A woman in love. That is who I was. Was that so wrong?
I was living my very normal, very womanly life and getting on with it quite well. I was financially independent. Done with school. Done with University. A good job under my sleeves. And now I was ready to try men, marriage and children. I was ready for that settling down and raising a family that is every woman’s shtick – or so I had heard.
The man strode into my life and swept me off my feet. Me, always thinking the best of people, I let him into my life.
And that is when the process begun.
I fell for him hard. And I told him and showed him and proved it over (not once) and over again. This relationship was going to work – naysayers be damned!
I slid into my wife role quite efficiently. Since bills needed to be paid, rent too, a system had to be in place for things to run smoothly in our household. And that awkward talk about finances had to happen.
We got into a system. The system involved him claiming that his job was not paying him well enough. The system involved him pointing out that since my job paid better, could I ‘take care of rent?’ But what kind of silly question was that? I loved him. Don’t you guys understand? Were we not in ‘this’ together? Of course I would pay rent. What was the harm?
Little did I know that our system would also involve me taking care of all the other bills as well. Even the purchase of a car fell on my shoulders. And since I was yet to go for driving lessons, I dutifully slid the car keys into his hands: him, the head of the house. Me, the dutiful wife.
I was paying rent, buying food, paying bills – all of them even the meagre garbage collection bill. I was the provider. I in essence, became the ‘man’ in our relationship. And he was … well, he was there. Just there for me to look at and thank my lucky stars for helping me bag him.
Did I tell you that I had to fuel the car for him to drive around to godknowswhere with godknowswho? You might be wondering of what good his job was if he was doing nothing. I like your train of thought because I asked myself that very question too.
We argued sometimes – you suspected that didn’t you? And not that I am a bad person, but some things drive you mad, don’t they? I was taking care of everything. Every single bill. Every single meal. Every single thing!
When we were mad at each other, I, being the designated man in the relationship, would be the one to reach out to him to end the feud. Always. When you saw me walking down the street, or taking out the trash, or drawing the blinds, or walking down that supermarket isle, you saw a woman. But him, he saw a man to toil, sweat and provide for him. The only thing I did not do as his man was change the car tyres. It’s mea culpa really – I seriously failed my manhood on that.
He drank a lot and seemed messed up sometimes, but I kept promising to love the mess out of him.
Then came babies. And just when I thought he could never get worse, he did. He acted more juvenile than his children; throwing tantrums when I told him I could not buy him something from the supermarket (I kid you not!), banging furniture when I requested him to fuel the car with his money, raising his voice at me when I requested him to drive a sick child to hospital…do you see what I had to go through?
He was barely home. I had known that he was cheating. Long before the children came. I confronted him once with the facts – a message he received in his phone from one Nancy. He denied it. But of course he denied it! He became hysterical – what else was new!? He threw another tantrum. Typical!
He glared at me and dared me to accuse him of ‘such’ again. He called me names. Verbal abuse became the order of the day. He called me a meanie. He claimed that I was stingy with my money.
I don’t think you heard that; he called me stingy. Me. The person who paid rent, bought food, paid electricity, fueled the car, bought clothes for the babies, me. He called me stingy.
If I was stingy, could there be a word in the dictionary for his ilk? Because I seriously doubt it. He who worked but never once, bought a packet of milk for his children? Never once took me out for dinner? Did I not want someone to take care of me too? Did I not want to feel appreciated? Loved? You bet your ass I did! And I am a woman dammit!
I just could not hack it. I was losing my sanity here.
He is out of my life now. It must be tough for him. I know it is. What with having no man in his life. I was his ATM and now he has none. He needs his bills to be paid. He hates that the landlord comes every 5th day of the month to collect money he does not have.
It pains him that he does not know how to man up. He hates it that the man he created for himself is not with him anymore.
He turned me into a man so that I would compensate for his weaknesses. Now he hates that I walked out and left him exposed.
He is now on a revenge mission. He promises to make me ‘toe the line’ – that’s what he calls it.
A woman in love. That is all I ever was. Tell me, was that so wrong?