. However, the quarrels became intense until one day one of our neighbors came to ask what was going on. They never expected the happy couple such as us, to have such serious problems.
Then one day, as I got into the store, I heard voices murmuring from the back. I moved closer stealthily and was perplexed to learn of a cover up for my wife’s infidelity. She was actually planning to lie to me about a certain relationship she was having with her colleague at the shop. For the next one and half months I did not utter a word and an unexpected silence persisted in the house until the day I walked out.
Why did I walk out? Was it because I was tired of living with a woman who could not trust me, or was I tired of living a life of pretence of happiness, or was it because of the realization of my wife’s infidelity? May be all these factors contributed to my decision. The realization of infidelity spurred me into action though. The day I found out about it, not even my ten bottles of wine could help. That day I remembered the most important moment of our lives, the day I vowed to be faithful to her and to love her for better or worse. I remembered our wedding day. In my mind and in my heart, the moments of that day gave me a lifetime of memories. These memories kept me going even during the most turbulent times of our marriage. They were my life with her. Then one day, my bubble burst and I realized that these memories only existed in my mind. I came to realize that I had kept those memories for both of us. The most depressing part was the way she admitted to having another relationship. She sounded arrogant as if she had been expecting me to find it out and that realization and her attitude jeopardized all we had achieved.
In conclusion, I may need to mention that it wasn’t much about the financial conditions of my family or the quarrels; maybe it had it was just never meant to be. I think deep inside, especially during the one and half months that I contemplated on the decision, I had come to realize and accept that my wife had fallen out of love with me. That realization alone was enough to consider a walk out. After all, our life together was based on that simple ideal, love. In the end I could have taken everything but the absence of that ideal would have made it all worthless. It is not without regret that I look at this decision. The causes of my decision therefore boiled down to one reason, betrayal and broken promises.
Shepard, J. & Robert W. G. (2003). Sociology and You. Ohio: Glencoe McGraw-Hill.