Elders and their opinions have always been essential and valued in our culture as they are seen as the custodian and preserver of the tradition and value system. Younger and less experienced individuals seek their guidance and counsel in issues of difficulties as to find solutions to chaotic situations, tapping from their wealth of experiences and wisdom.
On the flip side, erroneous and unfair guidelines have been given from faulty principles and prejudiced beliefs. In a matter of speaking, elders with decades of experiences may give judgments which objectifies connotatively and denotatively.
With people taking sides and opinions flying, we heard of the reconciliation of the Channels News reporter who was called out by his Medical doctor wife for incessant cases of domestic abuse in a viral video posted on the 6th of December 2020 at 11:12am. Ifeanyinwa Angbo is seen with signs of a brutalized face and stated how her husband of six years have abused her. In a matter of days, we see and read that they’ve been reconciled by the Benue State governor, Governor Samuel Ortom, “we have resolved all issues. This family is barely six years with four kids…”
The governor further on stated that young couples should be encouraged to stay in marriages and not be separated. Pius Angbo, the man who abused his wife stated that he has apologized to her and that it wasn’t a deliberate act. On her part, the wife said she has accepted her husband’s apology and even pleaded with people who are angry with him to forgive him. According to the news, she asked for people’s prayers for her family and children who are still tender.
Our traditional society does not encourage divorce after marriage but what that actually means is that a woman is not supposed to leave her marriage irrespective of whatever is happening therein. She is expected to endure everything in the marriage, for her kids, and that is termed being the ‘good wife’. If she has any issues with her husband regarding maltreatment or any other negativity, she’s supposed to call an elder who would reconcile them and sternly warn him not to do it again, the husband is then asked to apologize to her and she would be asked to embrace him as a sign of forgiveness and then the same circles goes on.
Most times, the wife is called aside and told to have patience with the husband, endure whatever ill-treatment he is melting out on her as he would soon be old and tired and drop them all. The man, invariably, encouraged to go on doing what he has been doing and she as the ‘good’ wife, should keep herself and the home: divorce was not an option for her, mainly because her kids needs to be in a home with their father, irrespective of whether the house is a malfunctioning one or not. Whether or not she is losing her mind is not an issue, she has to stay and endure, forget about herself and concentrate on keeping everyone under the same roof.
Marriage is very essential to the extent that it fulfills the husband and wife where there is mutual respect, love, tenderness, joy, truthfulness and faithfulness which is the foundation to building healthy home where balanced children are raised and everyone is happy and a woman being told to endure a marriage because of her kids is so unfair and limiting. Kids shouldn’t be raised in a home where there is domestic violence as they may imbibe the message that it is okay for such to happen. Kids learn from what they see more than what we say to them.
This writer believes that the spiral of demoralizing and limiting advices for women in abusive marriages can be overcome when instructions are sieved through the screen of principles and sound value judgment. This writer also strongly believes in the respectful rejection of advices from an elder which does not serve the purpose of the dignity of all the parties involved in the case.
Being married is admirable but living well and sane is more important and a woman’s life shouldn’t be in danger for the sake of keeping a family together.
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