My husband was unemployed when I resigned from my old job and moved to another company that offered me a better salary and great condition of service. I thought he would be happy for me. I thought the news would lift up his spirit and motivate him to keep searching for an opened door. When I told him about my new job offer he said, “You women get it easily because you alone know what you give to those who give you such opportunities.” I felt scandalized. I asked him, “Are you insinuating that I also gave ‘something’ before I was offered the job?” In an attempt to brush my question off he said, “I didn’t say that.” He then walked away from the scene.
His response and demeanor shocked me to the marrow. That night, while in bed, he pushed towards me in an attempt to get intimate. I told him softly, “I felt disrespected when you insinuated that I slept my way to the job opportunity. I need an apology. Tell me you didn’t mean it that way.” He answered, “I didn’t say you slept someone to get the job. It’s you who is saying it now. If that’s not what you did then how did you know that was what I was talking about?” He then turned his face to the other side and slept.
He had been off work for two years. He came home one day shouting and screaming and insulting faceless names. I didn’t have to ask him what the issue was. Immediately he saw my face, he started narrating his story; “I can’t sit there for them to disrespect me every day. I’m a man. I have a woman like her in my house. I have kids. I’m a responsible man. I wouldn’t sit there for an unmarried woman like her to use my face as a doormat.” I asked solemnly, “Kay, what’s the issue?” He ranted, “That small girl thinks I would allow her to use my face as a doormat. Her disrespect and insult got on my last nerve so I gave it back to her yesterday. Today, I went to the office and they said they’ve suspended me. Suspension because I insulted a girl who first insulted me? They should take their rat-infested office. I’m not going there again.”
That girl he kept referring to was his boss. He had issues with her appointment as his boss from day one. He kept talking about how the girl hadn’t been with the establishment for long and how the girl might have slept her way through to the top. I always knew he was going to have problems with her but I didn’t know that problem would lead him to resign from his position—a position he held on to for five solid years.
The very next day, I heard him on the phone, calling friends and telling them that he needed a new job. He left home sometimes, telling me he was going to see someone who had promised him a role that comes with a fat salary. He left home often with this same excuse but always came back home with nothing. For two years he kept going and for two years he kept coming back with nothing. He stopped discharging his duties as the husband of the house. When he had a job, he paid for some things and I also paid for certain things. When the money involved was big, like paying rent, we split it in two. He will pay half and I will also pay the half. It was a 50-50 kind of relationship.
I remember the very next day that he lost his job, the kids went to him for money and he told them, “Go to mommy. She has the money now.” For a whole week, he kept sending the kids to me for their money. I asked him, “But Kay, you just left your job. What the kids are asking for isn’t anything you shouldn’t have.” He said, “I’m unemployed now so I have to manage my money until I get a new job. You’ll learn to support your husband until he gets a new job.” From then on he stopped paying for all the things he once paid for. It didn’t bother me a lot. I did everything in good faith.
It’s late 10pm. The kids are asleep. I am sitting in the hall with Kay. I am watching TV. Kay is on his phone, typing and smiling. Suddenly the light goes off. I look around and see that all our neighbors have light except us. Kay is quiet, still typing on his phone. I say, “Kay, the light is off. What could be the problem?” He answers without taking his eyes off his phone; “The prepaid.” I said, “But we topped up our prepaid only yesterday?” He said, “I used the money for something I needed money for.” That night we slept in the dark. The next day, I bought the top-up.
One day I received a call from our kids’ class teacher; “Mom, the kids have been asked not to come to school tomorrow unless they are coming along with their school fees.” I said to her, “No problem. Tomorrow they’ll come with their fees.” I gave their fees to my husband to pay, right at the beginning of the term but he didn’t pay. I was so angry when I got home. I asked him, “But Kay, why would you do that? Ok, let’s say you didn’t pay the fees. You used it for something important. So why didn’t you tell me?” He answered rudely, “I borrowed the money with the intention to pay later. Should I be telling you everything I use money for in this house?”
Okay, my husband isn’t working but have needs so I decided to give him something every week. At first, I started it as a surprise. I would pick his wallet and stuff it with new notes. I did it for several weeks but not once did he say thank you. I was like, “Or maybe he thinks his wallet has started growing money.” I stopped putting it in there and instead gave it to him directly. Again he collected the money and said nothing. In one certain month the bill piled up so I didn’t have enough to give him weekly. I was going to work one day when he called me; “You haven’t given me my allowance.”
He called it allowance because he felt entitled to it. I told him, “The bills keep piling. I don’t have much to give this week.” She smiled mischievously, “Eii women. Your husband is in hardship and you want him to beg you before you give him something? When I had work to do, I gave you when you haven’t asked.” When he was working, he received gifts from me on every occasion while he treated mine as if they didn’t matter.
Then he started staking bet. I think the first week, he won something. He became addicted and started following a gang of young guys around. Some of these young guys could as well be his sons if he decided to give birth early. He didn’t mind. He’ll use prepaid money and our children’s weekly school canteen fee to stake bet. He would bring those young friends to the house, eat and drink and discuss betting odds. They’ll make the room dirty and leave it for me to clean up. When I complained he said, “Now you’re the one who pays rent so I can’t bring my friend to the house again? Eiii women!” He didn’t find anything wrong with himself but found everything wrong with women.
He has been out of work for three years now. Sometimes he finds something to do and gets paid. But most of the time, he’s out of work. Recently, I spoke to some people, asking for help for my husband. It was embarrassing some of the comments these people passed but I never gave up. I wanted something for my husband. He was called for an interview once. When he came back he told me, “I did very well. Now the ball is in your court. Do everything you can to let them give me this job. I know what you’re capable of.”
To date, I’m still picking silent battles with him for that statement he made. “Do EVERYTHING you can…” “I know what you’re capable of..” What was he implying? Maybe not what I think but I can’t think anything less than that because I know what he thinks. He has said it before and I know he still believes women sleep their way to the top. Was he suggesting I should sleep with someone when he said, “Do EVERYTHING you can?” I leave him to his own rotten agenda. For now, all I can do is to pray that he gets a job very soon because he’s becoming unbearable.