Real Stories #1 : Heartbreak and Bathroom Tiles
Part 1 : Fairy Tales
I had always been a relationship-type of girl. I don’t think I could go two months without having a boyfriend.
Not that I couldn’t be on my own, I was just a hopeless romantic and I “fairy-taled" all my boyfriends, (yes, even the drug-dealing one), until I met my own version of a Universal demon, forget Yoruba now.
He was a grade A Universal demon.
Tunde* was everything I wished for, a good-looking, well-mannered Christian. He was great at his job, could make me laugh for days, and we just clicked.
It wasn’t long before he told me he loved me, and boy, did I sleep with a huge grin and butterflies flipping my insides out with joy that night.
Now usually in relationships, I try not to get too attached, especially with family members. In fact, I avoid family members just so it’s easier to let go if things go south, that way no extra emotional drama pops up.
With Tunde, I was all in. I met the folks after about 2 months of dating him, then his siblings. They were so welcoming and when a deeply traditional family accepts you (especially the mum and sister); you have crossed the rainbow bridge of judgement (phew!). His family loved me, and I slowly warmed up to them. We went on family trips and dates together, his mum was fantastic and treated me like her last-born!
A year later, we were both over-seas for postgrad and we were in a long distance relationship. We worked really hard at the relationship. LDR wasn’t going to kill what we had. We spoke all the time, we tried to see each other every other month, or 2 months.
At the end of my program, I submitted my thesis and I decided to move to his city and be closer to him, while I hunted for a job.
One night, I get a call from my friend. She was crying and terrified that she had gotten an STD from her boyfriend, who clearly wasn’t faithful to her. I was on the phone with her for an hour. Tunde was with me and heard the context of the conversation.
I get off the phone and go on a rant about how every Naija guy wants a good girl, but they get one and can’t even treat the girl right. I’m so pissed off. I’m ranting and he just keeps looking at me, calming me down. He leaves for a minute, then comes back and tells me to sit down.
Much calmer now, I sit and I’m waiting for what he has to say. He looks at me and says ‘I need to tell you something.’ My heart sinks, but I don’t let it show.
My heart starts racing, the 6 words usher in confusion and I’m on a guessing marathon of all the things that it might be. He starts talking and I hear those 4 magical words. No, not “Will you marry me?”
Instead he says, “I cheated on you”…… then everything just sort of goes blank. He keeps talking and I cut in, “Is she pregnant?” I ask.
Part 2: Bathroom Tiles
I’m on the bathroom floor, locked in, in shock, numb, can’t move, at 11pm on a cold winter night and then the tears start. They start and won’t stop.I can’t even remember what I was feeling then, but I must have cried for hours, staring at the white tiles.
According to his story, his story, because that’s all it will ever be, this happened 6 months ago and it happened once. 6 months ago I was writing my final papers, practically sleeping in the library, strung up on coffee and you were screwing some girl you met at the gym, just great.
I leave the next morning, but I leave a completely different person.
I don’t think people who cheat realize how damaging it is. I think the worst thing about being cheated on for me was the shame. The shame to your friends, the shame of not noticing it, the shame of believing in a lie but mostly, the shame to yourself. It destroys you emotionally, eats at your self-esteem and your psyche.
I went through so many thoughts and yoyo- emotions from maybe I wasn’t good enough, maybe I wasn’t great in bed, maybe I became boring, maybe I should have been less this or more that. The “maybes”, “whys” and “what if’s” keep you awake at night wondering why Ursula (no jokes, she looked like Ursula from the Little Mermaid) could even be attractive to him and how many Ursula’s there were, which germs did he give you from the Ursula(s).
The family detachment was hard as well, he is their son after all, so they have to stand by him (see why I don’t do the family thing). Just a toxic mess of my fairytale.
Flash-forward to now, I look around me and see even worse happening to people. My story is child’s play compared to what some people go through.
When I ask people why they cheat, there never seems to be a reasonable answer…. Ever.
It’s still a mystery, the cheating thing… like isn’t it better to break up with the person and be free to bed hop. Some people told me to stay and forgive him, “Is it just ordinary cheating that is making you break up!” They said, “The fact that he told you himself means he is sorry.” Lol, society is fun!
Of course, I left him for good.
Dating after being cheated on, is fun too *dry chuckle*. My walls are so high that even when I like the person, I hold back. I found that guys don’t really have the patience to understand that it takes some effort to get me from behind my walls, they just move on at the slightest resistance.
I can’t blame them really, this isn’t “The Notebook”.
And while I still haven’t figured out what I am going to do about my love life, I’ve learnt to trust in God to bring the right person my way, its been almost 4 years now, fingers crossed he hasn’t been hit by a truck.
*not his real name
Disclaimer: This article was written by an anonymous contributor. Her views and opinions are entirely hers and do not necessarily reflect the views of PGI on this topic.
This is story #1 of the Dating Like Crazy series. Please note that this is a real story, please comment kindly. Thanks.