Zimbabwe: I am married to a monster husband

Date: October 10, 2019
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I am Ruvimbo*, a 28 year old married woman with two children. My husband, Peter*, was very caring and loving when we got married. We spent only six months dating each other before we got married. During my first pregnancy, Peter*’s behaviour suddenly changed to that of a monster. I even thought of terminating the pregnancy but was scared. Peter* would come home from work after midnight and would not utter a word if I asked where he was. I now have two children and I work extra hard to feed and clothe family.   

When he gets paid at his workplace, he does not return at all. We stay at his mother’s place. My mother-in-law, Dorica*, does not believe me whenever I complain to her that Peter* is not being supportive. He vehemently denies it accusing me of trying to cause a rift between him and Dorica*. Peter* alleges that he surrenders all what he earns to me and I am the one who decides what to buy, how much is to be saved and how much to spend. Dorica* no longer trusts me and views me as a heard hearted daughter-in-law who does not want her to also benefit anything from her only son 

Some time back when I had one child, I used to cry and tell my friends the hardships that I was facing. I realised that even though my friends were married, they were cheating on their husbands. They had boyfriends who gave them some presents and even bought clothes for them. My friends convinced me into cheating my husband. Within a period of three years I had slept with ten different men other than my husband. The different boyfriends would buy me food items, clothes or give me money. Some would drive me home or come and pick me up from our place. I would lie to Dorica* that they were either my former classmates, distant relatives or that we went to the same church.  

At last Dorica* warned me to change my behaviour and be a God fearing woman who respected her husband. I immediately stopped seeing all the different men I had. Things have never changed on Peter*’s behaviour but have worsened. When I ask him what I have to do with the children he advises me to think like other women who support their families. Peter* has also developed the habit of physically abusing me whenever he feels like. He can kick me with booted feet, clap, punch or swear at me.  

I now do laundry for other people in our neighbourhood to buy food for the family. I also buy and resell some jewellery in my community. When I look at my two children, I get much strength to continuously work hard for their survival. I have never thought of abandoning my marriage despite the way Peter* treats me. I also regret the extra marital affairs that I was in hoping that one day Peter* will be a changed man.