My marriage or traditional wedding journey begun and ended like this.
I met him in church one Sunday morning. He sat next to me and I couldn’t help but recognize the kind of gentleman he was. He was soft spoken and had this shyness on his face anytime he tried to talk to me. During the service, I realized he was finding it uneasy to sing along with the church because he didn’t come along with a hymn book. I shared mine. We both sang from the same hymn book and got closer as the service progressed.
After the priest said grace and the church dispersed, he turned to me to say thank you. I smiled and asked his name.
“I’m Martin”, he said.
“Nice meeting you Martin” I responded.
But before I could turn around and leave, he told me; “Actually, this is my first time here.” Amid smiles he continued, “And it’s great finding a friend at my first time in church. Do you mind if I called you sometimes?”
We exchanged contacts and left each other’s presence.
Truth be told, I was going through the hardest times in my life. The man I’ve dated for about two years just called it quit and I was very devastated. I was nursing my wounds when Martin came along. He kept crossing my mind all week but I resolved not to call him until he did.
He never called until we met in church again the next Sunday. Inwardly, I felt guilty for thinking about him the way I did all week. That’s girlish. But we had another good service together, singing from the same hymn book and making fun under our breath.
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It All Started After Two Sundays
After the service, he called when he got home. We started chatting on WhatsApp and grew closer together as the days pass. I shared my story of broken relationships with him and he was kind enough to offer soothing words. He didn’t judge me. He didn’t condemn my actions or seek to give directions as to how I should have handled things. Also, he gained my trust and I opened up more. He told me a little bit about himself. Nothing of note though, but I was happy he was overcoming his shyness. We grew closer and closer until finally, after about six months later, he made it obvious that he wanted us to date.
He didn’t propose to me. I don’t remember him telling me he loved me or wanted to be with me. He loved to act than to use words. We spoke more about it and decided to be in a relationship. He already knew my fears and easily accepted the conditions I laid down for the relationship. I told him; “I don’t want sex now. At least, if it should happen, it should happen after marriage, that is if you have any intention to marry me.” He only nodded and smiled.
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That day in his room, I remember we had our first kiss. It was awesome! A lot of things started running through my head. Hey, I wasn’t a nun. I’ve had sex before and kisses this intense usually led to sex. I remember grabbing him intensely like my whole life depended on him. But I was shaking. I wanted something more than the kiss but I held on. He was gentle. The farthest he could go was to hold my head in between his palms, look me in the eyes and kiss intensely.
Marriage Chastity 101
I couldn’t breathe so I gathered the little strength in me and pulled away. I was panting like I’ve been running around for hours. The next words that came out were; “No more kisses until marriage. I mean it.”
For the next two years, we didn’t kiss and we never had sex. The farthest we went was to hold hands, lean on each other and occasionally cuddle. Martin was a good boy and I loved him dearly.
We decided to get married after two years of being together. When we started counselling, our pastor wanted to be sure if we’ve had sex before. We had all the pride in us when we answered no. He only told us to be careful since it’s at this stage that all manner of temptations creep in. We knew our strength. We were sure we could scale above all temptations.
Our marriage arrangement was to have the traditional wedding and then do the church wedding six months later.
The Pre-Traditional Marriage Hurdles
We started having troubles. The urge to have sex became greater. In my mind, I wanted our first sex to be special. I wanted to blow his mind off during our first sex. And what better moment to do it than to wait for the honeymoon? This thought kept me going.
Two weeks before the traditional wedding, we spent most nights together in the same room and on the same bed. We had a lot of errands and arrangements to do and it was better we stayed together. But sex had a way of creeping into our minds.
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I remember one night it turned into a serious scuffle. Martin wanted it. I’ve never seen him so aggressive. He was pushing and struggling with me to allow him to have sex. To him, we were already married and he didn’t see the reason to still cover the cookie. I implored; I fought him; at some point, I wanted to scream. What the pastor said was ringing loud in my ears; “it’s at this stage that all manner of temptations creep in.” Amid threats of screaming and loud prayers, I won and slept in peace. That wasn’t the last. We kept having series of minor fights because of sex.
Days to the traditional wedding was tough. We could go all day without talking to each other. He was angry and I was angry. Sex was killing the beautiful thing we had together. But we soldiered on. Finally, we did the traditional wedding. The pastor was there to pray and bless the union. During his sermon, he complimented us for staying chaste and told us to keep it till after the church wedding. I could see my husband restless and with a subtle frown.
The Post-Traditional Marriage Hurdles
The night after the traditional wedding we had a fight. Our first fight as husband and wife happened on a night we ought to be happy together. What brought the fight? SEX! Not That I didn’t want to have sex, I wanted to but the time wasn’t right. So I told him; “Didn’t you hear what the pastor said? This is not the real marriage so we can’t have sex. Hold it together. We are only six months away.” After saying this, my new name was launched; “Madam-We-Can’t-Have-Sex, I hear you but tomorrow, I’ll have sex somewhere else.” Did you hear what he just called me? Madam-We-Can’t-Have-Sex? At this point, I didn’t care who he would have sex with if only that would make him stay off me till our honeymoon.
For a week, we lived in the same room but talked less to each other. He was always angry with me. What a way to start a married life. I was determined. To me, that was the right thing to do. The church frowns on sex before marriage, not that I also frown on it, I had a different motivation. I wanted the first sex to be unforgettable. I was saving my best for last and for no one but him. So why was he rushing?
Then one night things got worse. Martin came home with a friend. He was too drunk he couldn’t have made it home without the help of his friend. We had spent two arduous months together. I was sad for him. “Is he going through all that because of sex?” I asked myself. I left him in the couch till he woke up at dawn and came to sleep next to me.
The Power of Alchohol
He was smelling like a rotten fish. I couldn’t stand it so I woke up, picked a pillow and started walking away to sleep in the coach. He pulled me over and tried forcing himself on me. We’ve been through this tussle over and over again and I always won. I was used to it. This time, something was different. He was stronger and determined.
We struggled and fought for about fifteen minutes. He seemed to get stronger by the minutes while I was losing steam. He managed to tear off my pant and held my two hands apart with his two hands. We were both left with our legs to struggle with. I got tired and realized I couldn’t fight any longer. I kept my calm. He sensed the victory and quickly dashed over to have me. That was when I raised my right knee and unfortunately, my knee caught him in the balls. He fell over and screamed out loud. He suddenly got frozen.
I’ve never been scared in my life. I thought I had killed him. I tried calming him down but he kept whining in pains. Neighbours who heard him screaming started knocking on our door. I rushed to put on a dress and opened up the door. It was very embarrassing seeing neighbours in my room trying to help him regain his calm. After a lot of going up and down, he regained his calm. We were left alone.
The next morning, he packed what he had in the house and left. I didn’t ask him any question becuase I feared he might hit me. I left to my parent. The incident kept playing over and over again in my head. I kept asking myself; “Did I take this no sex thing too far.”
Had I Known
He never picked my calls for three days. My people went to meet his to resolve the issue but he didn’t listen to a word of what we had to say. All he said was he wanted a divorce. Two weeks later, his parent and other family members came over to dissolve the marriage.
That was it. My marriage lasted for only two and half months. What breaks my heart is the fact that I gave sex to those who didn’t deserve it. They had sex and left anyway. This one—Martin did everything right but I allowed fear to take over my senses. Recently, I heard from another pastor saying that traditional wedding is also marriage and sex is allowed after traditional wedding. If that was true, how stupid could I be? I was married and I didn’t even know it?
Three and half years after our break-up, I attended a wedding—Martin’s wedding with another lady I knew so well. I’m here, still single after six years of our breakup. Guess what, I had a boyfriend. We had sex but the relationship didn’t go well so we broke up. Back to single again.
Story by Angela C. Angela is a marketing executive living in Tema, Ghana. She loves reading and traveling and occasionally writing little poetry.
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