Divorce Diaries: Season 1 Eps 9: Ibrahim Khalifa’s Story

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Beautiful women have always been my weakness. 

From my teenage years, beautiful women intrigued me. They fascinated me. I saw them as ethereal creatures capable of the most wondrous magic. Much as they fascinated me, I was unable to approach any beautiful woman. I was hardly ever sure of myself around a beautiful woman; I was always interested but I was never bold enough. This was my problem until I  started making money. Once I started making money it became easier for me to approach and be close to beautiful women. I was spoilt for choice and could not make up my mind, which one of them I wanted to take serious! They flocked around me. There was always a prettier, more beautiful woman around the corner. The more money I made, the more my confidence around beautiful women grew.

When I met Fadila, I was by all standards a rich man. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen at the time. What made her even more beautiful to me, was that she seemed unaware of her beauty and the power it held. Fadila was not covered in tons of makeup neither was she wearing skimpy clothing like the girls I was used to. Her beauty was raw, virgin and uncultivated. She was pristine! The moment I saw her, I knew I had to have her! Fadila was shy, young, innocent and she soon fell for me. She was so attached to me that it became difficult to manage my many women so much so that eventually I decided to give them all up; until Fadila and I were through. But Fadila refused to go anywhere; she became a permanent fixture in my life. Before you could say Jack Robinson the months together became two years. Suddenly all my friends and family were on my neck about making an honest woman out of Fadila. Being her boyfriend had made me a bit serious and religious about life, because she liked that sort of thing. I made sure I did not drink before seeing her because she did not approve of that kind of lifestyle. I was not sure I could take that kind of thing into a marriage but everyone said that was exactly why I had to marry her. Especially my mom; my mom thought Fadila’s innocence would change me to be a better and more responsible man. 

Fadila was not from a privileged background like me, and her parents craved our indulgence to waive all the cultural requirements like Kayan Daki and gara, as they could not afford it. Though my mother complained about this, I did not mind. So we ended up furnishing a house, providing gara and also doing Kayan Lefe while footing the bill for all their cultural wedding events. This was the beginning of the problem between Fadila and my family. 

After we got married, I tried to do as she wanted. I tried to pray five times a day but it was difficult. It annoyed me that she always bothered me at dawn to get up for prayer. I was used to sleeping in, and I did not appreciate this assault on my daily routine. We fought about this a lot until she stopped waking me up completely… another flashpoint was that she liked to throw away my whisky and vodka. She said she did not want Alcohol in her house and that drove me crazy. As far as I did not get drunk and disturb her what was the problem with having a glass of cognac after a long day in my own home?

Fadila completely became a dictator! She would stop talking to me, and would withhold sex from me for drinking or missing a prayer. I had to assert my authority in my home. I stopped apologising to her for drinking, In fact I started drinking and missing prayers with impunity. I banished her from my bedroom and that seemed to really tick her off. She went to report me to my parents, not knowing that they had no love for her. Sometimes when I look back, I wish she did not tell my parents what was happening in our marriage. My mother took it upon herself to frustrate Fadila out of my life. She gave me a plan to as she put it: ‘Put that poor man’s daughter in her place’.

My mother told me to starve Fadila into submission by refusing to buy groceries and foodstuff. She instructed me to only buy water and bread for her to eat. I was to also stop being intimate with her until she came begging on her knees. Then, she told me to restrict Fadila’s movements. I did as my mother told me though something inside pricked me that this was not right. I did it anyway, Fadila needed to be put in her place.

I stopped buying foodstuff when we exhausted our supply. I bought loaves of bread and cartons of water. I refused to provide anything else, not even Insecticide. As for movement, I would lock the doors on my way out every morning. I never allowed anyone visit her except I was home.

Weeks into my punishment exercise and still Fadila did not come to apologise to me. If anything my new methods seemed to harden her. She started to talk back at me, she would hiss whenever I passed by her, as if I was an irritant. My wife became rebellious and belligerent towards me. I was beginning to fear losing her but my mother said there was no cause for alarm. I wanted to stop because I did not like the person that Fadila was becoming but my mother would not hear of it. 

Around this time, Ramadan, the holy Muslim month of fasting began and I refused to do the customary foodstuff shopping. I gave my wife only a nylon polythene bag with bananas and grapes as my contribution for Ramadan. I did not expect her to collect so I was surprised when the next thing she did was to slap me. I was so shocked. She slapped me and threw the bag at me cursing and yelling. I immediately called my mother who rushed to the house. My mother started throwing out Fadila’s clothes the moment she arrived. She did not even wait to hear what happened. 

I am not proud of it, but I asked Fadila to leave my house. I was angry. She was angry. My mother was angry. Fadila kept quiet as my mother and I called her all sorts of names. The next day I woke up feeling really bad about what had happened. I knew what I had to do, I had to apologise to my wife and In-laws right away. 

I went to my father, I begged him to go with me to ask for forgiveness from my in-laws but he refused. He said it was my mess and I had to fix it myself. He was disappointed in me and my mother so he refused to get involved.

My mother forbade me from going to see Fadila and her parents. She said if I went there she would not respect me again as her husband. According to my mother the poverty in Fadila’s house would chase her back to me. She was right, there was no need to go and beg. After all, Fadila was the one who had slapped me and disrespected me as her husband. I went home and drank my sorrows away. Two weeks passed, and then a month then two months and still there was no sign of Fadila. I was anxious and worried. I did not want to lose Fadila. I went back to my mother who said she would go herself.

I was expecting my mother to come back with my wife but that was not to be. My mother came home to tell me that there would be no reconciliation between Fadila and I. I asked why. She told me that:

‘I asked her mother if she would return to her matrimonial home, the mother told me that Fadila would never come back to you. Her mother said they are waiting for you to set their daughter free. Can you imagine these useless peasants?’

‘Haba mama what did you do now?’

‘I did nothing. I told her mother the truth. You will set their daughter free. Everything has its level in life; Fadila was never your level but look at the situation now. If I am your mother, you will divorce this hungry cockroach!’

‘Mama we are supposed to fix things but you have made everything worse. Mama please I want my wife back.’

‘Divorce her and stop all these emotional tantrums. I am your mother. I know what is best for you. How will you teach her a lesson if you do not call her bluff and divorce her? I am instructing you to divorce that girl.’

I thought about what my mother said, it made sense to me at the time. There was no way Fadila would find a better husband than me. She was angry that was why she was threatening me with divorce. Divorcing her would definitely humble her.

I was mistaken. Fadila was not humbled in any way. She even sent me a text thanking me for divorcing her. I was shocked at how much more beautiful she suddenly became following the divorce. I thought she would be devastated but I was dead wrong!. All her social media profiles only show her happy times. I have tried to reach her unsuccessfully. My mother is not happy that I still want Fadila back. My father hates me because I disgraced him.

What hurts me the most is that Fadila thinks of me as this evil monster, when my mother was behind everything. My mother ruined my marriage with her meddling. All Fadila ever wanted to do was make me a better man. The worst part is that Fadila has moved on with her life and now she is set to marry the second wealthiest man in my state. I cannot get over losing her. I cannot get over her. Period. Sometimes I spend hours stalking her social media just to see her lovely smile again.

I wish I could go back. I wish I never ever involved my mother in my marital affairs.

Thank you for reading my story.



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