I saw you. Brilliant. Beautiful . Breathtaking.
The day was yours. Yours to enjoy, get pampered, get heard – everyone listens to the bride. Your bouquet was secured in your hands and a graceful gait affixed to your steps. Your smile; happy, exciting, uncontainable. You did not just look happy. No, no, hell no! You were happy – your eyes, your face, your whole body, all collaborated to announce your happiness to the world. And girl, I was happy for you.
You took him as your husband, and I saw that too. To have and to hold you promised. In sickness and in health, you vowed. For better and for worse you believed. Till death do you part, you insisted.
And then I watched you fit into wifehood the way gloves fit snugly into hands. I watched you give your all to him. Do everything a wife was supposed to do. And then some.
Then I saw something else. I saw you shrink yourself for him. You put your needs aside for him. You held his ego ever so fragilely lest it drop down, shatter and break. You believed that if you did everything he wanted you to do, if you became who he expected you to become, that he would love you and never leave you. I looked on as you convinced yourself that being by his side was what made your world move in its axis. And just like that, before my very eyes, I saw you transform into a different human being.
I saw the first time that you discovered he was having an affair. I watched your face as you tried to make sense of it all. You wanted to throw things at him, yell at him, punch his face in. I wish you would have. But you explained away his infidelity instead – it is the loose women who keep coming after him, those are the problem. Damn those women! Those women sent by the devil, Satan, the evil one! May they all burn in hell! Not your husband, no! Your husband is just a man. And this is what men do, you recited.
By explaining his infidelity away, you asked him to (please!) keep lying to you. To (please!) keep sleeping around. To (pretty please!) keep hurting you. Because he is a man. And men are meant to hurt women. In your world, men are supposed to be unfaithful, violent and unfeeling. And the last time you checked, you had married a man.
This low bar you had set for yourself made me look on with sadness. This made me really sad for you.
I have seen you love him. I have also seen you refuse to demand for respect, love and commitment from him. I have seen you tell him over and over again that you are worthless. And it started with the day you found a text on his phone from another woman, and you asked him who that woman was. And he told you a fabricated story. And you knew he was lying, but did not call him out on his lies. Because you are his loving wife. His ‘good’ wife.
You don’t talk about your marriage to ‘outsiders’, I heard him say to you. He took the pains to explain that marriage is between two people and only the two of you should sort out your issues. What he did not tell you is that these are the perfect words for someone who needs to cushion his flaws in silence. He needed you to help him lie to the world about who he was with you. He needed you to help him hurt you even more. And you played along! You smiled when all you wanted to do is scream and shout and let it all out.
You covered up for him, thinking that you were helping your marriage yet only succeeding in destroying it irreparably.
Now I see you. And I see him too. I see you insecure, desperate and jaded. And I see him in all his monster glory. Yes, he is now a monster. What’s worse is that you created him. You really should be proud. Now he takes the crown you crafted ever so beautifully for him. And he wears it proudly on his head. But that was the whole point wasn’t it?
Now he disrespects you because you made him believe it was ok for him to do so. Now he despises you and demeans you, but only because you allowed him to think lesser and lesser of you every single day. You lay yourself down as his doormat and he did over and over what one is expected to do with a doormat; he stepped on you, stumped on you and used you to clean off his dirt.
He now threatens to leave you. You are not the same woman I married, he says. I see the disgusted look he gives you. He is disgusted by you, can you believe that? What pains me is the look of adoration that you give him in return. What is even more disturbing is the look of satisfaction in his eyes when you beg him not to leave you.
You love him, you say. You will change for him you vow (Are you serious right now?) You need him, you plead.
He stays. He cheats. He yells at you.
You cry. You hurt. You stay with him.
Marriage is not a bed of roses, you say to yourself. You turn to God, asking him to fix your husband forgetting that your husband was fine, until you turned him into a monster.
I saw you marry him. I saw you love him. I saw you progressively become sad and him progressively get happier.
I see the both of you.
I see you shift your attention from him. I see you look at me. I see you get mad at me for telling you things you don’t want to hear. How dare I? How dare I suggest that you are better off without him?
No. You will not pin this one on me sweetheart. I am not saying nothing. I will just stand here and watch you do what you want with your life. After all, I am not your savior – you are!