Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter – Martin Luther King Jr.
Domestic violence is such a sensitive topic. It isn’t one that I feel capable of talking about. However, I had to respond to this post. So, I’m hitting reply.
‘And of his signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them..’ – Qur’an 30 V21
Violence is NOT a part of marriage. Love, trust, honesty, compromise, challenges e.t.c is a part of marriage. Violence is NOT. At least, it shouldn’t be.
Marriage is a sign of maturation. When a man refers to his wife as his ‘baby’, it is generally as a term of endearment. He wants to care for her and protect her, as he should. That’s generally what people do when they care about someone. They don’t treat them like children that need to be corrected. If you feel like you’ve married a child, maybe you should have waited a few years before marrying her. Or you shouldn’t have married her at all.
I know of marriages that have managed perfectly without domestic violence. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have troubles. It just means that the couple chose to treat each with respect rather than like punching bags.
I also know of marriages that have managed with domestic violence. I have seen the impact on the women involved. I have seen broken women. I have seen sad women. Yes, your marriage may have lasted for over 9 years, but it doesn’t make it a successful marriage. Quantity is not quality.
You say domestic violence is overrated. I say that it is underrated. What you don’t realise is that domestic violence is more than the physical harm that is inflicted. Various researches have said that psychological wounds of domestic violence linger after the bruises heal. You beat her up and you apologise. She accepts your apology and you move on. The physical harm heals and it is like nothing happened. But something happened. You disrespected her. You humiliated her. You degraded her. She might not have the physical scar to show for it, but the emotional scar is there.
Take a look at your wife. The woman you married. The mother of your children. You are not her daddy. You are her husband. Look at her. Tell me, she is the same person you married. Tell me, that her self-esteem is just as it was when you first married her. Tell me, that your consistent beatings have not had any negative impact on her. Tell me, that your 9 years of marriage has had a positive impact on her emotional well-being. Tell me that if you had never hit her, she would be the exact same person she is now.
Then, if you have any, take a look at your children. Tell me, that the constant disrespect that you show your wife has had no impact on them. Tell me, it doesn’t upset them to see their mother bruised. Tell me, they enjoy seeing their mum cry from your beatings. Tell me, that it has not affected your relationship with them. Tell me, that your sons aspire to be just like their father. Tell me that your daughter wants to marry a man just like you.
‘Children living with domestic violence suffer emotional and psychological trauma from the impact of living in a household that is dominated by tension and fear’ – Domestic Violence Prevention Centre.
If you’re able to tell me all these, then I might say that the past 9 years of your marriage is something to celebrate.
You say domestic deaths are accidents. There is no such thing as a domestic death. Death is Death. Falling down the stairs is an accident. Falling down the stairs because my husband pushed me down the stairs is NOT an accident. What’s the excuse? ‘I meant to push her, but I didn’t mean for her to die’.
I cannot tell you how to run your marriage and I will not tell you how to run your marriage. However, I ask that you take a good long look at your wife.
Domestic violence might be a part of YOUR marriage. But it doesn’t have to be a part of everyone else’s.
Till next time