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The Journey to ‘I Am’ with Tolu Falode: Divorce Was Her Only Option



TOLU FALODEShe stared into the distance as thoughts gathered and scattered-contemplating her existence. She questioned each and every moment she had allowed to lead up to this particular tangent. She was quiet but she was also sure-she was scared but she could not pretend anymore. Why was there so much confusion in a clear picture? Why could she not see past the pain to encourage her to make that final decision?

She knew what she had to do but she could not find the courage to face the prescription. She could not find the words to convey her position-she was not sure how to say she could not stay anymore-she could not remain a friend and pretend to be a companion.

She twirled her ring around weighing the gravity of her decision. She pondered loudly on the cost it will have on her children-the decision to move away from this conversation. To not pretend like he cared anymore, to stop ignoring the scents of deception. She touched her face lightly remembering the times he had decorated her features with his position. She twitched in pain as she remembered that encounter that had thrown her into this decision.

Her children had watched and kept silent as she tried to explain daddy’s situation. She was not sure why she had allowed them to witness such a display of affection. Her son may decide that was how love was expressed instead of lies etched on her features. Her daughter-at this point-she smiled quietly as she remembered her eyes goggled widely with fear and anxiety. Her daughter may be raised into a situation where she believes men show love through fists of affection-she could not stand by and allow those thoughts of demonic desperation take root in her future seeds of salvation. So she kept still and sighed-trying so hard not to cry. Trying to remember when his words where not a lie; trying to remember the laughter she once experienced by looking into his eyes. She struggled because she could not see past the lies-she could remember the wedding day so clearly it brought tears to her eyes. She had seen a hint of anger before she testified that she would love and protect him till she died-before she took her marriage vows she knew she was walking into a path littered with lies. But he had also sworn to protect her and she winced as she remembered he had lied.

But he was so good at conveying his sorrow after each blow that left her mesmerized-trying to reconcile the man that showered her with affection with this monster that seemed to use only his fists for communication. She had tried-and she agreed to marry him in the presence of his lies; she had taken her vows with witnesses surrounding her silently warning her to turn away from this man. But she had loved him and went ahead with the vows. Now she was not sure anymore about her decision-she twirled that ring around-looking through the pictures-memories captured of laughter that only showed an illusion.

She had to protect her children from his deception-before he polluted their future aspirations. So she decided there and then-divorce was her only option.

But with that decision came a silent release of anxiety-she could finally feel life coursing through her being-rather than the silent palpitations of a heart beat that remained unsure of how his fists would decorate her reality. She could hear the whisper of society-already words forming of how she should have stayed married-who would date a woman carrying another man’s seeds in her daily activities? But she didn’t care; someone somewhere would recognize her for who she truly was and her children were the center of her core-she carried more than what her husband had decided would be her all. The weight of her decision made her blink in contemplation-it would mean she would have to face financial adjustments and societal embarrassment but what other choice was there?

To be buried in the place of her frustration? Leaving her children to be cast as the wind pleases in any direction?

No-her life was worth more-she would make the adjustments and move silently as she planned alternate arrangements-the strength of her decision lay a pathway for action as she grew more certain of her situation-divorce was her only option but it was also the door to a future filled with life instead of decorated with death in every blow he used to mark her face with his frustration.

Have you ever been/are you currently in this situation? How did you find the courage to move forward?

Tolu Falode is a Relationship Counselor with over 6 years experience counseling couples and singles on having an amazing marriage. She shares dating tips on Instagram: @fantheflame and YouTube: Tolu Falode. Email: [email protected]


  1. Marlee

    August 26, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks Tolu. We always have fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what will people say. But at the end it’s about us. I am happy now after a divorce. He has a child outside our marriage just after two years of our wedding. I had a miscarriage because of stress and paid and anger. I sold my house to pay his debts. His mother wanted me to move out of our house for a time because in their culture men cannot sit on sofas with a woman who just miscarried,mind you the sofas are mine. After that she and him wanted the child to live with us and I am just trying to process the pain. The child’s mother rejoiced that I lost my baby. Did I tell you she is dead now from sleeping with everyone. Thanks God I didn’t contract Hiv. He just got married again today. I am happy with my two kids. They are doing well in school. I worked hard. I am now a director driving a grand Cherokee having a house with a pool and travelling the world with my work. God is good I thank him all the time.

    • Lucinda

      August 27, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Congrats and best wishes on your new life. Though I don’t understand how you had 2 kids in 2 years.

    • Tolu Falode

      August 28, 2016 at 4:29 am

      Thanks so much for sharing your story Marlee. I appreciate it! Thank God for providing you with the strength to face forward despite fear of the unknown. Your story will encourage other women in similar situations to move past whatever fears they have and leave behind the past in the past. Once abuse has become habitual, one cannot live in such circumstances and expect to survive. I am so glad you and your children are doing well-God bless you!

  2. Marlee

    August 26, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    And I am from Namibia by the way where woman a killed everyday by husband and boyfriends everyday. I wanted to give up my life just because of what will people will say. I am now selling his house to recover my debts. Getting even and liberating myself. I feel sorry for the other lady she just don’t what she will endure but I wish them well.

  3. Marlee

    August 26, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Can you imagine he has the audacity of threatening me and following me around. He would say: do this or do that if you don’t want then we can just divorce. Last time he said it I said bring the paper I will be ready to sign.

    • le coco

      August 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      ??? Marlee you are just amazing.. keep pushing.. creating a life for ur kids is what counts.. The woman who married him will come crying son enough.. but tt wnt be your problem ..BE GREAT! God bless you…

  4. mee

    August 26, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Hmmmn. If divorce remains the best option , so be it. Better be addressed as a divorcee than the dead woman who didn’t walk away , cos he will bring the other woman to your burial. Women let’s empower ourselves , no marriage is worth another’s life

    • Tolu Falode

      August 28, 2016 at 4:31 am

      I 100% agree. It is better to walk away with your life than be buried with the burden of an unfruitful union.

  5. Ola

    August 27, 2016 at 5:05 am

    I don’t understand emotional or physical abuse women experienced because I have been lucky to marry my first boyfriend and he’s the best any woman could ask for. He cooked, washed, cleaned, worship the ground I walked and he loves our son so much. I respect women would have what it takes to walk away. Please my fellow women empower yourself financial because it will increase your chances of being loved and respected. Also, men will not disrespect you because they know you can take care of yourself. Remember to pray, save money, invest, and respect your husband.

  6. Marlee

    August 27, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    At Lucinda, I got married in 2003 and divorced in 2015. I tried to endure it. But at the end it was just too much to bear. And there is a four year gap between my children. What I said is my ex have a child outside our marriage within two years in our marriage.

  7. Marvel

    August 27, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    I have received a number of referrals/inquiries from lawyers within Lagos of recent for couples’ anger management training and a number of other services aimed at helping fraught relationships. The art of communication, emotional resilience, saying and meaning no, learning when and how to end negative situations (preferably before and during marriage), how to parent effectively and exploring what role sex plays for each partner could assist in the prevention of divorce,which should be the last resort. Making a marriage work takes a lot of commitment and resources too.

    • Tolu Falode

      August 28, 2016 at 4:33 am

      I agree with helping fraught relationships but when a man begins to use a woman as the punching bag for his anger there is a serious problem that surpasses communication, emotional resilience and so on. A woman should never be used in such a manner-she is not an object-she is a person-she should not sacrifice her life at the expense of her husband’s emotional impulses.

    • shield

      August 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      You are right but I still think that divorce is not the immediate answer to physical abuse. A man is 100% WRONG to hit his wife/girlfriend but there are instances where some of them stopped and changed when they were helped to identify the source of their frustrations and emotional issues and dealt with them accordingly. If the man refuses to seek help/change, please leave asap!

  8. kayyyy

    August 28, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I got married in 2013, and my dowry was returned in July this year. At times, i wish it was just one thing he did, so i can just state it instead of giving a full story. He lied about his educational qualification, he had not even made his waec Yet, he told me he had an HND. He had fertility issues, he did not say. He was in debt before we got engaged, i paid off his debts to avoid embarrassment which i found out after our wedding. He repeatedly got into debt. The last time, he went to borrow money from the woman who sells me tomatoes in the market. He lies about everything. The stray
    that broke the carmel’s back was when he beat me naked in the house. Because i refused him Sex.

    • Tolu Falode

      August 29, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      I think its good that you saw his true colors. I feel for your situation but I am positive that you will be fine now that you have seen a recurring pattern of lies and manipulation on his part-now you can put it all behind you and face forward because you know it is not a one time event. I wish you the best!

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