PEOPLE treat the idea of marriage differently — some will never say “I do” unless they believe that they have found their soul mates; others will get married because they believe they can spend forever with the person; then there are those who believe that life, including marriage, is a game of chance. This means that even if they can smell doubt and doom from a mile away, for one reason or another they still decide to walk down the aisle with the hope that they can fix things as they surface.
This Week, All Woman captured the responses of a number of people who fall into the latter category. We asked them how they knew their decision to walk down marriage lane was a mistake from the start, and this is what they said.
Dionne, 30, separated:
I was in a relationship for five years and I invested a lot — he was not getting his full pay so I took care of everything relating to the house so all he did with his money was ensure that his daughter was taken care of and of course his general upkeep. Even with all of this I was called names, he wasn't helping around the house or anything, and we argued a lot. An opportunity came and I took advantage of it and very soon I had become a US citizen and all of a sudden he was ready for marriage. We got married.
He then got some retroactive monies from his job and used it to buy assets, none of which he consulted me on. He continued to ask for financial help to which I obliged as I loved him. I did special things for special days, but he just never made an effort and to top it all off he cheated and of course lied about it every time. One day I did some introspection and looked at all the things I was pretending were not happening. I realised that he was the one who was ungrateful, selfish and uncaring and I didn't want to settle anymore even if it meant a broken heart. The divorce proceedings are on their way.
Kay-Ann, 35, separated:
You know my mother warned me over and over not to marry him. I had looked beyond his past indiscretions and he promised to change. When I accepted his proposal he acted right, I would say, for about two months, and then everything started going back to the usual. I still went through with the marriage because I loved him but it didn't take long for me to realise that I could have saved myself from the shame and embarrassment by calling it quits before I walked down the aisle. A woman who has been cheated on consistently and can in no way trust anything that comes out of her partner's mouth will tell you that every time she sees women staring at her or whispering in groups when she passes, a deep humiliation grips her because the first thing that comes to mind is the kind of discussion they must be having about her, and the man who said he would commit himself only to her.
Mike, 47, divorced:
We were young, both going to church, she was physically attractive, ambitious, a browning and importantly, a virgin. I had not been a saint but I was not prepared to settle down with a woman whose cherry had been picked by someone else. I was in love with these ideas, and mama approved, but I think I knew before the day of our wedding that I was not in love with her. I think I walked into that marriage knowing very well that I was making a mistake but I still did it and I regret it because for one we failed to discuss the future — I just assumed we would build together — and a lot of the other dreams I had had fallen through. In short, while I was building my business and my career, some other man was dabbling in my cherry and spending my money. She didn't even allow me to ask for the divorce and by this time she was fine because she and her man had made a killing off me.
Angella, 44, divorced:
When we were getting married I knew he had issues — one was gambling which we worked on. He was getting professional help and so I felt confident things would have worked out for the better. I mean he promised me, and we had plans about how we would build and grow as a couple. Anyway, nine months later was our wedding night and we were at an all-inclusive hotel in the States. I woke up at about 3:00 in the morning and the man who I was reaching for was missing from the bed. It is almost like in the same instant God talked to me and led me straight to the gambling room and there he was. When I saw him all I felt was pain and I knew that I wasn't prepared for any of it. I struggled to help him for two years, but I finally left when my cup was full. He was never going to change.
Viveen, 39, married:
I married my husband because he was good to me and way better than my ex financially and socially. I did it out of sympathy because he spent years trying to be with me and because I wanted my ex to see that I could do better than him. My marriage is a very miserable place and I think my husband and I really just care for each other. There is not any deep, electrifying love and I am the cause. Thankfully, no children are involved.
— PENDA HONEYGHAN