Trapped in a loveless marriage

By the time she marked her 40th
birthday; Helen had been married for only 10 years but had gone grey like a
Married to a handsome man and
with two lovely children, she was the envy of spinsters. “But I don’t feel
married and I want to walk out of this marriage,” she confessed sadly.
A successful businesswoman, she
travelled on vacation to numerous cities with her children and the family lived
in a palatial mansion in a highbrow area in Lagos.
“I believe I never knew Albert
well enough before agreeing to marry him. I must have fallen for his good looks
and we courted for two months. Then, I was almost 30, had experienced
disappointment from many men and I had given up on marriage.
“He proposed the same week we
met and because he was presentable and had prospects, I accepted due to the
fact that my parents had put pressure on me to get married,” she recalled.
Their wedding was a talk-of-the-town
(Helen worked in an oil company and Albert was a banker). Their children came
in quick succession and in between the early years of marriage, she realised some
strange acts in him. “We hardly spoke to each other even when we had no marital
squabbles, Albert could keep malice whenever he chose to. In fact, after my second
child, he did not talk to me for six months. Though he gave me money for the
children’s upkeep, he never spoke to me and rarely asked for sex. If there was
any holiday, we ended up having nothing to say except, ‘what do you want to
eat? ‘How are the children? ‘Did the plumber/carpenter come?’ We were not
friends at all.”
For one who is a chatterbox,
Helen did not believe this was happening to her. She became a recluse in her
home. Maybe she would have coped with his weird ways but then, he started sleeping
with her maids.
“Not only that, he made passes
at some of my female staff and I was able to find out when a particular girl
confessed that he asked her to go and wait for him in a nearby hotel. I
confronted him and he apologised but since then, whatever love I had for him
disappeared,” she said.
Then, he became violent and there
was a time she spent two weeks in the hospital. She added, “I ran away without my
children but when I became well, I returned because of them and reported him to
his pastor and threatened to put my battered face picture in the newspapers and
social media. This worked because he never laid his hands on me thereafter.”
Sex? It became history in the marriage
and in a year, they had sex thrice! “I usually refuse because we never
communicated at all but he expected me to be in the mood to make love.  I cannot have extra marital affair because of
my status as a celebrity but he was lucky and slept with my maids. I didn’t
care and whenever he was not home, I was happy.”
Now contemplating divorce,
Helen said that her husband has never bought her a gift; they hardly spoke in
public; and they don’t talk on the phone except won domestic issues.
“We never attended parties
together, even if we are both invited, he would sneak out without me and vice
versa. If we eventually went together, we would either fight at the venue or he
would leave within 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I could stay for four hours. Whenever
I saw display of affection by other couples, I felt jealous. In fact, I felt single
and unmarried. At times, I wish one of the house girls could get pregnant and I
would be able to file for divorce.  When
I told him to stop the pretence and divorce me, he claimed he loved me and didn’t
want divorce. To me, this isn’t love.”
 What should Helen do? Answers and opinions are welcome.