MY NAME IS RABIU MAITAMA. I AM 40 YEARS OLD. I WAS MARRIED TO FATIMA JALAL FOR 5 HELLISH YEARS. I WANT TO SHARE MY DIVORCE DIARIES WITH YOU.
My marriage to Fatima was an accident. It was an accident because it was never meant to happen. Somehow I found myself in love with a woman who was an embodiment of everything I detested in a woman. The first time I met her I thought she was an uncouth and disgusting specimen of woman.
I met Fatima through a friend of mine who was dating her at the time. His name was Faruk and he was my partner in chasing ladies. In those days it was the most exciting thing for us to woo women and let them down soon as we got them ensnared in our amorous traps. Though we were married men, chasing women was the adventurous flavour in our otherwise bland and routine lives.
On the fateful day I met Fatima, I was in a celebratory mood because my wife had just delivered a bouncing baby boy, and I was ecstatic. My wife Amina had given me another son, making me the proud father of 3 sons. I planned to reward her handsomely when she returned from the United States with the baby. So you can understand how lonely and vulnerable I was at the time I met Fatima.
My friend was with her that night but she kept giving me the eye. I was a little uncomfortable at first but later I relaxed and enjoyed the attention she lavished on me because after all my friend was paying for her time. She was short and chubby but with a very attractive behind and ample bosom that no sane healthy man could resist. It was at my friend’s guesthouse. I slept off on the couch while they got busy in the bedroom. Around 3 am my friend woke me up to tell me he was going home. We said good bye and I went back to sleep. Shortly after Fatima joined me and seduced me. From that fateful night I became hooked. I was addicted to her.
In all honesty it was supposed to be a fling. The next morning she told me she wanted to see me again. Stupidly I agreed and said no problem. From that point on I was like her prisoner. Fatima knew how to pleasure me like no one ever could. I could not get enough of her expertise and tenderness. I could not live without her. I fell in love with her and I wanted to have her all to myself.
After about three months, I asked her to marry me. I was tired of moving from hotel to hotel with her. I was tired of suspecting her of cheating on me with other men. I wanted her all to myself so I married her.
Early on, I noticed that Fatima had a volatile temper which was often accompanied by physically aggressive outbursts. She would break plates, throw tumblers, fling her phone at mirrors or hit me with household items every time there was a minor disagreement.
One day I was watching football with my friends, and she wanted my attention. It was a crucial game for my team- Chelsea Football Club. I quickly attended to her and returned to the game. I did not know that this angered her. She came to the living room and stood arms akimbo, blocking the view to the television. My friends were all looking at me to do something. I was embarrassed. I got up and went to move her away from the Television. I put my hand on her shoulder and meant to pull her away from the television. She refused to move.
‘I said I want to see you NOW’
‘OK baby let us go so the boys can enjoy their game’ I said playfully, still pulling her away.
She had a mop in her hand. It all happened so quickly. As I playfully pulled her away, she hit me in the crotch with the wooden part of the mop. I fell down on the floor and she continued to hit me.
‘Daniskan banza! How dare you bring people into my house??!’ she continued to strike me with the wooden end of the mop while I struggled to regain my balance. Three of my friends were at my house that day but only one of them intervened and restored sanity. The other two had disappeared mysteriously. I thought that episode was embarrassing because I had no idea how crazy my wife was. I did not know the kinds of things she was capable of. She would slap and kick me for the most innocent mistake. There was no tolerance in her heart for my mistakes. It was worse because she had no iota of trust for me.
I did not want anyone to know that my wife was doing these type of things to me. I gave all sorts of excuses for my scars. What kind of man would I be if the whole world knew my wife was hitting me? What would people say?
Some weeks after that mop incident, I had cause to work late at the office and when I returned all hell broke loose. I was attacked by my wife in my own home; she attacked me with a bedside lamp upside the head. She threw a lamp at me. For a minute I lost my bearing, I was not sure what had happened. There was a ringing in my head when I opened my eyes and saw blood. I wiped the blood from my head. I tried to get up but I could not focus with the ringing in my head.
She was screaming at me for coming home late. She was calling me all sorts of names; Bastard pig goat imbecile impotent buffoon. For a while I could not get up and she took advantage of the moment to strike me on the head again. The last thing I remembered before I lost consciousness.
When I came to, I was on the couch with ice on my head. The ringing had stopped and she was there looking over me. I tried to get up but I could not.
‘Fatima… why did you hit me? What did I do to you?’
‘So you still don’t know WHAT YOU DID to me abi? Me yasa namiji shege ne??’ she asked no one in particular.
‘Haba Fatima why do you talk to me like this, just listen to the way you talk to me. I am your Husband but you don’t respect me.’
‘Why should I respect you when you abandon me all day in this house all day and you will not come home on time?? You know I get mad when I miss you and I need you and I can’t have you. Kai ma Ka sani!!’
In that moment, incredible desire overcame my sense of judgement. I was suddenly overcome with love and pity for my wife. She was angry because she needed me and I was not there. Within minutes our bodies were intertwined on that couch like a couple that had only known tenderness and intimacy.
That is how the cycle continued throughout our marriage. I would do something, she would get upset and attack me, then make love to me as an apology. I forgave her every single time. I believed her whenever she said it was my fault. I tried so hard to be the husband of her dreams. She did not want to share me with any woman so I divorced my first wife. She said my children were noisy so I sent them away to live with my mother. She did not like my friends so I cut them off. She hated my sisters so I cut off all relations with me.
I did all I could to not upset her. I was spread so thin trying to get on my wife’s good side it started to take an emotional and physical toll on me. I could hardly concentrate on work. But I pushed on, buoyed by the belief and hope that Fatima would change eventually.
While waiting for Fatima to change, I fell ill and had to stay home for a few days. My colleagues from work decided to pay me a visit to check on me. I was really touched by the visit and it was a nice reprieve from the madness in my home. The visit helped me feel better.
After they left, I slept off.
Fatima poured cold water on me and I woke up startled.
‘YOU ARE SLEEPING WITH THAT HALIMA BITCH YOU THIS STUPID MAN! YOU ARE SO USELESS AND WORTHLESS. YOU BROUGHT YOUR MISTRESS INTO MY HOUSE YOU SHAMELESS GOAT I WILL KILL YOU TODAY YOU THIS UGLY GOOD FOR NOTHING BASTARD IF I DO NOT FINISH YOU TODAY CALL ME BASTARD!!!!’
God Help Me
And on and on she continued. I was confused. Halima? Halima was my colleague at work and had been part of the delegation that visited me. And Halima was visibly pregnant!
‘Fatima calm down! Halima is a married PREGNANT woman! I am not sleeping with her or anyone for that matter’
‘Lallai you think I am stupid abi? I asked her and she said she is 7 months gone… 7 months ago you were always working late remember? So now you invited to my house to flaunt her pregnancy in my face because you hate me. Is it my fault we do not have any children? When it is your smelly sperm is only good for fouling everywhere’
I was Speechless!
We got into it. She fought me and I fought her back. She punched I kicked. We got to the balcony and I realised I had to steer the fight back to the room but Fatima overpowered me. The last thing I remembered was her screaming that she would kill me while I was falling to the ground.
I was unconscious for five days. When I came to, Fatima was not by my side, my parents and the mother of my children were. Where was she? My father said they had gotten her arrested and she was cooling her heels in a police station. I used the last strength in me to convince my father to let her go; on the condition that I would divorce Fatima. I had no choice but to agree. My father still thinks I was too weak, I think he is ashamed and disappointed in me.
I had broken three ribs, my right arm and my ankle. I was in a lot of pain but I was lucky to be alive. I was lucky to be alive. After a long stay in the hospital I went back to life. I have reconciled with my first wife and we are raising our children together. It took a while for me to swallow my pride as a man and admit that I was being abused by Fatima. I am also very ashamed that a woman beat me regularly, a woman that I married for that matter! My friends and family laugh at me behind my back, and this hurts me a lot. They sometimes say I am not a real man and because of that I hardly talk about it. I decided to share my experience so that men like me can break free from the abuse. There is nothing wrong with fighting back. Be careful who you marry. Be careful who you bring into home because they can destroy you emotionally and physically.
Thank you for reading my story.
All thanks to Jaruma Magazine Chief Editor For Allowing Us to Re-Broadcast it.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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