The once peaceful union of Mrs. Florence ltianu and Mr. Donatus Itianu is at the verge of hitting the rocks at a Grade A Customary Court, Agege, Lagos. The petitioner, Mrs. Itianu dragged her husband to court on the grounds of battery, threat to life and lack of care.
The 48-year-old woman, who resides at 4, Kaka Street, Agege, lamented to the court how peace has eluded her 12-year old marriage.
According to her, "I have been managing the marriage. I have been smiling outside and shedding secret tears, all because I don’t want to leave my husband because of my children.
"Since the inception of the marriage, I have been the head of the home because my husband is so stingy and won’t part with any money unless it is stolen from him. I have been responsible for the house rent, feeding, children school fees and other expenses in the house.
"All my husband does is to sit down early in the morning and be expecting food to walk in on its own to his table. I would not have thought of leaving him if not for the beating I do receive from him. He beats me any time he asks for money and I refuse, he nags and complains a lot, he talks like the parrot and has been threatening to kill me. I know him. Whenever he is angry, he can misbehave and would not mind the consequence. I want to live for my children. I am fed up. I have heard a lot of stories of husbands killing their wives, I do not want to fall a victim. And there’s no room for reconciliation because it cannot work", the woman fumed.
She further pleaded with the court to dissolve the marriage and grant her custody of the children for proper motherly care.
Refuting all the allegations levelled against him, Donatus Itianu told the court that his mother-in-law has been the brain behind his marital crisis.
"I am a gentle man, I love my wife and kids, but my problem is my mother-in-law who controls my home", he complained.
"My mother-in-law has been staying with us for the past eight years, you will know what I would have gone through in that house.
"Mama controls all the activities in the house. She tells my wife what to do, she gives instructions in the house as if she owns the house.
"Some times in the night, I will wait for my wife to join me on the bed till around 12 midnight and if I don’t see her, I will sleep off. The next day if I ask her what she was doing in the sitting room that kept her so long, she simply would tell me that she was in a meeting with her mother.
"I know I married two women, mother and daughter. How will I be happy with the happenings in my home? I ventured into some business but my wife and her mother ruined it...
"The first four years of my marriage was sweet, but trouble began when my "second wife" came [mother-in-law] and started living in my house."
The 52 year-old-man told the court that he was ready to be responsible if his mother-in-law left the house for them.
The court asked the respondent to improve his relationship with his wife and see if the situation will change, while Florence should bring her mother at the adjourned date, January 29, 2013, for further hearing of the case.