‘It’s complicated’

– living with a serial adulterer

“I can’t trust him, when he leaves the house I just know he is going to see somebody and my friends would tell me they does see him…,” she said almost to herself.

Jenny is fairly educated woman with a good traditional public servant job. The man she talks about has been her reputed husband for over 20 years. They share a home. They do not have children together but they each have one child each from earlier marriages. The children do not live with them as they are both adults.

“You would think me and [name of reputed husband] share this loving relationship. Is not like I could say let we go for a drive or something or he would just carry me out like that,” she continued.

“No, I not saying that he does beat me or anything. He can’t beat me, but we don’t have this relationship like other people. Is like husband and wife only when we deh home.

“He had me since I was young but is like this man not guh done with the woman them. And he don’t have anything to give them but they still with he and is one after the other,” she said this time with her head bowed.

“So why are you still with him?” asked this writer.

She paused for a moment, attempted to answer then stopped and appeared to be thinking deeply before she finally answered. “To tell you the truth I don’t even know, sometimes I think is love and then sometimes I don’t think I love he but is long we together. Why I must go and find another man now? I don’t able deh from man to man,” she said, her voice raising with every other word she uttered.

In her contemplative mood she answered a question she may have thought the writer wanted to ask: “No, I am not saying that I have to get a man but you know if I leave he now somebody else might come along and I might fall for that person…

“You know one time I went away and I know he bring a woman in we house, I know… Somebody tell me and then there was a picture…”

The conversation is almost a random one, it was as if she wanted to unburden, but with each sentence one got the impression that even though she wanted to talk she was very careful with what she said.

 

“You know what I start doing at one time, I start when he get pay to just leh we go to the supermarket and I would pick up things and then he have to pay and I know is not nuff money lef back,” she said with a satisfied expression.

“Was it always like that?” asked this writer.

“Girl to be honest I don’t know like I didn’t use to get them problems before but then we didn’t use to live together all deh time. I ain’t saying that we never get good times but is just the women them and then is like we don’t go out on dates and so…” she answered. “And you know he ask me to marry he but I just say no, is more than one time but is like I don’t want to marry. I know some people say is more secure and so on if something happen to me because of the house and vehicle and so but I say no…

“Look I am not going anywhere but I don’t think I marrying he and I don’t even know if he really want marry or he just asking for the sake of asking. I does go out you know but most time by myself with me friends is only like when we get family from outside that we does like go out together.”

Jumping to another issue, she says, “When I retire then I really know what I doing but for now I here. He must stop someday. I know he guh stop when he get old and me friends does ask wah I guh do with he then. It is—what is the word again?—yes it is complicated, that is the word.”

Jenny continues to live with her reputed husband.