Last month, a friend told me about her failing marriage. Ten years, two kids and just like that; it’s over. They are no longer compatible, her husband says.
I've been trying to wrap my head round this since. Trying to understand this thing they call love. What does it really mean? How does it happen and how does it stop happening? How does love go from I’ll love you always and forever to I’m sorry there’s someone else. I need to get this. Is it something the other person does, or just time, or chance, or life?
There are a million books about how to find and keep the right man or woman but who offers advice on how to get over a heartbreak. My friend said she felt worthless, like she was no longer a woman.
How bad was she that he would walk out, not just on her but their children. She was sure it was something she’d done. So she begged him, promised to change, to be exactly as she wanted her to be, anything at all to stop him from leaving. But the same way you feel you can’t live without someone when you first fall in love, is probably the same way you want desperately to live without them when you’re out of love.
My friend’s husband has always been responsible and hasn't changed. He’s promised to keep paying their rent, school fees and more but what she wants the most, she’s lost to another woman. He’d always been a faithful husband, if he ever cheated , he was very discreet . She had absolutely no cause to be suspicious till three months ago when he dropped the bombshell. He was leaving her and yes, there was someone else.
My friend is very beautiful and very good natured, she wouldn't last too long if she put herself back on the shelf but this has completely shaken her throwing her into depression. She’s forcing herself to be strong for the kids. The last thing on her mind is another man. I’m not sure I can be with anyone else, she says.
‘I never stopped trying, never. I wasn't a bad wife Uduak or was I?’ I tell her she wasn't. She was someone I envied. She cooked, she cleaned, she kept her shape. The tendency is often to blame oneself when a partner walks away but shouldn't the primary blame go to the one who couldn't keep promises?
When someone says I love you, what does it really mean? Is it just for the moment? A gamble? Is there a way to make someone stay in love with you forever? Or is forever just an illusion?