A letter from a broken man
I am an avid follower of your blog. I like your photography but I love your words even more. Your wisdom has blessed and kept me sane on a number of occasions and right at this time in my life, I think I am cracking from all the emotional and psychological pressure I am under. I don’t want to be counted among the African or black fathers who were not there for their children so I am hanging in there but it is tough.
To put it simply, I feel used. I am married to the first girl I ever fell in love with. We attended the same school, same church and she was my world and I was hers. Even though we attended two different colleges, we managed to make time to see each other as often as we could. We didn’t have Skype and Facetime but we both did our best to stay in touch.
I love my wife deeply. Two years after we got married, we decided it was time to have kids. Today, we have four. Our oldest are identical twins and partners in crime, aged 10. Our third child is 7 and our last one, 3. I love my children. They are such a blessing.
I’m sure you’re wondering why a man who claims to love his wife and children be having problems? Well, I think I have reason to believe that my wife married me not because she was head over heels in love with me; but because she sat down and coldly made a calculated choice. I was a good choice: Responsible, healthy, God fearing, and fun.
Nana, I don’t know if I am making myself any clearer but you see, when we got married, we couldn’t take our eyes off each other. Sex was passionate and fulfilling. My wife isn’t the kind who comes up with the “I have a headache” excuses but sex, since we start having children, feels like a chore she has to perform. Something to get out of the way so she can pay attention to the more important stuff: her children.
For the past 10 years, it’s been impossible to have my wife to myself. We can plan to go to the movies or go on a vacation but the truth is, the moment we step out of the door, she gets anxious and worried about the safety of her children. We will be in the middle of a movie at the cinema and you will notice she’s lost concentration. Probably wondering if one of the kids had done their homework or taking their medicine. So yes, I have managed to have her to myself a few times but this is only in body. Her mind is always on the more important stuff: Not me.
Nana, can you relate? Do you think I should grow up and just perform my responsibilities? Am I a whiner? Are there any responsible men out there who can relate? I feel, my wife, as adorable as she is, was raised to be a super mum but a lousy wife. If I leave her, my children will never forgive me because she really is a wonderful mother to them but they have no idea how miserable I feel.
So when the children leave home and start living their own lives, will she finally make me a priority or will she turn her attention on her grand children?
For how long can I live like this? I have no intention of cheating but I feel really vulnerable when I meet ladies who seem to take a genuine interest in me. Honestly, I am not having an affair or anything. I can’t bring myself to it but don’t you think it might be better if I get a divorce but fully support her and the children? At least then, it takes away the hypocrisy. It was never me she wanted. She wanted kids and someone who will help her raise them. Now she has the kids, and I will help raise them but at least, can I get my life back?
Nana, I feel really sad sending you this email because this is the first time I have written or said anything bad about my wife. She’s a good woman; and an even better mother. Far better than the mother I had but I am hurting. I am hurting because I grew up unwanted and pretty much rejected and was hoping that in marriage, I will find someone who will genuinely love and care about me, for once. The wife I had before we had children is gone. She made me feel wanted. Today, I feel as unwanted as I used to feel in childhood. My children are really blessed with a great mum but it doesn’t make the pain of feeling unwanted any less painful.
Nana, can you help???