Divorce Diaries Season 4 Eps 4
MY NAME IS MALAM UMAR HAMZA. I AM 47 YEARS OLD.I AM FROM SOKOTO STATE. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE MY DIVORCE DIARIES WITH YOU:
I am a trader by profession. I have several shops in Kaduna central market (Chechenia) where I deal in super wax, Holland, laces, veils, assorted materials and other women’s wears. I have been in this business for years. I am not very educated but through this business I have been able to train my children and live very well.
I married Habiba, after courting her for 4 years. I was patient with her family’s demand that she be allowed to finish her Diploma and Islamic Education before marriage. I was actually impressed by that demand though my uncles who went to ask for her hand in marriage were not; I thought it was a good thing that her parents were insisting on her education. My uncles thought it was an affront on us, like they were looking down on us for not being too educated. I didn’t care. I wanted a wife that was sound in the religion; I wanted a religious mother for my future kids, that’s all I was focused on.
After 4 years of courting, eventually Habiba and I were married. She was an exceptional housekeeper. I always enjoyed her company. She was someone who was always ready to greet you with a smile and a warm meal. I deemed myself the luckiest man in Kaduna. My wife was a happy person. She was always happy. She never made me feel like a lesser person because she was more educated than I was.
Soon after we got married, our first child was on his way. I went to the hospital with her; I did everything the nurses said we should do. I was so excited at the prospect of being a father. All through the pregnancy I think I was even more anxious than Habiba. I was counting down almost every day. I always thought that pregnancy and child birth were easy until my wife entered labor. It was a very trying experience… but Alhamdulillah after 20 hours of labor, our baby boy was born.
Life continued and my business continued to expand. After 3 years Habiba and I had another baby. After another 3 years we had a set of twins. At that point in my life everything started to change…
After the birth of the twins everything changed. My ever smiling Habiba became withdrawn and moody. Her ever smiling face was replaced by a permanent frown. I thought maybe the children were stressing her too much so I employed two women to help out but still she was downcast.
Things just got worse between me and Habiba. Everything was my fault. Sometimes I was even afraid to breathe around her. Our cheerful banter and laughter in the house was replaced with tantrums and tearful pleas. Around this time I was building my house. I was very proud of the fact that I had reached the point of owning my home from selling wrappers and laces. To avoid Habiba and her tantrums I spent time on the site with friends, so I wasn’t as present in my home as I used to be.
If only I knew…
One day while I was idling away at the site of my new building, I got a call from the nanny telling me Habiba had locked herself in the room and had refused to come out. She had refused to feed the twins. I thought that was rather strange. What type of woman will refuse to feed her babies? I was confused. I rushed home to beg and plead and cajole Habiba out of the room. After about 3 hours of begging and pleading, she finally unlocked the door. I walked into the room, confused and agitated.
For the first time in months I looked at Habiba. I mean I really looked at Habiba. She was a shadow of her former happy bubbly self. She was curled in a corner clutching something. My heart was beating fast, was that a knife? Was she planning to kill herself? Inna lillahi WA inna ilaihi rajiun
‘Habiba …Habiba it’s me. Come”
She turned and threw it at me. It was a bottle. I dodged the bottle and moved closer to her. I stood frozen. I realised the problem. Habiba was surrounded by several bottles of codeine syrup. She was looking at me now like a demon. I searched her face for the woman I married. She was gone.
“Habiba I want to take you somewhere. You will like it I promise. I came to pick you up. Please come with me.”
“you this man better leave me alone if you know what is good for you” she said that sentence in a voice I didn’t recognise and a voice I will never forget.
“Haba Habi Habi, come with me.” I said struggling to remain calm.
“I am sad. I am not happy wallahi. I am tired of this life. I want to die. Please allow me to die. Leave me alone to die”
“Don’t die yet, if you die what will I do? What will our beautiful children do? It’s just a bad day you’re having. Mu je mana so that you can see the mansion I am building for you. If you die who will be queen of my mansion?”
She stared at me as if I was a stranger. She stared for more than 20 minutes without saying a word. Then she got up and walked towards me. You could taste the sorrow in that room wallahi
I said: “if you die now, I will marry another woman and put into the mansion”
“Toh mu je” she said
I held her and gently got her out of the house into the car. We drove straight to the hospital. As we arrived the hospital she started yelling and cursing as if she was possessed by demons. Thank God for the nurses that helped to subdue her.
Hours later, I sat in the doctor’s office. The doctor informed me that my wife had been abusing codeine because she had something called post natal depression. I am not that educated but I knew that depression was not a good thing. The doctor told me that my wife was severely sad after having the twins and that caused her to turn to drugs. The doctor told me to be understanding and gentle. I was shocked that my wife was severely sad but the doctor assured me that it was sometimes like that for some women when they gave birth.
I was very angry! What more did this woman want for God’s sake? How can she be depressed as a Muslim woman? Wasn’t she praying to God? How can having children make a woman depressed? She has a husband and she has children, she has Islam, which depression again? Why are women complicated? After all I gave to this woman she wanted to disgrace me by becoming a drug addict. I was really angry and disturbed.
I went to the ward the following day to talk some sense into Habiba, but there was no getting through to her. She was crying, yelling and cursing. I was completely heartbroken. After several weeks of trying to talk about the problem I gave up. I just gave up. I know I didn’t wrong her in any way. I was frustrated. I decide to end the marriage but that didn’t bring any relief to my situation.
We got divorced but I couldn’t bring myself to tell Habiba to leave. After I completed my house, I moved there and left her the old house to stay in. The kids and I visit her sometimes. I have reached out for help from her family and they seem just as confused as I am. For now they are trying to get her help through herbs. I pray she gets better. I have my kids living with me. My mother and sister live with us and provide some motherly care to them. I try sometimes to get through to her but I just cannot seem to. This March it will be 4 years. These twins are practically growing up without their mother. It is very painful for me. I am still confused and I think about how things used to be. May Allah see me through this trial.
Thank you for reading my story.