Please, help me out of this situation as I really do not know why everyone, including my children are making a fuss about the situation on ground.
As for my in-laws, their case is understandable, as they wouldn’t want their family member to suffer eternal shame. This situation, however would have been avoided if they had not been partial and senseless about their brothers issue at the initial stage when I kept reporting him, but all they could say then was that I was a jealous woman who didn’t want their brother to enjoy his wealth and his life, because, to them, enjoying life starts and ends with going about town with different women, adultery, night crawling and drunkenness.
Babafemi, and I met in our final year in the university. We were in the same level, studying the same course, but we attended separate schools. It was our friend’s engagement party; I was the chief bride’s maid while Babafemi was the best man.
Our other friends jokingly match made us and that was how we started our relationship. All of them were happy for us when our relationship, eventually led us to the altar and we became husband and wife.
We both studied Economics and as God would have it, we secured jobs in the same bank, but not the same branch, even before we got married. We both had good jobs, so we began our marital life on a good financial footing. We had a wonderful marriage, and our children; three of them; two boys and a girl came without a hitch.
After 15 years of banking experience, Babafemi, decided he has had enough. He resigned and went into private business of importing and exporting. To make things easy, we both pulled resources together to start his business. To familiarise himself with his business, he had to stay in the United States of America for three years. It was during this time that he became a changed person.
When he came back and established his business, he became a chronic womaniser and night crawler. I tried all I could to make him change to no avail. I told his mother and cousin that I was close with, but their response surprised me. I was particularly shocked by my mother-in-law’s response when she told me like the typical Yoruba mother that she did not circumcise him because of me and she also reminded me of the fact that my father-in-law had many wives and being his first son, he could marry as many wives as possible.
That was how my husband married and moved in with another woman, leaving the children and I. It was painful, but with the grace of God, I survived. It was really painful because, he moved into our own house with her, leaving my children and I in a rented apartment. As if God wanted to compensate me, it was the era of the new generation banks. I secured a job with one of them which paid better than where I was, and this made my lot better. Babafemi, completely forgot my children and I, his family members did too. I had a good job and the support of my family members, so I was able to send my children to good schools, built my own houses, not even one and things were okay with us.
Once in a while, we used to meet at friends’ parties and other outings, he would ignore me, and I became used to it. In fact, I thought of filing for a divorce, but my family members and my children advised against it.
Several times, I see him with different women. Eventually, he married more than one wife after me. I made up my mind not to re-marry again, although, had a strong relationship with a widower which would have resulted into marriage, but for my resolve not to re-marry. He was of tremendous help to my children and me.
He was a lot older; he died six years ago. At a point, Babafemi, wanted to raise the issue about my relationship with him, I didn’t even have to say anything as people who knew us took up the matter on my behalf.
After Geoffrey’s death, I picked up my life, because, life has to continue. I remained resolute not to marry again or have another serious relationship. The fact that my children were all grown up and away from home did not make things easy.
I had a small business outfit, this really helped and things went well for me. When my first son brought home the woman he wanted to marry, we had no choice than to get their father involved. In fact, we practically begged him before he agreed to come. On the wedding day, because the children wanted both of us to wear the same attire, we had to beg him. Eventually, some of our family members prevailed on him and he changed his clothes in the church.
Left to me, I wouldn’t have been bothered, but because it was what my children wanted, I stooped low to make them happy. The same thing happened when my daughter was to get married. In fact, his new wife insisted that he won’t attend the wedding if she wasn’t allowed to wear what both of us would wear.
Babafemi, stupidly insisted that my children should buy his wife’s clothes too and they did, to avoid problems. In fact, his wife went everywhere with him, even on the high table during the wedding reception. It was a big embarrassment for the children and I, but his family members saw nothing wrong with the woman’s behaviour. When I asked my mother-in-law to call her to order, she told me I was too proud and arrogant and that since I do not respect anyone, I shouldn’t have called them to embarrass them.
Her utterances really hurt me and I actually wept. My family members advised that I ignore her and her children so that they won’t spoil the day’s joy. After the wedding, I told my last son that under no circumstances must he insist that his father attend his wedding because I cannot face another embarrassment. Little did I know then that it doesn’t cost God anything when he wants to deal with people.
Few months after my daughter’s wedding, I learnt their father became seriously ill and he was being moved from hospital to the other even to spiritualists one. His family members contacted my children and they asked if I should take care of him, I encouraged them to do their best which they did.
By the time he was well enough to go back home from where ever he was taken to, his wife had sold his house and ran away with his money. He had nowhere to go. My children had to pull money together to rent an apartment for him and they took up his up keep. When I went to visit him in his new apartment, I was forced to asked him what happened to his other wives and children apart from the one who sold his house, he could not give an answer.
The children employed a male housekeeper, cook and steward to take care of his needs. We really didn’t know what happened or how one of his wives got to know, precisely, the one he married immediately he left me, before anyone could say jack, she has moved in with him with her children, even the one she had for the man she married after leaving him.
In fact, when I sit back to think of how we started, I always wondered where Babajide went wrong. His behaviour and attitude, is just like someone who didn’t see the four corners of a school, talk less of a university. Some illiterates will even behave better.
To cut the long story short, he fell ill again barely one year when his wife moved in with him. She ran away when she could not take care of him. This time, I also was involved in taking care of him. When he became a little well, my children warned him not to take any of his wives in again because if anything happened to him again, they wouldn’t be a part of it.
My last son’s wedding came up not long after this, in fact it was at the wedding that I looked at him very well and saw how much he had emaciated, I felt sorry for him, but there was little or nothing I could do, since he has chosen to live the way he felt was okay with him.
After the wedding, his sickness relapsed again. He suffered a mild stroke with diabetics. It was really bad and the children pleaded with me to allow him move in with me, since I have also retired from banking profession. Initially, I refused, because I was not ready to become a nanny. My children prevailed on me and I allowed him to move into the boy’s quarters with his cook and steward.
I didn’t feel well with the fact that he had to live in my boy’s quarters, I allowed him move into the main building so I could take care of him. Like I stated earlier, I had retired from banking job, I had enough time for my business and whenever I closed from my shop, I stopped over in the church when we have programmes.
I started noticing that Babajide had started seeing women again. Once, I spoke with him and I warned him not to bring any of them into my house. He denied this. I called and told my children and he also denied.
I later learnt through neighbourhood gossip that he has been seeing and dating a young lady who lives on our street. Nobody knew if she was married or not, but a particular Muslim cleric comes to see her regularly.
When I heard this, I spoke with Babajide again, but he denied. I was on my way from church one evening, when I noticed commotion on our street. I had no business with them, so I moved on in my car. When I got home, I inquired about Babajide, I learnt he had gone out. I became worried when he didn’t come home late that night. I was still making inquiry from the steward when the maiguard said some elders in the neighbourhood wanted to see me.
The long and short of their visit was to inform me that my husband died of magun that evening, in the young lady’s house. He was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately, doctors couldn’t save him. They however needed my approval before the post mortem could be done and he would be taken to the morgue.
I was angry, but I cautioned myself. I gave them my son’s number. I didn’t even ask what they discussed with him. The following day, my children came to see me. They pleaded with me not to be angry. Now,they want to bury him. There would be a Christian wake keep, which they want done in my house, but I refused. My refusal is what is pitching my children against me.
Nobody have seen things my way. Is the shame and stigma of people pointing at me when I walk along the street that my husband died of magun not enough? I am not bothered about whatever his family has to say. The fact that my children are taking sides with them is my problem. Please, what should I do?