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He beats me ÔÇÿcause he loves me


by Linekela Halwoodi
Columns

Have you ever come across a woman who has lost touch with herself that in your eyes, she is worse than a schizophrenic homeless man? How about a woman who has been battered by her man more than she has ever had sex with him?
‘He beats me but he loves me. I am the madam boss in his life,’ she may say. Yes she lives amongst the living but she’s no better than the dead because her life is not worth getting out of bed for. I have seen men lay hands on women but I have also seen women leave their men because they showed a rotten temper that could have progressed into physical abuse in the nearer future.
But what I fail to understand is how a woman argues that her man only beats her because he gets jealous and that that proves that he loves her! To start with, I do not think that love and violence should be in the same sentence.
My old rusty Oxford American Dictionary defines love as: ‘a warm liking or affection for a person’ and beating is not a form of ‘warm liking’. Argue it any way you want but that won’t change the facts on the ground.
Let me just say that spousal abuse has probably been around since humans were Neanderthals. I also know that we have bulled and been bullied in our lifetimes. Often, the vulnerable have had the better end of the stick since the beginning of time but there is always a rebellion; that’s how we came to know people like Che Guevara.
Now, it’s not in women’s nature to go to war unless their lives are threatened but what kind of love is it for a woman who is beaten on the streets for everyone to see? I have seen homeless people do it but I have also seen the rich do it - only that it happens behind closed doors and can be hidden with tonnes of make-up. Well, I am no psychologist and probably have no business trying to give any piece of advice on this but I have one thing in mind for the beater; the State probably does not fund or provide for men with temper issues but you need to have yourself examined by a professional and be counselled.
And to my dear women, you can stand by him all you want but you do not have to be his punching bag. In whatever he may be going through that makes him vent his frustrations on you, support him from a distance without having to bear the emotional and physical scare. And please, stop saying he loves you, that is why he beats you. Nobody beats anyone they love!
If you are old enough to be in a romantic relationship, then your years of corporal punishment are over. Only you should discipline yourself, not the man you “love”, as he has no business laying hands on you regardless of what you might have done.
The first time I saw a woman get beaten up by her man and she did not leave him, I lost all my respect for her. Today, she is in the process of finalising her divorce from him and with that, I am beginning to regain respect for her.
I understand that for women who have children with their abusers, it is harder to leave the relationships but what they fail to understand is that their children will respect them more in future when they come of the right age to understand what it is their mother must have gone through while with their father. The kids will not look at you as the woman who split them from their father and made them see him only twice a week but they will perceive you as the woman who chose to live; the woman who showed them that sometimes the self has to come first. There is always a way out.