Have you seen the movie, “Confessions of a marriage counselor” or more recently “War room”? It’s good to watch the movies with your partner, they say. Why though? I haven’t come to the conclusion yet.
Have you noticed that there’s not one day, on social media, when you don’t find a horror story about domestic violence these days? So the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘has this always been the case or is it social media bringing these issues to limelight?’ Either way, the level of carelessness and giving to domestic violence is amazing, scary and horrifying. I thought marriage is about finding the bone of your bone and the flesh of your flesh – an agreement and consent between two adults to love and care for each other for the rest of their lives. My people say, ti iku ile o ba p’ani, t’ode o le p’ani. Meaning if the death within won’t kill you, none outside can. It’s in Yoruba language. I recall reading from the book of Psalms about eating and dinning with the enemy. The closest ones to us are the ones who hold the power to harm us the most, if we choose to ignore the signs. However, it has become disheartening when it is that special person who vowed to love and care for you, to protect and provide for you who turns out to become your worst nightmare. Worst still, the cause of your death. My bible tells me that there is one life, after which comes judgment. It’s just one life. Flee from all appearances of domestic violence. Can I shout this out loud? FLEE FROM ALL APPEARANCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE! How do we build a great nation when the foundations are now being shaken?
So what is domestic violence anyway? It is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. It is important to note that domestic violence does not always manifest as physical abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse can often be just as extreme as physical violence. Lack of physical violence does not mean the abuser is any less dangerous to the victim, nor does it mean the victim is any less trapped by the abuse.
I also advocate that you need to understand the peculiarity of your marriage. Watching War Room might not fix the problem. You need to accept that. The plot of your life and that story is different, ok? And you need to understand that the essence of watching the Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is not to boost a lazy man’s ego. It will not take away what is wrong with your marriage either. And just because it didn’t happen to your mother and her mother, doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t happen for you or vice versa (however applicable that is for your situation). And that’s the most important thing, knowing and appreciating the peculiarity of your marriage and situation.
So the churches tell you to keep praying and be patient when you ask for help. The society says it’s the norm. Your parents tell you it’s what they’ve also had to face. Your children need both their parents anyway. Your partner needs you to keep feeding his ego too and you? What do you need? You will constantly be pulled in all different directions until you summon courage to do what you need to do for you. Only the living can worry about what other people think, remember? Life will always go on, it doesn’t start neither will it end with you. You need to take care of you.
And of course, there are the additional barriers to escaping a violent relationship.
- The fear that the abuser’s actions will become more violent, and may become lethal if the victim attempts to leave
- Unsupportive friends and family
- Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances
- The victim feeling that the relationship is a mix of good times, love, and hope along with the manipulation, intimidation and fear
- The victim’s lack of knowledge of or access to safety and support
- Fear of losing custody of any children if they leave or divorce their abuser or fear that the abuser will hurt, or even kill, their children
- Lack of the means to support themselves and/or their children financially or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets
- Lack of having somewhere to go (i.e., no friends or family to help, no money for hotel, shelter programs are full or limited by length of stay)
- Religious or cultural beliefs and practices may not support divorce or may dictate outdated gender roles and keep the victim trapped in the relationship
- Belief that two parent households are better for children, despite abuse
All I can say is, after all that is said and done, your peace of mind and sanity with hard work is always the key to a fulfilled life. It’s not tenacity in concealing what’s not working. At the end of the day, you can’t even fulfill destiny in any unfavorable circumstances.
So, do you want to be useful for yourself and the society really or be wretched or even worse dead because you tried to keep up appearances and save face?
It’s not even a joke anymore. If we need to make a difference in the world, we need to be alive to do it.