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“It is nothing short of self-delusion to manage a bad relationship just to please society” – Betty Irabor



Betty Irabor 2

Genevieve magazine publisher Betty Irabor recently shared her thoughts on domestic violence and people that stay in bad relationships just to keep up a front in society.

She wrote:

Marriage by fire by force???

Sometime ago, a young friend of mine found herself in an abusive marriage. Initially, her husband never laid a finger on her, he let his tongue do the job. He called her all sorts of names and lashed out at her with foul words. He would always dare her to pack and go and would always chuckle “let’s see where an old cargo with 3 kids like you will go; who will even look at you?”. She did try to leave a couple of times but somewhat returned to him after he came to ask her back; promising he would be a better husband. Then the circle of abuse will start all over again. One day however, he went too far when he tried to strangle her for daring to fight back. Bruised and battered, her parents came and took her and the 3 children away. As they left, the husband jeered shouting; “old cargo, you and your children will soon come back begging, which man will look at you?” But this young lady had had enough and was determined never to return. She braced up to become a breadwinner and joined her sister in her factory. It was while working in this factory that she met a man(he’d never been married)who fell in love with her and married her along with her 3 children. Old cargo???

So who was chuckling???

Women in abusive relationships face a lot of emotional manipulation which stops them from leaving. They are told they are useless and nobody will look at them. On their own, they are afraid of the unknown world ahead. They worry about the judgement of society and the stigma of being single mothers. The result is they “hang In there” until they they become profile pictures and Internet stories of another woman butchered by her husband. Every woman in an abusive relationships needs to realize that being married by fire by force is not whAt true marriage is about… It is nothing short of self delusion to manage a bad relationship just to please society. You have to know your worth and believe that you are deserving of more. You are not an old cargo!! There’s life after one bad marriage! Your self worth is not tied to one bad choice you made in a marriage partner.

When you have the grace to move on, do move on. You deserve more.


  1. Spirit

    August 25, 2016 at 11:41 am

    It is good to have someone special who actually LOVES AND RESPECTS you. If you don’t then that relationship or marriage isn’t worth it.

    The other ways these stories end: woman eventually kills husband/significant other and ends up in jail, woman develops serious mental health issues, AIDS/HIV etc. etc.

    Society’s expectations aside, better be single and live in peace than cling onto a marriage/relationship of endless pain and misery. Life is too short and you only live once.

  2. Kikelola

    August 25, 2016 at 11:54 am

    My belief is that women remaining in damaging and dangerous relationships is African cultures, is that a woman’s worth is almost solely relegated to her marriage and child bearing abilities. It’s purely evident even in the undertones of this article, in which the ultimate message is that another man may find value in you as a woman/property.

    • femfem

      August 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Exactly. ..I am very disappointed that the end of the story is that she found an old man to marry her.
      Would be better if she had found a way to be successful in her own right. Never wait for someone to ‘save ‘ you

    • Damilola

      August 25, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      True. But I believe it’s not just African women who stay in abusive marriages. It happens everywhere. I’m yet to understand the logic behind it, somebody is causing you such pain and you still stay in it to suffer. Here in the U.S, due the laws in support of women, it propels many to get out easier. It’s a good case during divorce. When children are involved, that’s even better married or not. You get back at the man where it hurts the most, his money. Once you report a man for domestic violence, it stays with him. In Nigeria, the police will probably encourage more beating for a woman having audacity to report her husband.
      I blame Nigerian women for giving a man so much power over their own lives.

  3. That African

    August 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Relationship matters. You should absolutely marry someone who shares the same views and principles as you. From my experience it is just much easier that way. Don’t pretend to get the ring. Have your barriers and let your partners know what you can’t tolerate.

    In another news. I am the girl who sent in the Aunty Bella story about schooling in Germany. I have started the process and if everything goes well I should be in Germany by 30th September. Now I noticed that it’s hard to come by information so I now have a blog where I will share info about school abraod. Click on my name or you can visit to read more. Thanks Bella for all the awesome advice and encouragement I received when I put it up

    • Naijatalk

      August 26, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Congratulations. Happy for you.

  4. Lucinda

    August 25, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I hope she’s practicing what she’s preaching because most Nigerian women are hanging on for the children and to save face. Not just for domestic violence but even infidelity. It’s very rare for you to see a Nigerian mother (including her) who’s husband has not wandered even once. Most of them that leave, remain single forever and those who stayed behind will be advising their daughters to “endure” when their own husbands start misbehaving.
    Me I’m on that YOLO Kimora Lee Simons mode. I can’t come and suffer.

    • good girl

      August 25, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      @ lucinda seems you trying to tell us something abi???? na wa

  5. That African

    August 25, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Sorry to deviate

  6. That African

    August 25, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Relationship matters. You should absolutely marry someone who shares the same views and principles as you. From my experience it is just much easier that way. Don’t pretend to get the ring. Have your barriers and let your partners know what you can’t tolerate.

    In another news. I am the girl who sent in the Aunty Bella story about schooling in Germany. I have started the process and if everything goes well I should be in Germany by 30th September. Now I noticed that it’s hard to come by information so I now have a blog where I will share info about school abraod. Click on my name

    • Baby gurl

      August 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Congrats! Wow I’m happy for you and so glad you went through with it cuz there were so many mean and discouraging comments that day. What’s your blog address pls?

  7. keke driver

    August 25, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    See I wouldn’t advise ANYONE to stay in an abusive relationship, RUN! RUN!! Madam RUN!!!

  8. isaid!

    August 25, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    @kikelola, you couldn’t have put it better. When a woman finds herself in an abusive relationship, she should just leave . Period. It shouldn’t be about finding another man.

  9. Prince

    August 25, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    It is not only abusive marriage. There are abusive jobs as well. Whatever is taking your happiness away from you is not worth it. Like Keke driver said RUN and never come back


    August 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    What about the men? It’s always about the women

    • Oluwabee

      August 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Co ask! WHat about men

    • Puzzles

      August 25, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      I honestly can’t understand why a man would remain with an abusive wife when society will not look down on a man who leaves his marriage and marries another. No one would condemn him for leaving or ask him to remain for the sake of his children. Family and friends would even mock the abusive wife when her husband leaves and especially when he marries another woman.

      If it’s a woman in an abusive relationship, i can try to understand even though i don’t agree with her decision to remain because of the stigma attached to a single mother and other challenges she might face e.g. possibly losing her children to the man and in the mercy of an evil step-mum. But when i see a man willingly remain with an abusive wife when i know society will take his side, i honestly just conclude that he’s not telling the whole story or he’s not serious.

    • Rekiya

      August 25, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      That’s not true! Society especially Nigerian society does look at men that leave their wives without her obviously committing adultery as irresponsible. Same way they look at women who leave their husband’s without obvious signs of domestic violence as irresponsible. Men are also inclined to stay for their kids. It’s not only women that stay for their kids. Men too don’t want their children to be brought up in broken homes. I’m not downing any gender’s experience to exaggerate the other. I’m a feminist but one has to be realistic. Men in Nigeria have a pass in some things but the marriage and relationship thingy affects them too. Have you ever seen an unmarried man head of be allowed to head anything in Nigeria. To be sincere there are a lot of men who are not interested in marriage but society pressures them into it and they become awful and horrible husbands. Marriage pressure for men is real, not just as teenagers. They get it a little later than women. Men are in abusive relationships. Yes, Nigerian men. Their form of abuse might not resonate with us but it’s still abuse nonetheless.

    • Nahum

      August 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      What about men??? I am sick and tired of men dropping in and trying to put the spotlight on themselves when my Nigerian sisters are talking about abuse. I don’t give a damn about male abuse right now, why? BECAUSE THIS IS YOUR PATRIARCY!!! There is absolutely nothing holding an abused man in a relationship. All a man has to do is open his damn mouth and help will come from all corners. We are living in a society where all a man has to do is say “my wife does not cook for me”, and his mother and sisters will run around finding him a new wife.

      This is not the West, where the laws favour the woman more, this is Africa. So don’t bring men into this when Naija women are talking. We have suffered centuries of neglect and abuse, give us our moment to talk about it and console one another. We deserve it!

    • Nahum Nawa

      August 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Nahum, obviously you practice forced feminism.
      Your blood is always boiling for no reason. I hope you are alright?
      Learn to relax, smile, live and laugh at things that are not all that.
      That man that did this to you sef….

  11. Dabira

    August 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    @That African please put your blog address so we can get more information from you.

    • That African Chic

      August 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      Please click on my name. BN doesn’t approve posts with web links I think.

  12. Xoxo

    August 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    What is killing Nigerian women is the keep quiet and bear it all syndrome. Thers no need to sugar coat it for your kids that daddy is a good man when he keeps beating you and abusing you in all sorts of ways. Please please please I beg you if you’re in a toxic relationship get out and get yourself back up. For your children. Cos if you die another person will take your place. Men, women especially please run away from an abusive partner forget what people will say. Hold on to your faith and God. Marriage is not a do or die affair.

  13. That African Chic

    August 25, 2016 at 1:03 pm


    • Creativity on fleek

      August 25, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      you are one creative mind!!!!….Obviously where there’s a will there’s a way!!!!

  14. Baby gurl

    August 25, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    I value Aunty Betty’s advice sometimes however this does not really cut it for me personally. Of course I’m happy for the woman in question. She left the abusive marriage like a boss. However when Aunty Betty says she met another man and she had the last laugh I’m like what? We just went back to square one of the man being the alpha and omega of a woman’s happiness. So if she found another man she has won? As women we need to stop seeing men and marriage as the all in all. What if she lived happily ever after without another man, she has not won? I mean! All in all I hope I have not digressed to focus on the messenger instead of the message. Just a heartfelt observation.

    • molarah

      August 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      I think she meant it in the context of negating the ex’s declaration that she was an old cargo. I don’t know that it’s that seriously bad that she ended with another man…is it? Feminist or not, I think we all appreciate a good man that would love his wife and take care of her and his kids, or am I mistaken? With all the domestic violence mess in our society, I think we should not forget that a good marriage is still beautiful and desirable….

  15. Ewa

    August 25, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    What about men in abusive relationships? I know a lot that are enduring because of their kids too.

    • Ify

      August 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      I find it hilarious when people change the conversation about the abuse of women. What about the men? Here is your answer, we live in a society where the rape of women by their spouses is legal. We live in a
      Society where all the legal,economic and social institutions are controlled by men and upheld by men. You are like the white citizen in America who asks about black racism when the conversation is about white supremacy in America and the violence of American institutions against African bodies. Changing the conversation says a lot about you. You don’t really care about the abuse of men or male children in Nigerian society , your sexism and misogyny simply won’t allow you . You just want men to become the focal point like everything in nigerian society. You hate women that much.

    • Ewa

      August 25, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Ify, you are getting it wrong. I am a woman by the way. Your conclusions on my person, someone you do not know is laughable. The conversation shouldn’t be one sided. Abuse is both ways. It is not a female only thing. The way we have men abusing women physically and otherwise, is the same way it occurs for the menfolk too. Do you think, boys, men are not raped? Your response is the reason why some men would not even admit they are being abused. Are there women going through hell in their relationships/marriages? Yes! Are there men going through hell in their relationships / marriages? Yes ! Are there people of both sexes managing terrible relationships? Yes!!! You can say whatever you like, the truth is abuse swings both ways.

    • Xoxo

      August 25, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Yes abuse it both ways but please check the statistics. Women are more prone to abuse than men, if you lay out 10 women there is a huge possibility that 8 have experienced various forms of abuse from men. Lay out 10 men and you’ll probably find 2. Yes men too are abused but women are abused more. When there is a post about men people abused we’ll comment on that. But this one is about a woman so let’s not deviate. If you’re tired of hearing about women being abuse let men write their own stories too. Enough with this system of making it look like women are always trying to play the victim, women are raped, bitten and cursed out by the ones that swore to protect them so please this is a post on a woman that was abused by her husband. When there is a post of a man that is abused by his wife then we can talk about husband abuse.

    • Stats

      August 25, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Men don’t tend to talk about these things, they suck it up and live with it, while a woman is more prone to talk about it.

  16. M

    August 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Indeed Betty. However, sometimes I wonder if we take our own advise or speak form experience?. I reMEMber years ago madam Irabor walked in somewhere and immediately she left the vultures of gossip started on her that all is not well with her at home, that her husband Soni, maltreats and beats her, which was why she had on her glasses that day. I was weak, only because it din’t look like the projection of what I though of them. Granted the women were gossips, but where did it start from?
    I like her and I think they have both grown and evolved form strength to strength however is it valid still, if you stayed and worked it and didn’t go and now tell others to?

  17. m

    August 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    typosssssss check.

  18. Darius

    August 25, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Posts/articles about relationships always get the most comments. You guys don’t usually comment when articles about other vital issues are posted. But when it comes to relationship, everybody would want to comment. Some people dey even exchange bitter words for the matter.

  19. Kay

    August 25, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    A woman should learn how to be independent! Be strong and never tolerate abuse…

    But we have a lot of you trying to distort the marriage system God created. If the woman in the above subject met another man… THAT IS STILL A GOOD THING,.

    Please, I am not saying men should usurp authority foolishly. I am saying stop fighting the marriage system If you choose not to marry… If you choose to marry, then marry and never be a weak woman.

  20. Puzzles

    August 25, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    @Rekiya, I disagree with you.

    When a man’s wife is known to be abusive or a cheat, people, starting from his family members, ENCOURAGE the man to leave and even replace his wife with woman. There are even women ready to take his place. The man is even seen as stupid or even under a charm if he chooses to remain in that relationship. As Nahum said, when a man even complains about cooking (as ridiculous as it sounds), 20 women are ready to replace his wife.

    So I’m sorry. Call me unfair if you like, but society is easier on a man leaving a bad marriage than a woman leaving a bad marriage

    • Puzzles

      August 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      sorry, many typos

      *replace his wife with another woman
      *ready to take her place

  21. chizzy

    August 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Well this stigma or society laughing at single women/mothers is rather strange to me. It only exists in the mind cos I know a lot of single mother around living normal lives! I have never seen people laughing or spating on them. I have some around me and the live very normal lives!!!

  22. Yummychickcummummy

    August 28, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Oh my lawd, y can’t it b the woman live happily ever after in her own damn castle with her own f**king money and taking care of herself and kids……
    Must remarry always b d Happy ending?

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