Aunty Bella is our agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers.
A BellaNaijarian left this story on the most recent edition of ‘Dear Young Wife’
We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.
I’m a regular reader and I know there are some genuinely good people with excellent opinions on this blog so I’m here with my AUNT BELLA story and requesting your kind advice.
My husband physically abused me in July this year and stormed out of the house with his things right after. He moved to his other house and hasn’t been back since but has been begging and sending his entire family and some friends to beg for forgiveness.
I have forgiven but I do not want him back.
He did it in 2013 and begged for weeks and cried and even went on hunger strike until I took him back. I had bruises and scratches from that episode. He swore that would be the first and last time.
This recent one that happened took me to the hospital. It was more than bruises and scratches. I had to have a CT scan and several x-rays done. That kind of physical abuse.
It’s sad after 12 years of marriage but I’m 100% certain I don’t want this marriage anymore. I need my mental and physical well being. He’s not all bad, he’s a good father and he’s actually a good husband 80% of the time but the 20% is controlling, stalking, unnecessarily jealous and abusive. I’m definitely not perfect but his reactions are completely ridiculous. I have NEVER nagged him in all our years of marriage, when I say NEVER, I mean it. I do the whole “submissive” wife thing that Nigerian men love to love, I shower him with the gifts at every opportunity (he does the same for me), I pray for him and support his ambitions wholeheartedly too. The one thing that I recognize that I can do better at is our sex life. No matter how hard I try, I’m unable to match his libido. He would like it every day, twice a day and I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum. Not making excuses but I was brutally sexually abused as a child and he’s aware of this. Sex is a touchy subject for me but I keep trying to improve. I’m just saying all this to give a balanced view of our marriage and to hopefully counter comments from the likes of Paul Adeyemo on this forum.
His family is begging because they recognize that I did nothing wrong and he himself has admitted he was absolutely out of order. However he has become too unpredictable and I can’t be another statistic of death by domestic violence. This wasn’t the vow I made.
My real issue is this.
As much as I’m 100% certain it’s over, our 10 year old son is now sinking into depression. He’s typically a bright, happy and intelligent boy, loved by his friends and teachers and loves life. But the last 2 months have been something else! He cries every single day, loud heart wrenching sobs; he spaces out in class and no longer finds joy in his hobbies. He doesn’t even want to see his friends or watch TV anymore. He won’t touch his computer games or play with his sibling. All he wants to do is talk to me about the possibility of his dad and I getting back together so we can be “a normal family again”.
I was hoping this was a phase and I just need to give it time, but it’s getting progressively worse. I don’t want “giving it time” to come back and bite me in the backside.
I’ve googled clinical depression and as much as I want to say God forbid, the signs are showing. I’ve prayed and fasted and will continue to, so I’m really begging people not to offer solutions involving just prayer and Bible verses. I am praying with faith, fasting and declaring the word of God on his life, but we all know faith without works is dead.
My philosophy is something like this: if we keep providing just prayer as the only obtainable solution to any and everything, we shouldn’t have bothered going to school, we might as well have just sat at home praying for God to confer classroom knowledge on us. We shouldn’t go to the hospital when ill, we can simply pray. I hope no one feels offended; I just want you to get where I’m coming from and why it’s not all that helpful to keep advising people to pray when they come to you with their problems. I believe in prayer but I also believe in action.
I’ve googled child psychologists in Lagos and came up with one website and 2 names on LinkedIn; aside from the fact that they seem more focused on learning difficulties in children, I also don’t want to take a chance on who will speak to my child on this sort of sensitive issue. Due to the nature of the subject I can’t really go around asking people for suggestions either, so I’m asking here.
Firstly, please has anyone else gone through this with their child and resolved it? If yes, please what did you do?
Secondly, please does anyone have contacts for a TRIED, TESTED and WORTHY child psychologist/therapist in Lagos who can have some sessions with my son while I continue to do my part with prayer and encouragement at home?
Thank you all for your time and God bless.
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