Bad Marriage: Why We’re Scared to Quit!’ By Michael WEST

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Not a few relationships will end today. I’m aware of some troubled homes and stressed relationships that those involved have given up on themselves. Every effort to salvage the situation seems to be coming rather too late. I’m not happy each time I hear that couples are separated or homes are broken because of irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, sheer carelessness, recklessness or abuse.
However, I have come to a level whereby I have to accept the reality that some marriages can’t work! It may be hard to accept this but it is the truth. It is not every broken home that is caused by the devil, witches or wizards; some toxic relationships do defy interventions. Again, it may be surprising that some breakups are actually answers to prayers. Maybe at a later date, I will explain in details what I mean so that I may not be misconstrued. I won’t be surprised if some people find this statement odd, unconventional or somewhat misleading. Most of the time, issues are based on perceptions. Hopefully I will deal with it in the new year.
Last week, I published the account of a woman in dilemma who was contemplating quitting her marriage but asking for counselling. The reason I published the story was due to the spiritual dimension of her case. I noted earlier that it is not every breakup that is being orchestrated by the devil, there are human angles to some cases. In the woman’s case, her husband owned up to using juju to keep her in the abusive marriage. She discovered the mystery through dreams. The responses I have been receiving even till Thursday morning when I was wrapping up this column were in line with several others.
Space constraints will not allow me to publish one tenth of the responses. For the ones I used in the text of this article, I won’t disclose their identities for privacy purposes. A woman who claimed to have never enjoyed her marriage said “many of us in bad marriages never wanted to stay a day longer in it but we consider a number of factors. One, how are you sure you will easily get another man if you quit? To be honest, many of us are merely hanging on not because juju is working on us but because we weigh the options carefully. It is not easy to live alone after staying with a man for years. No matter what you go through in the marriage, you still have access to sex. Also, there’s still a man you see as the father of your children, more so, loneliness is not total though the companionship may be toxic. Many of us are seriously praying and looking out for better alternatives but they are not easy to come by. Besides, some of us are deeply involved in religious activities and we hold positions that further make it harder for us to go into separation or divorce even when the marriage itself is practically a hell. The age of our children do sometimes determine when a woman wants to quit a troubled marriage. If you are lucky with supporting and caring family members, it will be much easier. In fact, you could count on your family to quit much earlier, but when you’re on your own, you have to endure for some years before you move!
“You must empower yourself before you file for divorce. Most men are irresponsible and they care less about children when their wives no longer live with them. Even welfare packages pronounced by the court of law in favour of children are flagrantly ignored. A government agency like welfare office doesn’t scare men in Nigeria. Many fathers are so mean. As a woman, endeavour to improve yourself and get more than one sources of income before you can call their bluff. In reality, some men, even in marriage, are not responsible. Their wives provide most of the time for their homes. Often, women will endure until they are able to sustain themselves before they quit. Sir, let me add that it depends on the level of madness of the man that will determine how long one can endure. But when it becomes a matter of life and death, even if you have a day old baby, off you go! Only the living will nurse a baby and be a mother of her children.”
A reader from Canada stated that “the use of voodoo in marriage is very common but many of us women do ignore it to our own peril. We react and treat every issue on the surface. Have you wondered why men will keep doing what they know is wrong, yet, they won’t change? Sometimes they may appear apologetic for maltreating you just to calm your nerves but because they know what they have done behind the scenes that you are going nowhere no matter how angry you’re, that’s why they even do worse things after each apology. Here in Canada, I see a lot being done by Jamaicans, Hispanics, Mexicans and Africans alike. All they need are phone calls to their spiritualists and send all the details required and pay for the job. You will never see anything suspicious because it is spiritual. Surprisingly, those who employ the means to keep their spouses are the bad ones who know that ordinarily nobody will tolerate their selfish and abusive attitudes. Unfortunately they are the educated ones, the elites. A Nigerian man who came to buy stuff at my place of work was telling his friend that no matter how harsh and hard he treats his wife, she’s not going anywhere. She can threaten divorce but for nothing. Sir, can you believe that the woman in question is thinking of getting another baby despite threatening her husband she’s going to file for divorce? I think family members, especially parents, should be sensitive to the condition of their daughters in bad marriages. I’m sure if the woman’s family shows concern beyond the dollars she sends to them back home, they will help and liberate her from the power that ties down their daughter in the abusive marriage. This is a case I know about too well.”
A retired adjudicator who called in last weekend said “parents are to be blamed for the problems these daughters face in their matrimonial homes. In the olden days, parents do watch over their children in marriage. They are sensitive to their plights even when they (children) are reluctant to speak up. Parents don’t seem to know their children enough these days. I presided over a case shortly before I retired. I invited the woman’s parents for talks after I listened to the couple. There and then they realized that their daughter was dying in silence but they didn’t know because they hold the notion that there’s no perfect marriage anywhere, so, she must endure. My appeal to parents is that the moment your son or daughter begins to act strangely, please wade in to know what is happening. Many mental health cases are traceable to abusive relationships. The woman had earlier moved out of her home, and without any intervention or remorse from her man, she suddenly changed her mind and went back. Caring and sensitive parents must rise to the occasion to ascertain what is happening both in the natural and spiritual realms.”
Recently, a woman contacted me over the situation in her marriage. During our discussion, she declared that she was ready to quit and even abandon her children to save her life. Her fear is that her husband, according to her, told her point-blank that she can go only if he wants to allow her to be. No matter where she goes, she will run back home if he decides to invoke his ‘power’ against her. The woman confirmed that every word of enchantment her husband pronounced against her business and a plot of land came to exact fulfillment. As you read this column, she’s still in the marriage not because she has a change of mind but she’s seriously praying for a way out of the ‘prison’ she found herself. This case reminds me of a particular quotation by a friend, Kenny Ogunpola, that “The worst prison in the world is bad marriage. Be careful who you marry.”
Today is the last day of the year 2021, may the challenges militating against your family life and relationships fade away with 2021. I wish you a prosperous 2022.

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