We were high school sweethearts, having met when I was in Form 5, and dated for eight years before getting married. Even back then, I knew he had an eye for women but I had hoped he would settle down after marriage.
Our toxic relationship
I believe communication is key in every marriage, but it became clear that it was missing in ours. I found myself afraid to voice out my thoughts, reduced to tiptoeing around him and censoring my words because everything I said – no matter how small or mundane a detail about my day – invited criticism and inevitably sparked arguments. It didn’t help that he didn’t get along with any of my friends and never made the effort to bond with my family, despite living in my parents’ house for free. He even worked for my father but had to be fired for being an irresponsible employee – coming and going as and when he pleased.
This happened less than five years after we had bought a house and the mortgage that was supposed to be split between us became my sole responsibility to shoulder, along with all other expenses including his phone bills. When I started my own business, he claimed to be supportive but his actions spoke otherwise. He constantly nagged me about my working hours and openly expressed his dislike at my efforts to expand my social network. There would be times when I would just break down and cry – I felt trapped.
His extramarital affairs
Throughout our marriage, I had friends telling me that they had seen him at clubs with other women, but I knew a confrontation would only lead to him shelving the blame to others and calling my friends liars. So I waited patiently, thinking it was my duty as his wife to continue treating him with the same love and faith. However, at around the 11th year of our marriage, it hit me that I no longer cared for him with the same depth as before. I even prayed for God to give me a sign if this union was no longer meant to be.