by Eboh Thankgod
Making it to the end of each day is a thing of joy to every woman in any form of abusive relationship. To such women, while there is time for pain, healing has its own time to trickle on too. They try to get lost in that promise to themselves.
Marriage is not the same as dating or courtship. It is a different ball game altogether. Marriage is a serious commitment that stretches beyond the boundaries of both dating and courtship, sometimes it is significantly made obvious to the universe with the change in the title of the woman from Ms to Mrs and the ring that is evident on the fourth finger – as a sign of commitment or as chains in the eyes of some people. In marriage, you no longer sleep alone on your bed at night, someone else agrees to share that sacred space with the you.
Just days ago, I saw the picture and read the story of a woman, Ronke Shonde, who was freshly beaten to her last breath by her husband, an oil worker, Lekan Shonde. She was sent forcefully to the afterlife by the man who must have sold a vocal and priceless love to her in their days of dating and courtship. I saw that lifeless body of a woman who may have decided to stay in the marriage hoping for a change of behavior by her heartthrob. Her story has stirred up some other abused women to speak up in their little corners. Single ladies are now frightened as well as the single men. Everyone is terrified, hoping not to ever be in a terrible relationship. But not all this wishes will be awarded.
Sometimes, people don’t know they will find themselves in an abusive relationship until they are living it. No one wants to admit they are being treated harshly and letting it continue happening. No one wants to admit that things are worse and they need help. The abused women are hiding and trying hard to protect an image that constantly terrorizes their souls. They want to fight this gruesome maltreatment silently but silence doesn’t win such battles. Every man and woman comes undone. Inside everyone of them is a serpent trying to come out. If you let it out, it spits venom and causes harm but if you put it in perspective and contain it, you will last longer in the relationship.
Dating and courtship are periods of endless promises by the partners. The both partners fall head over heels for the other person. But not all of these promises will be fulfilled. Dating and courtship can be likened to the early days of the greens my mum and our neighbor were admiring while I was a child. The fresh young plants that appeared and was spotted that morning were tender and attractive like newborn babies. You know how supple and liplicking babies look like? But as the plants grew, their bark becomes hard, wider leaves and they begin to spread. That is how marriage is too. This is not to say that marriage becomes ugly as time ticks, no.
A baby doesn’t have poise yet they are admirable. So are those plants: the young ones grow into the matured ones that are consumed and vegetatively propagated to permeate life. Marriage is beautiful in all of its stages till deaths do ‘them’ apart. Every step of it has a lot to do with commitment, perseverance, understanding, maturity and letting go as well as ‘seeking for help in harsh situations that can cause death’. And it is not a crime to seek for help or leave an abusive relationship. It is never a crime no matter how your parents and friends advice you to fix it. Some humans are not fixable. Period.
Just like marriage is not a therapy for infidelity, prior to marriage, the partners involved should be as observant as the FBI. They should be able to sniff out certain ugly traits of their partner from their daily engagements or outings. If your prospective partner is fond of lashing out at a waitress in the restaurant while you are out for a treat, don’t take it that he is defending you. No. He will come to you with same attitude ones you trigger his anger too.
The person you are with should make you feel proud and happy. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of the way they treat you or others. And you should always feel safe and sound with them.
Also, you should never be ashamed to ask trusted people for help or to talk to someone if you feel unhappy about anything. Life is too short to be angry and scared.
We all know that when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. The abusive man does not find any value in you. Or he had trashed them and now flaunts the fruits of his ignorance on you. You cannot afford to live the rest of the long life that you ask God for in anger and pain. Remember that you own yourself.
Find a way to be free at last because this one life shouldn’t be jeopardized or gambled with.
Let him who has ear hear.
Eboh Thankgod is a 500-level student at the University of Port Harcourt. ‘I look, learn and take notes,’ he says of himself. He can be reached by email HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.