BY BUNMI SOFOLA
I promised a few weeks back to look more into spousal abuse, especially where woman give as much as men in the put-down game. What jogged my memory into fulfilling this promise is this letter from a male reader detailing abusive treatment suffered in the hands of his girlfriend.
â€œMy partner and I have broken up after she beat me up for the fourth time,â€ he wrote. â€œWe had a violent relationship for a lot of the time we were together, and the last time she attacked me, I warned her that if it happened again, we were finished. I never raised a finger to her in my defence whenever she physically attacked me because I do not believe in violence. In the end I could take no more, so I ended the relationship.
You would think I would be happy to be rid of a shrew like her, but I miss her so much and I want her back.
â€œI havenâ€™t seen her since we split, and I canâ€™t get her out of my mind. I know thereâ€™s a chance we could patch things up, all I need to do is ask her to let us try again. And Iâ€™m so tempted to do just that. I keep thinking of her warm body next to mine at night, and the way she used to kiss and hold me.
Most of all, I think of the passion in our love-making and all these make me miss her so much. Do you think it is normal for me to want her, even though she physically abused me when she was mad at me?â€
This readerâ€™s torment shows that you canâ€™t switch off love like a tap. But that doesnâ€™t mean you, should condone abusive behavior no matter how obsessed you are with the relationship. Unfortunately, most abusive relationships are not physical. Verbal abuse hurts as much as physical ones if not more.
These are by people who deliver verbal blows where it hurts. As soon as a female partner gets a whiff of her mateâ€™s infidelity, the fangs are out. To make things worse, a large number of men now deal with one sexual problem or the other which affects their potency. One or two failures in the bedroom and the partner Instantly concludes heâ€™s having so much extra dose outside heâ€™s run out of rations for her.
Thatâ€™s when she starts attacking her manhood. â€œDonâ€™t think youâ€™re the only man around with a dick? she snares, â€œif you canâ€™t get it up, there are loads that canâ€. She then starts getting dressed provocatively, giving the partner the impression sheâ€™s having an affairs.
Men in this situation either sink low into depression because of their partnerâ€™s callous indifference or fight back by being violent. Some wives sneer at husbands whoâ€™ve lost their lucrative jobs and have to settle for jobs that donâ€™t pay quite as much as the old ones. They compare their men with friendsâ€™ husbands who they believe are better providers. And some foolishly try affairs with other men because it is easy to be tempted when you are feeling neglected and unloved.
There could be many reasons why a male partner has erection problems and these have nothing to do with his partners. He might be stressed or depressed or have a physical problem that scares him off sharing it with a close partner. Whatever the cause, there is every chance he can be helped but he needs to be persuaded to seek help. Instead of attacking him and putting him down, drop hints about friendsâ€™ spouses; who had problems and sort help.
As for the reader whose partner* was always trying to spar with him, his best bet is to forget about her. The next time he is tempted to get back with her, he should not think of the good times. Instead, he should think of all the times she beat him up. Iâ€™m sure she would have apologized each time if happened and promised it would never happen again. Yet it did, and if he takes her back, itâ€™ll keep on happening until she completely destroys his self-esteem and confidence.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, it is not only women that indulge in verbal abuse -some men have sharp tongues to. â€œWhenever a relative I havenâ€™t seen in ages suddenly makes an appearance, I instantly put my guards on,â€ sighed Vicky. Sheâ€™s been married for almost 20 years with grown-up children, yet her husband still believe their dirty linen has to be washed in the glare of their separate relatives.
â€œHeâ€™s the one always running to them when we have tiffs, she said sadly. â€œHe then paints scary pictures of the type of wife he was married to, how I never see eye-to-eye with the first daughter he had before he met me and how I never want to make love. How unreasonable can you get?
Here is a man who criticizes all I do most of the time, who says I donâ€™t like his daughter that is a delinquent with two kids from different fathers and gives me peanuts as house keeping money. We had an almighty row when his first daughter, who is 28 wanted to live with us with her two kids in a three bedroom flat! With all these attacks coming from him all the time, how does he expect me to switch off and make love to him? I canâ€™t even have submissive sex with him!
â€œIâ€™ve since realize there are men who like having an audience when they feel pain. They exaggerate these pains, tell the world the type of shrews they have to put up with just to fish for sympathy. I feel sad that I made that error of judge men when I first noticed this traits in the early years and mistook it for love. Heâ€™s now started criticizing my body. The last time I took off my clothes, he sneered at my drooping breast and bulging stomach. He said it would be tough finding another man if we broke up.
Calmly, I told him to look into the mirror naked and take a critical look at himself. Any girl whoâ€™s insane enough to go out with him would do so for money which he hasnâ€™t got. He was mildly shocked that I could talk back at him that way. But things have got to the point where Iâ€™ve realized I donâ€™t have a husband-Iâ€™m living with a grouch and I donâ€™t think I want toÂ live the rest of my life this wayâ€¦â€