It was just a light moment we all had, talking about resemblance, delivery, the suffering I’d been through and rude nurses who didn’t deserve to wear the green and white uniform. I was discharged the following day and my husband came for us. In the car, he asked us a question that made me feel like he was not happy about the baby not resembling him. He asked, “Is it possible for a baby not to resemble anyone?” I screamed, “Arrrh, won’t you give this topic a rest? Some babies even resemble potatoes until they start forming up. Let our ears rest wai.”
It didn’t stop there. Every now and then he’ll say something around the same topic. He’ll make it look like a joke by laughing while saying it. I was getting angry. There’s more to a baby than resemblance. They were a lot of work and I preferred he offered a helping hand when it mattered instead of going around saying all that. We were living with his mother so I expressed my displeasure to his mother. She told me, “It’s his first child so he might not understand it. Give it some time, he’ll stop making those jokes and start behaving like a father.”
His mother was teaching him how to handle the baby and he was doing well at it so I parted his back and said, “Good daddy, you’re even doing better than me.” This moment and what I said didn’t warrant a resemblance argument but this man found a way of bringing it in. I asked him, “Are you genuinely worried or it’s just a joke you can’t stop telling because it’s all you have?” He answered, “I’m only saying what’s the truth. This “baby doesn’t resemble anyone.
I started getting worried too. For a man to keep saying this same thing for over two months meant something. “Is he thinking that I brought someone else’s baby home? The baby doesn’t resemble him or me so it could be another man’s baby? He’s thinking I cheated and brought another man’s baby to him?” I slapped myself out of those thoughts and labelled them as being extreme but thoughts don’t just cross your mind and leave. They stay and you use them when the time comes for them to be useful.
One day, he was talking about the baby being three months and still not resembling anyone he knows when I went at him, “Are you trying to say the baby is not yours? Go straight to the point and stop hiding behind insinuations because it’s getting tiring and annoying. What’s that? Can’t you move on? Am I a photocopier to reprint your own image for you? Stop being childish and let’s think about important things.” I must admit that my anger was extreme but hey, I was too tired of becoming the mother whose son didn’t resemble his father. I had pent-up emotions and once I exploded, I let everything out.
He didn’t stand and watch me, he also came at me; “Why should you be angry if that wasn’t the case? Can’t I express my observation in peace? They say only mothers know the true fathers of their children. If you know something I don’t know, this is the time to confess.” What he said really hit harder and it made me angrier. We both exchanged words. His mother heard us shouting and she came to take the baby away. He stormed out of the house and I collapsed on the bed and started crying. It was a big deal for me. He had confirmed my suspicion and it broke my heart into pieces.
It brought a lot of questions into my head. While his mother was trying to make the issues look light, I was thinking of what could make my husband reason that way. “That I cheated on him? He sees me like a woman who’ll go behind her husband to have illicit affairs? What did I do to give him that impression? He started thinking about infidelity in the marriage when the baby was born or it’s something he’s been carrying all this while?”
When he came back home, I put these questions to him and he didn’t answer any of them. He was fuming with anger. He said I’d disrespected him in front of his mother so I apologized. After the apology, I brought these questions out and told him it was important to me that I get answers from him. He told me, “You can’t force me to answer questions. I’m not your student.” I thought he needed time to simmer down so I gave him days. When things came back to normal I played out the questions to him and begged him for answers. “It’s important that we resolve these doubts between us. I don’t want us to keep a child you can’t relate to. Come clean. He doesn’t resemble you so you suspect he’s not your child?”
He told me it was an old argument and we didn’t need to stress it. “But are you OK? Do you understand why it hurts me when you go around questioning who the baby resembles? I don’t want this to come up again so speak out.” He dodged the questions and pretended everything was alright. I don’t have a problem with whatever he suspects. I know his suspicions ain’t true but I don’t want us to have a home built on doubt so I suggested to him; “Then let’s do a DNA test. That way, both of us can have respite from our doubts.”
This man got furious and made it look like I was the one with the faults. He said, “If you have sins to confess then do it now and stop pushing agenda on me. Did you cheat? When was that? Say the truth and stop making it look like I’m the one pushing things in your head.” I stopped talking and left the scene. I felt misunderstood. He made me look like I’m being extreme. He even told his mother about it. That the skeletons in my closet are haunting me so the mother should coerce me to speak the truth.
Currently, I don’t know his mind. I can’t read him. He gets angry easily and whenever he’s angry, he goes back to remind me of that fight and the fact that I didn’t come clean. I want to know, am I blowing things out of proportion? Did I say anything wrong by requesting the DNA test? He was joking and I instead took it seriously because I felt he was doubting my fidelity?
The whole thing is spinning my head around. Anytime he goes close to the baby I watch him to see if I can detect doubts in his demeanour. He’s no longer talking about the resemblance issues but the residue of those arguments is killing me. And the fact that the texture of our marriage is affected is also worrying my head. I don’t even know if I’m making sense here. If anyone here can hear me, please tell me something. I want to know what to do to restore our bruised marriage.