To Love and Perish?

Hijacker Series I
May 8, 2016
Hijacker Series II
May 21, 2016

Is it a crime to say ‘I do’? Or when has it become a crime to desire a blissful marriage? Is there anything like ‘living happily ever after or it’s just some fairy tale? Why are Marriage vows now mere statements as the promise ‘to love and cherish’ has given way to ‘love and perish’?….

My name is Shade James and I have been married to Bode James for the past three years. My first encounter with him was when he led a team of internal auditors to the branch where I worked and somehow we bonded within the one-week long exercise. Bode fitted perfectly into my description of an ideal man; a God fearing handsome man, who knows and have what it takes to care for a woman. That buttressed my reason for giving in to him when he eventually asked me out. We dated for two years before we eventually got married.

During the two years, Bode showed me so much love and affection but I noticed he was too controlling. He liked to decide who I associate with, what I wear and places I visited. On the other hand, I never liked the idea of being boxed into a corner or bossed around and as such, we quarrelled often. I remember the first time he slapped me because I called him a chauvinist, I cried so hard and threatened to call it quit. Bode pleaded with me for days promising never to repeat such an act. He also showered me with so much gift and attention that I had no choice than to forgive him. He kept to his promise and we got married six months after that incidence. However, due to the bank’s policy of not employing husband and wife, I had to resign my job. More so, his pay as a senior staff was far higher than mine.

We had our first son during the first year of our marriage and I had to spend another year nursing him as we both agreed. I was to pick up a job exactly when he clocked one but as God would have it, I got pregnant again. The news didn’t go down too well with my husband because that was not our initial plan. He got so angry blaming me for getting pregnant. On the other hand, I was so infuriated too and I shouted back at him; after all I didn’t impregnate myself so why must I be blamed. The next thing I knew was that I heard a deafening sound as Bode gave me a hard slap on my face saying “this will keep your loose mouth sealed”. I wept bitterly as he walked out of the house without an apology.

That issue marked the beginning of my sorrow as I watched Bode turn into a monster. He kept hitting me and railing abusive words on me at the slightest opportunity. I became so upset and couldn’t confide in anyone partly because I didn’t want to ruin his reputation and I also didn’t want to be an object of mockery among my peers. So I decided to hang on while putting up fake appearances to family and friends.

In the eighth month of my pregnancy, while Bode was out on an official trip, I had a sprain on my left ankle so it became difficult for me to move around. I had my sister pick up my son while my neighbour Asabe kept an eye on me. Bode came back from his official trip a day earlier than expected and all he could demand for was food. I was so upset but I managed to explain my situation to him. Bode hissed at me and told me to get his food ready if I didn’t want to see ‘his red eye’. I was so angry that I shouted back at him calling him a monster. Before I knew what was happening, Bode gave me a dirty slap. I picked the wooden stool beside me and threw it at him. Bode launched at me like an angry lion and threw several punches at me especially on my loins. The pain was excruciating and I kept crying for help but he never stopped beating me. I would have died but for the timely intervention of Asabe.

Earlier that morning, Asabe went to the market because she was on afternoon duty and as her normal routine, she would ask if I needed her to help get things for me. I didn’t have cash on me so I told her not to bother. It was on her way back that she heard my screams of pain. Asabe kept banging the door and screaming but my husband refused to open the door and when she threatened to call the police, he left me alone, opened the door and drove off in anger.
Asabe being a nurse quickly attended to me and when she discovered I was bleeding profusely, she had to rush me to the hospital. I had some complications and I had to go through surgery to save my life. Asabe was there for me and of course she had to contact my sister who also came in with her husband.

Thank God I didn’t lose my life in the process though I lost the baby. Bode was denied access of seeing me all through my stay at the hospital and when I was discharged, I was taken to my sister’s house to recuperate. Bode kept calling my sister to apologise and upon my request, he was granted access to me. He was sober and for the first time he looked so unkempt. He claimed he was so much under pressure but blamed himself for not being able to control the situation.
It’s been six months after the incidence and I have forgiven him but the memory is still as fresh as ever. He is undergoing therapy presently and we have been backing him up with prayers. He also volunteered to write an undertaking that he won’t raise his hands against me anymore but of course I am still a bit scared of going back to him, but I know that time will tell….

My advice to everyone out there in a relationship/marriage is as follows:

  • Watch out for tell-tale signs of abuse such as uncontrollable outburst of anger, controlling behaviour, unrepentant though remorseful, refusing to apologise when at fault, physical assault no matter how little and so on. Don’t be blinded by his gifts most especially during courtship that you will overlook the warning signals. If he hits you once, he can still do it again so be wise!
  • Don’t keep quiet if you are a victim of domestic violence. It’s a pity most women lose their lives while trying to protect their spouse’s reputation or trying to avoid being mocked at or stigmatised. A man who beats his wife doesn’t have any reputation to protect be he a Clergy, MD/CEO, notable person in the society, educated, lower/middle class or what have you. Never give reasons to cover an abusive spouse.
  • The Woman should watch her own attitude too probably it’s a catalyst to his reactions; a soft answer turns away wrath. A woman who continues to nag and rain demeaning words at her spouse doesn’t want peace in the home.
  • Men should also learn to control their emotions. Beating her is not a sign of strength rather it establishes your weakness. The best approach is to leave the scene as early as possible so you don’t get provoked to do wrong.
  • Seek help if your marriage poses a threat to your life. It is advisable to create a physical space while you both seek help. It is unwise to remain in a dangerous zone while trying to find solution to the problem. It is better to be safe than sorry. However, if you choose to stay, be ready to take responsibility for your actions after all, life is all about choices.
  • It is high time we be our brother/sister’s keeper. If you notice any unusual sound around you, don’t ignore it. You might just be the angel that victim needs at that time.
  • Also, let’s train our children to have mutual respect for others. Boys should not see beating girls as a sign of strength neither should girls see running their mouths loosely at others as a sign of not being a coward. Let’s strive to reduce domestic violence in the society by raising well cultured children.
  • Furthermore, we mustn’t overlook the God factor in any relationship or marriage. The fear of God will keep spouses from hurting each other. If anyone claims to love God and still hurts his/her spouses then, that love is questionable. Performing religious rights and activities is not the same as having a relationship with God. Your relationship with God is a booster for answered prayers. May God help us to make wise decisions ‘promptly’!

Finally, the fact that airplanes or automobiles crash doesn’t stop people from flying or prevent them from buying and riding cars. Same goes for marriages too because people will still get married despite the rate of marital problems and of course we still have successful marriages. If both parties are determined and with the help of God, they can make their marriage work out.

Thank you for your time, feel free to drop your comments and contributions or send me a mail through info@iretiadeoyinleye.com, or iretioyinleye@gmail.com. Till I come your way again next week, say NO to domestic violence!

4 Comments

  1. yemi kayode says:

    Good one. No to domestic violence. To cherish not to perish. kudos to u sis.

  2. gemfaith says:

    Very apt, marriage is to love and cherish not perish. Don’t ever suffer in silence. I like the part where you said an abusive spouse has no reputation to protect. Absolutely none, stop doing aiding and abating at the detriment of one’s lives. Kudos ma

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