My husband is sick, to the point of wearing diapers. I heard he had a stroke and was hospitalized…but he is recovering now. I didn’t visit, I didn’t even send him a WhatsApp message to tell him, “I wish you soonest recofa”
Ahh yes o, I am a Christian!
I married this man many years ago and every time I opposed his views, I would either be slapped, given a knock on the head or he would use bulala! Yes, he would horsewhip me!
He had such a temper!
Give him food late, na slap and curse!
Wash his clothes and forget to bring them in before night- knock on the head!
Too much salt in food- talk to thy kingdom come! (telling you how useless you are forgetting there were days you cooked without too much salt)
Let me cite another example, for instance, if he said something about the children and I said, “No, let’s do it this way”, not what he suggested, he would go into a tantrum, slap me or throw something at me if I was seated away from him.
On the days he got really mad, there was a horsewhip he kept behind our bedroom door, he would lock the doors and whip me until I begged him and promised to do what he wanted!
At first, I had nowhere to run to.
My parents warned me not to marry him but I was in love then. I knew of his hot temper but I thought love could conquer it and with us being Christians…
So when my people found out he whips me, they told me I brought it on myself. They were staunch Catholics who did not believe in divorce.
My fellow sisters in our Pentecostal Church told me to endure, they said maybe God was testing me and so for years, I believed my husband was a test of my faith.
He was also a junior pastor at the same church, so you see, I thought, “…this too shall pass…”
Let me clarify, it wasn’t like he was whipping me every day but even once is too much! Over the period of 15 years of our marriage, I would count like 14 to 15 times of horse whipping…yes!
Why am I telling you this long story?
I finally left the man, one day after I intervened when he was flogging our son, who was then 8-years-old, for failing his exams.
The boy has learning problems. I had always known he wouldn’t do well in normal school, so I encouraged him, knowing within me that las, las the boy would struggle through primary and secondary school and then we send him to an art school to learn a craft since he was good with his hands. There’s no shame in admitting your child has learning disabilities.
Anyway, my husband was beating our son for failing his exams when I begged him to stop. I told him no matter how hard we beat this boy; he just won’t get better than his younger sibling because children are different.
My husband stopped beating our son and used the whip on me…that was when I knew, this man would kill me or the children and I would be there praying to God to stop this hard test He was giving me.
I took my three children and ran first to a sister’s house. She is not married and she had told me a long time ago she would help me if my husband kicked me out.
Anyway, the sister kept us for a few weeks but she told me my husband was threatening her and had even gone to the police to report that she kidnapped his family. The police came and I had to explain that I wasn’t kidnapped, that my husband was beating me and so I ran with my children.
The police then sent us to one NGO that took up our case and made sure my husband did not come near us again.
A few months after I left him, people began to call me and send messages to me to forgive and forget and go back to my husband’s house. I blocked all of them! Including my family members!
One year, two years, three years…he would call me and asked to be forgiven and I always told him, I have forgiven but I will not come back!
He sent our old church people to come beg me, even the pastor of the church, I still refused.
They told me I was being disobedient and proud and that God opposes the proud!
I shrugged my shoulders. Na me know wetin my eye see.
They said God had a plan for me, that my children were being deprived of a father who loved them…I refused.
You know, I stopped going to that church when I moved out of my husband’s house because they were just pestering me to return and be “submissive.”
Since I had stopped going to that church, I didn’t mind anything they said to me. For the first time in my adult life, I was sleeping well and doing just fine. I had no constant fear like when my husband was around…I was at peace.
My kids, however, were beginning to ask for their father.
You see, they were too young to understand what was going on then, they are still too young. They said they do not remember when their father beat me or slapped me…they may not remember, but I do!
So their father would go to their school and tell them I was the one keeping them away from him. He told them he loved them and we should be together as a family…I still refused!
Because a leopard does change its spots!
A few months ago, I got a phone call from my in-law, they said my husband had a stroke and he has been asking for me.
I said, “Can someone who suffered stroke, talk?”
They begged me to forgive him and return to take care of him because now he is wheelchair bound.
I said, lailai!
So he needs a nurse maid, I won’t go back! My children are begging…this is emotional blackmail from my husband’s family. Why didn’t they use my kids to bring me back to my husband before he had a stroke? What did they do when I reported their brother to them over the years?
I have told my kids, if they want to go live with their father, the door is open, “Oya, go, don’t let me stop you. He is your father; he is not mine!”
When my Christian sisters from the old church came, I told them, “I am not Jesus junior. I can’t erase what the man put me through all these years.”
They said I was carnal, I said, “Ok, may God forgive us all.”
Oho, all of them are tired of taking care of him, they want to push him at me…I no dey do.
I have forgiven him but I can’t forget. We are done!
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)