Viva Guest Contributions: Man, Go Within by Dotun Fadairo

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Dear reader about domestic violence,

A lady (that I deeply admire) made an update on her Facebook wall because of some shocking observations that she had made about abuse in marriages and asked 3 questions:

What are the likeliest cause of domestic violence??
What are some of the triggers that could cause a partner to be violent????
What is it that women do that earn them beating??

A lot of answers were given as to the causes and triggers of domestic violence which included: Insubordination, disloyalty, exposing sensitive secrets, putting the kids at risk and so on

The answers given piqued my curiosity and after a time of meditation, I have decided to lend my voice to this issue further through this medium.

Please note that these are purely my thoughts and are not intended to be all-encompassing. And also note that though this article will be focused on women as the victims of domestic violence, in no way am I implying that domestic violence perpetration is a male exclusive thing. There are men who are victims of domestic violence as well .

Now with that said, I am of the opinion that the issue of domestic violence is an internal one. I have a saying that all hurt and healing begin and end within. The reason for this thinking is because if we look for the causes of abuse on the outside, we will never stop looking and the abuse continues. One husband beats his wife because she spoke rudely to him and then we declare “All women should not speak rudely to their husbands in order to avoid abuse”. What happens next is that another woman gets beaten NOT for speaking rudely to her husband but because she was using his phone at a point. So we again declare “Women should not use their husband’s phones to avoid abuse” and then ANOTHER incident pops up where a woman is beaten for kissing her husband with morning breath! Rinse and repeat and the abuse goes on

I see this as lacking because in my opinion, ANYTHING can be a cause of domestic violence as long as the perpetrator (and victim) remain unaware of what is going on internally. Eckhart Toile calls this being “unconscious”. Let me give a somewhat related personal example. I remember that years back, one of my Saturday morning chores was to brush the living room floor and more often than not, while I was doing it my grandma would be in the living room and being the loving woman she is, as I was doing so she would gently point out certain spots that I had missed. I noticed back then that whenever she did the above I would feel irritation and anger flare up in me (though I managed to hide it at the time) it continued for a while until one day after reading a book that had a chapter on internal awareness I started asking myself questions as to why I kept feeling that way. I came to realize that the anger I felt towards my grandma for her help with my chore was rooted in a belief of incompetence. Somehow or another I had come to believe that I was a naturally incompetent person who could do nothing right and believing that, my world view was painted with a continual reminder of my “lack” (truly we see the world as we are) and I found myself lashing out at every reminder. This realization and the subsequent truth that I was NOT incompetent did away with the root of the anger. Now imagine that in a marital context and you might see a small picture of how abuse begins and ends.

So here is my counsel (if you choose to accept it): Man know thyself

Emotional intelligence is a most ignored trait in society (and I think in my Nation today). A fixation on the outward has left us utterly unaware of what goes on “behind the scenes” and it is high time that we as men go within and truly see ourselves. No matter who we are (or who we are connected to), we are not slaves to the egos of another. We are all responsible for our own actions (and despite what we have been told, violence is NOT the response needed for marriage issues) Man, go within. Look inside. We have all grown up in various dysfunctional systems and unwittingly imbibed beliefs that are inimical to our progress and detrimental to our relationships. There is no shame in this. The real shame is accepting it as the norm. NO! There is much better. So let us go within. Yes it can be scary to “face our demons” but one thing that I have found most helpful is realizing that we are not our “issues’. We are not our “flaws”. Every single one of us is made in the image and likeness of Love. So let us go within and in prayer, meditation or counselling truly see what is making us “tick”.

You need this

Your woman needs you to do this

Your family needs you to do this

Thank you

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