Domestic violence in marriage has been a problem for ages. The reason it appears like it is just coming to the fore is because most of the victims of these violence and abuses kept it to themselves. A lot of them go through it, enduring, with the hope that either of the party involved would change with time. Many, because of societal stigmatization and religion acclimatization, chose to remain mute about it, rather than voice out and seek help and counsel where necessary.
As a result of this, countless number of men and women lose their lives in the process, most especially women, who have been found to be, most of the times, on the receiving end. This does not mean that men too are not being abused in their marriages by their wives, but research has it that more women go through this horror in their marriages than men.
Domestic violence or abuse as it may sometimes be referred to in marriage, comes in many of several forms. Abuse sometimes could be verbal, and it could sometimes be physical; which usually manifests in beating and battery. A man for instance may abuse his wife emotionally for several years in the marriage without even raising his hand against her to hit her. These verbal abuse most times makes the wife feels inferior, worthless and then she becomes psychologically imbalance throughout her stay in such a marriage. Those, who after several years of these abuses from the husband, develop one form of sickness or the other; like hypertension, high blood pressure; which eventually end such women's lives untimely.
Words are powerful, and women react differently to words, what they hear, than the way men do. A woman may go several days processing those words she hears from her husband, her colleagues at work, their boyfriends and all of that. Men, because of their wiring, don't react to words the way women do. You may abuse a man from now till eternity, and it does not even drop a single strand of hair in his body. Although, this does not connote that there are not men out there who also react to words. But the degree of reaction to words varies greatly between men and women. And this is very important.
So, a man could abuse his wife verbally for several years, and this ends up changing the woman's nature and character, turning her into what she has not been originally made of. This is one form of abuse.
Another form of abuse in marriage is when the man raises his hand to beat his wife, resulting into physical scars and injuries, which in many cases we have seen and read have resulted in the death of some of the women involved. This form is the worst degree of any form of domestic violence, as it kills the victim faster than the verbal abuse we first examined above. Many cases of domestic violence against women comes in this form. You can imagine when a man constantly beats his wife even for the most mundane things. The truth is, most women are not as physically strong as men, and so, when this kind of situation presents itself in many marriages, the women involved are defenceless, as many of them remained helpless until they eventually lose their lives in the process.
And there have been many reports too where the abuse is reversed, and in instances like this, it is the women who are seen abusing their husbands. Many women have turned their husbands into 'vegetables' and psychologically imbalance through their verbal abuses as well. Many men suffer in silence because, majority of them cannot even come out to dare utter to their friends or families, what they go through in their marriages through their wives. The role society has conferred on the male gender, as the more stronger of the sexes, have made many men to go on suffering in silence in their matrimonial homes.
You will hear words like ..."you are the man of your house, handle the matter.." Whereas in those instances, the said man is tired, and he just needed help on how to come out of the troubles the wife is meeting on him almost on a daily basis. Most men who suffer abuses like this in their marriages are the ones you see who close from work, and the thoughts of going home to their wives dread them like a man who just saw a ghost. There had been reports where after several years of abuse and all of that, most women in this category end up killing their husbands, through poison, stabbing them while sleeping, or the use of guns.
So, men and women suffer domestic violence or abuses one way or the other in their marriages.
Seeking The Right Counsel
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
Apostle Paul wrote in the Bible passage above that a woman can separate from her husband, although he didn't give the condition under which that could or should happen. If we want to put that into context, that means a woman can separate from her abusive husband; if she deem it fit to do so, and when especially her life is being threatened. But notice she was never supposed to re-marry? This I believe is so because the abuser and the abused can both examine where they were both wrong, and make amends; and thereafter come back together again as husband and wife. Separation, in that passage is not the same as divorce, as even the latter part of verse eleven emphatically stated that the husband is not to divorce his wife.
But the idea of separation as encouraged in that passage of the Bible have meant divorce for a number of married folks. Many spouses leave their homes, walking away from an abusive husband or wife and never returning. Many even re-married, while their original partners are still alive; which completely negate what the preacher had said. The challenge many people have faced over the issue of domestic violence in their homes or marriages is that many have gone for the wrong counsel, which most of the times, have put them on the path that negate God's will for marriage.
As much as God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), I believe He does not as well like the fact that husband and wife are not living together under the same roof, it completely negates His plans and purpose for marriage. So, separation is not the same thing as re-marrying another man or woman, that would be tantamount to adultery, and God's judgment is waiting for those who do such things (Hebrews 13:4). As much as you do not want to stay in an abusive marriage, I believe it should not as well be a platform that would make you end up at the other side of eternity where the devil and his cohorts would spend the rest of their destinies.
Marital matters are both spiritual and sensitive matters, and therefore, it requires that one sees it from the angle of God. If there is no choice again left in that abusive marriage other than to separate, seek the right counsel while doing so, so that at the end of the day, your marriage would not pitch you against God. I believe you got the message, right?
Stay blessed always.
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]