The unlikely victim

She told me her husband cheated on her, he abused her physically and emotionally and has lied and kept secrets from her, in fact there is nothing he hasn’t done to frustrate her in the marriage, she said it all started few months after their wedding. She can no longer continue, she wants a divorce. I processed the barrage of allegations for a moment and asked her why she thinks the man did these horrible things, she said she had no idea, but that he slept out the day before and that is the last straw, she said she was waiting for him to come home and meet her, that she was going to break everything in the house including his head before she leaves him. This obvious sign of violence immediately aroused my suspicion, coupled with the fact that I always like to hear from both parties, I insisted on talking to the man, and his own side of the story was shocking, the cheating she alleged was false, she had accused him just to have enough grounds to cause problems as usual, she had very deep rooted self esteem and anger issues. This man had endured serious abuse from his wife, she attacks him at will, beats him up knowing he will not retaliate for fear of being labeled a woman beater. She cheated on him severally, emasculated him and trampled on his self esteem, he had no confidence, he was completely subdued. He begged me not to intervene, he wanted her to go ahead with the divorce so he can be free. He was completely terrified of her. 

What this couple is going through opened my eyes to an aspect of marriage that has not been given the attention it requires, male abuse and female domination. The woman above systematically abused her husband, while masking her actions to look like she was being emotionally abused. I was fooled, I already took sides with her until my fifth sense prompted me to talk to the man when I sensed there was more to her story than she was willing to reveal. The man was guilty of infidelity as accused, bad and unacceptable as it is, it is obvious that he was forced into another woman’s arms by his wife. He told me in confidence that his problems started immediately after marriage, out of nowhere and for no justifiable reason she started accusing him of infidelity, she accused him of lying and keeping secrets and will attack him at will without provocation. He insisted that cheating for him was something new, he only indulged when he made up his mind to leave the marriage. Just like I have said in the past, one of the primary causes of infidelity in marriages is inadequacies at home, it could be emotional, sexual, emotional or physical abuse, lack of care and companionship. Once you leave a vacuum in your marriage, you are unknowingly inviting others to fill it for you. There are people out there, male and female who are waiting for the opportunity to help you fill that vacuum at absolutely no cost to you. 

Emotional and physical abuse of husbands and boyfriends is as rampant as the female version. It appears rare because the fear of being branded weak prevent these men from coming out to complain like the women, they endure the humiliation and pain quietly and alone, unable to discuss it even with close friends and family. The abuse is extremely difficult to detect, the wife most times deceptively presents herself as a victim, these covertly cantankerous and violent women appear docile, submissive and civil; an outward appearance used to camouflage the she devil they are at home. Our bars and nightclubs are filled with married men of all ages who are terrified to go home after work because of the terror that awaits them there. After a hard days work everyman expects to be welcomed like royalty into his house, loved and pampered, given a conducive environment to unwind and reenergise for the struggle the next day, regrettably most men have to sneak into their own houses late at night to avoid the verbal bombshell and/or physical abuse their wives mete out to them on a regular basis. Some of these men are seriously depressed and have taken to alcohol and hard drugs to numb the pain and shame of the abuse by their wives. Some become easy prey for other women who will take advantage of the man’s weakness, show him the love and respect he so desperately needs and become wife no 2, further complicating the man’s problems and his steady march to an early grave.

I have seen a situation where a highly placed and respected man in the society is reduced to nothing by his wife, the velocity of the venom that spews out of this woman’s mouth against her husband is capable of bringing down a fully grown elephant. Every day the man is subjected to ridicule in front of his kids, friends and extended family, he is verbally thorn to shreds, called unimaginable names. His ego and well earned self esteem demolished by a bitter and rancorous woman whose only mission in life is to bring him down. Yet she will be the first to tell you how she has been emotionally abused by her victim. The most painful part of this is that he is one of the good ones, a responsible family man, who has provided adequately for his family. He has had to endure this trauma to avoid the embarrassment of a broken home in a society where he is so highly respected. 

Verbal abuse and emotional blackmail are the most frequently used system of abuse against men. Some women are impossible to please, they are ready to tongue lash their husbands even in public, sometimes for the flimsiest reason. Some go further to attack their husbands physically, others use sex as a weapon to control and punish him. The worst group attack the man when he is financially incapable of providing adequately for the family, on a daily basis he is reminded of how he has failed to live up to his responsibilities as the man of the house. In order to further emasculate the man, the woman may become openly promiscuous using his inability to provide as a cover to be who she has always been, wayward and irresponsible. If under these conditions the man dies, irrespective of what the doctor or autopsy says, you are solely responsible. Like I tell men who abuse their wives, the day of reckoning will come and you will pay for your wickedness here on earth first and then for eternity in hell.

High blood pressure among married men is now like getting a headache, it is so rampant that one begins to wonder if being married automatically activates high blood pressure. Young and middle aged men are dropping and dying everyday from what is generally regarded as heart attacks or strokes, assumed to be as a result of stress. What has not been looked into is the source of this extreme stress. Men are emotionally weaker than women so it may not be unrelated to their circumstances at home, it will be difficult to survive a hostile work or business environment and a volatile home at the same time. A man exposed to this situation on a daily basis might not make it past the age of 40 if not properly managed. I encourage any man facing this issue to immediately speak out and seek help, your life is more valuable than the self esteem you are trying to preserve, while life is not replaceable, self esteem can be rebuilt. Keeping quiet and suffering in silence won’t make the abuse stop, it will only encourage your abuser to continue until the inevitable happens – Sir Stanley Ekezie 

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