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Aunty Bella: Ms. My Son is Depressed Because I Left His Abusive Dad

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dreamstime_m_38496175Aunty 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.

***

Hello BN,

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.

Photo Credit: Atholpady | Dreamstime.com

123 Comments

  1. Authentic Sunshine

    September 21, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Hi BN. After a long hard day all I want is to relax on your blog. I don’t need this f$&king advert taking up 50% of the screen and eating up my data and slowing it down.. Can you ask them to piss off and join the rest at the sides . Have others not told you? What are waiting for? It is disgustingly irritating to say the least. And when you X them off they creep back up. Do something.

    • Wife/Mum

      September 21, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      Hey everyone, I made some comments under the name “POSTER” but BN won’t post them so I’m trying again.
      To be honest, I’m kind of happy my response to John didn’t get posted because I went out of character and all gung ho on him. I’m still very sensitive and got angry with his suggestion that I would place my “ego” over my son’s well being. John warn yasef oh!

      I should clarify the visitation issue.

      – My kids are completely free to visit their dad and I encourage this.
      – They are going again this weekend.
      – Weekends work best because of school location and the fact that we are now at opposite ends of Lagos.
      – I have deep conversations with my son every single day on his own prompt.
      – I admit it’s hard but I haven’t vilified his dad to him.
      – He witnessed the 2013 episode. He only heard the sounds of the July 2016 event but he knew what was happening.
      – Most important clarification is: My son’s sadness isn’t about visiting or preferring to stay with his dad or I. He just wants us back together, living under the same roof.
      Thanks everyone.

    • bree

      September 22, 2016 at 10:20 am

      ma’m, your post is really giving me moodswings and sad nostalgic feeling, reason cos i was once in your son’s shoes, my parents were never together, my dad impregnated some woman on the side who had twins for him and my mum left claiming he abandoned us, Dad was allowed to visit us but never slept over cos he’s Ghanian and mum is delta, fastforward 6 YEARS later mum died, i was only 12,dad came to the hospital but mum told me to hide so he won’t see me i only heard his voice, 2 weeks later mum died,no one expected it, mums family took me away and i lived with mums elder sister and never saw dad again, 13 years later i’m trying all i can to trace dads family. nobody wants to help for reasons i dont know, i went back to where i grew up and the people there said they heard dad died of accident on his way driving back to ghana after hearing of mums death, well my point is there are so many ways of solving a problem without leaving, theres something called repentanc and forgiveness, sorry this bn advert isnt letting me see my typing but maybe u should talk toyour pastor since he wants you back and begging,he should genuinely open up on repentance assuring your pastor and even signing a paper never to hit u again, and you should geninely forgivefor your kid’s sake. if my parents repented and forgave ‘m surethings would havebeen better, just yesterday someone called me a bastard, iv lived with that name all my life just cos my parents split up. think about it, other kids in school have their dad and mum together,it helps a child psychologically.other kids talk about dad and mum hangouts and all,i would just lie back then and paint a picture of whats not just to feel amongst other kids.

    • Papermoon

      September 22, 2016 at 10:21 am

      MUM/WIFE, Teach your children that they can’t have everything they want in life, especially things tha has implications for the well-being of another person. They may not understand you now but they WILL when they are older and …….they will grow.

      Just wondering about your husband’s sexual appetite, who can have sex every single day and even two times on some days? Isn’t that bordering on sexual addiction?

    • POSTER

      September 22, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Phew!
      BN has finally released my comments from yesterday which I guess means I can now go back to using this name.

      Sorry everyone about the numerous names but I wasn’t sure if BN was withholding my comments because of the name I used so I tried under different names.

      I’m the same person as “Wife/Mum”, “Original Poster” and now here as “POSTER”.

      Thanking you all for the comments and your time. I’m so so grateful for all these suggestions.
      I will try to respond as much as I can.

    • Tosin

      September 22, 2016 at 11:08 am

      ah seen. he’ll just have to not have what he wants then, won’t he? i mean don’t tell him like that, be nice and sweet and i’ll buy you ice-cream about it.

    • Bree

      September 24, 2016 at 11:01 am

      Hello poster…how are you doing today? It’s quite obvious that you’ve not had the best of days like it has been when you were with your husband(before being hit of course). Firstly,I picked this from somewhere where you said you learned about what he went through growing up which has triggered this in him so I want to tell you that for you not to have heard this from him then it means it’s something that he still fights with daily and isn’t ready to give it all and be free from the bondage that these “past experiences” has kept him in for now not forgetting that there may be other things also but that’s not my focus now. I think that you should help this man by talking to him about these things,go on a date with him probably in public(somewhere you two would be alone but not a house or room) and talk to him about these things since you believe that this is something that must have made him this way because he needs to let go of these things and it’s by talking (this doesn’t mean you’ve accepted to go back to him though) but just talk to him because he’s your friends and you two ain’t enemies. Talk about what you do that has triggered this and made him react these two times and I’m sorry if I’ve been sounding selfish talking from my own experience as a kid. I wish you well ma’am

    • john

      September 22, 2016 at 8:07 am

      yes Ma,I don warn myself..but look ,I hate one sided story especially if it comes from women because i know women exaggerate things alot( u can call it sexist or whatever IST’s you may find ,thats is your headache, but lets say I take your word for it..the only advise I am going to give you in all this is as you embark on your single mom journey is to make sure your financiallly solid..bcos My dear,your problem is just starting in this country Nigeria wfrom some ways you didnt imagine it will come from…it is easy to listen to all this banshees screaming in this comment but they are not living your life.. let me tell you what is going to happen, after some begging ,your husband will just marry another woman and start another family and life afresh while you will be the one saddled with the kids and we all know how hard it is for single moms in the world talkless of Nigeria,but anything can happen (it is not fair but that is the setup in this country , you can go to court all you like)no one is forcing you to back to your husband bcos a violent man or a woman is a no no from me but use common sense when dealing with your husband especially when it comes to his children and money wise and Please please ,please make sure you have a job or you are atleast financially stable bcos if you dont have that,youre going to wish youre married to satan himself

    • john

      September 22, 2016 at 8:55 am

      and also while other are advising therapy for your son ..u especially, need one for yourself. .. I know I may seem harsh in my comments but believe it or not.. I am rooting for you to succeed but it I just that I know how majority of this cases goes ifvyou fast forward 5years or 10years .. the so called evil man is better off and living his life wella bcos women love to talk a big game like your strong girl, u can do so much better(i hope in ure case,u do), leave him,he is a scum( , go girl bla bla,karma will gwt him (majority of the cases , it doesn’t) but when it comes to reality,you wont see them again and your ledt all alone, some of those women will help to put you down, as I said I am rooting for you maybe bcos I have a soft spot for women that are sexually abused or raped ..it affect them in ways un imaginable ,sometimes , you cant even explain it..So go for a therapy, if you can find a Good one bcos I do not know how it is in Nigeria, surround yourself with genuine good people not the radical ones and as for your son, dont be too hard/harsh on him and dont be to soft on him either ( or he will grow to be one of this emotionally,violent bastard sons of single mothers with guns and drugs, I see here in America)he will understand..be a good example by your behavior, that is all he needs

    • ramat

      September 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Wow. This came out of the brain of a human. Just wow.

    • John

      September 22, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Sorry,about the typos, in an airport, hurrying somewhere

    • John

      September 22, 2016 at 9:22 am

      @ramat, continue wowing youself, that is your headache. ..I dont folllw bandwagon. If you dont like my comment, scroll down, you will find comments for your type to like

    • Gina B

      September 22, 2016 at 9:30 am

      John abeg do and enter your plane. I hope you don’t have internet access wherever you’re going. And I hope you stay there for a veeeeeeeeeeery long time.
      We need a break from your negative energy.

    • bree

      September 22, 2016 at 11:06 am

      what do u expect when u write that a man beat u here on Bn, no one will ask you to go back to him. i’m almost not going to ask you to go back but i will… im sure while married,you both attended the same church,open up to your pastor, he will invite him over and if he is sincerely sorry he will beg u outrightly and you both can even go through counselling.he could write not to hit u again or anything thatshould be a convincing proof. you need counselling too. what do u do before he hit u? think about it,do u insult him and abuse him emotionally or something. u both can work it out ,i beieve strongly except u dont love him anymore. what will u be doing as a single mum.run your business,make so much money and do some friends with benefit here and there or never have sex again lol. you would only develop hate for him in time. my mum was there and i knew she didnt have it like she wanted even tho she was so successful.if she was alive,i would have made her comment here. go and fix your home dear and leave bners cos they will only push u to their imaginations.except u have someone else u are seeing but trust me these men who come around when they already have kids are not as genuine as they claim.

  2. Original Poster

    September 21, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you BN.

    Hoping for insightful comments and advice from everyone.

  3. anonymous

    September 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Hello,

    I really feel your pain. I don’t know if there are any therapists or counsellors for these sort of things. I need to ask though, does he spend time with his dad? Let him do that and constantly re-ssure him that you love him and that his father loves him still even though he moved out of the house.I might soon start facing this phase too although mine is still quite yound and does not understand yet what has happened.

  4. Ann

    September 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Do not go back for your son. You’ll end up resenting both him and your husband. I honestly think you should sit down and ask your son if he wants you to be happy? Tell him that his daddy doesn’t make you happy anymore but that nothing has changed. That both you and his dad still love him and that you’ll always be his parents. Also, I don’t know if I’m wrong in this but I honestly think you should tell him exactly what his father did, let this be a teaching moment in your family.
    I also hope that someone recommends a good child psychologist for you because that would help immensely. I’m of the opinion that everyone should go to therapy at least once in their life, it’s extremely helpful.
    Good luck but whatever you do, do not go back! If you die this same son will be motherless oh!

  5. vora

    September 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    u did the right thing by leaving ur abusive partner….i hate DV in all form…ur son needs time to absorb wat is happening,talking to a counselor wld also help him..i wish u good luck

  6. Tosin

    September 21, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    You’re on the right path. You don’t need to live with the man ever again. You do need help working with your son about his reactions. He may have a deep relationship with his daddy or with his parents’ marriage that you don’t know about. How does his daddy feel about being his daddy?

  7. BBB

    September 21, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Hello ma’m

    I am no authority on handling a child going through Divorce. My parents divorced at my adult age and therefore I had some level of maturity to understand some things.

    I would therefore recommend someone who has established a Counselling and Therapy Clinic/company for Children and some cases adults. ( https://www.facebook.com/yinka.fasinro?fref=ts ) I am not sure she would want me to put her call contact on public forum. I hope she would be able to help your son and you as well.

    As much as I would love for him to be happy again but we need to careful you don’t become another statistic of death by domestic violence.

    All the best ma’m

    • POSTER

      September 22, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m sorry to hear about your parent’s divorce. It’s never easy even when the children from the marriage are much older.

      Checking out the Facebook page you suggested now. God bless you.

  8. Jessy

    September 21, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    I have no referrals but I want to support you for not considering going back to your abusive husband. Your child is definitely better off with you alive than dead, please NEVER consider the option of going back as a solution.

  9. Weezy

    September 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    My advice would be to talk to the people who run domestic violence shelters in Lagos. Tell them that you have left but your son is having difficulty and you would like him to see a counselor who is sensitive and trained with helping children from violent homes.

  10. Paul Adeyemo

    September 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    This is a balanced write up with you enumerating your inadequacy in the bedroom department with a very germane reason. Am very objective, don’t get me wrong, what I hate is generalisation and that is the reason for my reaction. Your son won’t understand and I won’t advise you to go back. What you can do is to give your husband visitation rights or alternatively let your boy spend quality time with him during weekends. I will never advise you to go back.

    • POSTER

      September 21, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Thank you Paul. This was very decent of you, considering everything. I’m genuinely smiling at your comment. God bless.

  11. john

    September 21, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    something tells me your son will prefer staying staying with his dad than you…have you considered takinh him to his dad or is your ego and victimhood and me me me above your sons psychological well being

    • POSTER

      September 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      John, of course.
      I’m usually not one to confront bullies on social media or blogs but you and Chief are simply offensive. Cut from the same judgemental misogynist cloth.

      In an article, one can only try so hard to write the entire story. I forgot to mention that I have absolutely no problem with the kids seeing their dad as often as possible and I do initiate visitation but husband isn’t keen. For him, this is a temporary situation, so arranging visitation makes it appear more permanent to him.

      Their school is in my part of Lagos and their dad now stays at the opposite end so weekdays are not practical. Weekends however, I push hard for them to spend time together. They will be there with him again this weekend.

      I’ve asked my son if we should consider changing his location and school so he can see Dad everyday and me at the weekends, he flatly refused. He prefers to stay with me. His focus is not on where to stay or who to stay with. HE WANTS US BACK TOGETHER, whether he ends up staying in Tokyo or Timbuktu.

      My son simply wants us back together. John, can you understand that? Can you take some time off, from your high horse and consider that this is what my Aunt Bella piece is really about?

    • Leah

      September 21, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      John the everlasting grouchy uncle. Why do you even bother coming to this blog? Your comments are almost always hateful. Just once in a while you actually add value here. Na wa for you o!

    • john

      September 21, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      what is wrong with what I said..we are all giving advise..i fo not give a damn if you do not have to like it..she admitted that inspite of her husband fault, he is a good dad snd no wonder the son misses his dad..it is not rocket science,no one is advising her to go back (even though I would love to hear the husbsnd version ) but she should let her son see her dad

    • Dee

      September 21, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      John Bull! Of course you will want to hear the husband’s version. Because his version has to be the correct one. As long as he is not a female, I doubt you will fault his version. Are you not seeing that he is the one who packed and left after beating her? Dem force am?
      It’s nt about the son missing his dad, he wants them to live like a family. Why do we bother trying to make you understand anything sef?
      My advice on the matter will be to keep spending as much time with your son as you can. Talk as often as he wants to talk. I can only hope for a breakthrough for you and your family. This kind of wahala can’t be easy.

    • mee

      September 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      I think you are stupid. I really do.

    • Jo!

      September 21, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      I tried to like this comment about 1000 times.

    • Kristah

      September 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Sorry, John, how did you come up with this conclusion? Where did you see in this writeup that she has an ego, is relishing in her “victimhood” and “me me me” behavior? You’re such a f*cking assh*le! How do you know that the man isn’t abusive to the kids, or has a tendency to be? Or you think the beatings were only destined for his wife? How dare you reduce her problems to just victimhood???? It’s people like you that prevent women from speaking out and getting help smh.

      And for the poster, you need to sit your son down and explain to him that you ARE a normal family! Family doesn’t strictly mean the father, mother and kids. There are families that don’e have kids, or lost their children to death. Similarly, there are families where the father/mother died. They are still valid and no different from normal families. I would suggest talking to someone who has some influence over him, like your parents. Also, let him read books/ watch movies where one of the parents isn’t in the picture. Even Lion King should help; remember the scene where Mufasa died? Simba didn’t have his dad but he still had a normal family! Wish you the best

    • Oge

      September 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      I think I see your point though. I think that boy might cope better with his dad. Pls don’t put your desires above his own. Give it a try so you don’t blame yourself in future.

    • truthservedhot

      September 21, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Oge you must be mad. You want an impressionable 10 year-old boy to be raised by his wife beating father? SMH, tomorrow when that same boy marry your daughter and beat her to a pulp, you go say na the stronghold of your father’s house forgetting that you once gave an advice for him to be raised by his abusive father,

    • O

      September 22, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Mr John YOU ARE A VILE HUMANBEING HABA!!!! i pray and hope some innocent woman never have the misfortune of marrying you cos ur thinking is seriously perverted. God help u!

    • John

      September 22, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Dont worry about me and and my wife ,but rather pray for youself..do u women all read from the same text book, Ihave found out that people that talk like you actually need more prayers in thier life

  12. Muse

    September 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    My prayers are with you dear. Concerning your son, talk to him, spend more time with him, explain things to him, answer his questions and be honest about it, this should cheer him up a bit, if you notice he needs a “male companion”, look for a trusted male relative to spend time with him. But please, exhaust ALL options before taking him to a psychologist. I hope you and your son pulls through this.

    • Weezy

      September 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      Why is talking to a psychologist the last option?

      If her son’s leg is broken, should she also exhaust all options before talking to a medical doctor?

    • Muse

      September 21, 2016 at 7:16 pm

      Emmm, Firstly, I do not trust psychotherapy sessions, they are just there to tell you whatever phase you’re passing through is just normal, if it’s normal, I wouldn’t be there in the first place. Secondly, if the young lad is going to be placed on meds, the mum would have to do extra praying/fasting, thirdly, this is Nigeria.

    • Wendyy

      September 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Mu-se: What are you saying? Knowing a situation you’re going through is normal is more therapeutic than being diagnosed with a problem that needs medication. People like you probably go to the hospital as a last option after ‘holy water’ and Goya…when it’s this same God that gave us brains and the gift of medicine.

      This blog has been infiltrated by a bunch of freaking a**holes….such a shame. Yes, it’s cool to have diverse opinions, but most of these dudes that comment on here are excuses for human beings. And I have come to the conclusion that people like John and Paul up here (and a slew of others) are losers who get a hard on just from all the attention they get for being lowlifes. How else does one justify fleeing from domestic abuse ‘ego and victimhood’? How?

      BN if you like don’t post my comment…keep shielding people who continue to bully others on here.

    • Adebola

      September 21, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Why should she “exhaust ALL options before taking him to a psychologist”???
      Isn’t this what psychologists are trained to do? some Nigerians ehn. SMH

    • Muse

      September 21, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Calm down, if going to see a psychologist is the only form of treatment, the suicide rates in the world (pparticularly the US), and the substance abuse linked to mental disorders would have reduced drastically.

    • Jo!

      September 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Have you actually ever been to a psychologist before or this perception is based on “Hollywood”?
      Don’t answer, I already know the answer

    • Muse

      September 21, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Naaa, I’ll answer you, dont be too quick to jumo into conclusion. I have been attending psychotherapy sessions for over 10 years, I developed another disorder different from the one I was being treated for and that’s a decision I blame my parents for. The boy is just 10, talking to him about this is the best way to go about it.

  13. POSTER

    September 21, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Hello Bella, please why aren’t you posting my comments? I really need to clarify what John is saying. Not so much for him but for the benefit of other well meaning people who may have the same question on visitation 🙁

  14. observe much

    September 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    This is a very sensitive matter and the way it is resolved could affect the way your son veiws his mother, his father, marriage and even relationships. Did your son ever witness any of the episodes of abuse? If he didn’t, you’ll have to explain to him in detail why you believe going back to his father would put your life In danger.
    Is your son the only child? If he isn’t please speak with the other children as the fact that your son is letting his displeasure show doesn’t mean his siblings aren’t carrying similar burdens.
    Finally I believe you’ll have to discuss practical co-parenting with you ex, the sooner the better, so that there’ll be structure before either of you moves on.
    I’ll put you in my prayers tonight.

  15. Gorgeous

    September 21, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Have you tried talking to the boy about what he is going through? Like having a real conversation, and giving him an unbiased insight over why daddy and mummy cannot live together. But assurance that daddy will always be allowed to be a part of his life? That nothing will change except just the living arrangements. He is a brilliant boy, i think you need to break the events down for him in a way that he can understand. Do not vilify his father in any way. Most times parents dont talk to their children, and help them get through this phase. They just expect them to adjust. You can also try counseling. But please always be present at all sessions, to avoid abuse stories or exposing him to further damage from a quack. Goodluck.

  16. Mr. Egghead

    September 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Like others have said, maybe you should consider granting your husband some visitation. Maybe some sleepovers & weekends or even a general family outing.
    At this point in his life, he is not mature enough to understand the emotional abuse you have been through. All his brain can process is the absence of his father and a ‘normal family unit.’
    A younger child may navigate this phase successfully but your son most likely will not. For him, the added load of hormones of puberty will worsen any mental imbalance that is festering.
    WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO IS START TELLING HIM ALL THE BAD THINGS HIS FATHER DID TO YOU!

    Medically we peg an individual ‘clinically depressed’ after two weeks of certain symptoms and signs. So he will need proper evaluation before we tag him depressed. It may be a phase and it may be the onset of something sinister. Paediatric depression is real and it needs to handled professionally by a child psychiatrist not a psychologist. I don’t know any private practices but maybe you can ask around LUTH. Most definitely, there will be somebody could make an under-the-table arrangement for your child to be seen privately.

    In summary, grant him some access to his dad and if that doesn’t work, please seek professional help
    Ka chineke mezie okwu

    • Tosin

      September 22, 2016 at 1:20 am

      the “maybe you should consider granting” tone annoys me very much. Fathers are not inferior parents, and it annoys me how mothers get to be the first parent by default and now start maybe considering granting somebody something. It’s not right. Daddy and mummy can’t live together? Fine. But don’t steal a man’s child just because of that. I’m an omo daddy so I can’t even be rational on this point 🙂 It’s spiritual lol.

    • Edem

      September 22, 2016 at 7:24 am

      I’m glad you clarified that you can’t be rational. So get your irrational rant away from here.

      Mothers are the default because the same society that blames them for everything also dumps the responsibility of child care on them.

      Have you not seen when there’s a story on a child suffering or dying in strange circumstances and the whole nation jumps into “where was his mother?”
      And in this specific instance, can’t you see the father walked out on them and not vice versa?

      Tosin receive sense.

    • Tosin

      September 22, 2016 at 11:16 am

      it takes a village, Edem.
      mothers need rest too, don’t you think?

  17. Oge

    September 21, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I feel you should allow him go spend more time with his Dad. It could help. I also think you should consider going back to hubby IF he is willing to see a therapist sincerely. We are not all perfect and trust me a man that is good 80% of the time deserves some benefit of doubt. Find out if he I willing to go for therapy. Allow your son have some daddy time with him and see if he gets better.

  18. Oge

    September 21, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    You really have to apply wisdom here because your son my soon begin to resent you if he does not already. If he begins to see you as the obstacle to his dream of a happy family, there’s no telling how it will take a toll on you all. Best of luck

  19. Oge

    September 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    *may

  20. Marian

    September 21, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    You said he’s a good father so you have to try to see things from your son’s view.
    He may not have any friends with separated/divorced parents. You have the option of talking to friends, family members and so on about what you are going through but at his age i doubt he has any friends matured enough to understand him and what he’s going through.
    I don’t even think he understands what is going on. One day his dad is home and the next his mom is sad and dad is gone.

    You and your husband really need to talk about the wellbeing of your son. Did anyone even sit him down to explain what is going on? It will be best if you both tell him together. Yall need to talk first and figure out what you are going to say to him. Don’t be surprised if he (your son) blames himself for what is going on.
    Have you considered the possibilty of him wanting to live with your husband instead of you?

    Mind your words around him, and that goes for your husband too. Be mindful of phonecalls you take in the house and what you say. Nothing concerns the boy with the abuse. His dad is still his hero.

    It won’t be a bad idea for you guys to have family theraphy to talk about the next phase and how to create a balance and new norm.

  21. Marian

    September 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Also, I’m sure there is a book on this by a psychologist.. Check amazon. I’ll check for you too. I know someone coming to lagos from yankee so let me know if you want me get one for you.

  22. Muse

    September 21, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Wendy, honestly, if my parents have talked to me, accepted my “situation” and prayed, maybe, just maybe,things would have turned out differently for me. From my experience, going to see a therapist and or a psychiatrist, #lipssealed

    • Maguim

      September 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      But i saw a psy when i was younger….. And it really helped me
      So please the fact that it didnt help in your case, doesnt mean that it wont help somebody else…….. Meanwhile i would never say that seeing a psy is going to solve everything (even if i think in this cas, it could actually help)

  23. Esther

    September 21, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Bless you. I pray that this phase will make you stronger. Also, while you keep searching for psychologists just know that you are the strongest link to your son right now. At age 10 he is sensitive enough to know that life has changed for him in a massive measure. The thing about depression is all the fears, sadness and loneliness that our mind plays out as the big picture. For a depressed person to advance to a place of joy and life, they need to begin to see and think differently. You need to teach him that people go through things in life and whats more important is how they react to things. Teach him that no one can take his joy or make him miserable except he lets them. Teach him that his joy and happiness are veey important and he is the only one that can control it. Try to get him to begin to affirm that he is a blessed and happy child. That his life is exciting and full of love. Let him begin to see and appreciate the bright side again. Because when we voice something or think a certain way, our body has a way of agreeing with it. We begin to act in line with our thinking pattern and not just what is happening around us.

  24. Fred

    September 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Though I QUITE feel the pang of pains you are going through right now. My question is that when you guys were courting, didn’t you notice any atom of abusive tendency in him? If you had, why did you go ahead to marry him? The philosophical dictum says a broken relationship is far better than divorce.
    Because you made that mistake of marrying an abusive husband, the consequence of your action is staring at your face now as you left him, and your son is depressed.

    • Fiona

      September 22, 2016 at 7:16 am

      My goodness!

      What help have you rendered here now? Your comment is so foolish and unnecessary! Where is the progress in it?
      President of Victim Blamers Association, please crawl back to the hole you escaped from.

    • Maguim

      September 22, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you Fiona!!!
      As in!!!! I dont get such reasoning????? Mehn…… Africans!!!! Which way???
      We are here to help her find the best way to deal with her sons depression…….
      What does this one want to prove??? That she was the one that made a mistake in the first place…… Ok we’ve heard you…… Pffffff

  25. Well

    September 21, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Your son might be missing His dad and needs a male figure in his life. Let your husband speak with your son and visit regularly, Let Him reassure your son that everything will be alright eventually, Your husband has a lot of work to do in getting his son out of this depressive mood. I wish you all the best.

  26. John

    September 21, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    @exactly

  27. TELL HIM

    September 21, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    I’m sorry but maybe this is a pattern I’ve noticed. Discussed this with many of my friends so… When women are encountering difficulties in marriage, they tend to express it more to their female children and shield it from the boys. There was a poll on Twitter answered by thousands Nigerians, and over 75% of women didn’t want a marriage like their parents, while 60% of men did. (Overall, most didn’t want a marriage like their parents anyway). Your son may have observed the abusive traits of your husband and normalised it due to your submissive nature as a Nigerian wife. He won’t see your struggle as something to appreciate, and will grow up with a sense of entitlement to women being ‘sacrificing’ and submissive. He may even grow to resent women with strong personalities. Let me use my family as an example, with my mum (who recently left), she always told my sisters and I, but shielded it from my brothers and even praised my dad in front of them (my dad is very wealthy so she always focused on how he provided financially and is very generous with material things, travelling abroad, foreign tuition etc). We the girls were ones that even pushed her to leave and have encouraged her. We now know that abuse is intolerable and we have partners that we chose while watching out for traits of abuse and knowledge of how to handle it. On the other hand, one of my brothers is almost ‘weak’ by nature and is literally a doormat and pushover because he hates any form of confrontation or showing anger because he wants to be nothing like my dad, but my youngest brother is abusive, bullies those around him, and sees physical violence or threats of violence as a resort. He is only 10 years old. They don’t know the healthy way to express aggression or disapproval and it almost never turns out well. The culture of silence will continue to eat Nigerians and other conservative societies up. You HAVE to talk to your son, let him know that his dad did some unacceptable things and you had to leave. Mention the beating and verbal abuse, you don’t have to go into details.

  28. Mina Martins

    September 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I truly thing granting his father visitation might help. You can start with supervised visitation if he has ever shown signs of abuse towards his son. An asshole husband does not necessarily mean an asshole father.
    Also, since you are set on your decision, let his father know you are absolutely done but you will want him to have a relationship with the children. I think, if your son spends some time with his father, he might feel better and even get used to his new ‘normal..’
    Kudos for walking out of an abusive marriage. All in all, like someone above said, your son would be exponentially sadder if daddy beat mummy to death. Do the best you can and the rest will pass.
    I hope you have support around you.
    All the best.

  29. kelendra

    September 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    I think u should talk to him about it. Explain to the young kid in simple terms what u are going through, if no improvement, u should take him to a child psychologist. Is your ex a hateful man?? if so pls do not let him have access to your child as he might fill his head with lies about u. Your son may start to resent u for not going back to his abusive dad and letting him have a “normal” family. You need to thread carefully dear.

  30. Anonymous

    September 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Original Poster

    I definitely understand your quandary. This is an uneasy issue that can seem like a catch 22. While I don’t have any referrals, I wan to offer some perspective. First off, I want to commend your decision to leave that situation. The way our society in Nigeria is set up is not very kind to women who decide to leave their marriages. I was once in your son’s shoes. I watched my father beat up my mom on several occasions as a child. I was only 5 when she decided to brave single motherhood rather than die in that marriage. As a child living with my mother, i saw her as the enemy. She was adamant about not going back there and I saw her as the reason why I couldn’t have a normal family like everyone else. It also didn’t help that the few times my father showed up after that separation, he pointed out that my mother’s stubbornness was the reason why our home was broken. I was sad a lot of the time and resentful too. That resentment translated into rebellion. Keep in mind that my mother never barred my dad from seeing me. But he wanted to prove a point so he was absent for the most part. My mom had to juggle a career and raising me and it was hard sometimes. I blamed her for that too. Fast forward to adulthood.. I’m now a grown woman and with growth, has come perspective and understanding. I realize now that the best thing my mom ever did for me was to leave that situation. The truth was that my father’s violence was escalating. He would have killed her eventually. And I would have been motherless, the man would have remarried and who knows what kind of step mother I would have had? Being brave enough to leave and preserve her life in turn saved mine. As a woman, her walking away from that marriage has been my greatest example of self love and self worth. It has taught me that if a woman has to leave her marriage, it is not the end of the world. She will be okay. And guess what? So will the kids. They may not get it at first. It will be hard on them. They may even choose sides. But stay steadfast in working towards their well being. They may be thankless. But they are children. They will grow to understand and they will thank you for it. It is great that you are seeking help for your son. That is a great progressive step in the right direction. I hope you find it. Maybe if my mom sought out help for me early on, it would have been an easier process of sorting my feelings out. I’m proud of you for wanting better for yourself and your kids. You deserve it and so do they. I wish you the very best of luck and I want to let you know that your kid will be okay. Take it from a girl who was once in his shoes.

    • Wife/Mum

      September 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Bless you!

      God bless you richly for sharing this. It’s an eye opener especially because you’re speaking from experience and not assumption.

      I have copied and pasted your comment in a document I intend to print and read from time to time.

    • bree

      September 23, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      Pls mam leave like every other said u should, you will sure remember me in time.at least I’ll have my name in your heart. Everybody’s typing is so constructive here but not all it intends is constrictive enough.

  31. Steih

    September 21, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Bless your heart and I pray the best for you as you make your decision. My advice, try organizing weekends or activities that you, your son, estranged husband and any other kids you share, can do together. It could be bowling, movies, picnics. This, in no way means you’re going back to your abusive husband. It just means that you’re willing to give your children a normal childhood without risking your safety and theirs. Make it a regular thing so they don’t notice the void of not having mom and dad living in the same household. Allow your son spend quality time with his father. Don’t speak wrong about his father in his presence. Don’t transfer the aggression to him either. I hope and believe things work out for you.

  32. artklub

    September 21, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    hi, if you cannot find an expert in this field in nigeria, consider getting a psychologist abroad that you can meet on Skype & Whatapp.

    • POSTER

      September 22, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      @artklub

      Thank you! This is actually an excellent idea. I’m off to research this option. Technology can be a blessing!

  33. The real D

    September 21, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Why do I feel that the problem is not so much visitation rights but that the boy wants a mummy-daddy home i.e is mummy and daddy? I know an individual who was clinical depressed and she sort medical help in Lagos. However, she is an adult but doing well today. You are definitely right, seeking medical intervention is the right way to go. You may want to consider family therapy if child therapy is not available, i.e it might do you both good to see a therapist, he might be placed on meds too, so be ready for that but that may be just what he needs.. If you still want the information of the therapist my acquaintance visited with during her depression please do let me know by leaving an Email address and i can ask and get back to you. I wish you and your son the best!!!

    • Yes!

      September 22, 2016 at 5:08 am

      Finally! A smart one!

      Everybody is harping about visitation when it’s not about that. For the boy, it is about getting back together and everybody living together under one roof.

    • bree

      September 22, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      do you really want to go through all these stress and wahala that may just suck ur money and produce little or no result? save yourself the stress and take his dad back,no medication or theraphy will give him back his dad and mum under one roof,he wants the dad and mummy the way theyve always been,no med can cure that except you want him losing his memory. pls consider resolving things with daddy and move back together.except u do not love him again.then kindly consider other options so u dont turn him to a nightmare.

    • Shut Up Bree!

      September 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      @bree you’re just here spewing all kinds of nonsense up and down. I felt sorry for you with your first comment but the more you comment, the more retarded you sound.
      What do you mean “or consider other options”? Is that not why she’s here? To ask for advice?
      Suck money and produce little result? Memory loss? You seem like you need help yourself. Get it first before asking someone to stay in an abusive relationship.

    • The real D

      September 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      @ Bree, since you responded to my comment to the author, i feel compelled to respond to you. Have you ever been through therapy? I am really curious as to why you believe it will yield little or no result? Or do you know of anyone who has completed therapy with little or no result? I know quite a few that have been through it and every single one of them have benefitted and are doing better. Money is nothing without one’s well being and what is more important than investing in her own son? You claim she should “suck it up” and get back with an abusive partner. What exactly are you asking her to suck up? Her life, her health or her overall well being? I am totally lost but feel free to explain, i am always more than happy to learn.

    • bree

      September 23, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Why will i shut up when we are all trying to help, you all should be realistic than idealistic..i just hope the poster will be wise not to go with the majority here, do u know what broken homes has done to kids, i was there,i know these things out of experience, i would stay and fix things if im ever in her shoes,whatever happened to the love?what happened to the vow?what happened to all the promises and anticipation,lets not copy the world,cant we make things work? Go back and talk it out,men can be stubborn,careless sometimes but we know just how to soothe and calm them one way or the other,there are 101 ways of settling family dispute without divorce. and as for you miss shut up bree,pls dont pity me,i didnt ask for your pity. now you see poster you dont want people pitying your son in future when he tries to talk about his parents divorce and its effect on him.

    • bree

      September 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      the Real D, what therapy did to me was to push it on d side,mine was more like counselling,it did absolutely nothing in taking out the fact that my dad was no longer there,there were other siblings i knew of but never met till today, another wife/wives that was rumoured yet i never saw, i’m sure the whole drama saw another side of my dad, he begged and begged, i remember the several family meetings that brought my grandma all the way from the village to lag yet my mum didnt take him back and sometimes i wish she was alive to tell me why she didnt. if he died in an accident after hearing of mum’s death,don’t you think he sincerely loved her? my point is don’t throw away all the good times for one bad time that was only a lesson for many more better moments.

    • let me add this last one(bree)

      September 23, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      many years ago,my friends dad got another woman pregnant abroad while he went for studies, my friends mum later found out and was a real family issue, not to forget that theyve had their fights in the past,she was physically abused and left for 2 months, came back and insisted on her own room in the house. even with her seperate room she had their last child whom she claimed was not supposed to happen as she had stopped having children,the second to the last is older than the last with about 13 years so u understand,she told i and her son jokingly that she was happy she didnt leave his dad,she practically takes care of him now,he is a retired lecturer and she is the one with all the money and power but if you see the way they twin about and how humble she is you won’t believe this story.she has lands in Benin and i will almost tell you is joint property lol but its hers alone and he’s so helpful with sales. i also found out even in old age that the man is still the jealous husband of many years ago,he will jokingly talk about her male colleagues that won’t let her be and we just watch them argue over it. this is a woman with a 30 years old son.i know she’s unhappy sometimes,when she remembers the abuse, the betrayal,the heartaches,the agony but that’s why forgiveness abounds if it will keep her family together in love,then why not?

  34. dupsy

    September 22, 2016 at 2:36 am

    My dear please don’t go back to your husband I don’t want you to be another statistic of male brutality leading to female death in Nigerian newspapers. I am a Christian and grew up in a staunch Christian home and was made to believe that marriage is till death do us part but my dear since I have been reading about extreme spousal abuse leading to death or body deformity that will render ones life useless I have come to the conclusion that no violent or extremely aggressive man or woman is worth dying for or better still remaining with for better or worse.

    You have to sit your son down and let him know the consequences of what living with his dad would most likely result in, Show him the CT scan and if you have any pictures of how badly his dad beat you up show him. I don’t know if it would be appropriate for his age to show him pictures of women who were killed by their husbands. Ask him how he would feel if he wakes up one night or morning to find out that you were dead and no more because his dad killed you?? He would not only lose you but lose his dad as well because even this love he is claiming for his dad would automatically turn to hatred when he knows his dad killed you. So before all this gory events take place it is necessary for you to take the step of protecting you, him and his dad from any future everlasting disaster.

    A man who can’t control his temper is extremely dangerous! If he is angry because of sex there are so many ways things can be worked out between you and him!
    You can also link your son with older male relatives who he can talk to. I think what is affecting your son is the fact that the male figure in his life is not there for him as he used to be. This is a painful transition for him and his dad could also be using him to try to get back with you so you have to be very careful. May God Almighty give you His Divine Wisdom and help.

  35. nene

    September 22, 2016 at 3:10 am

    being a parent means having to be selfless. to protect yourself, ask your son if he’d prefer living with his dad and see if he feels better. if not, try to work something out with your husband. Your 10 year old son is too young to be feeling so much sadness.

  36. aj

    September 22, 2016 at 4:22 am

    You can try going to Dr B. Ajenifuja to recommend a pediatric psychiatrist for your son. He is a pediatrician that I used to go to when I was a child about his age. Well, I got his information for his private clinic from online 3 ogalade close, Victoria Island, Lagos. He is tried and tested. He is much older now but I think he still practices medicine. Just be there for your son and be extra supportive of him in terms of attending any school and after-school activities he is involved in. His dad too should also join in and cheer him on so far he goes to his own separate house at the end of the day. At least that’s what I know I needed from my mom when my dad was always emotionally and physically distant.

    • Maxine

      September 23, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Oh wow! Dr. Ajenifuja is still around? (no shade intended)…. Hands down one of the best paedatric doctors in Nigeria! Cranky as hell but yeah…… Still one of the best….

  37. Jamce

    September 22, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Dear Poster, you have done well for trying to be balanced in telling your story. Also the concern for your son is well placed. I am in complete support of separation from your husband. But let’s look at the issues from a deeper perspective.

    I don’t think that his libido is a normal sex drive. Am not an expert, but I venture to say that no “normal man” seeks to have sex everyday or twice a day every day. Also, being aware of your “past sexual abuse” should have made him to be more reasonable, self-controlled and patient in his sexual relationship with you. I tend to identify a violent streak in a man with such sex fiend who may imagine that you are cheating on him because he cannot have sex with you 24/7.. This is the basis of the jealousy, stalking and controlling nature he exhibits. They are very deep seated interrelated problems. I also believe his being a good husband/father is more of a cultural/religious duty rather than from true love. Ego and feeling of inadequacy is also involved in the violence. I can see this from his having to send relatives to beg without himself coming to you.

    A good husband with knowledge of your past should have been more patient to wean you from the sexual trauma of the past to having a normal sex life. But such abnormal demand for sex can only increase the mental trauma and put you off. That you made efforts to match his demand shows that with genuine love, you would have come through. So, stop blaming yourself on that score. It is him who needs therapy to deal with his abnormal sex urge.

    As for your son, you need to educate him on the need to be alive for him. I would suggest that he remains with but grant supervised visitation rights to the father. Leaving the child for long periods alone with can be opportunity to manipulate the child into demanding reconciliation as is happening now. You have to be emotionally strong to weather the storm. I see your son’s behavior as a phase which will pass within a few months. Shalom

    • Gorgeous

      September 22, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Two people with very different sex drives have no business being married… But that is a story for another day. Both of the should not have married the other. It will lead to anger, resentment, depression and suspicion.

  38. me

    September 22, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Sorry for the issues in your marriage, may God resolve them. I am going to be extremely blunt. ABUSE AND VIOLENCE IS UNCALLED FOR!

    1. He is 80% good and 20% bad. This stats is too much too ignore. Most abusers are constantly abusing. If it is 80% good, what happens and triggers the 20% badness. Except if a man is MAD, on weed or mentally unstable, that is when he would abuse his wife for no reason. I mean, how can you abuse your partner, lover, wife, mother of your kids…?

    You have described your husband to be 80% good, on this two occasions, what happened? 2013 & 2016 dv? what will turn an 80% good man into a beast overnight?

    2.He is JEALOUS, STALKS…..Those two words are very big and important here. There are some things you are not telling us- can you come out straight and clean?
    A normal guy/man/husband wouldn’t stalk or be jealous except you have made him or given reason for him to doubt your faithfulness. It is always the other way round—what would make a husband jealous and stalk? Do you flirt? do you flock around men? are you cheating on him?

    3. Forget it about male wards. You can never separate them from their father. I have heard and even seen instances, where the boys almost killed their mothers. I know of two personally. It took the intervention of the head Pastor to summon the boy, inquire why he maltreats the mother and revealed he wants his father produced.

    Boys are molded by the image of their fathers. NO PSYCHOLOGIST, NO MATTER HOW GOOD, CAN STOP THAT BOY FROM DEMANDING FOR HIS FATHER. Psychologist may help out a little for the main time, but it is a time bomb waiting to explode, i tell you..

    4. You dont want the marriage again? Seems to me you have something hiding really. Is there someone deceiving you outside? Are you in love with someone? Grass is not always greener on the other side my dear. Dating is different from marriage o. Dating someone is like stealing fish from mama’s pot. it may be sweet to do but when you grow, spend your money to buy and cook, can you steal from the pot and still be sweet to you? Let no man deceive you.

    5. Sorry to say this, anything that is bad needs prayer to be good;
    anything that is good, needs prayer to be perfect;
    anything that is perfect, needs prayer to be sustained.

    Seems to me you downplay the role of God in all this. You and pray fast, like you said, but you took two paragraphs to explain why no one should tell you to pray. Psychologist cannot solve any problem. Someone went through surgery recently and the surgeon had to pray before the procedure; telling you the best of surgeons and psychologist rely on God for assistance, cos a slight error may be deadly.

    You have made up your mind you dont want this man again. What is the prayer and fasting you are observing meant for? To stop your son from thinking about his dad? or to stop him from oppression?

    Wisdom is profitable to direct my dear. PRAYER CANNOT STOP THAT BOY FROM WANTING HIS FATHER AROUND. Solution is either you get back together, resolve the issues that trigger the 20% madness in your home to get your children emotionally stable OR

    You work out a plan, may be weekly for the boy to visit his father and be with you the following week (rotate it like that)

    Sincere prayer for you (if you allow me to)is that things will get better for you
    e-hugs

    • M&

      September 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

      I agree with you. you really hit on the ‘underlying issues’ I mentioned in my post below. seems like there are some insecurities with the man. sometimes a man/woman begins to detest the spouse they married…maybe they no longer meet up to expectations – financially, intellectually, emotionally, sexually, even spiritually. sometimes they detect that the spouse’s heart has wandered away. I think they need to id the root cause of the issues and deal with them, and not focus on the symptoms that are visible. And I take this position because of the 80% good which you have also pointed out.

    • POSTER

      September 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

      @me

      Thanks for your comment. Here goes:

      1. I do not want to say too much so as not to reveal identities by accident, but in all the begging his family has been doing, they revealed some things to me about how he grew up. Things nobody had ever mentioned to me that now make me see why he can flip into jealousy, stalking and abuse so randomly. Apparently, they’re not too surprised it’s come to this. Notice I said they recognize he’s at fault and he himself has admitted he’s out of order? He didn’t start like this, it was a gradual thing and in the last few years have become textbook scary. I figured there was an imbalance somewhere and tried to get him to talk about it over the years but he laughed it off saying we are fine.
      Now that I know what I know, it’s tempting to welcome him back and try to work on his issues with him, but I keep thinking of the potential for another violent episode. There’s no telling what can trigger it but I’m simply scared for my life. I want to be married. You know what our society is like for single mothers but I want to be alive too. I need to be alive. This is not easy.

      2. You said no “normal guy”…well I guess my response to number 1 can help answer this question. And I refuse to see my son’s issue as “a time bomb”. That is harsh on the soul and has put tears in my eyes. You mean well I know but please let’s all be a bit sensitive with our words. He is not a time bomb. He will not explode. That is why I’m trying to do everything I can early. That is why I am here, seeking suggestions.

      3. Please understand. My mission is not to stop my son from demanding his father. On the contrary, I want them to spend as much time as logistically possible together. He wants us back together and that’s the issue we’re having.

      4. I’ve noticed that it’s hard to understand a Nigerian woman wanting to walk away from a marriage on her own decision. Does it have to be 3rd party influence? In any case, the answer is that, I want to be alive. DV situations are increasingly resulting in death or disability of a spouse and I’m plain scared. I’m a tiny person and he’s huge. I may survive one more DV episode. But then again, I may not.

      5. I love prayer and the bridge it provides between panic and peace. The point I was trying to make is that I need real life suggestions and solutions preferably from people who have experience. I read Aunt Bella a lot and there’s a lot of advice to people in desperate situations to just pray. I want to pray but I also want to hear what’s available out there.
      By the way, it’s from prayer, the decision came to post this dilemma on BN.
      I will continue praying, but you need to know that while I gain a lot from prayer, I’ve also gained a lot from people here who have provided some sort of direction.
      In answer to your question on what I’m praying for, the prayer is for my son to find peace with the situation.

      Thank you very much for your blunt truths. I’ve taken something from them and will use them to do a bit more deep thinking.
      God bless.

    • me

      September 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks for taking your time to reply and thanks for knowing i mean well for you! This too shall pass, it is a phase that all of us here pray it passes over as quick as possible.

      1. Life is not a bed of roses. Two partners in a marriage went through different processes in life before becoming a MAN and a WOMAN who is ready, matured and responsible enough to marry. There will definitely be some events, happenings and incidents in the life of your partner you never knew of, even till date. Like the saying, everyone has a past.

      Now that you have come to know some new things about him, you need to get over it, as you also will definitely have some past He doesn’t know about.

      2. I would have suggested that you sit down, IDENTIFY the cause of this two DVs that happened in 2013 & 16 and address it. Haba, why should an 80% good man (according to you) beat you to a pulp? Is he mentally unstable….If you are scared of a repeated event, you can address it by finding the root cause of those two incidents (WISH YOU COULD TELL US)

      BUT

      From your words, you have decided and made up your mind you don’t want him again, which is fine by me (and every other person) BUT this poses a great threat on the stability, confidence, educational performance of your children (not even the boy alone). Girls opinion about life, men and their relationship later in life would be based on the perception of who their father is.

      3. Since your mind is made up, you dont need to spend on any psychologist
      a. work out a plan for 1 week on, 1 week off for the boy.

      b. He wouldn’t be a threat if you don’t keep him away from his Dad. Grant him unlimited access to his father

      c. Since the man loves you still (even if he doesn’t) You and him should seldom go out with the kids, meet at a garden (if you are in Abuja, like millenium park or wonderland) Let them have a feel of you both in their lives! Meet up there in an open place and leave from there.

      d. Reiterate and convince the boy that you both are not fighting/quarreling….the present situation of event is for their good. The boy will come to learn that, more so you do number 3 above.

      4. Please have it at the back of your mind that marriage is for the matured; for two adults with divergent views, who must work together and ensure IT WORKS AT ALL COST!

      5. Also note that there is no marriage without its own trials and temptations. Every individual has a flaw, You might leave this one and marry another. The next may not have this specific flaw, but he will have another flaw you will have to manage, as well. Girlfriends are not wives! Boy friends are not husbands. We know the real xter of a person after marriage.

      Love you with the love of God

    • Leah

      September 22, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Does your AT ALL COST include death or broken bones?
      Because it just looks to me like you’re not hearing what the poster is saying. She is scared of another violent episode and what she’s been told has made her aware that it’s a deep rooted issue and you ask her to “get over it”? Shuo?! Na so dem dey get over danger?
      My boss did all these things you mentioned, tried to make things work with her abusive hubby so while they were separated, the kids could still see him. One day her husband said he’d had enough of living apart and insisted she come back home. She refused and they got into a shouting match. Again. He started beating her. Again. Except this time she got both her legs broken and has been told she will never walk again. My fine boss is now wheel chair bound because she wanted to be mature with her separation.

      This your superior advice get as e be. All other matters can be discussed, but violence.

    • Rachel

      September 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      Leah, your name says it all

      Did you read and digest what ME said or your body is just peppering you?
      anyway, what do you know

  39. mia

    September 22, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I think you should consider having your ex-husband and you sit him down and explain things to him. Let him know daddy and mummy do not make each other happy anymore and in the kids’ best interest, you have to separate. Let him know it is not his fault and the love you guys have for him has not changed. Paint a scenario of daddy working outside Lagos and coming for weekends (as a lot of families have this kind of arrangement including mine) and promise that weekends will afford him the opportunity to spend time with his dad.

    As John threatened, there will be times you will feel like you made the wrong choice, please hold on strong. You don’t want to die or be permanently maimed because of marriage and forget his family members coming to seek reconciliation, we’re normally selfish people in Nigeria. Most of them will not think twice about you if you did anything grievous to their son/brother. Be well, be strong.

  40. Ceevee

    September 22, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Unpopular opinion: I really hate to see families break up. Please forgive your husband and get back with him. You said he’s acknowledged his wrong and is sorry. Please let God’s love fill your heart and forgive him. Your son will be forever grateful for that. You guys could consider going to counseling to work on the issues that you both have. This is just my opinion. I see God helping and restoring your family to levels of unspeakable joy and peace in Jesus name. Amen.

    • bree

      September 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      see me replying to people’s comment like im the poster, Ceevee, another great advice.if only the poster will see and acknowledge this by actually going back to him afterall he’s been begging to have her back like she stated,

  41. M&

    September 22, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I’m worried about this dilemma: The only ‘cure’ for your son is to get back with his Dad and not the other therapies you want to use to ‘force’ him to accept your decision. The reasons for your decision: 12 years, 2 beatings (both within the last 6 years), 20% not satisfactory (good 80% of the time). I think there are other underlying issues, can’t they be resolved, please? Have you thought of looking for these psychological therapies for yourself and hubby? Maybe you can work things out if you do. I know that it takes two people to work out a marriage, one person cannot achieve it if the other is not up for it. Sorry guys that I’m talking this way, maybe its the post I saw this morning about the really old couple who were asked how they have kept it together for 56 years, and they said in their day when something doesn’t work, you don’t throw it away, you FIX it. So please I’m begging, instead of the psychologist for your son, could you consider the psychologist for the parents, just one more try to save the marriage…please just for that young man’s sake, and if the marriage counselling doesn’t work you can tell him you gave it your last shot. PS: I don’t support DV. I too walked out after 4 years of DV, living in fear and sleeping with one eye open, so I really know how it feels, But I had no kids to consider, so it was easier for me.

    • bree

      September 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      thank you M&,thats the best advice iv read here. go back and resolve it ma’m, things can be better. go back and it will work out just fine. just talk,cry if u have to, talk and talk with a lot of im sorrys understanding where u both went wrong. understand what u did wrong the 2 times he hit u in 12 years.forgive him. except u do not love him again. and m& God bless u again for that advice

  42. M&

    September 22, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Please I want to take a quick poll, maybe it will help my life. Abeg what is the gravity of a wife/husband not being good in bed? What percentage will that leave in terms of being a good wife/husband? E.g. guys, your wife is not good in bed, but good in everything else, what would be her score over 100? Or ladies, your husband is not good in bed but good in everything else, what would be his score over 100?

    • Bodunade

      September 22, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Only your partner’s opinion counts since he’s the one you are Marrying.

      I don’t think anyone is bad in bed, especially females because the onus is usually on the man to last for 50hours lol.

      No woman is bad in bed, communication and being open to learning will solve that one. (hardest thing to learn is a Blowjob cos most people don’t realise it’s technique not gragra, but that’s even easy, I think)

      For me sex is irrelevant in the scheme of things to look out for in a partner Sha.

  43. T-Momma

    September 22, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Hi original Poster. I am so glad for you that you had the strength to get out of such an abusive marriage. You never know how strong you are until you decide to take a stand.
    I am going to try my hardest to ignore comments from the Johns in this comment section and dive right in:

    I had a similar marital situation; but my husband was aggressively emotionally abusive towards me. I could literally feel his hatred steaming from his eyes. And 99% of the time his raging was unprovoked.
    One morning, when I was driving my then 3 yr old to school he asked me a question I will never forget: “Mommy, why was Daddy shouting at you like that. It was when we were in the other house and I was watching Barney in my room and eating yam and you were crying mummy. Why? Why did Daddy treat you like that?”
    Please know that this event happened when my son was 18 months old. I kid you not. I had to push down the tears and explain to him that Daddy’s behavior was totally unacceptable and wrong in every way. My son made me promise to leave for my mother’s place should my husband repeat the behavior again. Of course my husband repeated it several more times and when hell that was my home became too hot to bear and engulfed me again and again, I would shuttle between my mother’s place and mine. But I didn’t leave. Things got better. God intervened. I had decided to leave this year. After submitting and loving and slaving for six years I had had enough. My kids had had enough. But the man changed, so…
    What I want you to get out of all of this is that talking to your son about what his Father did to you is VERY important. Don’t try to shield him from it. You’ll be doing him more harm than good. He needs to know NOW. You don’t know what his Father tells him when you’re not there.
    You need to show him your scars and MAKE him understand that abuse is not normal. It is NOT LOVE and its not HEALTHY. Give him a scenario where a bully keeps beating him up and ask him if he would want to stay friends with that bully. Self preservation is instinctive and vital to human survival.
    He needs to understand that though his Father is a great Dad and Husband sometimes, it is not enough. That his Father has a responsibility to protect his wife and kids and lead them. He failed not just you but his kids. Tell him that though you have forgiven him, you are not willing to risk losing life by taking him back. Your son will understand eventually. Personally, I would advise limited contact with Daddy for now or supervised contact. Take him out too. Go out to see friends and family. go to the movies and just have FUN together. Let him SEE you happy. Play with your kids and spend time with them. He needs all the emotional support you can give. Try and go out with him alone too and just jist. Look in his and smile at him. Hug him as often as he will allow it. The poor child is grieving for the family unit he once had and he needs to SEE how to move on. He loves his Father. He should. Even my boys love their Dad in spite of everything. It’s only natural and I understand. But he needs to know that Daddy is human and as such very flawed and that’s ok. But actions have consequences. Especially extreme actions.

    So sorry for the looooong post. I just felt I had to at least try and help…

    Stay strong.

    • POSTER

      September 22, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      T-Momma,
      I read every single word you typed thrice over. Your entire comment was so heartfelt and I’m very grateful you’ve shared your perspective.
      Trying to draw a balance between telling my son everything as it is and ensuring I don’t paint his Dad as a demon. is not an easy thing but God help me, I will somehow make it all work out for my boy.
      Thank you once again dear. Hugs to you.

    • slice

      September 22, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      He stopped beating you this year doesn’t mean he changed

  44. Yoyo

    September 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I am very sad for the Nigerian woman,for the african woman and for women in general. A woman was brutally beaten,almost got killed and yet people are still saying she should “fix it”, stay in the marriage no matter what, saying she is a “liar”, telling her he is only 20% bad to manage. None of these people ever blamed the man for the breakup of the marriage, for setting a bad example for his children or for endangering the life and health of his wife and family.
    If this woman had slapped her husband even if it was only once society would castigate her and her family and show how ill bred and ill mannered she is and tell the man he shouldnt tolerate such nonsense.
    Her husband has abused her to the point that she says he is a good father. But what good father beats up the woman who carried his child for 9 months,went through labor and delivery and countless nights of nursing?What good father exposes his child to domestic violence that movies tell us to prevent our children from watching? What good father shows his child that the best way to deal with your anger is to bash the other person into a pulp or that to handle conflict its best to intimidate and terrorize the oposition.
    If this man had beat up any stranger on the street or slapped anyone on here commenting we would be rushing to say arrest him. But since its his wife…just his wife….then its somehow ok.SHAME on all of you who have ridiculed this woman. May God visit you with a similar abuse…if not at home then at work. Yes it happens there too!
    Poster….i hope you and your sonand your other kids that have scars we cannot see get the emotional and psychological help you need t9 move on.

    Please bellannaija post this

  45. bree

    September 22, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    marriage is 2 different people raised by different parents,gone through different issues in life,handled things differently in the past,having different norms and beliefs,living different lives differently in the past,exposed to different issues differently,have different opinions about different issues,one may have been physically abused while the other wasn’t, one may have been raised in an abusive home while the other grew up in a peace loving home,yet as different as they seem they come together as one not to enforce their difference on themselves but to make things work out regardless of their differences, therefore learning where one is lacking and complementing one another. pls go back and see how you both can make things work,pray for him like you do and more,do not insult him or exchange words when u both are argueing,sometimes let him win the arguments he will definitely come around.

  46. bells

    September 22, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I usually don’t comment on this forum,having read your story i felt moved to.Have u considered what your husband discusses with your son during visitation.Being a 10yr old boy,it is also easy for your husband to sow wrong thought of family not being complete without him which may be influencing his behavior

    • POSTER

      September 23, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Bells hmmmmm you may be right. I will keep that in mind, observe and ask careful questions.
      Thank you for this perspective.

  47. John

    September 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    @poster, something insane just occured to me , give your husband just one more and last chance but before you do , copy the Url link of this particular page and send it to him to read. .let him read the articles and especially the comments (both the so called positive and the so called negative) . Tell him you asked for help in a blog and this what people advised.. just let him read it and let it digest for some few days ( dont call him)…that my dear will be the best therapy for your marriage.. I dont know why I have feeling ,you guys are Igbos or I may wrong

    • POSTER

      September 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Hi John,

      You’re really all up in here for me. Am I sensing we could actually become pals one day? 🙂

      Weird I actually thought of sending the link but I am scared of getting an adverse reaction from him. He is so unpredictable John, I do not exaggerate at all!
      Let me mull over it this weekend. Maybe give it a few weeks even and check when the right time is to send this to him. For the sake of the kids if nothing else.

      Regarding your earlier comment about financial stability, I’m fortunate to have a very well paying job that gives me seven figures monthly. He’s successful too. I’m thankful we can both provide for the children adequately, together or individually.

      We are not Igbos. We are Yorubas, both from Ogun state. Curious to know what that has got to do with the equation though??????

  48. bree

    September 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    john o john.makes a lotta sense.i second the motion.

  49. concerned

    September 23, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Lanre Olusola…
    Just go and see him…too many unbalanced views here.
    Pls…belllanaija is no longer the forum it used to be

  50. Tincan

    September 23, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Wow, Poster. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Something about this post ripped my heart to pieces. I am just sorry. You know, this too will pass. That might sound like a trite thing to say but it will. It’s sad that your husband has let his issues tear his family apart like this, what bothers me is I am not sure he understands the gravity of what he has done. I, like John, wish he could read this so he could see your heart but also the damage he has done. But if you say he is volatile, I don’t know. I really wish I could give you some magic bullet advice here but you know what, I don’t have it. There’s quite a lot of good advice on the thread but it’s knowing which one would work specifically for you and your family. Poster, all I know how to do is pray, so I pray that the hilt spirit would lead you to the right counsel. Amen. I pray for your son, that the comfort of the Holy Spirit would wash over him and heal him with a peace that is inexplicable. I pray that the Lord would also comfort you deeply, that his presence would be palpable in your life. Lastly I pray that beauty shall come forth from these ashes and that you will build an altar of thanksgiving regarding this situation in Jesus name. Amen.

    • POSTER

      September 23, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Tincan. I felt that and I love you.

      Woke up in tears and barely able to function at work. Thought to come back to this thread for updates and I read yours and it was like a wave of tangible support.
      This very moment I just love whoever you are.

  51. Tpepper

    September 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Dear Poster,
    I can understand the confusion and pain you feel right now. Wish I could give you a hug and tell you that everything will be alright. Like Tincan said, I also do not have any answers. All I want to do is encourage you and remind you of God’s unconditional love. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. I don’t think God is happy when You are in unhappy and even life threatening situationa. I do not think God has a big smirk on his face when your husband beats you. So be comforted in this love. The reason God tells us not to judge is that we only see in parts but He sees and knows the entire situation which makes only Him the righteous judge. May He grant you wisdom to do what is best for you and your son.

  52. Ovine

    September 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you so much for this piece. So apt and eye opening. I believe with all these efforts and tips, the young man would definitely be okay.

  53. john

    September 23, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I guess I am just a sucker for happy endings..why I said Igbo is because of the way his family members came to beg you..looks like what igbo families do but I am not also suprised you are yoruba bcos it is rare for an igbo woman to do what you did..I noticed igbo women rarely criticise their igbo men especially in a public forum.they deal with their problem within the family secretly without a third interference but they will be the first to join other women to blast other men of other tribe but when it comes to their men ,they remain silent..anyway that is my personal observations. .I wish u well in whatever you decide to do,I truly do…it is just that the way Nigeria is setup, it is not good for single mothers unless u have no atom of option or choice or very rich (like stella odua)..just consider what is truly best for u and the children…And also seek advise from your brothers,father or close male relative.. I dont believe in only seeking advise from the same sex(whether ur a male or woman) expecially from unknown women… i read where some radicals are telling you to tell ur son about his father behaviour, it always backfired no matter the intentions,he is still very young and it will cause alot of damage to his psychic..I dont care what thier father may tell them at the end of the day , u still have the upper hand..take care as I said earlier..believe it or not, I am rooting for you.

    • Nigerian

      September 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Err… “Igbo women rarely criticize their men especially on a public forum”
      You do realize that this cannot be regarded as criticism on a public forum right? It’s an anonymous post. Dig?
      I’m just reading all these your tribal generalizations and wondering how complex it’ll be to be in your life. Once I walk up to you and say I’m Aisha or Priye or Osaretin or Bola or Nneka, you’d have made your conclusions on my character right there?

  54. bree

    September 24, 2016 at 9:26 am

    There are happily married women today who have had their bad times in marriages,once faced with the decision to leave but forgave and stayed back, happy children who have watched dad and mum go through it all,kids who will root for their mums any day looking forward to paying her back for her loyalty and commitment in keeping them together as family, Divorce is like praying for the demise of a partner. Most of the people telling you to leave are happily married with kids,living with their husbands and kids.I’m an adult,engaged to a man brought up by his dad and step mum and I know he wishes it was his mum instead, regardless of his closeness with his step mum. I know physical abuse is a terrible thing,but with everything you said about him,leaving him won’t fix him,leaving him won’t make him any better,let’s not let the so much money we make rob us of our purpose as women,all these feminist ready to counter,you have turned feminism to what its not,read your bible and ask your mums. Who told you your dad was the best dad,ask your mums pls.it is about making it work.

  55. just in

    November 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I’m deeply sorry for the situation you are in now ma. my suggestion might not be perfect but i hope it helps.
    i believe you attend a church, why not speak to your pastor and know what his advice will be.
    your story is balanced cause it was not a blamer’s story. i dont know you but i plead with you to reconsider your decision. i know you’re interested in seeking help for your son but i think in helping his dad, u’ll be helping him in turn.
    If your husband really wants a united family, he should go for counselling so that the root of his problem be taken care of. let him talk about his past experiences was he a product of an abusive home. Atleast He should prove that hes changed before expecting to live again with you. if hes really born again, he should go back to renewing his mind with the word of God and related anointed books. Nothing changes a man like the word of God, constant meditation and obedience is a good therapy.
    it is said marriage is work.we need to work on ourselves to make it good with the help of God. No Marriage is perfect.
    From wat i understand from your story, his abuse isnt regular, though dat doesnt make it right. this means there is a possibility of change, if he works at it. But while He works at it seperation is adviced. Your leaving him for good will be justified if he has refused to seek help for change.His change shouldnt be by mouth but with working towards it. there are abusive men who changed for the better.
    As for your son hes scared of having a broken home. His depression could be out of his fears. I think telling him to talk to you about them might make him better and also like adviced earlier seeing a psyc might help…sorry i dont know any.
    I pray God gives you wisdom to act aright…God blesd you

    • Esther Asuquo

      February 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      GOD BLESS YOU “JUST IN” From the way Mum/Wife sounded, Husband is 80% ok but 20% is bad, no marriage is perfect you know,… reconcile with him under strict agreement not to touch you again and seek a marriage counsellor together. You might end up destroying your son’s/children’s perception about marriage and also create that parental bond gap and expose them to STEPMOTHER sagga, PLEASE MUM/WIFE, FORGIVE HUBBY ONE LAST TIME!

  56. alwayshappy

    November 13, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Sorry about the sexual and physical abuse you have experienced in life, i pray you enjoy a complete healing and transformation , with your scars becoming beautiful in due season.
    As per the relationship breakdown, all 3 of you are most directly impacted and the scars, and trauma will manifest in each of you differently. Your son’s behaviour is as a result of a combination of factors, some within your control, others not. So i will focus on the one within your control which you have touched upon or intend to get the ball rolling on. Timing and Results of any recommendation is not instant, but with all parties hearts , minds and actions in the right place everyone can go on their healing journey healthier , with no further damage or even causing collateral damage on future relationships. Y’all need therapy -individual and group , and you (the adults) must attend and support your son however ways the therapists recommends whether or not its aligns with your cultural, religious or societal values, as long as the common objective is – We are not victims, we are conquerors who though no longer in a marital relationship desire for each to conquer the demons or hurt or pain, because only then can everyone see the light at the end of the tunnel. During the therapy process, there will come a time when you and your ex will be in a emotional position to sit your son down and level with him, own your mistakes, ask for forgiveness openly and state your commitments to him ( the ones you intend to keep oh, no lying or over stretching) which hopefully you have made to God and you are now speaking before man, that will reassure him through this unfamiliar process and season, Best wishes.

  57. Mzphunby

    November 13, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Dear Poster,
    I hope my message isn’t too late as am just seeing ur post.. Normally, I would not comment but after reading comments I’d to say something from my point.
    Please, do not for any reason go back to your husband, it doesn’t matter if he’s 80% super good. Your son needs you alive than dead and forget relatives begging on his behalf, nobody can ever take care of your children like you would.
    I remember my dad beating my mum when I was in primary school with my siblings and I plus family friends watching and my mum crying for us to help her. The memory is etched deep down in my memory. Somewhere along the line, the emotional, physical, financial, verbal abuse got to us the children. I sincerely wish my mum had left, and I try as much as possible to tell er, she says she stayed because of her children and societal stigma but I sincerely wish she left.
    As a child, I definitely would never have understood because I loved my dad so much, he was my world. In fact when he wanted a divorce later on, I cried and pleaded, wrote letters to him, prayed and all but when I hear of what my mum had to go through and her career that she left I can’t help but pity her.
    Your son might not understand now, he might resent you but please explain in terms you know he’l understand why you have to leave. He’l understand in future and appreciate the fact that you left alive instead of leaving him motherless. Believe it or not, if anything happens to you, your husband will remarry and there’l be noone to take care of your children like a mother will.
    May God give you wisdom.

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