When you dropped down to one knee and asked for my hand in marriage, I felt a sense of hope that we could finally be happy couple, but I also felt a sense of fear as I knew that I was walking into something that wasn’t right for me.
I’m sorry that I haven’t been completely honest with you for the past 6 months since you proposed. You’re probably going to be pissed off when you find this letter, but this was the only safe way for me to tell you that I’m calling off our engagement.
I’m not going to marry you because our relationship isn’t built on love, but rather on convenience and fear.
I don’t like the person you’ve become and the type of person you’re turning me into. I feel like you lied to me about who you were, and I was dumb enough to believe.
You were perfect when I met you 7 years ago – loving, caring, kind and selfless. You wouldn’t even hurt a fly sitting on your last plate of food, but clearly you putting your best foot forward. I didn’t understand why you chose to put me down, making me feel like my every move was a mistake and that I was a failure in everything I did.
I hated that you failed to see how much of myself I was putting into this relationship. I went out of my way to be good to you, even going against the wishes of my family because they didn’t like you at all. I asked them to show you some respect because I loved you, but you couldn’t even stand up to your mother, who never failed to tell me to my face how much of a nuisance she thought I was, or your uncles who lorded their patriarchal views of a woman over me.
You never actually loved me, but rather loved the idea of having someone to assert power over. I believe that’s why you chose to be abusive towards me. But I feel like I’m part to blame for this messy relationship because I allowed you to treat me this way. I tolerated you because I didn’t want to be the woman who can’t keep a man – lefetwa – and I was afraid of being alone.
I don’t want to go ahead with this marriage.
I don’t want to be in marriage that contributes to the negative narrative of being a makoti, a wife who has little choice outside of the cultural obligation to tend to the man who paid lobola for her. That would be entering into a warped marriage and agreeing with a misunderstanding of a makoti which stems from the toxic nature of patriarchy.
The engagement ring will be on top of this letter when you find it.
Have a good life by learning the true meaning of love.
*image from Pixabay.