By Bunmi Sofola
There’s no warning off a loving man turned a violent husband. Betty got married nine years ago to John, whom she married after detaching him from his wife. He’d spent their married life gradually dominating and subtly bullying her, up to the point of marital rape in an effort to get her pregnant after her first child by him was barely one year old. “He already had three children by his first wife and my pregnancy was so complicated the doctor advised |I give myself a two-year break before having another child.
“John is a typical example of partners who `coerce and control’ to have their wicked ways with their hapless wives. One minute he’s cooing his adoration of me and taking over domestic chores, the next he’s reminding me of all the `trouble’ I’ve caused by telling me I was responsible for the break up of his marriage which he said was perfect. He’d forgotten the fact that the minute we’d met, he’d virtually blocked my ear-holes with stories of the `witch’ he once married and has equally manipulative posh mother who was his ally. Under the guise of helpfulness, his dastardly mother often tricked his former wife into making a mess of some of the meals she cooked, giving her precious son yet another excuse to bully his wife.
“John had what you would call a split personality – one minute, he was nice and the next he turned a monster. You don’t know which of this personalities you’d meet when he’s had a drink – and he loved his drink. I was really fearful of him but things got to a head the day we went to a friend’s party. We were having a good time and the drinks were flowing. One of the guests started being rude and loud. When he started making mean, derogatory comments about me, I expected John to stick up for me, but instead he did nothing – he just kept on drinking.
“WE left the party and once we were out the door, I said: `Why didn’t you say anything? You’re supposed to be my husband for goodness sake!’ He said nothing, but his face was like thunder! I marched off to the car and he drove off like a lunatic. I went straight to the bedroom, still mad at him until he showed up some few minutes later looking fir to be tied. `Who the heck do you think you are to talk to me the way you did in front of everybody?’, he snared. What everybody, I wanted to ask, when I didn’t say a word until we were out of the door? But he moved menacingly closer, `Was the man your boyfriend?’, he wanted to know. My mouth flapped open. Before I could do anything, he locked the bedroom door. He always did that when he didn’t want me to get away from his violence.
“Suddenly, he punched me in the face. My hand shot to my cheek, and my body was shaking with fear. As I screamed in pain, he dragged me by my braided hair and threw me on the bed, his face wrapped with rage. He looked like he was possessed.
“As luck would have it, the keys were still in the lock. I freed myself momentarily to talk to him. I told him how I was feeling very randy lately and looked forward to our having a rump after the party. Cautiously, I walked towards him and pulled him closer to me. He looked confused but glad to be offered sex. I pulled down his trousers and he closed his eyes in anticipation. That was my chance. I kept one hand on his bum and used the other to unlock the bedroom door. Then I leapt to my feet and ran out of the door, almost half naked.
Betty’s experience pales into insignificance when compared to the torture Arinola went through at the hands of the brute she was married to. “I’d had a few relationships that didn’t work out when I met Deji, Arinola said. “By now I was in my mid 30s and wondering if I would ever get married. Then I ran into Deji. I’d known him for years through friends, so when he asked me out, I jumped at the chance. He had a wicked sense of humour and was already cracking jokes. He showered me with confidence and I was under his spell.
“Months later, we got married! I was so in love. A very close friend was very upset by the marriage. She said if I’d been cautious enough and asked questions, I would have been told Deji’s history of violence with women. She gave a couple of examples and when I confronted Deji, he broke down. `She’s got t all wrong and I’m so embarrassed’. He explained it was all a misunderstanding and I felt sorry for him. `If you don’t want to be with me, I’ll understand’, he said but I loved him and we were already married.
“Only, we began having explosive rows. A few months later, I fell pregnant. We were excited but I also had doubts about Deji. His drinking and short temper were getting worse. He stopped me seeing my friends and began texting me when he was out with his friends. `Call me’, he’d text. When I did, he’d start shouting. `Why are you calling me, you jealous thing? You’re such a nagging wife!’, he’d yell. He was trying to make me look jealous to his friends’.
“After a few more violent outburst, I’d had enough. So when next he sent me one of his meaningless texts, I told him I’d had enough. He tried calling me, but I ignored him and went to bed. In the middle of the night I woke up to him, banging all around the bedroom. I could smell the booze as he staggered around. `You dirty cow!’ he yelled at me, dragging me off the bed. Then he grabbed one of his thick belts and whipped my arms, legs and stomach. In agony, I didn’t want to provoke hi, so I swallowed back the tears. He punched me in my stomach some more, yelling `I’ll beat the devil out of you’. `The baby is yours too”, I reminded him.
“Somehow it worked and he left me alone. But he’d hidden my phone and locked all the doors – there was no way out. `He’s going to kill me’, I fretted. Later he let me have a shower. As I came out of the bathroom, he wanted to have sex. I couldn’t believe it. He was acting like everything was normal. In the end, he forced himself on me before sleeping off. Seeing my chance, I phoned the friend who once warned me no to have anything to do with Deji. Moments later, she was at my door with some policemen and they broke down the door. I broke down in tears and my friend assured me I was now safe. Deji was arrested and I was taken straight to the hospital. I also had a scan to check my baby and was told everything was fine.
“Due to the stress of the attack, doctors had to induce me early but I had a healthy son. I absolutely refused to have anything to do with him and the police charged him to court. After so many intervention, I didn’t want the father of my son to be a jailbird, so the charges against him were dropped. I never want to see him again though. He attacked me when I was 34 weeks pregnant with his child. He could have hurt my baby. He makes me sick. Since then, I’ve divorced him. I’ll never get over what he did to me. I thought he was going to protect me and keep me safe. Instead it was him I needed protecting from”.
What you see is what you get (Humour)
A man arrives home and demands his dinner. But his wife says: “Sorry, I need N1,000 to buy some meat.” “What? N1,000! Are you mad?”, he booms. “Come here, let me show you something”. He takes a N1,000 note, holds it to the mirror.
“See the one in the mirror?” he smirks. “Well, that one’s yours – and the one in my hand is mine!
Returning home the next day, the man finds the table laden with meat. He gave his wife a surprised look.
“Where the hell did all these come from?”, he quizzes.
His wife takes him to the bathroom where she lifts up her skirt and points between her legs. “See that one in the mirror?” she grins. “Well that one’s yours – and this one belongs to the butcher”.