Unfortunately, today, abuse, a situation in which one person tries to control a partner with the intention to manipulate that person’s view of what is acceptable or not, occurs in epidemic proportions in most relationships in Ghana.
This is, especially, true if we appreciate that abuse can be physical, verbal, sexual, mental social and economic.
Sadly, studies show in Ghana, most abuses are undetected and unreported.
Again studies show that even though some relationships are mutually abusive, men are usually the abusers and women the victims.
This is because in abusive relationships, victims of abuse are usually partners in weaker positions.
It is understandable, therefore, that most victims in relationships are women.
Sadly, most men in abusive relationship want to stay, no matter the dangers they face.
Why women stay in bad relationships
Psychological factor. Most women love too much and get obsessed about love.
Some grew up in abusive relationships and want to heal the past by staying in abusive relationships.
The greater the pain in the relationship the more their early pain is activated and the stronger they stay on to the relationship.
To them the harder they bear the pain in the relationship the greater the love they show.
She sacrifices herself and takes full responsibility for anything that goes wrong in the relationship and thinks she does not deserve better.
What feels bad to everybody feels good to her.
If a caring and loving man comes along she will ignore him because he cannot create the difficult situation that she needs to heal her past.
Such women will avoid friends and relatives who try to talk them out of bad relationships.
Some deny the abuse and think it is not too much.
This is because on a good day most abusers are extremely good and romantic.
They may even apologise for their wrong doing and promise it will not happen again.
This makes it easy for these victims to believe their men will change.
The abuse, however, goes on and on. If you endure a difficult abuse your man may try even more painful abuse on you.
A relationship is a woman’s greatest emotional need.
She, therefore, finds great fulfilment and security in being in a relationship.
Many women search for their identity in men.
They think they need a man to be compete and, therefore, fear separation.
They worry about what will happen to them if they should leave. Leaving is, therefore, very difficult for women.
Studies show that if a man wants 10 things in a relationship but finds eight he is likely to leave but if a woman wants 10 things in a relationship but finds two she is likely to stay. Women!
They have a high level of tolerance to stay in abusive relationships.
Some women want men around them to be protectors.
They believe a man’s role in relationship, especially in parenting is very important.
They hold on to a bad relationship for the sake of the children. In Akan it is common to hear women in bad marriages say ‘ mmofra no nti to wit for the sake of the children.
Global studies show that while women earn less than a third of what men earn, women at the same time have greater needs than men.
Most women are therefore completely dependent on their men because they lack the resources to take care of themselves and their children if they leave the abusive relationship.
In Ghana it is common for many men to threaten withdrawing support if their women should leave.
Women who want to maintain their standard of living choose to stay in abusive relationship.
Some men actually threaten to kill their women and children and some have actually carried out their threats.
Some women, therefore, stay because they have no safety outlets.
Family and social values. Some families believe that as part of their heritage and tradition women are not supposed to leave their marriages.
Women are made to believe that they belong to their husbands for good, for better or for worse and that their husbands have complete rights over their women.
No matter how seriously a woman complains about her bad marriage, her mother and relatives will say ‘don’t worry, that is how men and marriage are’.
Many women are, therefore, forced to stay in bad marriages.
Some women see it as a shame and embarrassment to leave a bad marriage even it may not be their fault.
Many blame women when marriage fails.
Many women are, therefore, ashamed to disclose abusive marriage because they believe no one will support them.
When to let him go
He has many psychological problems and expresses himself in many dangerous ways.
He abuses you mentally and verbally but each time he promises it won’t happen again but it happens and happens again.
He has low esteem and feels insecure about you.
He is overly jealous and possesses you as a thing and not a person.
He does not empower you to develop your talent or permit you to pursue your dreams.
Instead, he is threatened by your accomplishments.
He is chronically unemployed. He makes no effort to improve upon his skills.
He is in the relationship for his comfort and never appreciates you, no matter how hard you try.
He is nice only when he wants something from you.
He never introduces you to any family member and friends.
He is totally not your kind.
He cheats on you and has double standards.
He constantly shows inequality, intolerance, immorality and fraud.
He is never prepared to show a woman’s topmost needs including affection, companionship and commitment.
Be wise and leave
You couldn’t choose where and where you were born.
You couldn’t choose your parents but take responsibility for your life and take your true love.
Just don’t take any man because it is not everybody who can be a good lover.
Don’t settle for less and get the right man for your life.
Do not choose by how you feel about your man but how you feel about yourself before him.
Take a good look at your relationship and listen to the small inner voice within.
It is always whispering truth faithfully to guide you.
If it is telling you about your wrong choice, listen to it.
If you stay with the wrong man you will never meet the right man.
Abuse in any form is unacceptable because it puts a woman in a state of mental turmoil and will predispose you to mental challenges if you are convinced he is the wrong man for you, do not wait for one minute longer. Be wise and strong.
Take back your life and have your freedom.
Be wise and let him go.