“How I wish he would leave and never come back! I should have known that he would never change. Before we got married, he never gave me a gift, and even on the few occasions when I asked him for money to buy a few necessities as a youth corper, he told me to make do with what I have. In my naivety, I thought he was just trying to see if I truly loved him or his money; little did I know that he is a miser. To think that I have wasted nine years of my life with this man and allowed him to turn me into his cook, cleaner, errand girl, laundryman (or is it woman?), baby machine, bed warmer, slave, all in the name of marriage!”
I met Kunle while waiting to be mobilized for the one year National Youth Service Scheme, NYSC (as it is commonly called in Nigeria), and he wasted no time in proposing to me three months down the line – just the week I was going to the orientation camp. I felt happy and fulfilled, as I have always nursed the idea of marrying immediately after my first degree; little did I know that I was making the greatest mistake of my life. We got married immediately after my youth service and Kunle told me that I should not look for job as he wants me to finish having our babies before thinking of a career. Foolishly, I did not think twice about this, as I have a distant relative that has been married for about twelve years and has never worked, yet well catered for by her husband. I thought that my Dr. Kunle will be the same as this my relative’s husband; after all, her husband is also a medical doctor like Kunle.
Kunle makes sure that I do not ever have a spare naira in my hands. He hardly brings enough to run the home, not to talk of my having some to take care of my personal needs. Kunle does not remember that I need clothes from year to year, except the few I got during our four children’s dedication service and the three for close family members weddings. Initially, I thought he was just trying to know if I am contented; I held myself from complaining to anyone for about four years. I became a recluse – did not want to mix up with anyone before they will know what I am passing through, so I shut myself away from friends, relations and old school mates. I turned into an old young woman – in body and in mind. Oddly enough, this has never bothered Kunle as he is not a very social person.
The more I tried to hide my situation, the worse my husband became; I had to confide in his elder sisters and they told me that their brother does not part with his money, all they could do was advise me to keep praying for him to change. They could not be of much help to me as they were both struggling to meet the needs of their immediate families. I thought about looking for a job, any type of job, but my husband refused. He verbally abuses me in front of the children and I am just tired of living; no, I am tired of seeing him. My poor parents cannot understand why I cannot send money to them or take care of any of my younger ones after all their struggles to see me through school as their first child. These nine years of our marriage has been sheer hell. Are you still wondering why I want him dead? I want to be free; I want to start living again, how I wish I can turn back the hand of the clock. My so called husband seems to have been sent by God to punish me for some sins I committed in my other life. Do I damn the consequences and walk out of this prison? Where do I go from here? Fresh and experienced graduates are finding it difficult to get a job in our saturated job market. What hope do I have of getting one if I leave him? I cannot go back to my poor parents. How I wish this is just a dream!
This is the lamentation of a young wife. Some men seem to derive pleasure in ensuring that their wives beg for the basic things that they can afford to give them; it makes them feel like ‘real men’. As a man, do you know that you make it harder for your wife to fulfill her God-given role as a wife, mother and Christian when you make her bitter? Instead of her asking heaven to bless you, she uses her tears to implore heaven to rain down vengeance? You cannot be your wife’s no. 1 enemy. Seek for forgiveness…from her first, then God. Remember, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”, 1Timothy 5:8.
A lot went through my head on the day I heard this story – mixed emotions. I pitied the young woman who felt so short-changed by both God and her husband. I felt/still feel her pains. I thought about her young husband, who is totally unaware that his wife wishes (probably prays) he should die. I remembered some tragic stories of husbands or wives that killed the other that made newspaper headlines in the past. I kept thinking of this couple alone in their home and what could happen in an insane moment – hoping that it will not be another sensational newspaper headline. God help us.
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