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WOLVES IN SHEEP CLOTHENING

When I observe/hear of a relationship where the man becomes the predator and the woman the prey; then I often ask myself- what happened to the marriage VOWS- TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH? Women are physically weaker than men in body frame and mass and as such, their strength can never be compared with that of a man in other words, they cannot adequately defend themselves against physical attack from men. She is the one that leaves the comfort of a home she had known all her life to try out the still waters venturing into a new environment- a new home and family, willing to make it work, ready to sacrifice her career, time and all for the man she loves and believes love her back. After all these sacrifices, why then will he turn round and hunt/hurt her- I wonder!
I have a friend who died unfortunately some years ago. Her mum still visits me occasionally because she believes I remind her of her daughter in a positive way. This woman is very beautiful but the only impediment to the beauty was that she had a bad right eye that she wasn’t born with which you couldn’t help but notice. She often wears sun glasses. I have wondered often times about the eye but couldn’t ask what happened. On one of her visit, while discussing about her husband with the numerous troubles he gives her even after all these years of marriage, she told me the story of why she went back to do a degree course in the university the same time her first and second children were also undergraduate; according to her, after the accident with her eye she felt like leaving him but to where? Her parents were poor while he was a customs officer: She decided that she will better her education and get empowered so she could resist the assault from the hands of her husband. She learnt to be seen and not heard to avoid been beating while all the time plotting ways to get him to sponsor her university education. After many years with the persuasion of the children, he agreed that she should go to school; her dream became reality she runs her business now. I saw this as an opening, so I asked her to please tell me the story of her eye. She said after they got married, she discovered that the man was a woman beater; at slight provocation he will lock the door to the house then bring out his belt and give her the beating of her life. She used to be so scared of him that she never resisted him. Some years into the marriage, it happened again and while beating her up, the belt hit her on the right eye and that was how the eye developed a problem. She has been to many hospitals for treatment but it just gets worse with years until eventually, she couldn’t use the eye for seeing. She had even had operation twice on the eye in United Kingdom. Presently, as I write, she is in London for yet another operation thirty years after the incidence because unlike before that she just couldn’t see with the eye; it has developed an infection that could destroy the other eyes too. I pray as I await her return that the surgery will be a success
Another friends’ mother told of her experience. She has five surviving daughters because she lost one due to sickle cell anaemia. She said after the delivering of her third girl, her husband abandoned her at the hospital. He never showed up to pay the bills and take them home. It was her brother that paid the hospital bills and when discharged took her to his home. After some months of waiting for him (husband) to come pick her up, she had to go to him because she was ashamed of staying on at her brothers’ home due to the stigma associated with such practice in Nigeria. She started a restaurant business. When she became pregnant again, she decided to keep some money aside to pay the bills should she give birth to a girl again. So hence forth, she was the one paying the bills with each birth, yet, she continued to get pregnant because she desperately wanted a male child. After, the sixth birth, the man couldn’t take it anymore so he started his chains of affairs. She became disillusioned with the marriage and stopped trying to have more children because in addition to his wayward lifestyle he had stopped his financial obligation towards the family.
One day, he brought in a woman that had successfully given him a male child as second wife. My friends mum humbly accepted her and became their maid. She was the one nursing the boy while the woman was having fun been treated as a queen. But you know, old habits die hard so he couldn’t stop flirting and this used to bring about quarrels between him and the second woman. One day, while he was away, the woman packed her stuff and left; leaving behind a six month old baby. He has not changed from his old ways and he is still very irresponsible. She however joyfully took care of him as she would her own. With a small restaurant as a source of income, she was determined to make a success out of her life. Her girls are success stories, the boy now a man of 28 years is a graduate and working. She has a comfortable house built from her income; she is retired from working and enjoying the fruits of her labour. She refused to be brought under by the “WOLF IN SHEEP CLOTHENING”!

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