Husband battery not solution to family woes

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BY ANTHONY KAGIRI

The tit for tat parable seems to be having a ride on Kenyan marriages as battered men finally come out to expose it all.

Women who have from the days of our fore fathers faced all manner of violence have learnt to retaliate and theirs is turning tragic.

Whereas most women are said to endure a few slaps and verbal abuse men are facing lethal weapons such as pangas, boiling water and even hired goons.

And if you thought the violence is limited to physical beating you are wrong. Many ‘errant men’ are denied their conjugal rights and food in the name of revenge in our homes. I remember a case in my village where the wife and the children would cook early and eat all the food before the jobless man got home.

What has surprised me is that Kenyans seem to be having a field day and some women have praised their colleagues for finally coming out of ‘bondage.’

As we praise our bold women for finally standing up to their men we are destroying generations and disparaging the institution of marriage. We are teaching our girls that it is ok to reciprocate fire with fire and if possible with a higher measure. When I was growing up I was taught that your best option against evil is good and that is what I am preaching.

I am by no means demeaning the challenges families are facing, but a closer look will tell you we all face the same challenges. The problem is that some of us fail to address them early enough in the hope that ‘he will change’ only for it to become worse.

A man – no matter how bad he is – remains your husband; your call is for the two of you to make it work. At least you loved him enough to marry him.

Violence, separation, divorce or even death is not a cure to the problems in your marriage. Your best bet remains in facing them head on. Although your friends might tell you that violence will put him back to line, it doesn’t; in most cases it makes it worse. When you hit a man/woman you take away the little value and respect they had on you. You break the trust and confidence and even if you married another one violence is always an option.

If his drinking is the problem put your efforts to dealing with it early enough, don’t wait for it to turn addictive. I believe if couples would address issues as they spruce up then they wouldn’t have to fight. If you are dating, make your demands then, say what you don’t like and deal with it.

In marriage don’t push matters under the carpet; use dialogue to deal with them and if it doesn’t work seek help from third parties like respected family members or your pastor.

The society remains accused for watching the family institution as it deteriorated. It is time all of us did something to help those around us who are facing difficulties. Those whose marriages are working should be in hand to support those who are struggling.

Change the bar talk from “how to make her know you are the man” to “how to keep your wife happy.” Adjust your chama gossip from “how you have stood up to him” and get wisdom from those whose unions are working
Those who have been in marriage for some time need to take time and mentor the young ones getting into it.

If we fight so hard to keep our jobs and work harder to get promotions and career growth I bet we can put extra effort to make our marriages work. A happy home is surely a good place to go home to.

I find this scripture very refreshing for marriages:

Ephesians 5:
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word.

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  • Realisticfemale

    Mr. Kagiri, I find your article not only out of touch with reality… but also prescribing some superficial solution to a deep rooted problem. 

    First, come on… violence on most women is not limited to a few slaps and verbal abuse; wake up and smell the anaethesia at Nairobi women’s hospital.  The only difference, is that husband battery is gaining prominence within Kenya.  Truth be told, half the women do not even dare report that they are battered… because right from the security desk, the cops will laugh and ask them what they did to deserve such a a beating. 

    Secondly, don’t get me wrong. I am not preaching equality for the goose and gander in terms of beatings… I am only just saying that domestic violence does not pinch more on the male foot than it does on the female one.  It is just as degrading and as painful for the women and their children.

    Thirdly, while I may understand that your faith and values influence your own belief system… you are not preaching to the choir here. Therefore do not quote Eph 5 to us.  For the majority of people who batter, the word of God may not be applicable or practical to their everyday life. Therefore, let it not be a panacea for all that is wrong with the society. 

    Let us come up with alternative solutions that help people to deal with their anger, bitterness and other negative emotions that at the point of action… prevent them from resorting to violence.  Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    There is something “pretty bad” in our society; something which not every Tom Harry and Dick can comprehend and advise accordingly. In any case this is not a political issue where majority may give their vote and thence win as a matter of democratic fact.
    It requires not only intellectual input but spiritual and divine power to overcome this social evil.  It also requires the input of experienced men and women, who despite all odds in life, they have managed to live with all the vulgarities of life without resorting to what we are seeing in our present Kenyan(African) life.
    I have deliberately used the “Kenyan (African) life for this, among other reasons;-
    Kenyans are multiracial. Sample this;
    Indians women pay dowry to men parents, yet men are in charge of all and everything. Their traditional and cultural values dictates so, The woman is the beneficiary of the thinking, efforts and work of the man of the house – A man remains a man and the woman remains a woman. What a bliss!!!
    I totally disagree with Mr. Antony Kagiri’s assertion that ” Women who have from the days of our fore fathers faced all manner of violence have learn’t to retaliate” Let me remind Mr, Kagiri that our fore fathers had a very mild way of dealing with a rebellious wife; some of them being that, without trading insults, the woman would be directed to pack and go to her parents or the man would move to the hut of the other wife without a word of quarrel or nagging from the woman of the house. That was our tradition and culture and it kept our families together and these days, guess what?? You have heard, if not seen, all because we, Kenyans have no culture,
    Asimple fact to be noted is, “mwacha mila ni mtumwa”., and culture should be dynamic.

  • Anonymous

    There is something “pretty bad” in our society; something which not
    every Tom Harry and Dick can comprehend and advise accordingly. In any
    case this is not a political issue where majority may give their vote
    and thence win as a matter of democratic fact.
    It requires not only
    intellectual input but spiritual and divine power to overcome this
    social evil.  It also requires the input of experienced men and women,
    who despite all odds in life, they have managed to live with all the
    vulgarities of life without resorting to what we are seeing in our
    present Kenyan(African) life.
    I have deliberately used the “Kenyan (African) life for this, among other reasons;-
    Kenyans are multiracial. Sample this;
    Indians
    women pay dowry to men parents, yet men are in charge of all and
    everything. Their traditional and cultural values dictates so, The woman
    is the beneficiary of the thinking, efforts and work of the man of the
    house – A man remains a man and the woman remains a woman. What a
    bliss!!!
    I totally disagree with Mr. Antony Kagiri’s assertion that ”
    Women who have from the days of our fore fathers faced all manner of
    violence have learn’t to retaliate” Let me remind Mr, Kagiri that our
    fore fathers had a very mild way of dealing with a rebellious wife; some
    of them being that, without trading insults, the woman would be
    directed to pack and go to her parents or the man would move to the hut
    of the other wife without a word of quarrel or nagging from the woman of
    the house. That was our tradition and culture and it kept our families
    together and these days, guess what?? You have heard, if not seen, all
    because we, Kenyans have no culture,
    Asimple fact to be noted is, “mwacha mila ni mtumwa”., and culture should be dynamic.

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