Nigerian women shy away from the fact that spousal rape is real, according to 4QHEN, owner of the Foodie Ng.
Right now, a lot of people are speaking out against rape, especially child molestation. There is also the part of spousal rape in marriages and women especially find it shameful a topic to talk about.
On this episode of #lockdownconvos with Gold Nne, I had an eye-opening conversation with Kennedy, popularly known as 4QHEN, owner of the food review page,our.food.ng.
4QHEN has been happily married to his lawyer wife for five years and they have three beautiful children together. He weighs in on spousal rape and how to drastically reduce it.
What is spousal rape and what causes it?
I understand the concept of spousal rape. I believe it exists. It partly helps that my wife is a lawyer, so she keeps me informed about the alarming increase. Consent does not end when a woman says yes to a man in a marriage. Because she said yes to you in marriage doesn’t mean that she has lost the ability to express her consent during sex. Sex isn’t the main reason for marriage. It is a huge part of it but that isn’t the reason for marriage.
This is the reason I advocate that when people want to marry, they go ahead and marry their friends. The reason is back in the days, couples could stay in love and respect in the marriage for 10-20 years before it gradually fades but, in this generation, love dies after years in marriages. After that what is left is friendship and tolerance for the other person. Hence, friendship should be cultivated from the beginning before the love in the marriage fades.
When does spousal rape happen in marriages?
I think spousal rape happens when the partners do not care about the friendship, communication, and understanding in the marriage. If you’re married to your friend and she has had a long day, she’s tired and just finished cooking and she does not feel like having sex; you’ll understand but in a case where there is no communication, the partner begins to suspect that his wife has lost interest and is probably cheating on him and forcibly has his way with his wife against her will.
I think parents also have a role to play in training and raising their male children right, not just focusing on the girl child alone. If parents do not start training their sons from the beginning about consent, the next generation of men will turn out to be like the rape apologists we find online.
If you live in Lagos especially, you would understand that most women spend so much time in traffic and get home late and tired. However, couples must get spontaneous and spice up their sex life while adjusting to the ever-busy city. Have a quickie in the morning before going to work. It helps.
How do you think rape can be reduced in marriages?
Communication is very key, sometimes it goes beyond verbal communication. Some ladies could just accept having sex without wanting to, but as a husband, you have to understand your partner’s body. In marriage, it is not easy to seek consent but a partner should understand the signs, an example: if you try to make out with your wife and she pushes your hand away or you try to engage in foreplay and find her unwilling, it might be dues to several reasons; she might be going through some troubles at work and need you to weigh in on it, she might be angry with you. If you can solve the issue immediately especially if she’s angry with you, you will be surprised that she will give you want of the best sexual experiences ever rather than force yourself on her. Make her laugh, kiss her and she will give in to your advances.
Men who forcefully have their way with their wives almost always regret immediately they are done because it doesn’t even feel the same. If you communicate well with your wife, she’ll tell you what to do to pleasure her and make her happy, when she feels pain during sex and when to stop if she feels uncomfortable. Women should also learn to speak out to their spouses as well, do not always leave it to the man to figure it out.
Why do unhappy couples shy away from seeking help from a counselor?
It is primarily because it is not a Nigerian thing and it is not cheap as well. Most people do not like involving a third party in their relationships because they feel it will spread. Also, most Nigerians criticize a lot, therefore, making people scared of coming out to talk about their issues.
Nigerians also love comparisons. When people cry out, they shun them, making them feel like they complain too much because they feel that it comes with the marriage and as such should stick it up.
Couples should seek experienced marriage counselors who respect client confidentiality, won’t secretly take the couple’s story to relationship blogs, and who are cheaper. It is also important to know that counselors do not need to have a stable marriage. They need to have the experience, stories to tell, and ways to help the couple.
Spousal rape is at an alarming increase, especially with the cut in the jobs, high unemployment rates and general economic depression which has severely affected families in Nigeria. But communication is a non-negotiable necessity in relationships and marriages, as it will help in reducing these unbelievably true and gory rape cases in marriage.