You don’t know him like I do

You don’t know him like I do



Wait, wait, wait. Charlie is nothing like my dad, and you don’t know him like I do. You can’t judge him because you’re not the one in a relationship with him. You’re not the one he’s bared his soul too. You have never seen the artistic, sensitive part of him.


You can’t see past the tattoos, past the Mohawk, past the ever tight lips.


Yes, he does seem terrifying, but what if I told you all that is an act? What if I told you that beneath that tough eighteen year old matured male exterior is a soft heart? What if I told you that the violence and turbulence of his parents’ marriage have left him scarred? And what if I told you that he understands me, knows what makes me tick?


Yes, he has a predisposition to anger, to rage. But tell me which kid from a broken home doesn’t? And yes, when he’s angry, he has a tendency to hit things, to hit me. But that’s just the way of hormone-charged boys.


And while we are at it, I should take care to tell you that the few times he’s ever hit me, I was in the wrong. Yes, a lot of guys don’t hit their girlfriends when they do wrong, but it’s just that Charlie is a sensitive, emotional person. He feels slights more than the average person does.


The very first time he hit me, he’d caught me scrolling through his text messages. How on earth could I have suspected him of other affairs in a relationship that is supposed to be built exclusively on love?


The second time was also my fault. He’d been trying to call me all day and I wasn’t picking up. Is it not a sign of love to want to know where your beloved is at always?


And have I told you Charlie is nothing like my dad? When he hits me, it is because he has to. And even then, he is always sorry afterwards. My conclusion is, he does not like to hit me but he just can’t help himself when I am naughty.


Let me tell you one other reason I know he loves me. Charlie cannot live without me. How about that? Do you know how many times he has told me he would kill himself if I ever leave him? And there was that time, that one time, that he said he’d make it a murder-suicide. Me first, then him. That way, we’d be in heaven together.


Are you asking if I was scared when he said that? Of course I was. That is, initially. Then I thought about the hidden meaning of that threat, the real meaning. Charlie cannot live without me. This makes me feel good inside, makes me feel worthwhile, makes me feel that there’s something I can actually do right in this life.


But see, there’s something I don’t really feel good about, something I haven’t quite forgiven Charlie for.


That thing is my stolen innocence.


See, we’d agreed very early in or relationship that we were going to stay pure until our wedding night. Yes, we kissed. Yes, we smooched. Yes, we tempted fate. But we were not ready to take it further. At least I wasn’t.


But there was a night that Charlie forced me. Today, he says he didn’t but in my heart of hearts, I know I was forced. When his hands snaked into my panties, I pushed, I struggled, I told him to stop. But he didn’t. He didn’t.


There was that horrible pain, there was that desire to scratch out his eyes, there was that urge to curl up and die.


A part of me hates Charlie for what he did, but there’s another part that has reasoned it out. We will be married, won’t we? So, he’s only taking now what he would have taken later. Bad but not reprehensible.


What I’m asking you to do is not so terrible, not so hard. Try to see Charlie the way that I do. Why don’t you try and see beyond his tough pose to the little, hurting boy inside of him?


He loves me and that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?



***Each year approximately one in four adolescents reports verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Approximately one in five high school girls has been physically, emotionally or sexually abused by a dating partner. We can do our part to stop it by being our daughters’, nieces’, cousins’ friends, so they can feel free to talk to us about issues like this.

43 thoughts on “You don’t know him like I do” by Folakemi Emem-Akpan (@Folakemi)

  1. Totally support you n this one. My heart breaks for girls, ladies and women going through such manipulation just in the name of love.

    1. @Kellyshor, thanks for your comments. No woman/girl should ever go through this

  2. Adenyke (@And-romeda16@NS.)

    yeah, no woman has to be abused physically or emotionally all in the name of love.

    1. @and-romeda16ns, well said. No woman should be abused in the name of love. Love your handle by the way

  3. KINGwax™ (@acmesuccess007)


    1. @acmesuccess007, thanks for your comment. As you said, abuse cuts both ways irrespective of gender. However, the abuse against women is more common and sometimes fatal.

  4. KINGwax™ (@acmesuccess007)


    i’m sure there are many men out there who are suffering emotionally in the hands of women too. violence and abuse should be a general topic- i guess

  5. Nice one but i dont totally agree with you on this one. you cant be making excuses for him all the time he assaults you. The problem with your Charlie is insecurity. He loves you quite alright but over several challenges in his upbringing, he has resulted to those stunts to feel in charge. Say no to DOMESTIC ASSAULTS OF ANY SORT

    1. @gmoney, thanks for your comment. And the whole idea is for you to disagree with the main character. No one should ever make excuses for the one they are in a relationship with. When that starts, it shows something is iffy.

  6. Its a pity how the desire for LOVE can make people prone to delusions that exposes them to manipulations. I agree that it is a general phenomenon, and is not gender based, but am quick to add that women due to their physical and social rankings are more prone to such. I atimes hear when friends joke of their runs with their women: it boils down to manipulation to use undue pressure to get your way, either into her ‘pudding’ or into her purse …, yes, her purse!? Many guys now do all sorts to harras money out of women too. The other day, a colleague of mine was boasting of how he was progressing in threatening his wife (yes, his wife) with a family meeting showdown, and if possible separation or divorce, if she didn’t transfer the property she bought in her name to his name. His confessions made me wonder if there is a law that demands joint ownership of property or prohibits individuals in marriage from property acquisition: had she committed a crime? These manipulation goes on in different shades, irrespective of gender, education or even belief. No wonder the liberty that is supposed to be in love has flown away in the face of the lies and self deceit we now call love? Hmm, hmm, there is God oh, hmm!

    1. @musemussang, what a shame that a man would do that to his wife. I am a staunch believer in love and marriage, but I will be the first to say that it should not be at the expense of your self worth and happiness. Never make excuses for a partner who wouldnt do the same for you

  7. Hmmm. Blaming herself is even more painful than the slaps he gives her.

    I’ll share a story.

    I had a friend back in high school. We went to a school where 50 years ago, it was an all white school. But presently, its not. The school environment became— no whites, 80% blacks, 15% Spanish speaking kids and the others Asian but!

    There came along one white guy who started with you. Of course he hot treated differently because he was white… but we later found out that he was mixed, had some Mexican heritage in him.

    New white guy comes around my circle started falling for my friend. He would walk us home after school and we too classes together. He begged me to help talk to my friend. Finally, she agreed. When she did, it was as if her rank in the school elevated because she was dating the only white guy….

    2 months later, she’s getting bruises on her eyes and all. She lied that she got them during training. 5 months later, she starts to complain. Michael won’t let her do this and do that. He has anger issues. He’s always saying stuff to out her down. He’s always reminding her that he’s that white guy every other wants and so my friend, being so stupid and naive stayed with him.

    She started to lose more weight. Overnight she just grew skinny! She just became more tired and I would beg her to leave Michael but “I don’t know him like she does,” that’s what she’ll tell me…

    She never left. I don’t know about now but she never left that insane relationship of abuse.

    1. @ufuomaotebele, thanks for the story you shared. There are a thousand and one similar stories, and it makes me wonder why girls/women choose to stay with these abusive men even in this age and times. Breaks my heart every time

  8. I gave a similar comment on Amina Idris’ wilted flower concerning girls jeopardizing their values all in the name of love or the “you don’t know him like I do” crap.
    I think enough is enough!!
    #Good_job on the presentation.

  9. I gave a similar comment on Amina Idris’ wilted flower, concerning girls jeopardizing their values all in the name of love or the “you don’t know him like I do” crap.
    I think enough is enough!!
    #Good_job on the presentation.

  10. So many women have died because of their silences and excuses for their assaulters. With an instance of a guy sentenced to death from wife battering causing her death; some of these Charlie-like guys won’t still learn; so also are the women who had heard or seen such, still cling to the men thinking *he’ll change* till their comes knocking. #choices #suchislife #dontdieinsilence #aclosedmouthisacloseddestiny

    1. @shovey, thanks for your comment. The problem is that these charlie-like guys sometimes don’t even know that they are doing anything wrong. They are just being macho. But we have to be women enough to say NO to abuse

  11. Rhoiy (@Roy-journals)

    This is beautiful. I really like the message. Women should always know when it’s time to pick up and leave. They don’t need men to validate them. I don’t think endurance is what makes up a relationship. Relationships shouldn’t hurt. Stop making excuses for the other person’s mistakes. If it hurts, get out of it before you lose your life.

    @Folakemi you should write more often… You’re a wonderful writer…

    1. @roy-journals, you are absolutely right. Relationships should not hurt

  12. KINGwax™ (@acmesuccess007)

    I know all you female with swarm this thread. lol, that’s all you want.

    @Folakemi, I bilivd the ladies cry louder; thus, we hear their stories often and it makes it look like though they are the largest victim.

    men also go through a lot. I can’t even begin to talk about it

    1. @acmesuccess007, I know abuse happens both ways but when it is a woman abusing a man, it usually does not entail physical violence (except in few cases). That’s why ladies cry louder, to quote you.

  13. Adenyke (@And-romeda16@NS.)

    @Folakemi, ‘love your handle by the way’, thanks

  14. They’ve said it all, women should have their self worth and not allow someone who doesn’t even deserve them to manipulate them.
    Its really sad the Mc thinks she’s at fault and also thinks that the murder suicide threat is kool.

    1. @ameenaedrees, thanks for your comment. and as you said, a murder suicide threat is never cool

  15. Wow!! This piece really means a lot!!! I like it.

    1. thanks @emsteves for taking the time to comment. Welcome to NS

  16. nice one dear…its time to preach the word. No to violence!

    1. thanks @Kyceeq for your comment. #notoviolence

  17. The general consesus here is hitting a female is derogatory and un-manly. But the fact is the female should realise that they are worth more than what they are or what they deserve. The fact is every female should understand when to live. They should be able to understand that, when he says things that makes it feel as if its love that drives him to making such gibberish, its just simply emotional blackmail. Such females are scared of being alone and they feel they might not find someone who will accept them the way they are, cos they believe that they are not worth anything. Every female should ask herself, “What is my self worth ?”. I know that it is difficult,:but will you have a second chance at finding love and trusting another decent bloke when you end it all with your boxer boyfriend? Cos its really gona end.

    Every female wants to be treated like a queen. There is what I term as the “Feminine Wish”.

    If there is any bloke battering his gal and saying he can’t live without her and yet he gives her a black eye and says its cos you were naugher is nothing but a coward. Cos that organ that dangles between your legs doesn’t make you a dude bro. It makes you a sissy.

    Females help yourself so that ww can help. Self realization is of the essence and self denial should be eradicated.

    I have a sis. And I expect her not to face such a messy situation.
    Let me end my sermon here. I have said enough.

    Lovely piece.

    1. thanks @thaprince for your comment. As I replied @shovey, we women also have to be emotionally strong enough to say no to a guy who starts to treat us bad, because some of these guys don’t even know they are doing anything wrong. We have to tell them NO and leave with our self worth still intact

  18. Korayday (@DelectableKay)

    Beautiful story. Great message. But not all kids from broken homes are violent or predisposed to anger.

    1. thanks @delectablekay for your comment. Of course not every kid from broken homes have anger issues. Just made that part of the MC’s ramblings and one of her many excuses

  19. Wow! Great writing as always, and a strong message to boot. Keep doing what you do @folakemi.

  20. I seriously wish every grown up lady will take this serious nd help our young girls gowing into ladies. I wish my mum had listening ears or was ever close to me, i wouldnt have made similar mistakes thar still hurts me like that of the narrator

    1. @9ebony, thanks for dropping by, reading and commenting. So sorry to hear about the mistakes you’ve made. But thank God you have realised that they were mistakes. That’s the first step to moving on.
      and you and I can choose to listen to the growing generation and steer them away from the same mistakes.

  21. Nice write-up ….I think why they still in the relationship with a violent guy is because of what people will say.

    Good job @folakemi

  22. Nice write-up ….I think why they still stay in the relationship with a violent guy is because of what people will say,if she decide to break up.

    Good job @folakemi

  23. Wow. This is so realistic. It sounds so much like a teen wrote this into her diary… I hope parents can find ways to relay this message to thier daughters effectively. My parents never discussed these things in my time. Luckily I had some good friends who had sense and we could discuss these things sensibly

    1. @ivie9ja, i agree that we should share with our daughters. Thanks for commenting

Leave a Reply