I'm aware I'm not using the word 'Apologist' within the right context but that will have to do for the lack of a more appropriate word.
Some days ago I had a conversation with a close friend. Naturally I don't hear from my married friends as often as I used to before they got hitched. Sometimes I just let them be and occasionally check on them. This was the case with *Adeola. We got talking and a short while later she says "so you couldn't even check up on me, no wonder you don't know that last month I was on admission for three weeks".
I was surprised to say the least but this wasn't the interesting part of the story. Adeola's husband hasn't exactly ever been worthy of receiving the Hubby of The Year award but this time around he was taking his misbehavior to a whole new level.
For several months he completely neglected ALL his duties as a husband; sexual, emotional, physical, financial and physiological. Yet, even this wasn't exactly novel for her husband. What made it different this time around was his disappearing acts. He would leave the home for days without any explanation, sometimes it could be for a night, other times it could be for a weekend but the last time it was for the entire three weeks that Adeola was in the hospital. She and other family members repeatedly called him but to all he insisted he was busy. Eventually she had to source for funds for her hospital bills herself from family members. The doctors complained that for a woman who's not yet 30 her BP was way to high and she was obviously under a lot of stress. Well, naturally, considering the fact that in addition to every other thing months ago hubby began to deny her use of the car so she now had to take the buses, keke and okada with their young daughter and we all know how crazy things can be in Lagos.
So he comes back after three weeks and still refuses to pay his wife and kid any attention and in true Nigerian fashion a family meeting is called (Not for the first, second or third time BTW). Adeola expresses her grievances, hubby, headstrong as always says he has no comments and the next thing Adeola knows, not for the first, second, third, fourth or even seventh time, she's asked to apologize to hubby! Hmmm. For the FIRST time Adeola says NO CAN DO! No way! Enough is Enough! What am I apologizing for? What have I done? From day one he has been maltreating me and I have been apologizing even though I know I've done no wrong. I am tired of apologizing. How long do I keep apologizing? Isn't apology even an admission of GUILT? I've done nothing wrong for God's sake. And no, don't say it because I'm tired of hearing I should apologize so that peace can reign. Let peace not reign, isn't it better for there to be war just as long as we hash out the issues? I cannot continue to apologise and sweep things under the rug and suffer in silence while things continue to get worse.
So things in Adeola's home have been at a standstill and she says at this point, she has had enough, she's ready to walk away.
Adeola's story is just one of thousands. Just this year I've personally seen three blameless young women go on their knees and beg their husbands after being beaten by those husbands, one of them I wrote about in the This Life Isn't Exactly What My Heart Expected post. All in the name of "...Peace to reign". Peace at whose expense?
Adeola and some other women are tired of being treated like second class citizens in their homes, having family members come in to mediate and find a common ground but instead they come in and take sides with the husbands. Yes, asking the wives to apologize even when YOU know she has done nothing wrong is taking sides with her tormentor, sorry, husband.
I'm all for allowing peace to reign, my middle name might as well be Peace as I'm one person who's willing to stomach BS just so peace can reign but then to the best of my knowledge what happens in homes like Adeola's and several other Nigerian homes is plain injustice.
Of course this does not happen in all Nigerian marriages but I also know it happens in many, for all I know it probably even happened in my parents' marriage. We should compromise and let go out our pride and certain natural inclinations for peace to reign but at some point a line needs to be drawn. Wives, women are people too and as such their feelings, pride and dignity needs to be respected just as much as that of their men.
And after I read this, the reason is very simple; it's a man's world and men have egos. And we need to continue to massage that ego. Trust me I love men, I love my father and my brothers more than the very air I breathe but please, damn that EGO talk. Women have feelings and egos too!
I wrote this because I'm hurting for Adeola, and because I know I will one day be a wife too, I'm not a better person than the Adeolas of the world so I can't deceive myself into thinking I'm too good to have this happen to me. Just maybe if I speak out now even just a little difference will be made?