My name is Jenifer. I met this young guy while serving as an intern in a 500 fortune company. He was the talk of the office. Even though he was a director, he was highly approachable and amiable. He was smart, eloquent and God fearing…..at least that was what he made me and other people around him believe. This highly eligible guy began to take interest in me. I was taken aback. Me, a new graduate, an ordinary intern, catching the eye of one of the leadership team. I became excited and scared at the same time. Eventually he called me one day after work and asked me out. I agreed for I already liked him. He was a complete gentleman. No one in the office knew we were dating. I completed my internship and left the company. 8 months later, he proposed and we got married a year later.
It’s 2 years into marriage and my story has changed. The supposedly God fearing gentleman that I married now has changed his skin. He has turned into a beast that constantly beats, slaps, and hits me at any opportunity he gets. I have been turned into a punching bag. I thought he was a born again Christian but to my dismay, he lied to me about his relationship with God just to marry me. He deceived me. As a Christian, I was trained to stay with my husband through thick and thin, for better or worse. I am yet to speak to anyone about this because I don’t want to be judged and ostracized. My other friend that spoke out is going through hell right now. I am confused. What do I do?
This is actually a true story of a friend’s friend. I have changed the profession and name of the person. This is somebody’s reality.
I empathize with every woman who has been or is in an abusive relationship. It is an unimaginable situation that needs to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible. So much has been written about abused relationships that I do not want to water it down with a 900 word blog post. At the end of this blog post, I will provide a few websites that will give information on how to go about saving yourself from an abused relationship. The question I want to tackle today is the issue of when and whom to speak with when a woman finds herself in an abusive relationship.
Quite a number of women think speaking out about their abusive husbands is like washing their dirty laundry outside. Some even think they deserve the beating hence they keep quite. They try to change who they are and how they relate with their abusive husbands with the hope that he will change. I once listened to a talk show held at a church in Abuja, Nigeria (came across it on Facebook but I tried getting it again but couldn’t locate it) where one of the panelists stated she used to be married to a military man who used to physically abuse her (in her words, beat her). She said she deserved it because she was too confrontational and did not know how to control her mouth….. I was astonished to hear a woman in this age and time speak as such. Personally, I do not support verbal abuse of any man or woman. No. It is wrong. When a woman speaks to her husband in a condescending manner, my thought is that the man should learn to control himself and if the situation gets out of hand with the woman, a counselor should be brought in. Now if this still doesn’t work and the woman continues to have a verbal diarrhea, then the relationship needs to be weighed seriously. But the situation should not descend so low that the man will result in beating the woman.
Now to come back to the above dilemma, this lady needs help and should speak to a counselor as soon as possible. My suggestion is for her to come out of the relationship first then approach her church if it has a strong marriage ministry that is not judgmental. She can also approach her Pastor or the head of the marriage ministry if they are trained and qualified to handle such situations. The help of a professional realistic marriage counselor can also be sought. She also needs a good support system from friends (preferably one or maximum, 2 friends that are trustworthy). Abusive relationships have a way of killing self-esteem, confidence and motivation to live. It can affect all aspect of one’s life or even lead to death if not curbed or stopped. Abusive relationship should not be condoned at all.
For anyone that is going through a situation like this, the Lord is indeed your strength. I am providing a link here to another website where a detailed step-by-step has been provided by HELPGUIDE.ORG. Even though it is geared towards the American society, 90% of the information can still be applied in a generic manner. Here is another write-up I did last year with an NGO (Touchlink) that caters for women that have been in abusive relationships.
What do you think? When do you think a woman should speak out when she has been abused? Do you think she should stay in the relationship and patch it up because of societal pressure? Should she leave? How soon should she speak out. Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Do you know anyone who has been abused? Direct them to the link in this right up. May God bless all our marriages and give us the patience to manage our temper IJN……Amen!
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