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:
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.