We met on Facebook. He didn’t have a photo on his profile when he sent me a message. The message was about something I posted that he wanted to share his experience. I read what he sent but didn’t respond. I didn’t find his profile credible enough so I ignored him. From there he started trying to get my attention. both inbox and on my wall. One day I told him, “You don’t have a picture so it’s hard for me to relate to you. I love attaching faces to people I deal with online. It’s the reason I don’t respond to you that much. I can’t relate to the way you are.” He responded, “Oh I didn’t know that was the case. I don’t like putting my face out there. I like to stay private, that’s why I don’t have a photo.”

We went on and off with it until one day I saw a photo on his profile. Just when I was going to comment under it, I realized he had already sent me a message; “I’ve done it for you. Are you happy now?” I responded, “That’s better. Now I know the face behind the mask of anonymity.” I went to the photo on his timeline and checked the comments. They were all saying, “At long last, there’s a human face to the account.” His account is very popular. People comment and react to everything he writes so I was wondering why he would hide his face.

“I guess you’ll have time for me this week

We kept talking from there. He asked for my number and I gave it to him. Our conversation left the territories of Facebook and landed on Whatsapp. It was getting personal, I could feel it. One day he asked me out. I declined. He came again the following week; “I guess you’ll have time for me this week.” I responded, “This week is even worse. I have so much on my table.” He said, “Then next week? Or the week after next week? Just give me a date and I will wait for you.” I responded, “Let’s see what happens in the coming days. If I get the time, I will let you know.”

I wasn’t busy. I was only running away from the obvious. I had spoken to him on phone and had been chatting with him every day. He was saying the right things and was making the right moves. I was falling for him but I was scared it was too soon for me to feel that way. I was staying away from meeting him personally just to prolong the process. I will meet him, he’ll do the right things, I will fall more into his net, and He’ll see through me and hit on me. I will say yes though I barely knew him. The process looked so short so I sought to prolong it a little bit by staying off his way.

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He didn’t allow it. One day, I was in the office when someone called to tell me I had a visitor. I went out and it was him. He had a smirk on while I was trying hard not to smile. He said, “The hill will not come to Mahomet so Mahomet will go to the hill. I hope I’m not intruding on anything with my presence?” Now the smile I was trying to suppress broke free on my lips. I said, “Good to see you. I never thought you’ll take a step like this but you did. I’m happy to see you indeed.”

We talk for a while and before leaving he asked me, ”So tell me, when are you honoring my invitation?” I answered, “Saturday late afternoon. If you’re available. I’m also available.” We met at a place he had chosen for us. It was around 5pm when we met. By the time we realized, it was around 9pm. We didn’t see the clouds change and we didn’t see the night coming. We found ourselves seated in the middle of the night, chatting and laughing. It had been hours but we still had more to say. We parted ways around 10pm. Five good hours of being together didn’t exhaust what we had to say. I got home and I called him. He was yet to get home. I stayed on the phone with him till he got home. We spoke until one of us yawned. I did the yawning and he said, “It’s been a long day with you. Let’s sleep now. Tomorrow.”

He might have started writing the love proposal the minute I hang up the phone because the message dropped twenty minutes after we had said goodbye. I saw it in the morning. I woke up to it, saw the length of the message, and said to myself, “This is not a message you read in a rush. I will get ready for work and read it while on my way to work.” When I opened the message again, he had written another one; “Did I say something wrong? You read the message and didn’t respond. Or I said it too soon? Sorry, I couldn’t keep quiet.” I responded, “You don’t have to be sorry because I feel the same way about you. I was only taking my time but if you think this is the best way for us to go about it, then so be it. I say yes.”

What started on Facebook grew to become a tree that provided a shade for our hearts. I loved the way he cared about me and didn’t waste time showing it. I love the fact that I was the first he called and also the last he wished good night. He made me feel like I was at his center and everything revolved around me. In the initial stages, I didn’t like the number of hours he spent online. He was always online on all the social media pages that he was on. I could be with him and he would be online chatting and laughing with strangers. I brought it to his attention. He said he will change but didn’t do a lot. Later, I realized most of his personal works were online. He was doing social media management for people and companies as a side job so he was always there. I took it as the bile to the liver so we could stay in peace.

We had been in a relationship for only a year but it felt like I had known him since we were children. I knew his parents and he knew mine. His siblings called me in-law and I was the one they came to when they needed something from him and he wasn’t providing. I will do my best to convince him to do it and most often he listened to me. It was just around that corner when he asked me to marry him. Was I overjoyed? Yes, I was that and more. One thing about a relationship is that you hardly know how it will end no matter how well-intentioned you both are. It takes just a little leak to sink a giant relationship so I was careful not to get ahead of myself. That was why I was happy when he finally proposed marriage.

We got married eight months ago and everything had been good except this…

My husband has a large following on social media but when we were getting married, he didn’t post our wedding invitation anywhere on social media. Not even on his Whatsapp status. I posted on my WhatsApp and sent invitations to friends I wish they could come. He didn’t do any of that. It was rather his siblings who shared the invite. If any friend of his came to the wedding, he came on hearsay or they came because a friend of a friend posted the invitation somewhere. I didn’t ask questions about it. This is a guy who didn’t even have a profile picture when I met him. Maybe he wanted things to remain private.

After the wedding, I posted our ‘Thank You’ fliers and tagged him. He removed himself from the flier. Again, he didn’t post any of our wedding photos on his timeline or even on his Whatsapp status. I posted about ten of them and tagged him in them. He removed himself from all the tags.

“Eiii babe why? What is it about our wedding that you don’t want to have anything to do with it on social media? I tag you and you remove the tag. What’s wrong? You don’t want anyone to know that you’re married?” He said, “Oh far from it. I just don’t want my issues on social media, that’s all.” I didn’t argue with him. I wasn’t happy but I took it like that. To me, our marriage is inspiration, looking at where we started and where we are now so sometimes I write about it and wants to tag him in my post but this my husband will untag himself and not even react to the post or something. Sometimes it hurts me that he’s trying to hide such a beautiful thing we have. It’s like he’s not proud of the marriage and he’s doing everything to hide it.

“I guess you’ll have time for me this week

Not too long ago, he posted a photo of himself and you could see that he intentionally posed in a way to hide the ring. I only liked the photo and went my way. Later, I saw a comment where someone wrote, “Look at your cheeks. Indeed, marriage is treating you very well.” That comment was coming from someone who came to our wedding. I wanted to see his reaction or response to the comment so every now and then I will go there and check. I checked the second time and the comment had been deleted. “Ah, what’s wrong with what the person said that he had deleted the comment?” I called him on the phone, “Babe, you deleted that comment. Why? What did he say wrong?” He responded, “Are you policing my timeline? How did you know someone wrote such a comment and why must you care if it’s no longer there? Can’t the person who wrote it delete it himself?”

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It was up and down with him until I concluded, “You’re doing well in trying to hide your marital status. Go on. I don’t know how long you intend to do it. If you can do it forever, then go ahead.”

He thinks I’m being petty. He thinks I have no reason to raise concerns about how he wants to portray himself on social media. To me, it’s a very huge red flag that is waving directly on my face. I think about it at night and think about it when I have nothing to do. Nothing explains why a man would spend so much to get married and later try hard to hide it from everyone. Because of this, when I’m walking with him and he puts his ring hand in his pocket, it strikes the alarm bell in my head, “He’s hiding his ring. Look at him, he’s trying to hide.” Maybe I’m being paranoid. Or I’m being stupid or I’m creating a storm in a teacup. I’m sharing it here with you to tell me something. Is it normal? Does it not give a cause to worry? That I’ve been married for eight months and still don’t have online in-laws? How far can we go to keep our marriage secret from our friends online?”

–Lady