I am an engineer in her thirties and right now my career is going extremely well. I am married with a young daughter and I have a boyfriend who I am about to leave my husband for.
Before you judge, please read the full story.
As a young girl, I was one of those weirdos, the type of girl who did not have any friends. Instead, I read books all day long. My mother was always trying to make me more social and more feminine in my appearance and it did not work at all!
I was always a top student and in my time, many people had to take JAMB so many times. I took it once, scored a very high mark and got admission to my first choice university to study Engineering.
I was one of very few ladies in my department and it made things easier for me to just mind my business. The guys accepted me as one of the boys as I was not one of the glamour girls on campus. I never had any relationship and nobody ever toasted me. Maybe because of the way I used to dress, very very very plain, I don’t know. I liked it that way. I eventually graduated at a young age with a high grade (sorry, trying to avoid specifics for privacy reasons). I did NYSC and also got a state scholarship to go to the UK for my masters and then a job with an international company.
I chose the job.
My mother is a Catholic Mother, she is very involved in her church group. Around the time I graduated from university, one of her fellow Catholic mothers’ son had just come back from his scholarship PhD in Russia.
He was also a weirdo like me (according to our mothers).
They decided to introduce us.
Now it sounds crazy when I think about it but we basically met and our mothers advised us to get married and we accepted.
I accepted because I just wanted my mother to stop disturbing me and I felt I might as well just do it now and get it over with.
With the wisdom I have now, I cannot believe I accepted this arrangement.
We got married and now that I know about love, I know it was horrible but at the time I assumed that is how things were.
Let me tell you about the man I married. He is very very brilliant but has zero social skills. He has no friends, hardly talks, not romantic etc…It sounds horrid but at the time, he was the male version of me.
When we got married, I liked it because it allowed me to just focus on my work.
We have had sex just twice in our marriage of almost 10 years.
Yes, 2 times.
Once soon after we got married and the second time, 5 years later when we conceived our daughter after pressure from our mothers to give them a grand child.
Let me talk about my career
I started work as part of the company’s graduate scheme. In all the technical aspects, I was always Number 1. This had led to me being valued in the company with my salaries and bonuses increasing each year.
However, many of my peers who started with me are actually higher up in the company because with each assessment, I was told my leadership, communication and team building were very poor. If not for my exceptional technical expertise, I would have been sacked a long time ago.
3 years ago, a white guy approached me in the office. He was trying to find someone on my floor. From that day, he would stop by my office anytime he was around. He started by saying Hello and it continued with him beginning to engage me in conversations. I kept wondering why he was talking to me.
We eventually became friends. My first real friend. He had just been seconded to our office from our company’s office in the USA when we first met. As time passed, we grew closer.
BellaNaija people, he changed my life.
I began to open up to him about work first. He advised me on how to handle my team mates, line manager and high level bosses. My assessment at work began to change, I was finally given junior staff to manage (something my peers could do years before). Before anyone assumes otherwise, he is in a completely different department so has no direct influence on my work. It was just his advice and support that helped me.
We never talked about my husband.
One day, he told me I was beautiful. Nobody, not even my parents had told me that before. He was actually the one who introduced me to this website. I started learning more about fashion and beauty. Before, I used to wear an old wig my mother had given me, I thought it was professional.
It was terrible!
I started watching youtube and learned how to style my natural hair and apply makeup.
Do you know my husband did not notice?!
I also changed my clothing style.
People in the office started noticing and complimenting me. Schoolmates from secondary school and university did not recognize me when we met.
You may think my boyfriend was just trying to sleep with me but he never did try that. He encouraged me to see a psychiatrist. It was from those sessions I discovered that I had been suffering from extreme low self esteem all these years. That I hid behind my plain persona. Now the real me was coming out. I managed to convince my husband to go once with me and the psychiatrist diagnosed him with Aspergers Syndrome – a mild form of autism. That explained a lot when it comes to his behaviour.
This past Christmas, my daughter and I went to the States for a training session…we also visited my boyfriend as he was on holiday there. He introduced us to his family including his siblings and parents. I also met his 2 children (they are much older as he had them when he was young). He introduced me as his fiance and at that time, he told me he wants to loves me and wants us to be in a real relationship (This was 2 and a half years after we met!)
We kissed. This was the first passionate kiss of my life! I didn’t even know my body could feel such. Yes, we also started a sexual relationship. I know it is wrong but at over 30 I had never experienced anything like that at all.
Since we got back to Nigeria, we continued. My boyfriend’s term in Nigeria is over and he is to return home. I have now been offered a role in the company’s office over there too (I applied and the reason I got it is due to my improved 360 assessment thanks to his help).
Now my issue, I have told the man I married, I want a divorce. He agreed without any emotion. I told him, I am leaving the country, he just shrugged.
I cannot leave my daughter here and go. I have to take her with me but I feel bad because she is the only one her father has. She is the only one who makes him smile or brings out any emotions in him. He is not the most hands on father but he tries.
I know it is quite wrong but my daughter already knows my boyfriend as her mother’s friend. They get along well. I am not even doing to think about the ruckus that will be faced especially from the Catholic Mothers group due to the scandal.
Now what do I do?
If I go, my daughter will be away from her father and the man I married will be all alone. If I stay here, I will be miserable and losing out on my career, love and life.