Divorcing “The Man in the Bottle”

Articles Investigations

The Characters:

Narrator — Onnie Mary Moyo Phuthe
Husband — Onthusitse Edison Phute (OEP)
Ex-husband — ARV (The Man in the Bottle)

In 2001 I was very successful in my job. I was a hard productive worker. Then I became a sick worker. I went for an HIV test. Ever since HIV showed up at the Entrance of Earth, without an HIV test, disease could not be singled out until HIV was ruled out. The entrance of HIV in the lives of people is a devastating one. Emotionally its pulls down the body through the mind and bashes it around like a bird trying to eat a worm. Unfortunately the worm in this context is me, and the bird is HIV.

In 2001 I got tested. In the same year; I got two marriage proposals from two guys. In order of appearance, one was Anti Retroviral Therapy (ARV). The other was Onthusitse Edison Phuthe (OEP). They both had three names but they were different in a big way.

ARV was a rough guy, he really did not ask for my hand politely, he just dragged me to the altar and married me. This was a marriage of convenience and a forceful marriage. The wedding bands were HAART without a heart. This guy and his relatives (that is, the doctors and the pharmaceuticals) threatened me every day. At the altar they said if I do not become devoutly loyal to ARV, there is no chance of reconciliation. I will just end, without him, and end up dead.

In the beginning, my loyalty was religious and I did not disappoint my aggressive husband ARV. I honored all the vows I took; unfortunately ARV did not honor any of his vows. Of all the years of my marriage to ARV, there has always been pain and suffering, I looked good and happy but inside my bloodstream there were loud screams. A doctor with a stethoscope would blast his/her ear drum from the screams heard within. As a young girl I never dreamt of such a harsh marriage.

ARV and I were married for 8 years. I used to go to his relatives (the doctors and nurses) to report the abuse in the relationship, and they would say this is the kind of marriage that you must persevere in. Perseverance in your marriage to ARV is key to the success of your marriage, Onnie. I would reply that I can’t even sleep, I am in pain, because of all the pains, I can’t even work, I can’t visit my parents or mingle with friends. My marriage to ARV has really made my life worse than what a prisoner would feel in a congested prison.

I realized that the relatives of this guy ARV were on his side 100% and they were not prepared to listen to my side of the story. They felt that ARV can’t be wrong; he is from a prestigious family (the Pharmaceutical Family).

I had to take action for my own life. I went to see his parents for the last time and told them, showed them what ARV was doing in the relationship, and still they said, “It’s a lifetime commitment, your marriage shall end only when you die, remember ARV is an immortal man, he does not die, ever, as long as you live, you shall be his wife.” I did not like that statement by his relatives.

Three months ago, I woke up early, and since he was “The Man In The Bottle,” I just ignored him calling and calling. To date, I have never answered his calls. I see him every day, we share the same room, but because he depended on me for everything, he can not do anything without me. I have finally divorced ARV. The relatives even came to my house to ask for him and I said I am never discussing him, nor getting back together with him again, I am done. ARV was so powerful in the marriage that Onthusitse Edison Phuthe (OEP) only enjoyed about 5% of the marriage from the time we married. He was genuinely in love with me and was not forceful. He has always had to clean up behind ARV, since ARV is the bossy type.

Finally now my patient husband and I are happily married, we sleep and wake in the morning, we make plans together and I can remember them. Though by the time I decided to end my marriage to ARV, I was penniless, jobless, we are very happy that I still have my life and we share this life with our children. ARV marriage was not a marriage of love, it was a marriage of deception, opportunism, abuse, and ultimately the end result was going to be death.

I am now able to walk freely distances I could not walk. Sit on a chair, which I could not do, cook at the stove without standing on pillows to cushion my feet, go to town and come back with the groceries, walk the earth with out saying oh the earth is too hard, grow my own vegetable garden, care for it, and have a pleasant bath in the evening to unwind for the day. Did you know that when I was still married to ARV he did not even let me brush my teeth with a manual tooth-brush, I had to use a battery operated one.

He used to own me at 8 am and 8 pm specifically to ensure that I swallow him. If he was not in my blood stream his relatives would shout. Now I am free and finally married to the man I love, the one who does not oppress me.

I am sure he has already received the divorce certificate that says he is not qualified to be anybody’s husband and even his sisters can not be wives to anyone. I made sure my court ordered that for the abuse he put me through all the years.

We are picking up all the broken pieces, mending. My own heart, it was not broken but it was shattered by the abuse. A heart breaks from losing love; mine was shattered by being abused for 8 years, physical and emotional.

We bought a new book, and we shall start writing our lives without ARV and happiness is ahead for our family for the first time. I know what marriage is. I nearly died married but not knowing marriage and its meaning. This divorce from ARV was the greatest gift I have ever given myself.

For those who are still in the same kind of marriage I was in, remember, a divorce from ARV is the best thing you can do for yourself.

I respect myself for my strong value of persistence and my husband deserves this compliment too. Do it for yourself too.

11 thoughts on “Divorcing “The Man in the Bottle””

  1. Is your 2nd husband a real human being or is it something else. I ask since you refer to ARV’s as your ex husband.
    Thank you and your words give more power to my having divorced the man in the bottle 8 months ago after 6 or 7 years


  2. Thank you Onnie and Celia for all your courage and perseverance in this fight.
    Greetings from San Jose, Costa Rica

  3. Thank you for having the courage to write this, Onnie. We don’t often hear from African women with AIDS. Your story is fascinating and eye-opening. Bravo, Truth Barrier for publishing this important and brilliant piece.

  4. “Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.”

    Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Hello Mr.

    I ma very happy to hear from a fellow African like myself. Compliments for 2010 and beyond.

    to get right to answering you.

    In my second marriage there is availability and efficacy, support and love. Luckily Edison had the patience of not being driven by jeolousy of the exhusband over possesiveness. It has also paid me more that it has paid Edison to divorce. Now we are going to be one year married in June 2010 without the bossy exhusband ARV.

    I can not ask for anything more or different, my experince with Mr ARV was not a pleasant one, this one for a change is both ways giving and taking by both parties not th on i wa in. It used to give and give, and Mr ARV just took and took and gave me nothing back.

    I am replying in the context of this story in reference, so hope i have answered you.

    i hope you are not in a relationship that i was in.

    be well Mr.


  5. this is quite revealing, l am african myself from neighrburing zimbabwe and would want t know more about the efficacy and availability of the 2nd kind and current hubby, Onthusitse Edison Phute.

  6. Wow. This is just incredible. One of the most potent, heartfelt pieces on the nightmare of AIDS drugs I’ve ever read. Thank you so much!

  7. You are doing the right thing. And you are not alone. There are many more like us. It is hard, it is lonely, desperate even. But we can win this. And we will. 🙂

  8. AIDS Treatment : It is not necessary to do chemotherapy, just hight-nutrient food from natural substances, but not from genetically engineered substances. The suggested menu is roast beef from a fat young cow.
    My articles on AIDS ( 1996 – 1998 ): Why is AIDS hard to be healed ?, What is the true HIV ?, AIDS treatment, and more please see on http://www.yalagada.com … Forum.

    May God bless all of us and give His guidance and lead our way towards better dedication to mankind.

  9. Thanks, Mary, for saying it as you feel it.

    That Africans seem to see through the myths of medicine is the most “dangerous” part of freethinking about AIDS, and the pharmaceutical-funded media remind us of this quite often. I would say they’re right. It’s highly dangerous to them when Africans speak out. This can only be the beginning of the end of their lies.

    AIDS pharma is in a no-win situation right now. To keep this whole juggernaut alive, it must sell this fiction increasingly to the African middle class. But the more middle-class “AIDS patients” there are, the greater the risk that Africans will seek more independent facts about the drugs.

    Little wonder pharma bites like a frightened and cornered dog.

  10. Truth Barrier, thank you for letting the African drums beat, as loud as the statistics of death in Africa, let the profit from the deaths tumble down like an avalanche.

    No one can stop the African drums from beating, these drums beat in our hearts. We are a perishing people, let that not come to pass. I Commit to a live Africa, a living Africa, a lovely Africa and the beauty of us African people.

    Hear and feel the beats of the drum, listen attentively, you will hear and feel the beats.

  11. Onnie, thanks from the heart for writing this. And Celia, thanks for bringing us this wise and beautiful strong voice.
    We missed you, Truth Barrier!

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