Wednesday, 30 March 2016 23:46

So your wife called the police and you wanted to kill her?

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A Nigerian New Yorker calls and says: "Doc, this man's wife called police to put him out of the house, and she wants to  get a divorce, and now he is threatening to kill her."  I fought for 2 days to get the Igbo would-be killer's mobile phone number, and when I finally left him a voice mail he failed to respond. Then I texted and warned him against any violence.

He responded with a mixture of anger, pride and shame. "PLAY THAT GAME IN ATLANTA. THIS NEW YORK BIG APPLE."  He has terrorized and beaten his lawyer wife to a pulp so much her family members who are New York physicians have paid a divorce lawyer to get their sister out of hell. His three children's constant "daddy, daddy" cries haven't persuaded him to quit beating  his wife or to shake Satan out of him. Now, he concludes that since he cannot control the woman he "brought and buttered"back in 1998; and pastor's mediation or fellow Nigerians' reconciliation efforts  have gone unheeded, his best option is  killing her.  I assure him he can remarry if he is willing to make drastic changes in behavior and attitudes. But pride is getting in the way.

So your wife calls police to the home to save her life? You are embarrassed, aren't you because neighbors finally got the wind that you are not a real man people mistake you for. All that goes between you and Beatrice, all those smiles at church and in wedding pictures are nothing.  You are not a real man. All are facades, make-believe, and pretenses. Calling the police is the final straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

Real men don't find it embarrassing and belittling when wives involve the police in domestic disputes. Calling police to the home may be necessary when a wife is afraid for her life and unable to defend herself. How would you like Killway Nwachukwu, Hogan Bassey, Mike Tyson, or Muhammad Ali  to push you around or punch on you? Calling police prevents altercations from escalating and ending in death or serious bodily injury to one or both spouses. It gives spouses time to cool off and eventually sort things out .

Legislatures and courts mandate that police at the scene of domestic violence should decide which spouse to remove to prevent possible death or serious bodily injury. Cities and police departments have been held liable for failure to carry out the mandate in negligence actions.

To prevent your wife from calling police on you, there are some sensible things you ought to do. Remain calm and out of heated arguments. Agree with her until she calms down. Reassure her of your loyalty, love and interest in the marriage. Ask her to explain what actually is bothering her, and agree to work the problems out together.

Should police come to the house, show respect to the law enforcement.  Don't argue with police.  That behavior is dangerous. I know a Nigerian whose wife called the police who beat the argumentative husband, inflicting serious injuries that required hip replacements and mending broken bones.  Explain your side of the story calmly without invoking authority of your Nigerian customs. Remember this is America where laws reign supreme. It is not your neck of the woods where Jungle Nwokolo is the Judge. Since you are the man of the house, you should exercise better patience, tolerance, understanding,  give-and-take.  Do not express your frustrations by saying: "I brought her here with my money." Police is not interested In your tribal justice  or your voo-doo economics. In a marriage, there is no winner and there is no loser. It is a win-win situation, the situation where " I'm Okay and You're Okay".

Let your wife win the argument sometimes even if you are right and she is wrong , and if that would bring peace and love. Jesus has shown that humility  and peace are the most powerful and dangerous weapons in a diplomatic person's peaceful hands. Say to her: "I am sorry, baby, please forgive me. God isn't yet through molding me." How is she going to knock down a person who is already down and begging for mercy?

If police decides to remove you, follow quietly but say to your wife" Baby, I am sorry. It's my entire fault. Please call me so we meet over lunch to discuss this further. I promise this will not happen again." Be humble and forget what your village Papa and uncles tell about how to marry Nigerian women. Your tobacco-snuffing Papa wouldn't be able to handle his freedom-loving wife in America or survive New York  winter for a day without wishing he were in the village, sleeping around open fire in a hut filled with  smoke to drive away pesky mosquitoes. I know an 85-year-old grandmother who came to America with her husband who later died. Granny returned to America shortly after the funeral and is flouncing her old ass at all Nigerian parties in tight jeans and exposed sandal breasts which she folds under bras.  She thinks: Freedom! Freedom at last!

So you still want to kill your wife after all? Killing your wife makes you a bloody fool, a criminal, a murderer who deserves the electric chair or lethal injection. Does your wife's better education, better income, or better physical attractiveness drive you to want to kill her? Why don't you imitate her in her choice of education and selection of career?  I know some Nigerian men who were so envious of their wives' BSN/RN degrees  and high income nurse's jobs, that they made the decision to go to the  nurses schools to earn the BSN/RN themselves and now are in nursing where the demand for males outstrips supply. I respect men who have the get-up-and-go.

If you harm your wife, you may be deported after serving  your sentence, assuming  you lived through it. Your life has ended; and you may never get what you killed for. You must kiss bye-bye or bid farewell to normal sex, money, love, or respect. What is awaiting you as you enter the American prison system is big-time homosexual sex where you the man become the woman and someone is riding your back. It is better to return to the village, hang your head in shame, and count your life over.

The Igbos respect human life and believe one should not destroy what one has not created. Before you decide to kill ask to go for anger management or psychiatric evaluation; speak with your pastor, physician or lawyer. Abandon your excessive Igbo pride and listen to reason; you cannot use the same methods that work in Nigeria in America. The cultures are totally different.

Killing means you have limited power of persuasion; your communication is unconvincing at best. Try to reason with her, be her friend, date her all over, try to win her over to your side. Speak the "I feel" language.  Examples are many: "Baby, if you call the police, it might make them feel we are unfit parents. You make me feel you don't love me any more when I am trying to do my best. I don't want to make you feel that I don't care. Calling the police makes me feel like a criminal, and please don't make me feel that way. You make us feel like uncaring, unfit parents, and they may take away our most treasured possession: our children. Please don't do this to us" PEOPLE RESPECT FEELINGS WHEN YOU LET YOUR REAL FEELINGS BE KNOWN.

Comments and Criticisms Directed to the Author always welcomed and Solicited

About the Author: Although James C. Agazie, JD, EdD, is retired Professor of Education & Psychology, he is called out of retirement to serve as Adjunct Professor. He has taught for years  as Professor at  both the  undergraduate and graduate levels. He devotes time to writing and consulting services, helping students with the Master's theses, Doctoral dissertations, and research and statistics. He runs Marriage Coaching sessions which he started with his late wife Dr. Maxine M. Agazie,(40 years of marriage) and which is geared towards assisting couples to work out marital difficulties and/or avoid divorces. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.