It’s not Love
Bridget was found in a beauty salon, she was sighted waiting for her turn, there were some ladies waiting for their turn too, they were all there for a new hair do and they were making small talks as they were all sighted sitting comfortably, in the colorful shop.
These ladies were chatting away, and they were obviously lost in their conversation. Bridget’s husband,
Raphael had travelled that morning and Bridget had thought she could get a new hair look.
Suddenly, Bridget’s phone began to ring, she picked the call and had a short conversation with someone at the other end of the phone.
The caller was no one else but her husband, Raphael.
“My husband’s trip was cancelled? And he is already on his way home, oh no, I will just leave here now” Bridget thought and stood up almost immediately to leave.
She called out to the hair dresser, Miss Tricia and told the lady that she was going home, the few new friends she just gained at the salon felt concerned when they heard her talking to Tricia.
“Going home? Why? after waiting for an hour, you will just go back home just like that? Tricia is almost done and it’s almost your turn” One of the ladies said while Bridget smiled sheepishly, without saying a word to the nice stranger.
Even Tricia tried her best to persuade Bridget to wait.
“Ma, I’m almost
Bridget wished she could open up and tell anyone that cares to know, that her husband was on his way home, and if he doesn’t meet her at home, there will be trouble, Raphael doesn’t like it when he comes home and doesn’t meet Bridget at home, it always causes big issues.
Bridget wasn’t permitted to step out of the house, without her husband’s permission, she doesn’t even visit her friends and family anymore, as Raphael had banned her from doing so. Bridget always felt, like she have a leash on her neck, because Raphael doesn’t like to know, that she was heading out.
For he wants to be everywhere she was; be it at the salon, women church meeting or fellowship.
Bridget’s social life was closely monitored. Her husband was always hovering around.
That was the first time in years that she came to the salon with out Raphael, other times, when she visit the salon to make her hair, her husband will either be inside the salon, reading a magazine or newspaper or just within the vicinity of the salon.
Bridget was an independent woman before she married Raphael but immediately after marriage, Raphael stylishly stopped her from working and he even promised to set her up with
Immediately Bridget left she became the topic of the day, as other ladies who wondered why Bridget left the way she did, began to throw words at the hair dresser.
‘Tricia I can’t believe that woman left after she waited patiently for her turn and you didn’t even stop her, you have just lost a customer that woman must be angry with you, I believe that’s why she left, you are so slow today” One of the ladies entered.
But Tricia was forced to speak up.
“That woman is not angry oh, it must be her husband, I have never seen a man like that, I was even surprised when she didn’t come with her husband today”
Every one was confused, Tricia could see the look of confusion on everyone’s face
And Tricia continued
“that lady is in bondage oh, her name is Bridget, she is married, and its seems like her husband is very wealthy, but I Don’t even wish for that kind of marriage, I prefer to remain single for the rest of my life, instead of getting married to such a man. I always wondered why that woman always comes to the salon with her husband, at first I had thought that they were so in love with each other but I have found out that IT’S NOT LOVE but another kind of abuse, most times, that lady always invite me over to her place for home service, one day she told me her husband would never allow her come to the salon alone and that her husband was very busy and couldn’t come along with her either and that’s why she always invite me over, for a moment I had thought she was ill or something, I noticed she always called me to come to her house whenever her husband wasn’t in and I will quickly make the hair and leave. One day I was fixing her hair when we heard a car honking at the gate and madam Bridget sighed and went into panic mode like the mode she was in before she left now, Her husband entered and went straight to the room, next thing he yelled at her to come, she stood up and went to the room to meet him. A minute later, I was hearing her voice, it was like she was crying. On the other end the husband was screaming the roof down, he pounced on her, the next thing her husband came out of the room and walked me out of the house. And ever since then, she only comes around with her husband to make her hair, the last time they were here, I was taking my time to make a beautiful style for madam Bridget, you won’t believe, the man yelled at her to tell me to hurry up that he wants to leave or else they will leave and stop by the barber’s shop and get her hair cut, the man is over possessive and very harsh too, I wonder how that poor lady copes” Tricia narratted and everyone was so shocked.
“This is so sad, that woman is in bondage oh, I Don’t think such man will allow any one of his wife’s family to visit, no friends, no social life. This is so sad, now I understand why she quickly warmed up to me, when I walked in, she is a very lonely woman, what is marriage turning women into?, is this not modern kind of slavery?” One of the ladies entered
“Now I understand, why that woman became so tensed immediately her phone rang, she is a troubled woman, she is a prisoner in her so called matrimonial home, I was just admiring her classic car when I walked in, I even admired her designer clothes too, and my eyes were on her latest iPhone, oh my God, how can a man who does all this for her woman also take away her freedom? This is so sad ” another lady concluded.
At the other hand, Bridget felt so elated when she got home quite on time before her husband arrived. She pretended so well like she had never left the house all day.
It was so disheartening to know that Bridget was more excited about getting home on time than thinking about her life and how horrible her husband maltreats her.
It seemed that it will take too long for Bridget to discern that her husband was not in love with her but was just wicked.
But who will blame Bridget, Raphael was the love of her life. Bridget still remembers the first day they met with smiles and the thought still melts her heart. Bridget had meet him in a business seminar and the next thing they got talking and fell in love with each other.
Raphael was the sweetest boy friend but at the same time he was so jealous and insecure. The signs were all there, but Bridget was in such in a hurry to say ‘I do’ that she missed them.
Bridget reminisced on how she had met Raphael and of course their wedding day
Bridget’s wedding day was the happiest day of her life. Her husband, Raphael, was handsome, smart, charismatic, and hardworking – everything a woman could ask for except for his insecurities and constant show of jealousy.
Bridget could remember that her girlfriends were envious of the fact that she was finally getting married to such an amazing guy, she couldn’t forget that they all wished for a husband like Raphael, and even Bridget’s parents, who are usually critical of people, thought that Raphael was perfect.
Their first year of marriage was problem-free. Raphael and Bridget worked a lot but still found time to start a family. Their first daughter was born in their second year of marriage but from that point, things just started going downhill.
Bridget never knew Raphael to be abusive or mean. If he had been anything other than good to her, she would never have married him. But after they had their first daughter, Bridget noticed a change in her husband. He gradually became abusive and constantly accused her of infidelity, each time she leaves the house.
Gone was the patient, understanding and compromising person; instead, Bridget found herself stuck with someone selfish, impatient, arrogant and rude.
Soon, Raphael was accusing her of being a lousy wife and mother. And he calmly demanded that she quits her job.
“I will set you up with a good business, if only you will listen to me and quit your job, if really you are faithful to me and you want me to trust you, then quit your job, we are not lacking anything, I’m wealthy, I Don’t know why you are working, when I can give you everything you want, every responsible wife depend on their husband for everything”Raphael had said loving
Bridget had to quit her job as her husband kept accusing her of sleeping with her boss and she got tired of explaining and proving her innocence. She became a full time house wife but still Raphael didn’t set her up with a good business as he had promised, instead he became more cruel and rude, he doesn’t appreciate anything she does and he will complain and nag at any given opportunity. If Bridget didn’t have dinner on the table by the time he got home from work, he would yell at her and be in a bad mood the rest of the night. If she forgets to pay a bill he would call her irresponsible and a liability. He picked on her cooking too, and forbade her to wear certain outfits.
Few months later after Bridget resigned from her job, Raphael began to make snide comments about her looks, and tried to stop her from spending time with her friends and family. Raphael finally killed Bridget’s self esteemed when he began to complain more about her look.
‘you’re getting fat, maybe you should do something about it’, and ‘your friends are stupid, I don’t know why
you hang out with them, your mother should know that you are married and you can’t be visiting all the time”. Raphael always said
Bridget still wonders how her sweet husband transformed into this cruel monster, but pretty soon Raphael’s verbal insults progressed to physical abuse.
On occasions where Bridget tries to defend herself or argue with Raphael, he would get so mad that he’d slap or kick her. The first time he hit Bridget, she was so shocked that she told herself that she must have imagined it. Subsequently, Bridget stopped arguing with him and would actually apologise when he gets provoked, but that doesn’t even help.
Soon, Raphael began to hit Bridget so hard that he left bruises on her body. And also he would slap her to the point where her cheek swelled up. Oddly, as much as Bridget knew that the abuse was wrong, she felt that she deserved it.
“I shouldn’t have defended myself” She would say
Bridget always told herself that the abuse was bearable.
‘At least he didn’t break my legs or beat me till I bled’, Bridget would say silently.
Raphael was also manipulative, that he had a way of manipulating poor Bridget, making her feel responsible for all the problems in their marriage. whenever he was done hitting her, he will return into Bridget’s arms with sweet apologises and promises and the next day he will buy her expensive gifts, gifts like the classic car, the latest iPhone, designer clothes and so many expensive gifts.
“You are my wife and I love you so much, you should always listen to me, obey me and we will not be having problems, I love you so much and we will be together forever” Raphael would always say and will seal the heart felt speech with a passionate kiss.
Bridget’s mum noticed a change in her personality and demeanour as she had stopped visiting like she used to but when she inquired from her daughter, Bridget denied that anything was wrong. To her she felt it was normal. She loved Raphael so much that she even went out of her way to protect him.
“My daughter you look so weird, you Don’t even wear make up anymore, you are losing so much weight, you Don’t even visit me anymore, are you okay?” Bridget’s mum had asked.
But Bridget didn’t open up, instead she told her mother that nothing was wrong.
How could she explain to her mother that her husband had banned her from stepping out of the house.
With time Bridget’s little daughter began noticing that Mum and Dad weren’t getting along, their little daughter of 4 years would ask Bridget why her father yelled at her all the time. Bridget response was ‘I was a bad Mummy and I made Daddy angry’.”
Bridget had continued to love her husband simply because she believes her husband loves her too and that’s why he was over possessive.
Raphael had made her believe that his insecurities and over possessiveness means love.
Raphael was only horrible to her behind closed doors. In the company of others, he was always kind, attentive and loving, and in those moments, it was hard for her to contemplate leaving him
If you see Bridget and Raphael together in public, you would never have guessed that they had problems. As they always wore matching outfits and Raphael was always singing her praise whenever they had company.
Bridget’s friends and family would even comment on her seemingly perfect marriage, saying, ‘Raphael and you are perfect together, he knows how to take care of you’.
Bridget would always greet such comments with a smile and agree. In the back of her mind, she tried to believe the very same thing about her husband. A part of her believed that he still loved her and that they could make their marriage work.
Whenever Bridget and Raphael fought, she never threatened to leave him. The way she saw it, she was going to stay married to him, no matter what. She told herself that every marriage had its ups and downs and she just had to accept the problems that came with it.
Bridget was also concerned about how Raphael and she would come across to others if they split up. To everyone else they were the perfect couple and she didn’t want to shatter that illusion.
Secretly, however, she was suffering and didn’t know how much more she could take. The torture continued that most night Bridget would cry herself to sleep and wondered how she ended up in such a bad situation. Raphael had completely eroded her self-esteem and confidence. She felt emotionally broken and defeated.
Her husband had made her believe that she couldn’t live without him, herself-worth and self-esteem are so low that she believe everything that Raphael says and she always adhere to his rules and regulations.
And worst she was so afraid of him!
But one-day something happened!