Staying in an abusive relationship is like dying gradually. Forget all the talk about praying for your abusive partner to change. You can’t change an unwilling partner. Nobody falls into fire when he sees one; so people know right from wrong.
In this part of the world, it is common to hear family members, friends, and religious leaders tell women in abusive relationships to stop running their mouths when their husbands are talking.
These women are blamed for provoking their violent husbands. They are told to carry water in their mouths so that they won’t respond when these men are verbally abusing them. They are advised to endure the slaps, kicks and beatings with love.
Some ladies look up to getting beaten by their men because of this terrible mindset of blaming victims in our society. I wonder why these men who beat their wives don’t beat their female bosses or their fellow men when they provoke them.
Some women will even tell you that if your husband or boyfriend doesn’t beat you then he doesn’t love you. They expect their men to give them corrective beatings as they are dealing with goats.
But lately, the tide of domestic violence is tilting to the side of women abusing their men. Last week, a woman killed a husband, cut off his penis and placed it in his hand. Such brutality is shocking.
What will make a wife kill her husband of three years in such a manner? What happened between them? Didn’t she have options? Is it by force to live with a man if you no longer love him? Is marriage by force?
As if that was not enough, a man killed his lover on her birthday for slapping him. They had three children together. I also heard another woman killed her husband with rat poison.
These are the questions running through my mind as I read that horrific story. Why are spouses killing each other these days? What is going on? When did marriage become a battlefield where issues are trashed with knives, poison and beatings?
These stories should be a wake-up call for everyone. Marriage is not by force. If it’s not working, take a walk before you kill your spouse or get killed in a fit of rage. Forget what your pastor says, he’s not the one in the abusive relationship.
They will tell you that God hates divorce. Does God love beatings and murder? Does God hate divorcees? Does God love people being killed all the time at the hands of people who claim to love them? God gave us brains for a reason, we should use our heads.
No man or woman is worth dying for. Nobody is worth going to jail for and no one is worth facing the hangman for. People should have it at the back of their minds that marriage is till death do you part and not till your partner kills you. If it becomes life threatening, run for your dear life.
Nobody should stay in an abusive and violent relationship or marriage because you don’t want people to say you can’t keep a home. It is better to keep your life than die fighting to keep a violent partner. You won’t get a crown of gold if you are killed in abusive relationship. You are the big loser.
One of the reasons you shouldn’t stay in a violent relationship is because it eats away at your self esteem. You start to justify the pain your partner is causing you. You start thinking you are the cause of the abuse and this is not true.
Staying in an abusive relationship is living in fear. You are constantly asking if your actions will make your partner angry. You don’t have peace. You are always jumpy and that is not the best way to live life.
While you should put your partner in consideration while doing things, you shouldn’t fear them. You shouldn’t be afraid if your actions would put them off to the extent of earning you slaps and beatings. You are dying slowly.
A good partner takes care to respect his or her beloved, but doing something out of love is not the same as doing something out of fear. Let no one tell you that relationships are built on fear of your partner, that’s a big lie.
There’s no doubt that relationships take work, but that work has to come from both parties. Relationships are about coming together through love and understanding, and that doesn’t happen by dying to keep your partner by your side. It happens by understanding each other and seeking a solution that gives both of you peace of mind.
You shouldn’t stay in an abusive relationship because in such a relationship, you are constantly being monitored. You are not allowed to be yourself. You are told who to befriend, where to go, what to do and what not to do. You can never be your true self with an abusive partner.
Staying in abusive and violent relationships can cut your life short at any time. It is like playing hide and seek with sudden death. One blow or kick in the wrong place can send you to the great beyond in an instant. One deep cut in the wrong place can send you to your creator in minutes.
In an abusive relationship, you never get to explain yourself. It seems like your partner is always doing the right thing while everything you do is wrong. There are times you are sure you had good reason to do what you did and your partner thinks otherwise, but when you explain yourself, they cut you off or say you are making excuses. You don’t need to stay with such a person who doesn’t listen to you but expect you to understand them. You are being abused.
Abusive partners make threats and break your things. This is not normal behavior and it’s never justified. No one ever has cause to break or threaten to break their partner’s belongings. Expressions of anger like this can be categorized as an abuse. It is a violent way for one to assert control through force and intimidation.
Men, if your wife or girlfriend threatens to kill you or stab you, don’t take it lightly. Don’t laugh it off claiming she’s a woman who squats to pee and she can’t do anything. There is nothing as dangerous as an angry woman with a weapon, underestimate her at your own peril.
Staying in an abusive relationship will make you doubt your sanity. When you speak up about something hurting you with the hope that you both will finally reach some sort of understanding, your partner tells you that you are wrong and shut you down immediately.
When someone isn’t willing to swallow their ego, they will deny everything in their desperate attempt to save face. This known abusive behavior is called gas lighting and it has no place in a relationship of any kind. You don’t need a partner who does that to you.
You shouldn’t stay in an abusive relationship or marriage because nothing you do is ever good enough. You really try to give your best, but you still fail your partner nearly every single day. You have worked so hard to be a better partner, but every issue in your relationship gets pinned on the things you are or aren’t doing.
This isn’t right. A partner is meant to be a constant source of love and support. Love is encouraging, uplifting, and hopeful. It’s not about one person rising above the other because, if one partner goes down, the whole relationship falls down with them.
In an abusive relationship, blame and anger eventually destroys the people in the relationship. Don’t listen to people telling you to endure for the sake of your children, they are not the ones getting abused and you shouldn’t consider their lame advises. When you die in the hands of your partner, they will still blame you. So, choose your life.
Re: when to leave a relationship
Kate, I am beginning to get worried for you. Is it not possible for you to seek ways of bringing peace in a home or between a man and a woman?
Surely, sincere efforts of talking things over can restore peace in a home. This frame of mind of always heading for separation is destructive.
Even if your views are dictated by a personal experience in marriage, a sustained peaceful move will help matters. Try toeing that path in your advice to couples particularly the womenfolk. -Ken, Awka
I love your column! Let’s just say my Saturdays are incomplete without it. You talk about real issues plaguing relationships and lace it with humour. You have me glued to the paper every Saturday. It saddens me however to see the many negative comments you get. It’s high time those haters realize that you are here to stay. -Ella Enekaih
Great Kate, Kudos! When the roll call of people who have contributed positively to relationships is released, your name must be there. Were Jesus Christ to be present physically in our times, He would have approved your rare writings. We pray that you remain focused, as you contribute to building homes, marriages and relationships. -Tony, Umuahia
Your write up was a classic on how not to advise or write for public consumption. If your points are taken to the letter no relationship or marriage will stand. -Emeka Odoh
Is it only men that cause problems in relationship? Why don’t you also tell men when to leave a relationship? Why are you one sided?
A strong and a good woman never runs away from marriage, she will stay and fight to put things in place if things are misplaced. That’s what a good woman does. A good woman will not run away from her home because she’s not a coward.
Marriage is more like a death sentence. It is for better, for worse till death. Such an oath is not for jokers. Running away may seem fine but it’s the children that will suffer the consequences of such action because broken homes always affect children negatively. Only those who enter marriage looking for physical beauty, money etc end up in violent relationships. -Isaac Bestman
Kate, don’t you believe that prayer has the potential to change a bad relationship? If I abandon my partner because she’s not measuring up today, what will happen if my next partner behaves the same tomorrow? –Pastor Ejike Chukwu