I am a feminist, and i do not apologise to anyone about it. All my life i have labelled men who beat their wives as evil men and scum of the earth. I have put them all in one box. I have never wanted to hear the other side.
Recent events have made me have a rethink, domestic violence is not always black or white, there are grey areas. My female cousin made me have a rethink.
My cousin, Kika is very pretty; Men have always flocked around her like flies. Her beauty always got her everything she wanted. In her final year in University, she met this very nice, jovial dude and before we knew it, she was preggers, so there was a quickie wedding. In four years they had three children. I just used to tease her and her hubby, Obinna to take it easy.
Early January 2017, she calls me crying that Obinna was always slapping her and she was sick of the marriage. I was shocked, because he did come across as a calm dude. She wanted to move out with the children back to her parent’s house in our hometown. I discouraged her and told her to come to me, at least for a week to cool off. I call Obinna and i have an angry conversation with him. My naïve self just felt, How can you be slapping this beautiful woman that has given you three children.
She moves in with her three children. Hubby does not mind, he feels it’s for a week, We all sometimes need a break in marriage. By the first week, i notice how untidy she is, she is in my guest room but her things always end up in my living room. Nothing makes my skin crawl much more than an untidy house. I am patient with her because i did feel that she had gone through enough already. By the end of the first week, she says she needs more time. We say okay.
She is now settled, and i started seeing her true colours. We have never lived together, maybe some random weekends during a family occasion. She would talk to my maid like a slave, and that hurt me very much, because my maid is a kind soul, she is slow but i like her and i could cope with her. Kika did not work, but she won’t do anything . She wanted my maid to also bathe her own children in the morning, i had to let her know that evening baths were okay, but mornings are tight. I have to get ready for work and get my children ready for school. We leave the house at 6.30am; i do not have time for extras. She also had a very foul mouth, she would abuse Obinna on the phone, calling him stupid and asking him whether he was a man!. I honestly felt like slapping her myself. I could not wait for her to go.
In all of these, Obinna never called to apologise, it was like we had lifted a huge load off his shoulders. He would come on Sundays and take his children out, but he never spoke of reconciliation. I had to call him one day and tell him to please reconcile with his wife. The only thing the guy could say was...’’You can have my wife, i dash you! ”. He also complained bitterly about how untidy and dirty she was, How she would spend hours on Instagram, but won’t take care of their children. She would also abuse him in front of the kids, and lots of times he would loose control. I knew exactly what he was talking about, but i pretended i did not understand, I just consoled him and told him i would talk to her to change. I could never agree with him, because i would give him more cause to leave the marriage. He promised to reconcile with her. Two weeks passed, Oh boy did not say anything again. I could not cope with Kika anymore, she was too much for me.
I had to call my Hubby to please talk to Obinna, man to man. He needed to come carry his family. He can’t abdicate responsibility to us. He promised to reconcile with his wife. Obinna thanked him for taking his family in and he strangely asked for one more week. I felt sorry for him but i wasn’t really sorry at the same time. This was his choice and they both had to make it work.
I had a long talk with Kika, she could not speak to her husband in that manner, otherwise she would continue to get slaps and eventually the man will run. He wasn’t a bad fellow, he provided for her and the children, as far as i could tell, she was well taken care of. She spoke about his cheating ways and all i could tell her was, not to bother too much about it. She had to fix herself and get a job or a business. She had too much time on her hands.
They had now spent five weeks in my house, Hubby was no longer eating in the living room, He would tell me to bring his dinner to the room. I felt so bad, because i knew he was uncomfortable, i started counting down. I would call Obinna and say things like “ Your children can’t wait to go back to their home, I told them you are coming on Saturday”. He did come to carry them that Saturday. After they left, hubby and i had a nice glass of wine. We were happy we had each other. Our marriage is no where perfect but we have mutual respect for each other. It is certain in my spirit that most men will give you a few slaps if you keep pressing that wrong button and disrespecting them.
Please note that, i am not in ANYWAY supporting domestic violence, Neither am i saying that women deserve to be beaten. If you are with a psychotic man who is emotionally abusive, or beating you and threatening to kill you or disfigure you, so no man will ever want you again. Please kindly leave. It is very unhealthy for anyone to be in that kind of relationship. You should never be afraid of your partner.
On a lighter note, Obinna did find a way out, He just relocated Kika and the children to Canada whilst he is here in Nigeria. I guess that’s how the marriage will work for them.