IMAGINE yourself as that once upon a time strong independent woman until the grips of love swept you away.
As a woman, you are investing in a relationship or marriage like never before, and doing everything you can to put every need above yours.
Gender is a system of inequality that is created and recreated in our daily experiences.
If not addressed, challenges of gender based violence (GBV) arising from gender inequality will continue to escalate.
Ndola based marriage counselor Mirriam Chongwe said she is aware that many partners are controlling their wives hobbies, dreams and ambitions.
She said such partners also go further to belittle their wives, undermining their achievements, including their appearance for no good reason.
“Men are notorious for not paying attention to how and what their partners try to communicate to them, but instead, they focus on the part that their women are always nagging about hence they fail to
listen to the message. So women too have been pushed to the limit and turned into monsters, and this is what leads to the manifestation of gender based violence with all forms of violence we are seeing in
communities,” she said.
Recently, there was a sad story in one of the daily tabloids of a woman facing a murder charge in court.
The woman admitted to killing her husband in cold blood after discovering that he was allegedly sexually abusing the couple’s 12-year-old daughter despite his HIV-positive status.
Such and many more stories have been told of women whose partners emotionally, sexually and physically abused them and daughters, as well as other female dependants.
Yet they are silent and live with the pain resulting into anger that turns them into monsters.
Ask almost every woman dating or those in marriage, there is always a number one tip from a mother, an older sibling or an aunt that is shared about something being out of place.
And yet, women ignore or pretend.
But this can help someone to identify the red flags in a partner that can help address the things getting out of hand.
For instance, some marriage coaches have encouraged women in relationships to watch how a man treats people around him, such as friends, waiters and the like when on a date, as well as his family
Additionally, the coaches caution that this advice must get a woman out of some potentially messy situations as she does not have to an act but can see clearly how her partner will treat her in future.
However, Ms Chongwe said the challenge is that a lot of people, both men and women, who pushed their partners to extremes because they have not healed from their past experiences and society has children growing up in dysfunctional homes.
“And so many women have ended up dating and marrying some men who cannot have a healthy relationship that is filled with goodness, peace, happiness and stability and this cycle continues, hence you see more children growing up and becoming partners in toxic environments
because this is all they know,” she said.
Ms Chongwe said more women are being turned into monsters because many times when people are called to settle marital disputes, it is on matters of finance, and career partners who cheat with other sexual partners has become a perpetual habit.
She said it is in times like this when women’s self esteem has been lost, their inspiration gone, including their motivation to work and create opportunities for themselves.
Ms Chongwe said such experiences have pushed women to the limit and so the monstrous actions we see in some women has led some of them to go into depression and others are arrested for serious charges, such as murder.
Ms Chongwe said what is evidend with the unfaithful relationships is that men have taken advantage of their partners’ emotional intimacy and made them to feel like they are the cause of their cheating.
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