I was already working when I met my boyfriend. He was a fresh person on his job. He completed school years before me. He did a lot of non-paid jobs before he landed his permanent job. Right from the day I said yes to his proposal, we lived a life of equals. Whenever I needed help with anything, he would be there for me. And when I could, I would also be there for him. I don’t know how other relationships work, I mean the kind of relationship where the lady relied completely on the man. Ours wasn’t like that. He looked out for me and I also did the same.
On his 30th birthday, I decided to give him a treat. I wanted something that would make a lasting impression on him so I bought a new phone for him, paid for massage therapy, and in the evening, took him to a restaurant he had chosen by himself. We don’t get to thirty every day. So, once he was there, I decided to make it memorable. I got the impression I was looking out for. He was happy every step of the way. When I gave him the phone he said: “All my life, I’ve never had anyone buy me a phone except today.” He was thankful and he expressed it in such a way that nearly made me cry.
Men really suffer. They are the ones always giving. So, once you turn the table around, every little thing you do has a bigger impression on them. Before the sunset and as we went to dinner, this guy told me I’d given him the best birthday of his life. I was happy that he was happy. We had dated for two years and I needed the occasion of his birthday to create a change in the way he perceived our relationship.
Not long afterwards, we started talking about marriage. He initiated the conversation while I gave him the feedback he needed. “I want us to get married before our fourth anniversary. We’ve come a long way and there’s no turning back. Or you have a reason why we shouldn’t get married,” he asked me. I answered: “Me? Not at all! If you tell me to meet you at the altar tomorrow, I’ll borrow a gown and meet you there. What’s the point of this relationship if I have a reason not to marry you?”
He spoke to my parents about it when he came to visit one weekend. They showed him what he had to do to initiate the move at the family level. The ball was in his court and everyone was waiting for him to kick it. For some reason, he began to tarry. He slowed down on the conversation of marriage when he took my phone one day and saw my bank statements.
He was using my phone when the bank sent an update. I don’t know what pushed him to read it, but he did. He turned to me and asked: “You have all this sitting in your account and you haven’t said anything to me about it? My girlfriend is a rich woman and I don’t know? I know women are secretive but I don’t expect you to be secretive about this one.”
I took my phone from him and I realized he had gone through my messages, checking the transactions that happened. I didn’t want to pour fuel on the conversation he was bringing so I only smiled at the things he was saying. When he pushed me to the wall, I told him: “I’ve been working for so long while living with my parents. Of course, you should expect that I’ve been saving.” He was overly happy for no reason at all but this is how I interpreted his happiness: that he’s happy to know the woman in his life is capable of taking care of herself and not the kind that will rely on a man for her livelihood.”
I was wrong. From that day on, everything that has to do with money, he’ll turn to me and say: “You’re the rich one. Take care of it.” I paid for things I didn’t have to while he walked around enjoying the benefit. We’ll go to a shop and he’ll pick up things and ask me to pay for them. We’ll take a taxi home and I’ll be the one to pay for it. I’ll ask him to buy something for me and he’ll do it but take the money from me. He bought something for me and sent it through a delivery service. I took the item and started walking away. The delivery guy called and said: “You’ve forgotten. You haven’t given me money.” I asked: “What money? Didn’t the person pay for it?” He shook his head: “He told me you’ll pay for them.”
I was so pissed off I nearly gave the item back to the delivery guy. I called him on the phone. “What did you mean when you said you’ve bought a package for me? How do I have to pay for something you said you bought for me?” As usual, he tried to laugh it off. “A rich girl like you shouldn’t have a problem paying for something this small.”
I thought we needed to address the elephant in our midst so I started telling him about his attitudinal change ever since he saw the money in my account. He defended himself when I thought he’ll be understanding and mend his ways. He kept repeating the same phrase and even accused me of playing small when indeed I was the bigger one.
Back to the conversation about our marriage, I asked him: “You’re the one who boldly told my parents about marriage. Now, they’re disturbing my ears with it. What’s your plan? What are the timelines? Tell me so I tell them.” He answered: “If you can give me a loan today, tomorrow we’ll be married.” I took a step back. “You’re joking, right?” I asked him. He answered: “I’m not joking. If I had half of what you have in your account, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It’s a loan I’m talking about here. Right after marriage, I’ll pay you in full. Else, you have to tell your parents to wait for a while.”
I thought he was making a bad joke and with time, the punch line would come. I gave him a month and brought it back. He told me: “You already know what to do. Give me a loan and our wedding will happen within a twinkling of an eye.”
It was only then I knew he was serious about the loan thing and it gave me ideas. If what’s in my bank account would make him think and behave this way then what will happen when he gets to know how much I have in investments? I’ve gotten to where I am in life through shrewd investments and through listening to good counsel. I know a bad deal when I see one and most often I walk away from it. This relationship has every mark of a bad deal and I’m thinking of pulling away. The desire to walk away has been intense over these couple of months but then this is a matter of the heart and it usually brings a war between the head and the heart.
My head says “Walk away” but my heart, the calm and silly one would say: “Give it some time. People change when you talk to them. Talk to him and love him more. Everything will be alright.” That’s why I’m here today sharing my story. The head and the heart, who do I listen to? I’m not desperate for marriage. I’m desperate to marry the right man, a man who’ll help build on what I already have and not a man who’ll take away from what I have under the pretext of a loan.