Saturday, 25 June 2011

He cheats and beats me

Agatha Edo,, or, 08054500626

Dear Agatha,

I am 26 years and my husband is 37. We have been married for three and half years now. My problem is for about two years that I have lived with my husband, he has cheated on me with more than 10 girls.

The first time I discovered his infidelity, I couldn’t believe it because one of the major reasons I married him was because of his religious disposition.

I was naturally devastated. Worst of all, he didn’t even try to explain things to me. Instead of apologies, I got the beating of my life that very day although he later came to ask for forgiveness. I forgave him with the confidence he would change, but he didn’t, he continued cheating and beating me. This has happened more than 10 times.

Three months ago, I heard him telling someone on the phone that he would send money to pay for a hotel accommodation where they would stay when he comes.

I was forced to check through his phone and discovered he was making an arrangement with his girl friend on where they would meet.

I got the beating of my life that same day and was admitted in the hospital. According to him, I had no right to go through his phones.

Agatha, I now hate him for all the pain and embarrassment he has caused me.

We are yet to have children; we have been to hospitals and they confirmed he has watery and low sperm. He was told to stop smoking and drinking, though he drinks once in a while but he doesn’t want to give up smoking as instructed by doctors.

Right now, I don’t know what to do; my father is an evangelist and I always consider my parents in all that I want to do.

I am in tears as I write this. I have no kids yet, the person that should be my source of happiness is causing me so much pain, always beating and cheating on me. Please advice me on what to do.


Dear Amara,

Life, most of the time, isn’t fair because we always don’t get what we want or deserve.

And when it comes to the issue of marriage, it can be very complex and complicated. However, many a time, we are also architects of our pains. Because of your family background, you simply wanted a man who was religious without bothering about the person behind the mask.

You looked at his ‘cloak of religion’ without looking at his life. Before walking down the aisle with him, what did you know about him; about his background; his friends and values? What did you know about his mind and the workings of that mind? Did you bother to find out about the man you planned to spend the rest of your life with beyond his religious disposition?

Did you ever consider what marriage was before marrying him? What precisely was your idea of marriage and its many challenges? What were the things you noticed and pretended didn’t matter until now?

Religion comes from the mind, an awareness of who God is and what He requires of us as His people while ‘religiosity’ is pretentiousness and comes without the conviction of a deeply religious person.

Had you a clear idea of the type of man you would be most happy with, not one who is masquerading to be another person you would have noticed that he has always been unfaithful and a complete cheat.

To be frank, he didn’t deceive you. You did the most harm to yourself by treating the issue of marriage with levity, something which isn’t serious, that doesn’t need planning and preparations.

You don’t marry for a single reason. An enduring marriage survives on multiple tripods.

Your mistakes are not in his unfaithfulness but in his attitude and the violence that follows your every new discovery. While a marriage can endure unfaithfulness, only the living survives to tell of the story of violence. This is one time, you have to overlook the desires of your parents and face the challenge with all the seriousness it deserves.

Your life is the one at stake, not your parents’ or their image. Your father is the evangelist, not you. Even evangelists know when to give up.

If his beating is serious enough to get you admitted into hospital, there is the need for your families to know about it. Go to your parents and report the issue because if you leave it for too long, you might be driven to commit murder because when hatred gets to a boiling point, it can deaden all reasoning faculties.

As it is, you are already suffering dejection from his totalitarian approach to your matrimonial challenges. This is definitely something you cannot handle on your own. You need help to define your marriage and fashion a way out of your mistake.

It is either you keep quiet and continue to endure maltreatment or depression or take the bold step of making open a potentially dangerous trend. Telling your parents doesn’t automatically mean you are quitting the marriage but their own experiences and knowledge of God would offer you and your partner something to lean on with a view of managing your own peculiarities.

Don’t feel ashamed of anything, believe me, you don’t have the solution to this problem. A lot of women are contending with worse situations in their own marriages but the difference is in their willingness to get help.

You both need peace to settle the issue of his infertility. There is no way you two can ever discuss and solve any issue without first clearing out the deficit of trust.

Talking to your parents is not ridiculing your marriage or the image of your parents. As a matter of fact, the ridicule would come if you do something out of character.

Your husband has to be helped to realise that with a problem like the one he is facing, it can’t be solved going from the arms of one woman to another. He has to realise it is a very serious medical condition that not only needs the grace of God but a good attitude on his part to solve.

No doubt he has hurt you more than words can say but if you don’t find it in your heart to let go of these pains, the clarity and objectivity of mind to offer him help would not be easy for you to summon.

The knowledge that he might not be able to get you pregnant might be one of the top reasons for his attitude. Deep down, he understandably feels less than a man and might have convinced himself that you would eventually leave him hence sees no reason to be nice to you or elongate the marriage.

For a man, the knowledge that he cannot get a woman pregnant is crippling. Your husband may appear to you to be wicked or having all the fun in the world with the many women he is being unfaithful with, but his attitude is also a cry for help. He seems determined to ruin himself because he thinks there is nothing worth living for. Deep down he may feel that his life is completely ruined as a man.

This is the point you, your parents and his family have to step in to offer him a solid pair of shoulders, love and words of encouragement. The first step is to help him realise the damage he is causing you by beating you. Once he is made to realise that your love is unconditional and that violence would only drive you further from him and even cause him to lose his home, the tiny step of reformation would have started.

For now, you may have to relocate to your parents or another place to drive home the point that you don’t like to be treated like an animal but there is no way both of you can avoid discussing all the troubling issues in your marriage.

As part of your plans, include the option of child adoption. The fact that he has a medical condition doesn’t mean you cannot adopt children. Discussing the issue with him with all the honesty and care you can, would give him the assurance of being loved by you and make him consider constructive options instead of this path of self destruction he seems hooked on.

Let him know he has something worth living for in you.

Marriage is a voyage of sacrifices and patience. It is also a journey which requires wisdom at every point. If you react to the current situation without applying wisdom, there is the danger of you destroying your happiness forever. You may have married him for the wrong reasons but if he is the one God has destined you to be with, you may never find happiness with another man.

Leaving him completely isn’t a solution, at least for now. It is only when he refuses to change you can consider it as an option but for now, the option is to find ways of getting him to listen to and see the love you have for him through your support for his predicament.

This is the agenda you should present before your parents when you go to them for help.

Furthermore learn to pray for help and strength from God to be able to go through this period successfully because the pains of what is happening in your home now could make even the most sane woman make mistakes.

Good luck.

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