When Clement came into my life, he was just a friend I had no interest in. One day he visited me and our emotions got the better of us. We had shuperu. I regretted what happened because I had a boyfriend. In order not to repeat my mistakes, I started avoiding him.
However, he refused to let me go. He would ask me, “So after everything we’ve done, you won’t be my girlfriend?” I told him, “You only want to be with me because of sex.” Still, he wouldn’t let me go.
For three months, he pestered me. He said if it was shuperu he wanted he had already gotten it so he wouldn’t have been trying so hard to win my heart. During this period, the guilt of what we did ate me up. So I broke up with my boyfriend. And I agreed to give Clement a chance. Considering how determined he was to date me, I was sure he would treat me like an egg.
At the beginning of our relationship, I was so happy. I gave him all my love and attention. I used to call him from morning till evening. By then he wasn’t working so it wasn’t a problem. However, I noticed along the line that I was the one who initiated most of our conversations. If I didn’t call or text him, he wouldn’t do it either. So I slowed down and matched his energy. It was then I realized that I cared more about our relationship than he did.
First, when I complained, he blamed it on his unemployment. “I finished my national service six months ago but I am still at home. You have no idea how much pressure I am facing as an unemployed man in this economy.” I tried to encourage him but he was always moody.
When he finally got a job as a personal banker at the bank, he complained that the work was too tiring. “I have to wake up early to make it on time. And we don’t close early so by the time I get home, I am too tired for phone calls.” This was the new excuse he used to avoid talking to me. If I insist that we have to talk, he would fall asleep and I would have to listen to him snoring.
The only time he makes time to talk to me is when someone offends him at work. We barely talk about ourselves. I have lost count of the number of times I told him about how our poor communication affects me. I used to be a very cheerful person but this relationship has dimmed my light.
I’ve never loved anyone like I love him and he knows this. I have broken up with him twice due to our poor communication, but I couldn’t stand the pain of the break up so I went back to him. Every time I went back he told me, “I knew you would be back. You can’t leave me.” It’s not because he buys me gifts or gives me money. In fact, he is stingy but I’m not with him for money so I don’t mind. I would have tolerated all this if that was his worst. But there’s more.
What I’m really concerned about is his bad energy. I told him I wanted to learn sewing as a skill when school goes on break, but this guy vehemently disagreed with me. He said I would be wasting my time learning a useless skill like sewing. I didn’t think much of his behaviour seeing as it was at the early stage of our relationship.
After a few months, I discussed with him my intention to save money at the bank. He said, “You’ve gotten money and you don’t know what to use it for, right?” He discouraged me until I agreed not to go through with my plan. The next month when I complained to him that I was broke, he asked about my savings. He said he didn’t remember discouraging me from saving.
I remember how he told me I was wasting my time when a friend offered to teach me how to design flyers. I didn’t listen to him. When I became good at designing, he was the first person to give me work to do for him for free. Because of his actions, I stopped communicating my plans to him. And I refused to let him impose his decisions on me.
He didn’t like that he couldn’t influence my choices anymore so he started nagging. “All the stories you are reading on Silent Beads are polluting you,” he would say. He even called me a feminist. “If you don’t humble yourself, no man will marry you,” he would add. The way he says these words really gets to me.
Recently, I participated in a debate competition and didn’t tell him about it. Knowing him, he would have convinced me that it wasn’t important. Thankfully, I won the competition.
I was nominated for Best Writer in my department. The moment I discussed it with him he said, “I will never use my money for such useless things. It’s just a waste of time and money.” It is this behaviour that scares me. I want to end things before I lose myself. What if he tells me getting my PhD is useless and a waste of time? What if he regards all my efforts to succeed in life as useless? I’m an ambitious lady and I will beat myself up if I don’t accomplish my dream of becoming a Professor. Especially, if it is because my man doesn’t approve.
One moment, he is sweet and the next moment he is bitter. So I’m always in a dilemma as to whether he will change. He is a good man but his devils are too big to ignore.
When I discuss my fear with him, he promises to change but nothing has changed in the past two years. He behaves so well around my friends that they all see him as the ideal boyfriend. This makes me wonder if all my concerns are valid, or if I am just overreacting.