At 32, my marriage is seven years old. My husband and I had a courtship of two years before we got married. Admittedly, I knew during our time of courtship that he has a very volatile temper but, was under the impression that he would never extend it to me.
Twice I saw him beat up his sister for daring to challenge him. On one of such occasions, he seriously injured her. She was then staying with him. That incident made her to pack out of his house. Even at that, he still went to where she was staying with her friend to harass her for leaving his house. Fortunately, that friend had a police officer boyfriend who stepped in. He was made to write a statement that he would not come within the vicinity of where the sister and her friend lived.
His sister came back to live with him on the interventions of his mother who blamed the girl for being stubborn.
Maybe I should have taken these incidents as possible sign not to marry him, I nevertheless married him.
That decision has always come back to haunt me because I have become his new punching bag.
You won’t believe that the bestman who came into our hotel room to give him money presented to us by their friends, prevented what would have been an ugly incident on our wedding day. He made to slap me for being an hour late to the church for our wedding ceremony. He said I made him appear like a fool in the presence of everybody when he had to wait for me to arrive.
At first I thought it was a joke and told him it was his business to wait for me and my right to keep him waiting. It wasn’t until he made to slap me that I knew he was serious. I had to apologize to end the issue that night.
That unfortunately has been the pattern in our marriage. Any time he is angry at something or somebody he takes out his frustration on me. Even the kids are not insulated. At times, for minor things like the children playing noisily, he would beat the offending child mercilessly.
As a result of his attitude I don’t have friends. My siblings too keep their distance from my home. We only get to talk on the phone.
Recently we had a huge quarrel in the presence of his mother. Even though he was wrong, his mother blamed me for being too heady. She said I shouldn’t have raised my voice against him when he was beating our first born spilling water on the rug. There was no way I would have sat that out because the child was already bleeding from where the belt he was using to beat the child tore the skin. When I stood between him and the child, he continued beating me with the belt and didn’t stop until something in me snapped and I tried to fight back.
At the end of the day, the mother and our pastor who was invited by his mother to talk to me said I should go and apologize to him for being rude to him in the presence of his mother.
My children and I live like fugitives in the house. We are always afraid of doing anything that will provoke his anger.
I really don’t know what to do. A part of me wants to leave him but I’m scared. I have tried severally to get him to listen to my fears for our marriage and children but he keeps refusing. I’m exhausted from it all.
The decision to leave or stay is yours to make because at the end of the day, you are the only one who knows what you want from life and marriage for that matter.
But the truth is, you may not be alive to be mother to your children or be his wife if the violence continues unabated. One day, he may in his rage do something extremely violent that will leave you or one of the children lifeless. Only the living tells stories.
Another reason you should do something about this is because of your children. What if in the process of beating one of the children, he kills the child, what would be your story? You, not his mother, are responsible for the children. One of your duties as their mother is to protect them against violence.
Your husband is the way he is because along the line he may have witnessed his father beating up his mother. I say this because if it weren’t the case, his mother would have reprimanded him for beating up and injuring that child. That she appears not to see anything wrong with his constant display of temper against anybody who stands in his way means one thing: She too went through that at the hands of your father-in-law and therefore sees it as normal for a woman.
Unless a decision is made by you to protect your children from witnessing this kind of violence in their home, they too will definitely end up being violent. It is psychological. A child with this kind of background would find it difficult to behave any other way than what he saw his father do.
Try taking an introspective look into the future, would you be happy seeing your son beat up his wife the way your husband is beating you?
This is why you must not think about yourself alone. While you may be able to handle the violence; what about your children, who at their tender ages are already living in fear of their father’s temper? Can you imagine how difficult it must be for your children not to be able to play and be happy in the presence of their father? Already they are developing the same kind of psychological problem that their father has- a kind of melancholy that is very destructive.
For your children to grow up to realize their dreams, to be happy and fulfilled, something has to give way. They need a conducive environment to grow up as children, to make mistakes common with being children, without fear of being beaten to death.
Violence breeds viciousness which transforms the mind into an emotionless tool; the stuff that breeds mindless crimes. Is this what you want for your children?
It is for their sake you must act urgently and do the needful. A person unwilling to change cannot be helped. You have to go beyond what you have done so far if you want to be alive for your children.