Immediately The Third One Landed, I Knew Our Marriage Was Over

by user_1714372829

He has beaten me thrice since we got married three years ago. The first one was a slap. He slapped my mouth because I talked back when he was talking. When I tried defending myself, he picked a wooden ladle and threatened, “Talk and let me hear you. You’ll see if you can own your mouth again.”

I was stunned. While I stood shaking and covering my face with my hands, he lectured me on why I shouldn’t talk back when he talks. “I’m the man of this house. I’m not going to sit there for you to disrespect me. When I talk, you don’t talk back!”

I stopped cooking and quickly ran to the bedroom. I locked the door and cried. I couldn’t believe the man I married just a year ago could hit me or treat me like I was his child. I didn’t see it coming. He showed no sign of aggression or fighting. He had always been sweet and forgiving so what changed? While I was in bed crying, he came to knock. It wasn’t a forceful knock. He spoke gently, “Eme, please open the door let’s talk. I’m sorry, OK. I overreacted. Let’s talk about it.”

We talked. We thrashed it out. He promised he would never do it again. I forgave him easily because what happened was outside of his character. He showed remorse and even promised me a gift—a gift that never came.

The second time, he used a belt. I was three months pregnant. I woke up in the morning cleaning and washing. He saw me go up and down and didn’t say anything. I was in the dry line hanging the washed clothes when the first whip happened. Before I could turn my back to see what was happening, wham! Another strike.

“Are you a whore? Why will a married woman wear such a short dress and be walking around the compound? You want to be rapped?”

“Ah!”

He threw his hand again but this time he missed. I quickly ran inside and locked the door. He came aggressively asking me to open the door so he could deal with me. I didn’t open. I stayed in quietly, trying to calm my nerves so I don’t lose the pregnancy. I couldn’t even cry. I was sweating. Quivering out of fear. He kept shouting. I picked up my phone and called a neighbour to come around. She was the one who disarmed my husband. She knocked at the main gate and my husband put the belt down and put his emotions in check before going to see who it was.

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We lived in a self-compound house with walls separating us from our immediate neighbours. No one could see us when we were inside the compound. I could go naked around the compound and no one could see but he felt I was too exposed and the best solution was to beat the spirit of exposure out of me.

Again, when he calmed down, we talked about it. He blamed it on life and the pressure he had been going through. “George, I’m pregnant. Didn’t that scare you? That we could lose the child?”

He held my knees and said sorry. He told me he was having issues at work which had affected him emotionally. He wasn’t stable because life was dealing with him unfairly. I knew he was lying because if that was the case, he would have talked to me about it. Again, I forgave him but I was careful around him.

Anytime we had a problem, I stood far from him while we talked. When he got angry about little things, I ran and hid. I was edgy around him. He took it as a new form of respect but I was doing everything to protect the pregnancy. I didn’t want to even breathe out loud, lest I disturb him.

I was already in school when we got married. When I was pregnant, he tried his best to convince me to defer. I didn’t. I told him I could do it. Throughout pregnancy, I went to school, wrote exams and passed. By the time the baby arrived, I’d completed school but was working on my project work. He complained I gave too much time to my project. I told him I wanted to complete it as soon as possible so I could rest.

One late night, I was working on my project while he was watching a movie. The baby was sleeping. All of a sudden, the baby woke up and started crying. I pleaded with him to go check on the baby. He didn’t mind me. I said, “George, haven’t you heard the baby crying? Am I the only one who birthed him?”

He got up and charged towards me. The first slap landed and got me blurred out. I put everything down and started running to the room where the baby was. He held me by the back of my collar; “Where are you running to? Is that silly project work more important than our child? Why do you behave around here as if you are the one who married me?”

The cries of the baby went up a notch and then up another notch. He released me but followed me to the room. I picked up the baby, went into the bathroom and quickly locked the door. He said, “You better not open again. You’ll sleep there.”

When he went to work the next morning, I packed a few things and left the house to my parents’ house. When my dad asked why, I told him, “He has been beating me. I don’t think I’ll marry again.”

Dad flared up and quickly placed a call to him. My dad was calm though angry. “George, you’ve been beating my daughter? I gave you my only daughter and you turned her into a punching bag?” I didn’t hear his response but immediately the call ended he called me. He was shouting, “Oh, now you’ve grown wings so you report me to your dad? Don’t let me come and meet you in the house.”

The phone was on speaker. My dad and my mom heard him talk. My dad shook his head. “Or he thinks we don’t have men in our house. He’ll see.”

My dad is not a patient man when it comes to his family. It was the reason I didn’t call home all this while. In the evening, when he got home and didn’t see me, he called. I didn’t pick up his calls. Maybe he got scared so he called my dad and asked if he’d heard of me. My dad said no. That worsened the case for him. Later in the night, I picked up and told him I was home with my parents.

He begged for me to come back. He was shaking while talking. The next morning, he came home to meet us. My dad met him outside the compound and told him to leave or else he would call a mob on him. He wasn’t joking. If he overstayed, my dad would have done his worst. I was sad and scared for him.

We Broke Up Because Her Mother Didn’t Like Me | Hot Seat

He has brought his family to beg. He spoke to my dad’s elder brother to come in. Even church elders have been involved. I’m not going back and my dad is in full support. It’s only my mom who thinks he’s been taught enough lessons so we should give him another chance. He beat me when I was pregnant. Beat me again when I was nursing. All for what?

Five months later, I still live with my parents. He says he won’t agree to a divorce. I’m watching him. A year after our separation, he will watch me take my freedom from him. I’m not fretting and I’m not going to fight again. I’ll just do what I have to do. He won’t beat me again because I won’t give him the chance to. We are done.   

— Emelia

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