My personal experience with Divorce

Personal experiences are important for they enhance or change a person’s perspective on certain subjects. It’s easy for people with no experience or much knowledge on some issues to talk or judge anyhow. Most people are afraid to talk about divorce because of its stigmatization. In some African societies like mine, divorce is considered a shame. Not many understand how someone can make such a bold and difficult choice hence the judgment. I too used to be like that until l experienced a divorce. Now l see it from a different light. 

I got married in May 2018 and two months into the marriage, my husband told me he no longer wanted anything to do with me anymore. He only married me because his family was pressuring him too. We had been in a relationship since 2013 and we had a son in 2015.

I got depressed and had no one to turn to. Culturally, when a woman is married, the husband’s family becomes her family. This means that any problem she faces, she has to seek help from them which was the first thing l did. I went to speak to my husband’s father but it was all in vain. He instructed me to stay in the marriage and give my husband time to come to his senses. 

Unfortunately, he never changed, it got worse. He went on to block me on all social media platforms—WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. I tried talking to his brother hoping he would coach us on how to make our marriage work seeing that his was working. However, he was of no help. He didn’t want to interfere since he wasn’t close to his sibling. I had no idea what l had done to deserve this. Nevertheless, l blamed myself because l thought l wasn’t good at being a good wife. 

My last hope was my mother. I told her everything that was going on in my marriage. She called my husband and to my surprise, he pinned the blame on me. He explained to my mother how I cheated on him. All his shenanigans became mine.

I then knew l had to walk out of the marriage. Beginning of 2019, l had thoughts that he might change but after seeing that not happening, l knew l had to act. In November 2019, l went to court to inquire on how one can file a divorce. I was told l couldn’t do so for a marriage under 2 years so l had to wait for a couple of months. 

The pain of being ghosted by my husband ate me up every single day. I felt empty and longed for someone to love me. I started dating someone and that didn’t work out because when my husband found out, he harassed me. This didn’t make sense considering he had lots of girlfriends. I finally filed for divorce in June 2020. It took time to finalize because sometimes he wouldn’t show up for some court sessions. In June 2021 the divorce got finalized. 

One important thing to note when one is going through a divorce is including the kids if any. You need to explain to them what is happening without blaming the other parent. You wouldn’t want them to grow up resenting them. During a divorce, parents usually focus on their emotions forgetting that the kids are also going through the same just as they are. I witnessed this with my son. When l told him about the divorce, l could see he changed in terms of behaviour and he became depressed. I had to take him to a counsellor to get the help he needed. By then he was only five years old showing that no matter the age, it’s important that they understand the situation. This will eliminate the mindset that marriages aren’t a good thing. 

It always takes courage to walk out of marriage knowing what people will say. I have finally accepted that the marriage didn’t work. I have made peace with everything. The pain has faded and the peace that l have keeps me going.

_Gorata Thipe

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