I want to admit that I started out with Bunmi acting like a beast. Things never really kicked off the way we planned at the start of our marriage. Everything went contrary to plan, and she was always at the receiving end of my anger and frustration. You could call me a beast—and you won’t be far from being correct because I almost punched life out of Bunmi.

I didn’t turn to a beast (the exact name Bunmi’s parents call me) overnight—and even though she was not at fault, I needed someone to understand what I was going through, and she was the closest person to me. I searched for answers, but none came or were not satisfactory; but she was always there to provoke me. Did I say provoke? Actually she was only doing what every loving wife would do when the man of the house is undergoing pressure.

I married Bunmi because of her charm and beauty. How on earth can you not like a woman that radiates care and so much kindness? Bunmi is every man’s dream; but look what I have turned my woman into. She is like Queen Vashti, the wife of that famous King in the Book of Esther—Ahasuerus. Apparently a swine has no need of a jewel round its neck.

I forbade her from throwing and cracking jokes at home; so why am I complaining? I didn’t actually act like Ahasuerus by issuing a state decree asking that she be “executed,” but even a slow learner would easily understand what my actions meant.

Bunmi should have been the one writing this, but I am surprised that her stories about how I abused her physically and verbally have not got out there. Not many of her friends know about this by word of mouth, but the scars are all over her body. The bruises are evident, and the fact that her emotions have been heavily brutalized is not hidden from close friends and relatives.

These days she doesn’t say a word to me just the way other women do to their husbands. She has withdrawn to her cocoon—not to be seen or heard making the faintest of noise. At home you could hear the pin drop; but it is not the same thing when Bunmi is with Timothy—she laughs away at any joke cracked by my friend. She is so free with him; but timid to mutter a word when we are alone together.

The once lively and charming Venus is now a shadow of her old self—courtesy of my foolishness and sadistic lifestyle. I have gone on my knees a thousand times to ask for her forgiveness, but every action seems to drive her farther away from me. We live together, share the same bed, eat on the same dining table, and watch TV together; but Bunmi that I know is not there.

What have I done to a once charming and love-filled woman? The real Bunmi is out there with Timothy—yes I have chased her away.

Dear readers, how do I get my Bunmi back? I have begged and written hundreds of poems, but she seems gone and may never return. Sometimes I feel like “punching” her back to life. At other times I feel like I could turn back the hands of time.

Please I need your candid advice…