“Some things are only real if you believe in them” Unknown Please follow the story
“Despite these unseen hands which I would love to term ‘excuses’, there is no justification whatsoever for domestic violence.” Dupe Bodadoye
In the wake of news of domestic violence all around us, we have been made to understand that there is a monster in us all.
Many have spoken and are still speaking about badly raised sons, who end up becoming husbands to some people’s daughters.
Men in recent times have been at the receiving end of the bashings. Things we see, things we hear and things we know, have made a lot of men truly guilty of domestic violence or marital abuse. While we are busy casting stones at the men, we somehow forget or omit the fact that there are some very quiet and unseen but powerful forces contributing to the bad behavior of most of these men. They are not usually held responsible when the cases of domestic violence are reported but the power they wield can be likened to those of god-fathers responsible for certain things we see in our political spaces.
A Yoruba adage says, “When an insect is dancing majestically over a river, its drummer is underneath that river.”
I would like us to understand that no society or family teaches or supports their daughters to become violent wives. Most daughters are raised to be loving, caring and submissive wives; therefore, wives who indulge in domestic violence, do it on their own and for reasons best known to them but the same cannot be said of abusive men. As we all know, men are never encouraged to endure an abusive/violent wife but it is the women folk that are always encouraged to endure and stay in abusive relationships ‘because of their children’. With most abusive men, a whole lot of unseen hands are most likely in it.
Who are these people and how do they empower, control and embolden these men?
- Mothers: The joy of every mother is to see their children become successful in life. Mothers are amazing. From pregnancy to child birth to nurturing unto adulthood, mothers are priceless and worse still if she has to do it alone. A mother sacrifices her life to bring forth another life. Many even sacrifice their careers to ensure their children are well taken care of. I could go on and on about the sacrifices and love of a mother but whenever God has helped a mother to raise her child(ren) into adulthood, then she should understand that the child has a mind of his own. A lot of mothers have been through hell and back and have endured all sorts of abuses because of their children and not a single one can call it a pleasant experience. Now, when these mothers have sons, some of them see their sons as ‘revenge tools’. The problem is that the revenge is not usually directed at the ones who treated them badly but the innocent women coming into their sons’ lives. When a woman holds on to her son and insists that no other woman other than herself can enjoy her son, then she becomes an abuser by proxy. As a mother, if you are manipulative and have mastered the art of creating problems in your son’s home and constantly making his wife uncomfortable in her home, you are an abuser. It is often said that manipulation is one of the many traits of a narcissist.
A good mother uses her experiences to guide her children and helps them to do better but if as a mother, you want to be in control of your son’s home, you are an abuser. When a man is said to be tied to his mother’s apron string, I make bold to say that the tying was not done by the son but the mother.
Live and let live! You have lived your life, allow him to live his life.
Some go as far as sowing seeds of violence in their sons’ hearts rather than helping them ensure that their sons’ wives don’t go through the same unpleasant experiences they went through. Some even encourage their sons to help them beat or punish their wives because she ‘offended’ them.
A home is a place of comfort and rest, don’t contribute to turning it to hell. Your son’s wife is not your rival but the one by whom your son’s life gets favored.
If you don’t let them have peace and joy in their home, you also cannot have it. It is the basic law of Karma.
- Siblings: As a brother or sister to any man, you should learn to respect boundaries. A sibling is one with whom a person grows in the same home or shares a parent while a spouse is one with whom a person builds and shares a future. Any sibling that disrespects his/her brother’s wife is an abuser. Some siblings have turned to direct home breakers by causing and supervising the destruction of homes. As a sibling, you should love your brother’s wife as you would love your brother. When you see your brother’s wife as a rival or a nobody and you begin to create problems for her, you are an abuser. Every time your brother fights his wife because of your lies or bad behavior, you are an abuser by proxy. When you encourage your brother to beat his wife, you are as guilty as the one doing the beating. Any sibling that threatens his brother’s wife is a narcissist and an abuser. It is often said that “a child that says his mother will not sleep will also not know sleep.” This is because as an evil doer, all your thoughts are filled with evil, sowing seeds of discord and thinking of your next line of attack while your attention is shifted from things that could have made your life better. Even God says, “There is no peace for the wicked.” (Is 48:22)
Growing up, we have had cause to see such siblings at one point or the other and one can say for a fact that their lives are not better than the ones they ‘destroyed’.
Don’t be the reason a home is destroyed. Stop the abuse!
- Sidechicks/Mistresses/Concubines: These are women involved in sexual relationships with a married man and taking his attention from his wife. I term this as ‘a woman’s inhumanity to her fellow woman’. It is often said that “women are the enemies of women.” When you indulge in such an amorous relationship and a man is maltreating his wife because of you, you are an abuser. When a wife is in pains because all her due benevolence is lost as a result of her husband keeping you as a side chick, then you are an abuser because you are busy robbing another woman of her joy and rights. Afterall, we know that a robber is a criminal. Such men are distracted, they see everything wrong with their wives but not themselves. Some even go as far as using voodoo on the men. What is visible to outsiders is the man battering his wife and the man is accused of domestic violence, whereas, the real culprit is unseen as she does her own violence by proxy. If you are a side chick, you are an abuser.
- Extended family members: These are uncles, aunties, cousins, nephews, nieces and some others that can only be identified by the family tree. A lot of times, because of relationships with these set of people, some men open the doors of their homes to them and these people take advantage of these relationships to be abusive. We see husbands behave badly to their wives because of these relatives and the husbands are accused of domestic violence. While the man is misbehaving, the ones that light the fires are busy fueling it. If you are such a relative, you are an abuser by proxy. They peddle rumours and false information about the wife with the intent to demonize her and the whole family moves their armada to her home to deal with her. This is where some husbands demonstrate weakness and allow their relatives to have their way so as not to be seen as choosing the wife over them. If you belong to this category of family members, you are an abuser.
- The Real Culprit- The Man: Many of the domestic violence cases we have seen or heard about have been perpetrated by men who belong to any, most or all of the following categories:
- An insecure man
- A jealous man
- A cheater
- A broke man
- An egocentric man
- A phony
- A wicked man
The Insecure Man: An insecure man is never sure of himself. He lacks self-confidence and security and a lot of times, mentally unstable. He never allows himself to be vulnerable enough to trust others, most especially his woman. He just can’t understand why the woman should be the one getting more attention and then feels threatened. This usually leads to domestic violence. For him, it is his own way of showing and telling himself he is in charge. An insecure man is more often than not, a very dangerous man.
The Jealous Man: Jealousy is a natural phenomenon. To an extent, it shows that he still has feelings for his woman but when he starts to get clingy, question her every move and monitoring her movements, checking her phone, e-mail, to know who she has been talking to, then he is a jealous man. He is that man who constantly makes a woman feel bad about herself so as to keep her to himself. He undermines his woman and takes pleasure in blowing issues out of proportion. He sees everyone as a rival, who is threatening his relationship with his woman. Such a man is also dangerous and has a propensity for domestic violence
The Broke Man: In a normal relationship, the man is seen as the provider. Every woman loves a man who is a giver. A broke man has no business managing a woman because he cannot meet basic needs neither can he earn a living. He’ll definitely be insecure and will misbehave. A man without any source of income to provide will drain a woman emotionally and financially. If he cannot handle the bills, he is of no use and if confronted, uses domestic violence as a means of escape to assume he is a man.
The Egocentric Man: All men are known to have their own ego, but when it gets to that level where a man has no regard for others, he is egocentric. He refuses to understand that his opinion cannot always be the ultimate. An egocentric man is a narcissist (read signs that you are a narcissist ). He is self-absorbed and lacks empathy. He sees himself as better than every other person and has a deep sense of entitlement. He is very arrogant and there is nobody he cannot disrespect. Any woman involved with such a man is in trouble as it is very difficult to maintain any meaningful long term relationship with such a man.
The Cheater: Cheating is one bad behavior taken quite lightly in our society. A lot of men believe it’s a male thing and they are entitled to it. A Cheater is a liar. He is very secretive and very slippery as he always has an explanation for everything. Men who indulge in it are the ones who would never tolerate it. They feel they have earned a right to cheat but they must never be cheated upon. A cheater is always the first to accuse his partner of cheating.
The Phony: A phony is a pretender. One who is never honest or sincere. He always claims to be who he is not and a lot of men have been able to get away with this behaviour under the guise of religion. Women are constantly advised to open their eyes and sixth sense as these set of men are on the loose. Many have fallen prey to such men because of their religious inclinations which put some sort of limitation on them and prevented them from seeing those men for who they really are. Even when he is abusive, it becomes difficult to believe as everything about him is a lie.
The Wicked Man: Some men are just wicked for no reason. Any man who combines most or all of the afore mentioned trait is a wicked man. He is deliberate about hurting his spouse. He believes so much in doing evil and getting away with it. In a society like ours, many have been able to get away with wickedness because of the increase in delayed justice or outright injustice. A wicked man sees his partner as his slave or property with which he can do and undo. He usually has a long list of rules and regulations for his partner while he abides by none. He is the summary of domestic violence.
Now, imagine a man who has any of these 7 traits on his own and still has the influence of any or all of the afore mentioned unseen hands fully operational in his life. The signs are always there and they are termed ‘Red Flags’. There has never been a time and place in history that I know of, where going into bondage or slavery or even death is being celebrated with huge feasts or anywhere that celebrates marriage as such. Therefore, a love/marriage relationship is not intended for violence and while we understand that these unseen forces exist, I implore husbands to respect the sanctity of marriage and give a happy home a chance.
- Don’t be that man that uses his own hands to invite trouble into his home and later blame the devil
- If you are still tied to your mother’s apron string, your mother might have done the tying for whatever reasons best known to her; be a man and loosen it.
- As a woman, it is your God-given right to re-evaluate any relationship where you find yourself with any of these men
- It is better to leave and live, irrespective of what ‘societal judges’ will say
- To the unseen hands behind domestic violence, do to others what you would have done to you. Karma is real, alive and active. Whatever you sow, you must reap.
Lastly, despite these unseen hands which I would love to term ‘Excuses’, there is no justification whatsoever for domestic violence.
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