Believe you can stand by yourself.
Martha is only 39, but she has a 24 year old daughter. She is the only child she has and not from her current marriage. Like many 39 year old city women in her community, she runs a small business, manages her house and tries to support her old parents back in the village and the baggage of supporting the extended family never escapes her budget as well.
Martha, not her real name, has been married for seventeen years now. She was a teenage mother, but brave enough to go back to finish her high school education.
Martha was not lucky enough to get admission to college, at that time in life the only logical thing to do was live in her rich sister's house in the hope of getting her sister to take her back to school. unfortunately, her sister had a baggage of six children, and the extended family to support, so for most of her stay there, she was just a house help , with a child back in the village to support.
This is the point where many women in many societies begin to be driven off to unfit and harmful marriages. They begin to see themselves as unable to provide for themselves and burdens to their families.
Some family members tell them they are old enough to leave their father's homes. So to run away from the rejection, these women find ' husbands ' who are likely to subject them to massive emotional and physical abuse.They only end up in a worse form of rejection and continued abuse.
So has been the case of Martha. She told me, 'I have lived my marriage as though I am alone. If I get sick, I may easily die in the house if my child is not around,because my husband will not just bother '
She is not happy. I asked her why even after many incidences of physical and emotional abuse, she still preferred to hold on.
' If I leave, I may not be able to educate my child.my income is little, he supports me financially.'
Martha and her husband live in low income neighbourhood, their house which I visited is void of any luxuries. They just have a little to get by everyday. They don't eat the best food, nor wear the best clothes, neither does their only child enjoy any luxuries.
It is just a plain life, full of struggles and sorrows of a not loving or caring husband according to Martha.
Many women believe they need a man to provide for them. May be because of the biblical connotation of the man's role in the house, or any other religious beliefs binding gender roles.
However this kind of mind set is what holds women and the world down. Women can stand on their own, they must not bind themselves to abusive relationships where they are used and misused just to please false societal beliefs.