I have never really understood the term ‘Nyala onyele’ until I got married to Tshepo Mamabolo. I thought people were exaggerating. I mean how can something so beautiful something that is encouraged by all religions be so bad? I thought maybe those who are not happy in their marriages must have been unhappy even when they were still dating. But I was wrong experience taught me that marriage is nothing like dating.
You see dating is easy but marriage can be hard. I learned that you cannot really say you know a person no matter how many years you have been dating. I say this because I only got to know the real Tshepo after we get married.
Maybe this is because before getting married we lived separately and only spend few hours together. It was only when we started living together and being in each other’s spaces most hours of the day that we truly got to know each other very well. Only then did we notice and get to live with each other’s annoying habits. Tshepo and I dated for a whole year before we got married.
In the year that we were together he was the best boyfriend ever. He was patient loving and supportive of all my dreams. I enjoyed his company and he enjoyed mine too. He never pressurized me into doing anything I did not feel comfortable with. For example I believed in no sex before marriage and he understood and waited until I was his wife both traditionally and legally before he had his ways with me.
I use the phrase ‘had his ways with me’ because I never really got to enjoy sex with Tshepo. It was always about him how he wanted it when he wanted it and where he wanted it. My sexual needs were never taken into consideration. I still remember the night I cried myself to sleep because I was so horny and my husband told me he was not in the mood. I did not cry because he said he is not in the mood I cried because that was always his response whenever I made sexual advances. It happened so often I even stopped initiating sex.
My marriage to Tshepo made me question our marriage system so many times and each time I would come back with one conclusion. The day he paid lobola for me is the day I become his possession. He owned me like he owned his cars and since he owned me he could do whatever he pleased with me like he could go where ever he wanted with his car. I say this because my journey to hell began as soon as I became Mrs. Pheladi Mamabolo.
I had to change my dreams to accommodate his and make decisions that favored him. I lived for him and my life became about him and his dreams. Maybe I should stop putting all the blame on him and share in his responsibility of how things turned out. Maybe I was too submissive in my marriage that I substituted my dreams and goals for his. Like the time I turned down a job in Bloemfontein because it was far from him and he couldn’t just pack up and leave. Well I thought relationships are about compromises but what happens when you are the only one compromising?
If you have never been married before don’t let my experience with Tshepo scare you off. Marriage is a beautiful thing I would like to believe that. It’s not like we did not have our happy days because we did. You can even check his Facebook page and Instagram you would be inspired our love stories there. Our happy moments were all captured and shared with the world. We were part of the #couple goals #love lives here #my smile keeper #happily married and so on even though most of it was just a facade.
I don’t doubt that Tshepo ever loved me because I know he did like I once loved him. Maybe he loved me too much that his love for me became an obsession an obsession that later became toxic. I did not realize then because sometimes we see certain gestures as love only to realize it’s an obsession later on. I say obsession now because I see his behavior was not normal neither was it healthy love. Too bad I am only seeing this now.
For one Tshepo would call me every two hours or so just to check up on me even when he knew I was at work. My friends and colleagues found it weird at first and later got used to it. I did not have a problem with it either because it meant my husband loves me cares about me and misses me until I learned he was just keeping tabs on me. Until I realized he was using the calls to check where I was who I was with and what I was doing.
As if the calls were not enough I was driven everywhere I wanted to go. The fact that he was not employed but owned a business worked to his advantage. He was always available. He would drive me to work in the morning and collect me after school. He was always on time and readily available to drive me around. Just like the phone calls I did not have a problem with it at first in fact I enjoyed it.
This also made me feel special I thought my husband was romantic until it became too much. It became too much because it meant I couldn’t go anywhere without his knowledge or approval. It suddenly felt wrong because sometimes he would collect me from school and drop me off at home but I would want to go to the complex to buy few things but I had to wait for him to come back and drive me as if I did not know how to drive or there weren’t enough cars in the yard.
I couldn’t even catch a lift from a friend male or female because I would have to answer why I couldn’t wait for him. He really had his ways to make sure he knew exactly where I am. Come to think of it I was a prisoner in my own marriage.
As if that was not enough he made me cut off my friends and reduce communication with some of my cousins. Cut them off because they were too loud too ratchet or did not live their lives in a Godly manner. He did not trust them around me because they were likely to become a bad influence in my life. He said as a married woman I do not need friends especially those who are not yet married. We have nothing in common how would they advise me on to treat my husband when they don’t have one.
It is now clear Tshepo was obsessed manipulative possessive and a stalker. More red flags right? But what would you have done if you were me? Because clearly I mistaken all of this for love.