Jealous hubby beats me up
I've been with my husband for eight years. We've been together since high school. He listens to his family a lot and if they say anything about me, he will come home and hit me, no questions asked. If they ask me to do something and I refuse, they tell him lies that I am cheating on him. It makes me so afraid of him. I can't even say good morning to anyone or he'll say I'm sleeping with them. He even accused me of being with his cousin.
I got pregnant and he gave me hell. He would curse and say the baby wasn't his, but when she was born she was the spitting image of him.
I thought the beatings would stop after the baby but they didn't. I got pregnant again and he said things would be different, but they weren't. He had promised he'd change if we got married but things didn't change. I had a close friend who I talked to. He called and heard me crying. We got too close. I know it was wrong and I asked if we could be friends and not go there again. He wanted me to do what's best for me. I have two children, no job, and a part of me wants to live alone. Please help me.
Your story confirms the fact that the birth of a child or even marriage does not necessarily guarantee a change of behaviour from a partner who possesses a violent streak. In your attempt to achieve a violence-free relationship with your partner you thought that the arrival of a child would have softened his heart and made him more subdued, but to your dismay the physical abuse continued. Again in your bid to make him more loving and possibly eliminate his aggressive tendencies, you agreed to get married. Again you were disappointed, or is deceived the better word?
Such is the cycle of violence in intimate partner relationships. The abused partner is always trying to "fix" the situation by conceding to the request of the abuser, all in a bid for a "peaceful life". The fact is, the only way the situation will be effectively addressed is if the abuser seeks and receives professional help for his abusive tendencies. Anything else is short-term and will be short-lived.
One of the most painful experiences for a woman is, after carrying the child that was conceived through the intimate relations between her and the man she chose to be with, the father of the child claims it is not his. This cuts deep and makes some women bitter and antagonistic toward the baby's father. It is most unfortunate that he chose to add more emotional pain on top of the physical hurt he had already inflicted on you.
So what's this with the involvement of his family members? Some men don't know where to draw the line. Both families are integral and should hold pride of place, but a balance is required to maintain a good relationship between both parties.
For members of his family to take advantage of the man's jealous nature by setting you up to be attacked, that's not only unkind but evil. If and when he is arrested for inflicting bodily harm to you or others, are they going to take any responsibility for their actions?
Although your "close" encounter with that friend cannot be condoned, it is somewhat understandable as in your vulnerable state moments of weakness will occur. The important thing now, as you have done, is to maintain your distance and keep the friendship above board. Be mindful, though, that your husband has a jealous streak that may result in violence if he learns of this friend and misinterprets the nature of the friendship.
It is critical that you both engage a marriage counsellor to assist with the resolution of the issues that exist, particularly the anger and abusive behaviour patterns displayed by your husband. It is critical that he gets help now. It is equally important that you ensure your emotional and physical health and well-being as well. Try and seek a job so that you can be economically independent so that in the event you feel that your life is threatened and you have to find alternative accommodations, you are in a position to look after yourself and your children.
Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.