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My Husband Uses, Abuses Me

By Daily Graphic

Dear Nana Ama,

I am 28 years and my husband is 56. I am not so worried about the difference in age but his attitude bothers me a lot. We got married about a year ago. The moment my husband brought me to his home, he became hostile towards me.

He does not talk to me. When he returns from work, he sits and watches television, dozes off for a while and finally goes to bed.

I was pregnant before we got married so I thought that his attitude was due to the pregnancy but it still did not change after I had been delivered of the baby. I now have a son with him.

I have asked his family to talk to him but it all fell on deaf ears. He abuses and uses me whenever he feels like it. Unfortunately, my parents could not do anything about it.

I had a chat with him about his behaviour and all he told me was that he had got what he wanted from me and that I could leave if I wanted to.

Nana, sadly, whenever I pack my baggage to leave, he stops me by seizing all my things. He deceived me into giving him my salary only to realise that he gives me the same money for my upkeep. Please help me.

Sarah, Medie

Dear Sarah,

From your account, your husband had told you that he had got what he wanted from you. Though he did not mention exactly what that thing is, it seems that your husband entered into the relationship with you out of lust.

You said he abuses and uses you whenever he felt like it. Well, again, it is not clear in what ways he abuses or uses you, but abuses in any form must not be tolerated.

I will suggest that you report his conduct to his close friends or people he respects to also have a word with him since you said your parents had failed to get him to change his attitude.

If after you have other people that you think he will respect, to talk to him, he still abuses you, you may have to report him to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service. The officers there will invite him and help him to change his abusive ways.

You can also call at the offices of the Department of Social Welfare where they have professional social workers who can offer professional assistance.

You may also spend some time away from him. That may give him a while to soberly reflect on his relationship with you, for him to decide whether to continue with the relationship with you or not.

The tendency is for women to consider their children and stay in abusive relationships but that may expose you to the danger of physical and emotional pain, and even death.

If all efforts to get him to change his ways are fruitless, remember that you have your life, your job, your son and your parents; and I'm sure you have many other strengths that can help you to live happily without him.

You should therefore not, in any way, allow him to keep you in a relationship that is full of abuses.