Strange Love: God Really Detests Divorce Else I Wouldn’t Have Allowed My ex-Wife Back Into My Life
I married my wife three years after the Civil War. A war that took away everything I achieved before the war. After the war, I was able to travel back to Lagos, unfortunately for me, some other Yoruba man had taken over my shop and business whose goods I was importing from the UK in those glory days of my life after my apprenticeship. I was twenty-four years when my Oga settled me. That was in 1964. I opted for building materials sector of the economy instead of the clothing materials my parents pushed me into where I spent ten years learning the rope of this business whereas I had all my heart in the building materials sector of the then Nigerian economy.
With the money I had in my account with Barclay Bank, I traveled to London and made some interesting purchases with a British company my Bank Manager friend had introduced me to. With this importation, I was settled in life. I started growing my business as it jumped into leaps and bounds. Within a year, I was able to put up a storey mansion in my father’s compound and still had my business thriving well. I even bought a Morris Minor car. Every big house developer knew me in Lagos as I even ended up a government supplier. Life couldn’t have been better.
Then in 1966, the pogrom of my Igbo people started with vengeance in the Northern parts of Nigeria. I was very disturbed but I inquired from my Oyibo Bank Manager who helped me stash some money away in the UK depending on when the impending war would end on one hand and if I would survive it on the other. I survived the internecine war but did my business survive it? I had only saved a little amount of money with my former Oyibo Bank Manager who went back to his country before the war. When I inquired from his Embassy, I was told he had died and his dependents inherited everything he had. I was devastated.
I roamed the streets of Lagos until I realized by divine instruction that okirika second-hand clothes were making good sales. The next challenge was how to raise money for this venture. I humbled myself and became a mason – a skilled profession of whose skills I knew little of. Within six months, I was able to save enough money and traveled to Benin Republic and bought a reasonable quantity of the okirika clothes and came back to Lagos.
God used this line of business to save my whacked brains and battered body which had been exposed to the elements and war, from tortures of poverty. Within time, my star outshone those of my competitors and I started buying bales and bales of this line.
I wouldn’t say I bounced back to my former financial status but I was able to pay for a flat and went back home to marry a girl I met before I went to the front.
Our wedding was the talk-of-the-town as our town’s people came out en masse to celebrate the fact that war did not affect me adversely like it did most people. When the grains of rice had hit my face, I shed such tears of joy a man sheds on the inside. I was a contented man. Then I took my new wife back with me to Lagos.
Marriage became a different ballgame altogether. I started seeing character traits in my wife that I never knew existed in her before then of which all are in the negative. I swallowed them all. Such razzes always came to the fore whenever I came home without money for her new-found taste in fashion and her other indulgences.
I tried schooling her on the need to support me in my quest to build my business back to the top even as we have a family to build too. Her answer was as cold as the bottom of a refrigerator in the morning of a harmattan-roaring day. I did my best to make her feel better by spending out of my capital some times when her nagging wouldn’t let me concentrate on my business and how to make more money. This ended up affecting my balance sheet, but not adversely.
She had a set of twins – a boy and a girl – as our first born, therefore, making every expense I was making double the usual. We had another boy and a girl within the next three years and stopped making children. Then it happened that my business suffered due to the inconsistencies in government policies governing commerce in the country in the late 80’s.
The time our twins gained admission into the university, I was struggling to keep afloat that I had to sell-off a lot of my goods at knock-down prizes to be able to pay their school fees. Without my knowledge, my wife had gone back to school. She had dusted her school certificate and secured admission into Unilag to read Accountancy. I was perplexed but she wouldn’t bulge. God it was who helped me pay the school fees for three undergraduates and two in the secondary school. In the 90’s when she graduated, she quickly secured a job with the Federal Ministry of Finance and my joy knew no bounds. But that was short-lived. She wouldn’t invest her hard-earned money into my dead business. Our set of twins had also graduated and secured their own jobs but towed the line of their mother. To make matters worse, she incited our children to the point that the first three put their hands on me for not being forthcoming with house-keeping allowance. I reported her to my kinsmen and the day she was summoned, she moved out of our flat without telling me her forwarding address.
It was later from my last daughter who refused to go with her that I learnt they had all relocated to Abuja. I traveled home and divorced my wife the traditional way. I swore off women but I wasn’t getting younger. My brothers talked me into marrying again, “at least to prepare meals for you” they said. I was sixty-two when I decided to marry another wife. I had moved out of Lagos for my hometown where I opened a cement shop to serve my people. This change of scene became my saving grace. My youngest daughter had gotten married to a medical doctor and they traveled to the USA. They rehabilitated my fortunes and I started to dream again. They sent me money to drill a water borehole to help make life better for my people.
Then I married a woman a sister of mine had met in their church who was in her early forties. The first thing she did was to insist I begin to sell the water to people or else she would go back to her father’s house. I obliged her. We lived for only four months and I concluded that I’m not lucky with women.
Then just two years ago, my former wife and all my children and their husbands and wives and my grandchildren stormed my compound one Sunday morning while I was preparing to go to church for the early service. My ex-wife was contrite and knelt with all her entourage to ask for my forgiveness. My sons and first daughter plead with me to the point that one of them told me they had suffered enough that if I should not forgive them, that they would simply commit suicide. I shook my head and looked up into the dark clouds and asked God for help. He caused the threatening clouds to fizzle out. There was sunshine. For over twenty minutes I was shedding tears for no particular reason other than the fact that what my eyes were seeing had left me numb.
Like they say, “the rest is history”. My ex-wife has become my wife for our second marital journey. And she is doing a good job of it. I bet God dislikes divorce else my wife has no reason coming back into my life. But my forgiveness of her and our children is complete and genuine.
Moral Lesson: Wow! Do I have to tell you what role asking for forgiveness and having a forgiving heart/spirit played in this revealing real-lifer? There is no situation in life that God can’t afford to give a turnaround.