Don’t use your fist, use your mind instead. Is it time for Gambian women to demand a clause in their marriage contract, requesting their husband to-be not to think of marrying a second wife? There are many second wife related divorce cases going on among Gambians in the United States and Europe. Surprisingly, these women who feel threatened by a second wife fail to discuss the issue with their husbands before the marriage contract becomes final. They should be bold enough to make a request for a ‘no second wife’ clause in their marriage. If the issue bounces back and sparks fire in the marriage in the future, the Cadi or Islamic marriage counselor will rule in favour of the wife even though the practice is religiously and culturally anointed. Think about requesting a clause instead of fuming with anger, seeing yourselves as bruised victims of your husbands.
Every rational person will condemn and reject any form of domestic violence. But whenever the subject pops up, we tend to think that women always bear the brunt, which is not always the case. What about those women who threaten their husbands on a daily basis or set them for doom? Besides, we often avoid the controversial part of the discussion that men mostly abuse their wives when all options on their table have been exhausted. Don’t judge me wrong here, for I am neither trumpeting nor justifying domestic violence. I am not among those men who raise their hands against a woman.
Since situations within marital homes defer, it is incumbent on men and women to do their best to diffuse any looming catastrophe at home. Any slightest misunderstanding between spouses gives room for negative stress, which boomerang on the family before killing the love. Ultimately, if left unsolved, the problem ballooned into full blown combustible aggression.
Sadly, the social pressures – the root causes of souring love between spouses in the Diaspora and Africa – is not thoroughly discussed. We merely condemn the aggression and avoid discussing its root causes or early warning signals. Unless the underlining causes are addressed from our reality, we will continue to use different experiences to gloss over a serious problem.
America/Europe have seen a significant rise in divorce among Gambians…a lot of women leaves or divorce their husbands over many issues…from taking a second wife (which is culturally practised in our country) to monetary complications, to just simple case of love dying because both sides did not work hard in renewing passion. In any case, domestic violence should not be the final end product of the death of love.
Separate amicably if the distance is too deep…but seek counselling as a panacea to solve the unsolved issues. My advice to men is simple: never be driven into using physical force, always be in control of your emotions and learn the ability to withdraw yourself from any angry situation.
To the sisters, know the man you share your life with. If he is not himself, create time and venue to discuss frankly your concerns. Don’t ignore a rapidly changing man for any reason. Doing so will only aggravate tension because the man will go to the next stage of frustration. If you feel unsafe around him, then find a way to resolve that quickly.
When loves dies, some men resort to aggression which is totally the wrong way to resolve any problems. Sometimes one wonders whether to apportion blame on men who are severely left with broken hearts. These are the same men who have no recourse to be helped, for they bottle up their sadness and disappointment within themselves.
It is true that many women have been physically assaulted by their husbands. On the flip side, you will find that majority of men are walking with scars all over their hearts because a woman they love and cared for abandon them and tore down everything they build together. Some women even go as far setting up the children against their fathers. It is no longer strange to hear children telling their fathers “I hate you or if you dare touch my mum, I will deal with you?” As we observe October as domestic violence month, it behooves us to be holistic in our approach to ending the root causes of violence in our homes and stop the blame game or telling a single story, which is most often loaded with bias, prejudice or hatred.
Don’t use your fist, simply use your mind.