As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.
This is Mekia's story, as told to Charmin Michelle.
So, let me tell you the story about how I found out my ex-husband was down-low...
It was a normal Wednesday evening and I was on deadline. I needed to get my work done for my online classes, and somehow my laptop disappeared—to this day I don't know how. I decided I'd use my ex-husbands laptop to complete my assignments, which he guarded like Buckingham Palace. On the off-chance that I asked to use it, I'd be met with:
“Um, well, I'm using it right now."
“Oh, sorry, babe I left it at work, I don't have it on me today."
An excuse always seemed to follow. Something wasn't right.
I let this go on for a little while, or at least until my instincts got the best of me.
Then one day, there his laptop was, sitting in our bedroom. I grabbed it and began to go through it like a madman. There has to be a reason he is so secretive about this computer. I opened it up, flipped through a few folders, and boom. There it was: a folder with our good family friend—male—posing in a bra. He was also wearing a wig, lipstick, lashes; an entire look. I continued to scroll, and the pictures got even worse. There were pictures of our family friend holding another man's penis, his penis, so on and so on. It wasn't my husband's penis in the pictures, but for me, that didn't matter—they were still in there.
But wait, this guy is married! And he has a child! Why does my husband have these pictures of him?!
Completely frozen, in my mind, I knew exactly why.
So, I guess you can say that I got the answer I was looking for...
We met in high school. I was born into a military family so we moved around a lot. Most of my stay has been between New Orleans, Southern Georgia, and Atlanta. I spent a lot of time in the country, the youngest of 12.
Our school had a music building that housed the chorus and band department. I was in the chorus, and my ex-husband was in a band so we would cross paths often. I had a friend who was also in the band so I would be in their class just to pass time during the day. As we started to share day-to-day experiences, we learned that he lived about two blocks from my grandmother, which of course we thought was pretty cool. After he graduated (he is older), we spoke via Facebook and eventually exchanged numbers. It started as a simple crush and it blossomed from there. I saw a more mature and serious side outside of high school, which made me like him romantically. I was young, and he was fresh out of high school, so the relationship started slow and progressed as we learned more about each other.
We dated for three years and decided to get married.
And our married life was great at first. We had lots of good times—bad ones too—but we were like best friends.
But then, I started to notice behavior changes. You see, I never thought anything of some of the signs that now, in hindsight, I should have absolutely paid attention to (ex: all of his friends were gay, he became extremely guarded, he wouldn't walk ten steps without making sure he had his phone, etc).
My breaking point came on a trip to South Carolina for a wedding that I actually had to invite myself to. I found the invitation in the couch and after my suspicions, I told him I would be attending with him. And y'all, he was pissed. We arrive to the wedding location and at this point, I had taken note of all his behavior changes mentioned above. Well, suddenly, he had to run outside to the car for something, and he left his phone. I grabbed it and decided to take the journey down the rabbit hole again.
I saw that he was texting an unknown number, which of course, I searched through first. They were exchanging multiple penis pics, engaging in inappropriate conversations about what they would do to each other, how, what they each like sexually—you know, just really raunchy, rogue stuff. I put the unknown number in my phone, called, and a guy answered. After a bit of small talk, I blatantly asked, "Are you sleeping with my husband?"
"No," he said. "I know him, but I have been talking to a girl from this phone number."
A girl?! This is my husband's number, this is his phone.
“OK, well, do you have any pictures, can you send me a picture of who you've been speaking with from this number?" I asked. He agrees. We hang up, and I wait on the picture. Shortly afterwards, it comes through and I open the message.
And ladies, there I was. Everything he described. My pictures. My nudes.
I didn't know what sick shit my ex-husband was into, or what was going on, but I decided right then and there, I wasn't going to sit around and find out. It was time to go.
I. Was. Done.
I shared the news with only one of my siblings. A lot of my family found out about my body being exposed, and the mental abuse when I posted my YouTube video. My parents didn't know anything was going on until we were actually going to court for a domestic abuse case (yeah, that was another component to this train-wreck relationship). That's also when our divorce process began. But for the most part, no one ever suspected my ex-husband was gay.
Or at least, they've never expressed so to me.
Because of the popularity of my YouTube video, I've gotten lots of ridicule online and in my personal life, and you know, I can't say that I blame anyone for the constant questioning of “how did you not know?" And to put it simply, no one has lived my life and no one experienced what I have with my ex-husband. Being manipulated and mentally and physically abused is a thing many people can't escape. But I did, guys. I did. And most of all, uncovering who he truly was did not happen at once. And to this day, the people who knew about his lifestyle protected it but thinking that he was just playing or that it was a phase, which was even more hurtful to me.
My advice to anyone who feels that they may be in a similar situation: get confirmation if you feel like you need it, but don't stay and don't wait. Keep in mind a confident straight man will never give you an inkling of him liking the same sex. A man who needs a partner of the same sex will never be fully satisfied with you. Women deserved to be loved, reassured, wanted, and refueled. Women need to feel safe and if he doesn't give you that feeling, he's not the one, my girl. If he's given you an idea that he may be a part of that lifestyle and you are not in support of it, leave.
A lying man becomes angry when questioned too much, a red flag that I blamed myself for. So, never blame yourself, just remove yourself. Remember that moving on with your health and joy is the end goal, and it doesn't take an uncertain man to do it.
Today, I am in a much better place. I have a beautiful son with and amazing man that I adore. I find myself giving advice to other women about their relationships, and how to communicate their feelings, as I'm always asked for advice. Somehow, I've been placed on a platform to help women in the same situations, which fed my spirit—support is out there and we should never be afraid to get it.
Ultimately, I've learned that I'm stronger than I ever knew I was. I overcame the hardest part of my life, and I've been rewarded ten times over with my amazing family now.
Have I forgiven my ex-husband? Absolutely.
I had to. I had to forgive him in order to allow happiness to find me. I actually last saw him at our alma mater—the very place that we met. And I couldn't have cared less. That's when I realized, that I had set myself free.
And ladies, that is a level of peace that we must learn to immerse ourselves in; a peace that no one can take from us.
Featured image by Shutterstock