12 Characteristics of a Violent Spouse

“What on earth would make a man turn violent with his wife?” asked Charles, a 29-year-old man whose wedding is barely two weeks old and is still savouring the sweet sensation of honeymoon. His question was timely, as it was the same thing bugging the mind of many of his colleagues who had just watched on television the story of a woman being strangulated by her husband. “No one is spared; in fact no one is likely to be spared”, answered his more experienced friend, Tim.

If this is excusable with a married couple because they have tied the nuptial cord and are bound by conjugal covenant, how does one explain the case of a guy who made advances to a lady and because the lady in question refused, the guy beat the lady up and even went as far as using a hammer to remove two of her teeth? A true life story, the duo recently served as Youth Corpers in Abia State where the incident happened. And as if that were not enough, the NYSC coordinator insisted the lady must forgive the abuser and not press any charges against him. To enforce his wish, the coordinator decided to withhold the lady’s certificate until he is sure there will be no punitive measures whatsoever for the culprit. Unbelievable! Unacceptable! Cruel! Some people must be screaming all sorts in the bid to express their outrage.

According to Tim: “Domestic violence is a very common practice; the variation is only in degrees and that is dependent on each partner’s sense of maturity and responsibility,” However, Charles quickly added, “I don’t think it’s all couples that resort to violence in settling their quarrels; at least, I never saw my Dad or Mum treat each other so. I think there are spouses who are more committed to maintaining a peaceful co-existence and will pay any price to have it. I’ll sure like to be one of such”. He resolved.

Good decision, but not often kept by those who make it. Domestic violence is today, a very familiar trend in homes/families all over the world. It is indeed ageless; considering that it is one constant monster that trails the heels of both intending and already married couples. Although the accurate statistics on the extent of spousal abuse are difficult to calculate, its tentacles are widespread, regardless of the varied economic, social, cultural, religious and educational backgrounds of the people involved.

There are many indices to show that a spouse will be violent, although intending couples are often blinded by love and refuse to see it, admit it or take precautionary steps. Before you exonerate yourself and pass the buck, just wait and consider the following. A violent spouse is known by such tendencies as –

  1. Jealousy – This is excessive possessiveness , which not only makes a partner to imprison his/her spouse but also makes him unhappy, uncomfortable and in fact threatened by his/her partner’s progress or success in any given endeavour.
  2. Controlling behaviour – This bothers on the use of force as a way to maintain power and control in the relationship. A man may resort to battery, believing that it is the ultimate expression of male dominance over female. It is true that a man should be in charge at home. He is the head and his authority is non-negotiable. But where he becomes unusually overbearing in his control, so much so that he holds his wife hostage and intimidated, then something is wrong. The wife too could be given to forceful competition to control, thus making her man a stooge while she dominates. And bet it; you are sure to have the boat of such a marriage capsize.
  3. Isolation – He/she isolates you from your friends and family. It is somewhat incredulous to see the way some men think once they tie the nuptial cord. It is like taking possession of a property and becoming the sole owner. The look on their faces when such a wife’s friend and family members come visiting is: “Trespassers are not allowed. She’s exclusively mine; nobody has a right to her or her resources apart from me.” Oftentimes, these men refuse to come to terms with reality. They prefer to be unfair, forgetting that somebody gave birth to her, trained and educated her before they saw and considered her good enough to be a wife. The simple truth is just that the man is scared that she will report his evils or misdeeds to her parents or confidants.  The question is- Why should you be afraid? Answering this, Pastor Titus Adesanya says, “If a man is good to his wife, there is no reason why you should be afraid. And for you woman, the fact that you are now one with your man does not mean that he should not do anything or give anything to help/cater for his own relatives. They need his help as much as your family needs yours. The best you can do is to allow him to discharge this duty. Then, if you discover that he is keeping bad friends, talk to him, counsel him, pray for him, but don’t apply force.”   (To be continued)

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