(As told by Ria Ramtahal)
I met Michael when I was just 20. At the time, I was employed at a jewellery shop in San Fernando. One Saturday evening, he asked me if I would meet him after work. I agreed, and we headed down to Gulf City Mall. There, we walked and talked and had dinner. After that, we exchanged numbers and started talking to each other daily. I looked forward to the daily texts and calls, our friendship grew and I eventually fell in love with him.
About a month into our relationship, Michael asked me to marry him. Me being young, stupid and inexperienced said yes to his proposal. Six months later, we were married in a private ceremony with just my mother, grandparents and my uncle.
I will always remember that morning, my grandmother asking me this question: “Yuh sure that’s what you want?” I said to her “Yes, mama”. I will never forget those words.
So, sadly I didn’t have the big fancy wedding I always dreamed about, but I was happy to be married to the man I loved.
A year into our marriage, I became pregnant with our child. Nine months later, we had a bouncing baby boy, Nick, a total blessing from God. But like any marriage, we started having minor issues and arguments. I thought every marriage had them, so I still did my duty as a wife and mother.
Four years later, that’s when the marriage really started breaking down and getting tough. That’s when the working late and the late nights started. That’s when the cheating started. I knew that it happened, but I never thought I would be one of those women who would be cheated on. I cried for days when I found out. Every time we had intercourse, I would scrub myself clean. I hated being with him and I hated when he touched me.
I started Operation ‘Save My Marriage’. I Googled ways and methods of how to save a marriage, and yes, I tried all of them! I asked myself what I was doing wrong, but I could never figure it out. I stayed and fought for my son to have the love of both parents. My efforts helped, but it was only a matter of time before he started cheating again.
It became a pattern. I became insecure and started developing trust issues. I started doing things I never expected I would do. I started going through his phone looking for calls and text messages, coming up empty each time. Sniffing his underwear and looking for receipts and bank records, but still no proof of cheating. The signs were present, but I couldn’t prove it. Together with all that, late night working, double shifts, carrying a friend somewhere.
So as each month went by, we grew apart and hate started to replace the love I had for him.
In December 2014, I built up courage and told him it was over. I told him I could no longer stay married to someone like him. He denied cheating, and moved out that same day. I walked away from a marriage of nine years. A marriage I fought tooth and nail for. A marriage that was built and one that I tried saving.
However, as life would have it, in the next few months, I sank into a depression and worst of all, I resigned from my dream job as a teacher with the Ministry of Education. I hit rock bottom. For days I hid from the world, I would hide my tears from my child. Those were the roughest months I had ever faced in my life. With nobody to talk to – no friends, no family – what do you do? I turned to God. I started praying and begging God to help me out of this mess. He was my way out. With prayers and fasting, I was eventually able to overcome the darkness that had clouded me. It was God, my saviour, who heard my cries and saved me from misery.
Some may call me stupid and weak; but I wasn’t. I was simply young and foolish, and wasn’t wise enough. I was young and in love and had no care at all. I didn’t know about that truth and reality of this thing called life. I was able to come out of my depression with no help from anyone but God.
Today, I have grown and matured into an adult and am able to make better decisions. Today, I can share my story without being ashamed of what anyone will think of me.