EDITOR, The Tribune.
Truth be told the vast majority of Bahamian relationships are dysfunctional.
By this I mean that most people entering intimate relationships are not mature enough for the responsibilities and stresses that come with physical and emotional intimacy. It is estimated that approximately 75% of children in this nation are born out of wedlock, so naturally by extension at least 75% of homes are not “normal” by conventional standards. As a consequence, we cannot use “normal standards” to evaluate the situation before us.
Many falsely believe that love is a feeling that culminates in a physical sexual act as the primary means of expression. They do not understand that love is actually deliberate, purposeful, respectful and a tedious commitment to put aside personal feelings and desires for the good of the relationship and those in it. Most want to enjoy the conveniences of marriage without owning up to the responsibilities associated with it.
As a result many are not in marriages or relationships because they love or respect their partner or because they have common goals, but because mutual needs can be met.
These relationships, not based on mutual respect, trust, are manifestly dysfunctional. So when the dysfunction in those relationships rears its head as abuses of various kinds, including “marital rape” we should not be surprised.
We continue to focus on the symptoms of a problem without addressing the core issues that lead to the problems that have to be solved!
Many men are taking care of children that are not their own. Many women live with the fact that their “husband” has a “sweetheart” or another family.
Many women are still having intimate relations with the fathers of their children while involved in other relationships. Many young men have been hospitalised or killed over arguments about women.
Who knows if a woman is using sex as a way to control aspects of her relationship to the ire of their husbands or boyfriends?
Many women use children to manipulate, undermine or punish men, and many, many women use the perception of being the weaker sex with dangerous effect. These are all issues that have to do with dysfunctional people in dysfunctional relationships.
In truth, we do not know some of the sick reasons why people get married or are in intimate sexual relationships.
We do not know what they may have secretly or expressly agreed to by being with who they are with.
But one thing is certain, if either person in a relationship feels the need to “take” what they think is theirs through force, it is a sign that something much deeper is going on.
We cannot allow an act that can only be known by the parties involved to be tried in the courts of public opinion without proper scrutiny. There are many scorned women who may use poorly drafted legislation as an opportunity to get back at the men who scorned them.
No matter what side of the argument you might be on, let’s agree on one thing, our society is very, very sick, and our people must be resocialised. This starts with building strong families, in this regard, only a national re-socialisation programme can help!
February 6, 2020.