My Wife Slapped Me Twice

By Daily Graphic

Dear Nana Ama,

I am 29 and she is 25. We had our wedding three years ago and have a two-year old daughter. We are both Christians. Recently, we had a misunderstanding and while we exchanged sharp words, she slapped me.

The problem was reported to our Pastor who asked one of the church elders to help settle the dispute.

When we got home, she was in the bedroom so I called her requesting her to come for the settlement. This irritated her so much that she came out and slapped me again in front of the church elder.

I have decided to divorce her as a result of such gross disrespect but because of our marriage vows before God, I find it difficult to do so. I need your help.

Nii Armah Quaye, Accra.

Dear Nii,

Usually, a wife or husband may start a fight in order to mask severe pain or distress they are feeling but l must hasten to add that, that is unacceptable behaviour.

A husband and wife should treat each other as equals. It is wrong for either of you to strike each other as it is unladylike for her to slap you, and ungentlemanly for you to slap her; in other words, assault is assault no matter who initiates it.

You have a number of options available to help you stop the violence against you. First is recourse to the church. I presume your church elder has told the pastor whom he or she represented what happened in his/her presence.

What has your pastor done about the problem since he was told by the church elder about your wife's gross disrespect?

If your pastor has done nothing, which l hope not, then remind him or complain to his superiors if there are any.

Thankfully, our society has made positive strides to bring the much needed attention to domestic abuse and to better protect spouses from their abusive partners so if the church has counselled her but she is recalcitrant, your second option is to have a chat with her and make it clear to her that the next time she strikes you, you'll report her conduct to the Domestic Violence and Victims' Support Unit (DOVVSU).

That should put some fear into her and act as a restraint. If that fails and she refuses to change her shameful behaviour, make a report to DOVVSU.

The third option may be separation. While separation might not be a favourable solution, it may be useful as it could provide the necessary wake-up call for your wife and motivate her to change her abusive tendencies to salvage the marriage.

She may be taking advantage of your commitment to God, knowing that you will not divorce her. If you separate from her, temporarily, it may wake her up.