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Charles Nwolisa: There’s No Prize for ‘Managing’ an Abusive Spouse

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“That man must be a very stupid man”. She said fuming.
“But mum, he is dead. Let him just be dead, not stupid too”, I retorted.
“Anyone jarey, he is stupid for not leaving that witch, you see how she has killed him”, she replied while checking the beans on fire.
Seated in the parlor with one of the dailies and a rechargeable fan blowing in my face after burying a plate of yam pepper soup with chicken, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was actually right.

Perusing through the pages of the paper, the story of Maryam Sanda, a nursing mother who killed her husband in his sleep, could easily jump out and smack you in the face.

“Just imagine. How would that young man’s mother be feeling now? See eeeh, no woman in the name of wife will kill any of my children”, my mum continued.

What would make a pregnant woman stab her husband in the chest and neck while he slept, because she suspected him of infidelity.
My mum’s anger wasn’t targeted at who should have been bearing the brunt of her vexation: the killer. It was focused on the man.

Her point is that he knew she was prone to violent anger outbursts, but still stayed.

Part of the article read, “According to close friends of the victim, the two-year-old marriage had been fraught with problems as a result of Sanda’s violent tendencies and hot temperament. Maryam had attacked Bilyamin before the latest incident, which unfortunately led to his death”.

It was after reading this part to my mum that her outbursts gained steam and she was right.

She was enraged and rightly so, but as African mothers have a knack for doing, ended up telling me a familiar story with happier endings.

In her words, “I remember the story of a young man, this happened a few years back. He was just three months into the marriage and was having an argument with his new wife when she stood up, entered the kitchen and grabbed a knife. Shocked, is to put it lightly. He left the house immediately. When she was calm, she called him but he was not having it. He didn’t come back home. A few days later, when he was sure she would be at work, he came with his brothers, packed everything that belonged to the woman including the wedding gift items to her parent’s house and dumped them in front of the house, began divorce proceedings and traveled abroad. Pleas from friends, families, relatives and even enemies to take her back met a brick wall. He loved his life more than marriage and rightly so”.

You need to have seen my mum telling the story with her village woman-educated woman mixture of Igbo and English and hilarious hand movements. Drama queen. But there is nothing funny about domestic violence. Spousal abuse is taking an upward trajectory and women are becoming major offenders, surprisingly.

Only last week, a wife stabbed her husband with a broken bottle in Zamfara State. The man is still alive but in a bad state, because the woman stabbed him several times and in different places. They had an argument and the next thing, she broke a bottle and charged at him.

Another incident in Owerri, where a wife bathed her husband with acid after accusing him of adultery. The woman had traced her 50-year-old hubby to a construction site where he was working before emptying the deadly liquid on him. He died.

How many men have endured abusive relationships but couldn’t voice it out because it would make them look weak. “How can an African man accuse his wife of beating him? He is not man enough”, they would say.
Love has made people stick to violent partners.

“Let me stay for the family” has made women stay with physically and emotionally abusive lovers.
“What will people say?” has led to more concealed bruises than even concealers can cover up.

“I pray for him. He will change” has led to more visits to the hospital to mend domestic injuries than to give birth.
Women are in abusive relationships and so are men.

No gender is violence-proof but whatever the case may be, never “manage” an abusive partner. I know you love love but love life more because, without life, you can’t love.

Photo Credit: Khosrork | Dreamstime

Charles Nwolisa is a Relationship Advisor and Writer whose self-styled 'lomour' articles infuses humour into love write-ups making relationship talks not as depressing and soul searching as writers make it look. Join in his adventure by ffl on IG: @bae.logic or visiting www.TheBAElogic.com.

18 Comments

  1. Loki

    November 29, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Oh, come on. What’s a little murder between two people who love each other? Which one of us hasn’t stabbed the one we love to death? Isn’t that like part of the vows we take during the wedding?Oh, it’s just me? Okay.
    As a society, we are both naturally and socially conditioned to “manage” bad situations. From School, to marriage, to jobs. Our elders tell us “just manage”, “nobody/nothing is perfect”, “just endure”; and my very personal favourite “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. Fellow inhabitants of the third rock from the sun, I put it to you this day that if your weeping is caused by abuse; please don’t wait for morning. Run tonight. Tell your family who is trying to make a manager out of you to come and manage your partner by themselves. Because if you die, the most that will happen is that BN commenters will type very furiously “He/She must face the full wrath of the law!!!”.This is Nigeria- Your murderous psychopath of a partner will get 7 years on manslaughter and that will be the end. Don’t stand for abuse;don’t tell anyone to manage it; and don’t manage it yourself.

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 29, 2017 at 1:16 pm

      Your sarcasm at first scared me. “Is this person serious?”, I thought. Reading further, I was relieved…lol.
      You have said my mind, we are raised to “manage” which has been a good thing and helped keep divorce cases to a minimum. Patience and endurance is key but when your life is at stake. Mehn, RUN.
      Thanks for the comment Loki.

  2. Mrs chidukane

    November 29, 2017 at 7:56 am

    To stay alive is more important than staying married.

  3. olorificent

    November 29, 2017 at 8:51 am

    whatever the case may be, never “manage” an abusive partner. I know you love love but love life more because, without life, you can’t love.

  4. John

    November 29, 2017 at 9:10 am

    He was just three monthsinto the marriage and was having an argument with his new wife when shestood up, entered the kitchen and grabbed a knife. Shocked, is to put it lightly. He left the house immediately.When she was calm, she called him but he was not having it. He didn’t come back home. A few days later, when he was sure she would be at work, he came with his brothers, packed everything that belonged to the woman including the wedding giftitems to her parent’s house and dumped them in front of the house, began divorce proceedings and traveled abroad. Pleas from friends, families, relatives and even enemies to take her back met a brick wall. He loved his life more than marriage and rightly so”……………………….—————-………….. I Love this..was reading this with a smile on my face…One lovely thing I like about this whole stabbing incident is the awareness it is creating for men ( especially the simps that love to defend women) ..to know that women(especially Nigerian women) are not as innocent and victimised as they love to potray themselves and also watch how they love to justify themselves…that is my only happiness..infact, I praying that maryam is let scot free..for the bigger picture to unveil itself.

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 29, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Hi John. Women are actually victims and their cries and voices should be heard but this article goes to show that even men are suffering too. Gender violence is not a menace affecting only women but men alike. It needs to addressed like yesterday. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Koko

    November 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

    “because she suspected him of indefinitely”

    BN sweetie, is your proof reader on vacation? Amend to infidelity please.

  6. Engoz

    November 29, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I thought ‘divorce was not an option’. And it’s only feminists that encourage divorce. Lmao. Or go on a rant on how feminists are destroying marriages. Why are you people changing tune now? Una no wan stay in your marriages and die in it again? You for stay in the marriage for the ‘kids’ and let the abuser design your body into 87 knife stab wounds and present you to your maker like well chopped up meat. So it had to take women killing their husbands for day to break, for society to wake up? There were series of Nigerian women that got chopped into meat over the last decade. But it was not enough for society to go on some ‘introspection’ on the archaic rules of Nigerian marriages and start talking about leaving marriages. I’m not stupid to believe that all these uproar is about domestic violence per se, it’s really about the sex (male) who got killed. Bullseye!

    • Charles Nwolisa

      November 29, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Turning this discussion into a gender thing is very sad. No woman or man deserves to endure physical turture in any relationship. Finish.
      Thanks for dropping a comment.

    • Continue

      November 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      @Engoz you dey show your true colors.

    • Jummy

      November 29, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Aunty calm down! You sound very bitter to the point that you totally missed the point of the article.

      Don’t worry I’m in a good mood today so I’ll reiterate it for you in much shorter means: VIOLENCE IS NOT GENDER SPECIFIC. IF THERE’S VIOLENCE LEAVE.

      I na nu?

    • Engoz

      November 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      @Charles

      There are many angles to this discussion and GENDER is definitely one of it. Society’s aversion to DIVORCE (divorce-which has been credited to ‘feminist’ ways) is also one of it. To excuse gender is fraudulent. Of course, no woman or man deserves to endure physical torture in any relationship, but your society has always socially engineered women to ‘manage’ these situations, while the male is given the flexibility to leave such situations. We must all admit to this deception, before we can have genuine discussions. As for now, it took male deaths for men like yourself to be concerned about ‘domestic violence’. That I find ABSOLUTELY pathetic.

      @Jummy

      I doubt you know what bitterness. If you are anti-educated discourse, this board is not for you. Thanks!

    • Loki

      November 29, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Maybe you guys should try to understand where Engoz is coming from before condemning her as evil. As fair as we would like to be, the reality is that when it comes to domestic violence against women, the feedback has always been “manage it”. Our major religions have even historically taught that it is okay for a man to beat his wife…to an extent. The term “rule of thumb” historically came from the “christian” admonition that you beat your wife with a stick “no thicker than the diameter of your thumb”. It has always been fine. Islam has its own equivalent. I understand Engoz’s pain that now suddenly, because men have just had a tiny taste of what they have been dishing out and expecting women to take for millennia, everyone is now suddenly shouting “walk away”. When we used to advise women to walk away from abusive situations, everyone branded us as bitter, angry, lesbian feminists out to destroy the sanctity of marriage by advising women to pack up their marriages; but now the mantra is walk away because of less than 5 cases of violence against men that have become public. It’s unfair. Clearly the value of our lives are not equal and anyone has the right to be angry and bitter about it.

    • Cmbo

      November 29, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Engoz actually has a point here.

  7. Protocol

    November 29, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    come to think of it. Just last week the world celebrated the international day of violence against women. what an absurdity. these days it is women that kill men, and just get a tap in the back from courts who can at best give them 7 years behind bars. these women are cowards, waiting for the man to sleep before unleashing their mayhem. these days i lock my room when am asleep, you never know which text even by mistake is coming into your phone.

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