“I am beginning to see that Thomas has never loved me and that he was only after my money,”
Says Monica with tears in her eyes. Bruises around her eyes and chicks are un-mistakable. Her eyes are weary as if she has not slept for days. Close to her are her 5-year-old daughter and 3- year-old son. They seem hurt from their mother’s sadness yet there is nothing that they can do to fill up the emptiness within her.
Even when they were boyfriend and girlfriend, he used to physically abuse her. But she would never tell anyone about it. When she fell pregnant, she agreed to marry him thinking he would change because of the baby. But things only became worse as he used to beat her while pregnant.
Unlike most people Monica has never been happy in her marriage. Her parents had forced the marriage to avoid shame from relatives and neighbours. A masters graduate from one of the top South African Universities she had fallen for an ordinary man who had barely finished his matric. But she did not care as she believed love would conquer everything. She even agreed to get married under community of property. However soon after their wedding she began to regret ever marrying him.
She had bought a house and a family car with her money, but he seemed unappreciative. Thomas would take the car most of the times leaving her to commute from work.
“The abuse became worse. He threatened to divorce me just a week after our wedding. But l was afraid of what my parents would say. So, l endured.”
Thomas had been cheating on her openly. He would answer calls from his mistresses right in front of her. She was not supposed to ask him, or he would “teach her a lesson.” Monica resolved that silence was the best option. She watched him silently as he tore both their lives apart.
“Everyone thought we had the perfect marriage; they had not known that my life behind closed doors were a nightmare.”
Of late he has begun to talk about divorce. He makes open insults that he would take half of everything, yet he never bought anything with his own money.
“When l told him that he would not take anything that he did not buy, he beat me up so badly. He threatened to kill me if l did not give him a divorce. I had to take leave from work for a whole week to nurse my wounds.”
Just recently Thomas moved in with another woman who is expecting his child. He comes home to remind her about giving him a divorce so he can take half his share of the property to his new sweetheart.
“He reminds me by beating me up. My whole body is full of scars and bruises.”
Monica has thought of committing suicide many times. But the thought of leaving her children changes her mind.
“My children keep asking where their daddy is, but l keep quiet. I do not know what to tell them.”
Monica worries that Thomas will walk away with half the share of the property she has worked so hard to build for their marriage. A marriage he has never cared about.