Many victims of spousal abuse, who survived to tell the story saw all the signs of violence which gradually worsened. They had stayed on, thinking it would just stop. They were in love, they’d be quick to point out
Most of the times, they stop confiding in friends and families who advised them to leave their abusive partners. Most of the victims suffered heartache and depression. Some got to the verge of mental breakdown.
“Most times, the signs are there. Verbal abuse precedes physical ones. Verbal abuse can ‘kill’ the spirit. It can cause depression. It makes you lose yourself.
When the physical abuse sets in, remaining in such relationship becomes suicidal,” Folusho said. Folusho was in an abusive relationship for three years before she decided that one more night in her matrimonial home could spell doom for her.
“When Mike started showing a part of him I didn’t know existed, I thought it was a passing phase. Of a sudden, everything I did was wrong. I also didn’t seem to say anything right.
We dated for three months and he was in a hurry to settle down. We did. Two months into our marriage, I noticed that he had mood swings. I wasn’t too sure he could smile for 10 minutes at a stretch. Then he started complaining about everything.
The third month into our wedding, the physical abuse started. ‘I’ll kill you’, he would say and lunge at me. I noticed he talked in his sleep also. We discussed it and I advised that we should see our pastor. We did but when the pastor recommended deliverance and counselling sessions, he stopped going to church and tried to stop me from going to church anymore.
“I spoke to his brother, who is a psychologist, who promised that he would talk to him. The abuse didn’t stop after he spoke to my husband.
In fact, Mike was angry that I reported him to his elder brother. He punched me till I almost fainted, locked me up in the flat and went out. I called his brother and his wife picked the phone. When she came to see me, she broke down in tears. After about three weeks, she invited me to her house and told me the most shocking news.
“She said Mike actually needed help, that our late mother in-law once said Mike had a ‘spiritual wife’ that was disturbing him. It was then I learnt that Mike, at a point, was taking medical treatment from his psychologist brother. That was when I knew I had to leave. It wasn’t an easy decision though.
I loved him and was praying that he would change. He never did. It got so bad that every time he was at home with me, I would make sure I was wearing something with pockets where I’d have my phone and some money.
Once the beating started, I would just be looking for a way to run out of the flat.” Folusho did leave, but not before she lost her almost five-month pregnancy which could have been the only child of her three year’s marriage to Mike. “I didn’t care anymore, I was done with him. The only thing that mattered to me then was my life. I’d lost all my friends because I thought they weren’t happy I was married. I left with nothing but my womanhood. That was two years ago,” she said.
People in abusive relationships have ugly tales to tell and many, as seen with Folusho, devised means of surviving in such relationships. Unfortunately, many did not live to tell their stories.
No marriage is worth dying for. No relationship is worth paying with your life!