He Told me he was a Graduate

a couple holding hands

My husband and I dated for 5 months before we got married. During our courtship, he said he was a Biochemistry graduate from the University of Calabar. I had no reason to doubt him; he spoke good English, had the right clique, and I saw his NYSC photos.

When we got married, he was a local government staff. He claimed he got the job with his WAEC certificate and was yet to be upgraded as a graduate. I believed him, and we kept praying for better opportunities. An old friend of mine visited when I gave birth and told me about an opening at the State University. To me, this was the opportunity we had been praying for, so I told my husband about it. He acted uninterested and was even jittery. I was confused, but I persuaded him to go for it.

Before this, he said his credentials were in his brother’s house in Jos where he had gone job hunting. Again, I believed him. Maybe I was naïve, or foolish. I gave him money to travel and get them so he could apply for the university job. He left and returned 5 days later with nothing. He wouldn’t discuss it with me. I got upset. When I called his brother, I expected that he’d defend him, but he didn’t. I became paranoid. I spoke to his best friend and got the most shocking news of my life: my husband dropped out in his 3rd year because a cult group he had offended was after him. He took the NYSC pictures when he visited his best friend, who was serving in Ogun State.

I confronted him, desperately hoping they were all lies and he would refute them, but he didn’t! He claimed that he couldn’t bring himself to tell me because he was scared of losing me to someone with a degree. I tried to forgive him and move on, but I couldn’t. The anger and bitterness made me lean. I felt used and stupid. I wanted to leave, but I felt my child deserved a family. On her 2nd birthday, I told him I was leaving. He threatened to deal with me and make my life miserable. I was scared, but I knew I had to move.

It’s been 8 years since then and he has never visited, called, or supported us in any way. Sometimes, the demands of single parenting overwhelm me and I wish things were different. But I am glad I left. Living with such deceit and betrayal is worse.

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