• Layla got married to her husband less than five months after they met.
  • Before lockdown she had accepted that her husband wanted a divorce and was ready to receive summons to that effect.
  • After spending time with each other and her mother during lockdown, Layla believes there's hope for her marriage.

My husband surprised me on Mother's Day of 2018 with an engagement ring and proposed to me in front of my entire family.

I was in shock as it was only 11 days since we met for coffee. Both of us had been married twice before and had adult children. I had my independence as I was unmarried for about 20 years and had been living with a partner for 14 years before we met.

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However, I was ready for a new start and accepted the proposal. Four months later, we had our dream wedding.

After the wedding, he moved in with me in my rented apartment. Although he had his place, it was a bit far and not too central for my foster son, my biological son, to attend school and work, respectively.

So the decision was made to stay at my place. Two months after we got married, he decided to move back to his place on his own.

My furniture was replaced with his, which was better, without telling me a word until it happened. I was shocked as I would expect that something like this would be discussed with me beforehand.

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I was devastated and didn't know what to do or how to feel. I felt like walking into the sea and ending it all. I didn't understand how a fairytale could end so quickly and without reason.

I went to him to find out what was going on, and he was further shocked by him telling me I would be receiving my divorce papers soon. I don't think I've ever felt so hurt.

All I could say to him is that he has not given our marriage a chance. I had to give up so much to fix the marriage at this point and went through with what he wanted. 

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Part of the agreement was for me to go and live in his house. It was a big adjustment for me as his house was so far away from the area I was used to but had everything I needed.

The challenge was my son. Although he was grown and started his apprenticeship, I worried because living with me was all he knew, and now he was left alone, that challenge we overcame amongst others.

So we've now been married for 20 months and living in his house, which became our house.

Unfortunately in the time I lived in his house I left with all my clothes about five times — but I always came back to try and fix things. 

The last time I left was in February this year.

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We signed divorce agreements, and the summons was supposed to be served in the first few days of March. Somehow something went wrong, and the summons was never delivered.

The lawyer dealing with the divorce left the company, and without me knowing all this, I just decided to go back to his house and stay there. 

And then, the pandemic came to South Africa, and it was a huge scary invisible monster. We carried on with our lives as usual.

When lockdown started, he invited my mom to stay for the lockdown with us as she is 82 years old. All went well, and on the 16 April, when the lockdown was supposed to end, we took my mom home. She had a great time spending lockdown with us, and we enjoyed having her.

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Lockdown, of course, was extended, and we took it in our stride as we were okay financially, and in all other ways, I felt we are so blessed as I felt lockdown was not affecting us.

This is the 59th day of the global pandemic. I have had so much fun with my husband with lots of laughs and craziness. It feels like this pandemic has brought us so much closer.

He would joke and say now you can't go awol as you are under lockdown.

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This global pandemic has given us time to reflect and realise how lucky we are to have each other and how we could have lost each other. 

We chat about things openly, and we know that all we have to do is to communicate with each other. We also realised that we still have to get to know each other as we haven't been married that long.

There is hope.

What's your lockdown love story? Tell us about it here.

*Name changed to protect Layla's identity.

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