In Her Shoes: It Wasn’t Worth It

Ten years later, she looks back and thinks again…was it worth it?

She retraces her steps and realizes that she was more in love with her boyfriend than he was with her, but she didn’t know that then.

He seemed earnest when he told her she would be the best mother for his future children. She was 20 then. Deep down, she didn’t want to get married so young, but he was older and all his mates were already fathers. She didn’t want to deny him that privilege, and she was afraid that if she turned him down, that would be the end of their relationship. So, she gave in, fell pregnant and married her boyfriend.

Two years later, she noticed a change. Their love seemed to be slowly fading. Maybe she wasn’t doing enough as his wife, she thought. But no matter how hard she tried to please him, he never changed.

She could have left sooner but she didn’t want her child to grow without a father. She believed things would change. After all, our culture teaches us as women to persevere in marriages; men can mess up all the time but we should always forgive.

She soldiered on.

Many nights she would go to bed without knowing were her husband was, and when she asked, he would get violent.

She went back to her family and told them she couldn’t do it anymore, she wanted to come back home. But her family convinced her to hold on to the little that was left of her marriage. He would come back eventually, they said. Until he declared he no longer wanted her, they couldn’t accept her back into their home.

She now lives in sorrow, regretting the decision she had made as a young woman. What she thought was mutual love then could not have been love at all. Maybe all he wanted was a child so he could fit in and she was the ‘perfect candidate’ to carry his seed.

She looks at her child with tears in her eyes. She never wanted her child to grow without her father. What she envisioned was a happy family, living in a happy home. But it never came to be.

I have come to believe that love is indeed blind. Love can cloud our judgement so much so that we end up getting into marriages for the wrong reasons – reasons that at some point in life, when we look back, we regret and wish we had waited a little longer.

Marriage is a wonderful thing when it’s between two people who truly love each other, and when both parties are in it for the same reason and with the same goal, which is to grow old together in love through thick and thin.

It’s important to empower young women with knowledge. Marriage is not the only option after failing in school. And if you ever find yourself in an abusive marriage, leave! Never mind what people will say. Whether you do good or bad, they will always have an opinion. What matters is your happiness and safety.

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