Domestic Battery

Your relationship is fine until you see your spouse chatting away with his pretty co-worker or her handsome employer.  You are suddenly cold towards your partner which is noticed by him/her and before you know it, both of you are having a heated argument which could lead to physical violence. In my third year at the University of Lagos, I had this roommate that was frequently beaten up by her boyfriend. Oby gets beaten up to the extent she sometimes doesn't attend class for weeks because she's actually at the clinic receiving treatment. He does this purely because he thinks she’s not faithful. Very Callous! This is jealousy. Remember love is not jealous or envious. Love does not hurt. If you feel nervous or insecure in your relationship, talk to your partner so that s/he can try to control his/her behaviour.

Healthy relationships involve trust, respect and consideration for your spouse. A couple is happily married and they are even the envy of others then suddenly, the relationship turns sore. What do think might have gone wrong? I often wonder why a man would ever lay a finger on his so-called wife or girlfriend. Physical violence or abuse develops because of some factors which includes drugs, alcohol and childhood history of abuse. At other times some people are just aggressive by nature.

Frustration could also be another cause of physical abuse. I have never experienced such but remember it could happen to any one. You don’t know him until he starts to beat you up. Some people think it’s only the feeble women- people who can’t stand up for themselves that are physically abused. It also happens to the big and strong. The case of Rihanna was so different. I don't blame Chris Brown because she needed a rude boy, whips and chains excite her and she likes the way it hurts. lol. But seriously, women can be so annoying at times. I am not supporting 'wife beaters' or 'girlfriend beaters' but some guys can’t just control their anger and when they are pushed to the wall they act so stupid. This doesn't show maturity; no, it doesn't show responsibility. Those who beat up their wives or girlfriends are cowards! Because they know that women are the 'weaker vessels', some of them try shit with them. Your girlfriend or wife isn't your child that you can lay a finger on or maltreat- women are not animals that you beat when you think they are stubborn. You can't beat a stranger in the street, you can beat up your employee as an employer, you can't beat up your fellow employee and you can't beat up your friend because you think it doesn't show you are responsible....so, why beat up your wife?

Now, we've been talking about men physically abusing their wives/girlfriends. We all know some women can also beat up their husbands. Although, cases like these are very few but this is more annoying because the man would be so ashamed to tell anyone or report to the appropriate authority. They might not even believe him. it is even reported that Pop Star Rihanna hit Chris Brown, slapping him 'numerous times' before he allegedly beat her up.

What actually baffles me is that with all these 'beatings' they receive some girls still remain in the relationship. When you think the curtain is closing, then the show just began. It’s amazing what some girls can do for love. Remember the gist about Jay-z beating up Beyonce. So many people don't believe that rumour because Beyonce seems like someone who doesn't take shit and could replace a guy anytime she wants. For her, no guy is irreplaceable. But then again love makes people do foolish things. My former roommate is just one example.She said she can never break up with the guy. Isn't she crazy?! No, she's in love. There are so many Nigerian women in this situation who keep suffering and smiling like Fela would say. Maybe there are some women than need to be kicked, slapped, pushed, pulled or beaten just to be happy in their relationship because I don't really get it. Isn't Rihanna back with Chris Brown? And do you think that was the first time he actually battered her? Do you also think that would be the last? It's crazy!

People stay in unsatisfying and/or toxic relationships for a variety of reasons: fear of being alone, fear of change, the comfort of the familiar vs. the unknown, financial reasons, children, religious beliefs, etc. We tell ourselves 'it's not that bad' or 'things will get better' as a reason. Abeg, shay guy don finish for this world? Because e tire me ooo! Whatever reason you want to think of, I can't imagine myself in a relationship with a guy that threaten to beat me up let alone hit me.

Hitting someone is demeaning, disrespectful and completely opposed to the vows you took on your wedding day. It's opposed to the honour and dignity of your partner. Some men go as far as hitting their pregnant wives.They are just animals! Yes, your wife is transferred from the dominion of her father to your own dominion but why abuse your powers? If you know your woman would beat the hell out f you, would you think of raising your hands against her? These 'women beaters' do it because they know they would get away with it as long as the wife doesn't report to anyone because some of them actually threaten to deal with them more if they ever say a word about it. And these poor women continue to live their bitter lives with no one knowing. Take the case of Fredrick, that Nollywood actor who was arrested and detained over allegations that he tried to strangle his wife, bruised her arm and almost stripped her naked because she reported. Mrs. Aserome, his wife claimed he has always been abusive right from the University of Lagos where they both schooled. She said he had beaten her even in school but she thought it would stop and things would change. She doesn't even know why she tolerated it. According to her, she thinks it's because of love she overlooked everything. Even if a woman is wrong, beating her wouldn't resolve anything. You should just talk to her after both of you have calmed down. Your woman is not you personal property! The bride price you paid is worth nothing compared to her worth!!! You are supposed to be a husband, a loving one...not a dictator that can whip his wife because you feel she's done something wrong. Women are not punching bags or stuffed dolls. Any man who hits his wife/girlfriend doesn’t deserve his manhood.

Physical abuse in a home doesn't only affect the spouse being beaten up. Some women foolishly enter into marriage with an abusive man, erroneously believing that he would change miraculously; then they bear children and their children live in the fear of their abusive father. Funny enough, it is the marriage that was needed to unleash the monster you never saw in him. He was probably waiting for the day you would say 'I do". So many of these women would go as far as protecting their husbands by lying to the doctor who wants to treat them that they either fell down the stairs or they hit their head against something. So, some of them cry out when it's too late while others never get the chance to- by that time they would have made an exit from their fleshy bags. Physical abuse could cause severe damages. It can lead to permanent damages of parts of the body such as the ear, eye, leg or hand. It could also affect the abused psychologically, leading to fear of tension and hallucinations.

Battery has been a life-long issue, but the way cultures handle it, is now beginning to change- those whose tradition made them keep it under wrap are now beginning to discuss it openly. The only way out of an abusive relationship is to GET OUT! If you are already married counseling should be sought from parents, friends, doctors, religious leaders and health professionals because I don't believe in divorce. If you are not married, why stay in a relationship that you don't enjoy? You need to terminate such a relationship and help not to add to the growing statistics of abused spouses. Let go of small stuffs. Plenty of issues may bother you, but how you handle those issues determine the course your relationship takes. Do not provoke your spouse. Choose cool ways of convening your dissatisfaction. When your partner does something that bothers you, politely bring it up right then and there instead of waiting until you are mad about many other issues before you address it. You won't have to deal with a bulk of issues if you address them almost immediately. Always express yourself. Do not buckle up things within. Your spouse might not know you are unhappy with him except you tell hm. If you buckle up things, you are very possibly going to flare up over an insignificant issue. Communication is a major factor that affects relationships. Well, you may see yelling and screaming at each other as communication, but they would take you nowhere. Get yourself collected and discuss problems in your relationships rationally than being emotional and irrational. When you sort out issues in a calm manner, the probability that little issues would affect your relationship is very low. It's not all issues that are worth fighting over. Decide which one deserves a fight before you start an argument. Your partner would definitely do things that get on you nerves but you need to ignore some. Actually, consider if you are being reasonable and realistic before you start an argument. Nagging is never a good idea when it comes to dealing with issues. You need to strike a balance between the battles you choose to fight and those you choose to let go. Consider if arguing is going to get you anywhere. Don't bring up the issue except you can come up with something constructive that you think would change your spouse. Of course you must also consider if keeping quiet is worth it- will you be able to live with yourself if you don't speak?

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