Is This Rape?
He walked into the bedroom, reeking of alcohol and Peace knew he had been out with the boys again. She also suspected that he had probably exceeded his limit. She muttered a quick Thank You to the Lord for bringing him home safely. Her greatest fear was that one day, she would receive a call from the hospital inviting her to identify his mashed up body. Thankfully, it would not be this night.
He switched on the lights, but she pretended she was asleep.
Are you awake? he slurred, but she held her peace, not giving off any sign that she was awake. She continued to breathe in and out slowly so that he would leave her alone for she did not want a fight. She could feel him standing by her side watching her, but she’d made up her mind and she was sticking with her plan.
Wake up oh! he muttered before staggering into the bathroom to take a very loud pee. She was sure that the stream of urine would hit everywhere but the toilet bowl. She’d had to wipe up his mess many mornings after his drinking binge while he’d lay in bed, holding his sore head in his hands and pleading that he had a headache.
She was suddenly angered by the unfairness of it all. She’d just returned from taking the thermometer reading of their 8 year old daughter who was suffering from a bad bout of tonsillitis and she’d had to go over to the in-laws to serve his father dinner because his mother was away to care for his sister’s new arrival. Instead of being around to help her, he’d called her from work to say one of his colleagues was celebrating his birthday and there would be a hangout.
Their six year old son had refused to sleep early because he’d been waiting for his daddy to show him how to play the new game he had gifted the boy with. She’d had to come up with a lie, one of the many that she always had in store for such occasions.
Suddenly angered by his indifference to his family, she was more resolute that she would not wake up to acknowledge his presence.
Na wa oh, so no food. What kind of house is this? he muttered as he tried to shake her awake.
Wake up joh. He said, but gave up when she did not budge, he laid beside her. She could feel his weight depress the bed by her side and she knew he wanted some ‘action’ for each person always kept their sides of the bed and they only ever came to the centre for ‘action’. She was determined that he would not get any tonight. She could feel his turgid erection in her back for he was already naked and ready.
Oya he said, but she ignored.
She could feel one of his hands on her buttocks, cupping it, trying to shake her awake and she breathed a sigh of thanks that she’s worn pyjamas and not a night dress. At least, his access was impeded. She was surprised when he did not give up and as his other hand went round her to cup her left breast.
Feeling violated, she pushed his hands away.
Don’t try that!’ she said fully alert
Don’t try what? Are you not my wife? he asked as he returned his hand to her breast and pulled her nipple hard.
I said stop it! she said sitting up
Stop what? Lie down joh, come here he said as he dragged her to him. He was much bigger than she, so it was an effortless move on his part.
I have warned you! She said as she turned her back to him.
Bring your pussy here. you know you want it. You know you want it bad. I already paid for it. He muttered in a sing song voice as he tried to finger her through the thin silk of her pyjamas bottoms
I think you are mad. She said as she got up to leave the room but he met her at the door and dragged her back into the room, towards the bed. As she struggled, she fell on the floor and he pounced on her. In no time he had put his whole weight upon her, using his strong knee to part her legs.
Stop it, stop it, wait, wait I can’t breathe she said
Shut up, you are my wife. I married you legally. You must give me what I want he said through gritted teeth
I will give you she said, Just Stop! she repeated as she could hear her trouser get ripped
Don’t do this! she pleaded
You are my wife! You should be happy to oblige me. Many men would fuck prostitutes outside but I bring it home, you can’t starve me he said, as he kept on feeling, looking for the spot to slide it into
Wait. I’m not ready. Let me get the KY Jelly she said
You will be okay he said as he forced his way in Ahhh, it is too dry he complained
Stop, stop as she struggled to get off him
Make it wet! make it wet! he said as he slammed into her manically
Peace could not believe she was back here for this had happened to her in her Junior Secondary! She had been open and had told her husband all the gory details. He’s been so caring and helped her through all her sexual hang ups and she’d learnt to enjoy sex with him. He was her only real experience. How could he? How could he?
No, No, No she said, as she was taken back into the past and her mind got locked up. It felt the exact same way, the invasion, the pain.
Abruptly, it stopped. He had come and slid out of her. It was over and he rolled over and slept off on the cosy rug in their room, snoring even before his eyes were closed.
It dawned on her that her own husband had raped her! She sat on the floor and cried. She sat at that spot and cried throughout the night. She cried for a love that was dead, for everything that they could have been and most importantly, for the loss of her dignity.
When she went to pee the next morning, it stung so bad. It was as though she’d been cut with a razor in a thousand places down below. She knew she had to take this case up, but she did not know how.
She ached all over and when she got back into the room and saw him where he’s slept on the floor, she felt her bile rise, but her phone rang and it was his dad.
My dear, I just wanted to thank you for the supper last night said the old man
My God will bless you, Joy will never cease from your home. Your children will not suffer. You and your husband will grow old together… she interjected before she knew she had
No, Papa. You son will grow old in jail alone she said angrily
God forbid. If he has done anything to upset you, my dear. Please count it as my offence and forgive him. He is your husband said the old man
No, Papa. You are not the one that raped me! She yelled at him
Rape? How can a husband rape his own wife? It is not possible. Maybe you are just angry for now. Let your anger calm down. I will visit you both this afternoon and get to the bottom of this. he said sounding unworried. It seemed as though he’d found her allegation laughable.
Shortly after Papa cut the phone, she got a text message from him. It went thus:
***My dear daughter, please do not make a ridicule of yourself and your husband. Do not repeat this story to anybody. Remember the Bible says in Corinthians that “Let the husband render his conjugal dues to his wife, and in the same way also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have power over her own body, but the husband; and in the same way also, the husband does not have power over his own body, but the wife” and in “Ephesians Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.” The Lord will be with you both.***
Peace looked at the phone and wondered if she had a case. Was it really impossible for a husband to rape his wife?
Share your thoughts on this issue. Is this rape or not? Is marital rape even possible Who is right Peace or Grandpa? Over to you, the verdict is yours….
Inspired by a tweet shared by Sisi Yemmie on her handle yesterday, I wondered if it was truly possible for a husband to rape his own wife. Purely a work of fiction, the story above seeks to make us think about this. I would really love to hear the legal and spiritual views. See you in the comments section. I promise.