Who Do You Choose, the Devil You Know or the Angel You Just Met?

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My relationship with Eric didn’t go well so at some point we decided to let everything go. But loneliness has a way of driving you back into the arms of the one you once ran from so once in a while I ran back into the arms of Eric, surrendered myself to him so he could do to me as he pleased. Officially we were no longer together but found it hard to break ties with him. Then I met Alfred. Alfred came in with a bang and filled all the void Eric’s absence left in my life so I had no need to go back to Eric. I broke all ties with Eric so I can concentrate on building something worthy with Alfred.

One day, just when the relationship between me and Alfred was about to take off, he discovered all the flirty chats I’ve ever had with Eric. He got angry, and I believe he felt let down knowing everything that I’ve ever discussed with Eric. But I told him, “That belongs to the past and I apologize for everything. Forgive me and let’s begin afresh, building what we just started.” It wasn’t easy but eventually, he let things go. 

We started having a life together where everything ran smoothly. We visited beautiful places together, talked to each other until late at night. I felt loved again and felt I’d found a place where I belong. Three years together and we’ve started facing challenges we didn’t see coming. Alfred is gainfully employed and working in one of the well-established companies in Ghana. I’m an entrepreneur, something I had no choice but to become. I was a first-year nursing student when my father died. He was the only one taking care of me so when he died, I didn’t receive any help from anywhere. I had to drop out of school and start something on my own so I can take care of myself. That’s how it’s been all these years even before I met Alfred.

Three years in a relationship with him and all of a sudden he thinks I lack education. He finds himself superior to me because he is a degree holder and I’m not. Whenever we have an argument he’ll say something like, “What do you know? When educated people are talking you want to talk too?” He uses his educational background to mute me. It’s like I’m not at his level so I lack every right to express myself. Due to that, he had succeeded in building this barrier between us where both of us can’t have fun or joke about situations. 

Everything I say gets on his nerves. When I’m talking to him, I have to choose my words carefully and wisely so I don’t get him triggered and turn the whole conversation into an argument. I know people who crack jokes with their boyfriends and even make fun of them and laugh about it. You see friendship and care in those relationships but not in mine. It’s like in the military where the lower rank officer has to be calculative when dealing with the higher-ranked officer.    

There is no communication. We quarrel and we break up for weeks or months then later get back together again. Not once and not twice. This breakup and coming back keeps happening again and again. I’ve never cheated on him and I am not the kind of lady who is demanding or ask for favors from their partners. I believe if my partner would support me, he has to do it out of his own will not because I demanded it from him. I pay my own bills and live on my own terms. He has never asked how I manage my business and he has never given me any financial support since we started dating three years ago but that’s alright. The most important thing is I’m doing extremely well in my business. 

I do my bit as a loving girlfriend too. I respect and love him very much. I make myself available to him anytime he wants me but I get less of his attention and communication whenever I need him. I try talking to him about it on different occasions but he makes it look like I’m a nagging girlfriend. The sad part is, he breaks up with me at will and comes back when he wants, and still expects me to be single anytime he is back from a quarrel break.  

One day we sat down and had the conversation people in a relationship have when they want to discuss something very important. I told him my struggle and he told me his. We both agreed that we were going to work on our weaknesses and do everything to make the relationship work. From there, things started gaining color. We had a lot of fun and saw some happiness back in our relationship but that lasted for only a while before our next fight happened. 

The nature of my work is such that I’m always busy on weekends. He set a lot of dates on weekends that couldn’t come on because I had a lot of work to do. When he complained, I told him, “You know the nature of my work. I’m  sorry but I’ll make time the next time.” On Val’s day, we planned to meet but my work took all the time so I couldn’t call him the time I said I was going to call him. When I got the time and called, he didn’t pick my calls. Later when he called he said, “I know what you’re doing. Because you went out with your sugar Dady, you intentionally refused to call me. You think I don’t know that you have a sugar daddy who had been sponsoring your lifestyle?”

I’ve taken a lot of insults from him and it was about all I could take. That day, we ended the relationship. 

While our relationship was on hibernation, I started talking to another guy. He said he wanted me. I said wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. He didn’t go away. He stuck around providing the kind of friendship I needed from Alfred that he never gave me. We talked often and gave him the impression that he could call me at any time he wanted to talk to me. I must admit, I was growing fond of this new guy.  

READ ALSO: I Didn’t Know Just Saying “I Love You” Can Change So Much in a Woman

Recently, Alfred came around to visit and this new friend of mine kept calling. It was late at night so I didn’t pick the call knowing what Alfred could do. I kept ignoring the call until Alfred saw what was going on. He asked, “Who is calling?” I said, ‘Just someone I know.” He looked on the phone’s screen and saw that I’d saved the guy’s name with a heart emoji. He flared up; “Why have you saved his name with a heart? Even me, have you saved my name with a heart? and why is he calling you this late? Pick the phone and put on a loudspeaker.” I didn’t. I was resolute and that infuriated him so much that he left my place. 

Alfred keeps coming back to me because he loves me and I know it. His ego won’t let him succumb to the love he has for me but it’s the reason he goes and comes back. Honestly, I love him too. But he gives me fear—fear that I would put all my hopes in him and one day he would go and come no more. He might go, find another woman and get stuck. It’s because of this fear that I can’t let this new guy go away. What if he’s the one to make things right? What if he’s the answer to all the problems Alfred brings to my life? Currently, he treats me well and I see in him everything that Alfred isn’t. Leaving Alfred feels kind of wrong in my spirit but leaving this new guy too feels like I’m making the greatest mistake of my life. What can a woman do to get away from this dilemma? 

—Lena

NOTE: NO PART OF THIS CONTENT CAN BE REPUBLISHED OR REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM WITHOUT THE EXPLICIT CONSENT OF EDITORS OF THIS BLOG. 

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