I have taken notice of some banter ongoing on social media about abuse in marriage, especially about a certain divorced couple whose husband is now telling his side of the story.
Sadly, the narrative is almost always skewed towards women being abused.
Whilst women abuse is true and perhaps even more prevalent, it is unfortunate that the Men's story has been completely silent and almost no one is speaking for Men - I am not surprised, do we ever get anyone to speak for us?
Many men get beaten and emotionally abused all the time in their marriages, I have friends going through severe and unbelievable abuse! Yet the records at the DOVVSU shows that almost less than 10% are reported.
The kinds of emotional manipulation men go through; sexual starvation, complete denial or sometimes restricted access of the man's family to visit his home, unrealistic financial demands and expectations from the woman, comparing the man to other men out there and using it as a basis to mount emotional and psychological pressure on him, etc. the pain some men go through in silence ehn, ah, it is absolutely mind-blowing!
Unfortunately, men are unable to open up for various reasons. It took a friend of mine an extreme rarity of courage and complete trust in me to finally open up to me on how he got insulted everyday by the wife and even got slapped, pushed, beaten, food and sex starved even though there was evidence that he provides regularly and sufficiently.
I had visited this friend at Danpong Clinic after he called me on distress for an emergency Bill to pay which he couldn't foot at the Hospital. When I drove there, he was in serious pain, holding his Scrotum and gasping for an ounce of sanity. I didn't have the time to ask questions immediately, so I just rushed to make the payment for all he will need and went back to him to assure him I have sorted his bills out, but had to leave for a meeting and will get back to him.
It took Kwaku, (yes that's his name and has given me permission to mention his first name, he is divorced now and having an amazing Life now), 2 months to finally tell me on the tennis court, what exactly caused his scrotum pains which treatment I went to pay for kn that sad day. The agony I met Kwaku in, at Danpong that day, holding his balls and crying in pain, I knew that it could never have been a natural pain resulting from any sudden illness; it must have been as a result of a use of force or an object thrown at him with such a high velocity to make that kind of painful impact.
Kwaku apparently had been hit in the scrotum by wife in bed that dawn when he only tried to play with the wife to get S3x. What was the cause of the wife's anger to have forcefully hit him that way? Kwaku's Mother had overstayed her welcome of 5 days, when in fact the Wife's mother had been living permanently with them for two years and Kwaku has been responsible for all her upkeep and medical bills.
They had dragged this matter for a few days and Kwaku for the first time, had mustered courage to refuse his wife's dictates to sack the mother, because he had missed his mum and because of work, hadn't had time to really fraternize with her well in the 5 days she had visited. From evidence adduced to me and all the chats I saw, it was a common practice that Kwaku will not get food and definitely not Sex anytime there is a disagreement resulting from the wife making a demand or request and Kwaku being unable or unwilling to meet it.
For the first time, he told me he wanted a side chick, I was shocked, not because it is something that is past mere male mortals, but because I know him to be the loudest on the tennis court about sanctity and fidelity as the most important virtue in marriage. In fact, what shocked me was that, because the wife was so confident that he would not cheat and was a faithful man, instead of such a virtue being an amazing blessing that the woman cherished and valued, she rather used it as a tool to further punish and oppress him. She knew he wont be willing to go and get orgxxsm elsewhere, so whenever there was a misunderstanding, or that she doesn't have her way, she stopped giving him S3x, and Kwaku would have to kneel down and beg for it, this had gone on for 6 months in a particular case, so much so that Kwaku resulted to porn addiction and masturbation, in fact he would open his laptop in bed and be watching parWN to masturbate and the wife will care less, put a pillow in between them and sleep off without bother.
I am someone who finds it very difficult to believe a one-sided story, no matter how convincing it sounds. I was not convinced by Kwaku's full account, although I knew the scrotum attack was real and true, I asked for proof and Kwaku surprisingly had catalogued all the issues in the form of chats and recording, when I asked him why he had done that; "BigG, you just asked me for evidence, which means you don't believe me. If I hadn't kept these evidences, how would we have progressed in this discussion when I have no proof and you have no trust also?" He retorted.
According to the chats and recordings which were dialogues I listened to, the wife was starving him of Sex for six good months, because of two awful reasons:
Firstly, she had insisted that the husband employed her younger brother in his big company and he had refused, meanwhile he had refused same for his own Sister because he had a policy of not employing family members, according to him, he had done it in the past and it didn't work. The wife insisted that her own brother had Masters Degree whilst his own Sister was a mere SHS graduate so the comparison of him insisting he wont employ his brother in law, was unreasonable and flimsy.
Secondly, the wife had insisted that she wanted to have unfettered access to all his bank accounts and company information which he refused. When I asked him why he refused, he said his Spirit was restraining him from doing so and wanted to pray about it for a while because he didn't understand why he was unsettled in his Spirit to go ahead, something he normally wont mind. He also said the way and manner which the wife kept insisting every time, gave him a sense of caution and concern to wonder why his wife wanted to know everything about his business and finances when they already have a well-funded joint account which is in full control of the wife and has never lacked resources to take care of the entire household.
Brethren, these were the issues, and my friend has been starving of Sex for six months leading to pornography and addiction to masturbation, he was so shy, embarrassed and ashamed that he wept in his Car when we were discussing this, after a very cheerful win of a tennis match.
This is just one of very many, in fact I have another friend whose wife threw a Jar of Flowers to hit him from behind because he came home late and the wife had gone to search in his car, and had returned to him with the allegation that she had smelt a different perfume in his passenger seat. When the wife hit him with the jar of flowers from behind, outside their gate, he didn't see or immediately know who was attacking him from behind, because there was no provocative dialogue between them, so he out of reflex and self defense turned and hit her before he realized it was the wife, the woman used some parts of the broken jars to cut herself and started screaming to neighbours to come and rescue her from physical abuse.
Indeed, he was arrested, the wife denied hitting him first and the Man had no evidence for otherwise, the Police believed the woman because there was evidence of cuts on her and pieces of broken jars in front of their gate. He was detained for a few days and the families came in to settle the matter, he was made to sign a bond of good behaviour.
2 weeks later, a house opposite his house, the owner is an ex-military man who had a far-reaching CCTV outdoor camera in front of his house, it fortunately extended to the front of this guy's house too. The man was doing audit and going through his videos and chanced upon the incident that had happened at his neighbour's house, they had all heard of the story and had blamed the man for abuse. Out of shock and guilty conscience, the ex-officer invited his neighbour to his house, apologized to him in such a remorseful manner, and then showed the footage to the Man.
To cut the long story short, the abused man said he had entered a 21 days Prayer and Fasting that God must vindicate him this time or he will commit suicide and he meant it. So he believed this was God. He took the CCTV footage, went back to the same police station to report the wife again with the evidence, the Police felt so sad for him, they went to arrest and detain the wife and the story goes on - families stepped in.
As I speak, they are divorced, the Man said he feared for his life. But guess what? He hasn't been able to tell any of our friends in our circle about the abuse story except me, all he tells everyone is, the marriage had broken down because of irreconcilable differences.
So, please, yes I condemn abuse of any kind, but it is a complete lack of empathy and total groping in oblivion of the silent, hidden, yet loud and prevalent reality around us of how Men are going through so much pain and all kinds of abuse but for the fear of ridicule, shame and sometimes for lack of evidence (since it is easier to believe woman abuse than man abuse), men stay silent and suffer in pain without help, not everyone has the kind of boldness of Kwaku to face life squarely with unpopular decisions when the circumstances call for it.
I don't know if you have observed, most times whenever a divorce happens, the Women are the first to speak out to the public, and they are very good at wrapping it up with emotions and very believable, yet one-side story.
When Tonto Dikeh divorced, she wrote a book, when Toke Makinwa divorced, she wrote a book, when Juliet Ibrahim divorced, she wrote a book. Very rarely will you ever find a man who divorced and came out first to tell his version of story, most times it is in response to what the woman will have first put out!
And oh, it is actually possible that the account of the woman might be absolute truth, but please, kindly do yourself good and be like King Solomon who in his wisdom, decided to apply the rule of Natural Justice by hearing the other side of an allegation that was brought before him. Do not swallow everything you hear or read from one party hook, line, and sinker, especially when they are very loud and persistent about it, find wisdom in hearing from the other party who might in all the drama appear to be quiet and less vocal about the issues being put out there by the vocal party.
Sometimes truth is naked and hidden, because truth is afraid that lies have been so decorated with the stars and honours of being perceived as truth.
I know the Men have almost no voices out there speaking for them, well, I decided to for once also put in a word for every Man out there going through any kind of Pain, I know its tough, because to even open up to close friends is so difficult, let alone to the world, but may God give you strength and justice, just as he used the unsuspecting cctv footage of a neighbour to bring justice for the man who was hit by the jar of flowers.
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