Due to the previous tropical storm, a number of bridges had been swept away by raging rivers. As a result there were many temporary bypass roads to enable motorists to get around the island unhindered. When we arrived at my parent’s home from work that day, they explained that there seemed to be an issue with the water. They didn’t have anymore drinking water and were in desperate need of some. Water was a habitual issue in their area, however it was unlikely that I had the same issue given that I lived further away. My dad asked my then boyfriend aka Mr Impatient. He smiled and seemed happy to grant the favour. We took their empty bottles so that we could fill them at my place. A short time after we left their home a very heated argument exploded. He felt he was being used as an errand boy, and that my folks shouldn’t be depending on me to help them out of the situation. It had gotten so ugly that I remember demanding that he stop the car so that I could get off. I also remember that for the first time since living on the island that I wasn’t exactly sure of where I was. So I couldn’t decide if I should walk back to my parents or walk to my place. I was truly disoriented. I decided that I’d prefer to move in the opposite direction of where we had been heading and walk back to my parents home. I was furious and I knew my adrenalin would take me wherever I needed to get to.
I must digress. Firstly; what you get whilst dating is what you’ll get in marriage. Secondly; when married folk tell you that marriage doesn’t change people, please believe. We had so many arguments about nothing and everything. I always put it down to his insecurities which stemmed from his abusive childhood. I figured that once he understood who I was that he wouldn’t feel insecure and that he would be more comfortable and stable and confident in us as a couple. I wrongly thought that once he really came to know the kind of woman I was, that he would accept that I wasn’t going to play with his heart or emotions, and that I was there for the long haul.
What you get whilst dating is exactly what you get when you marry. After we got married the arguing over arbitrary petty issues intensified and he always doubted my loyalty to him and our marriage. He did change after we married, but that was in the sense that he no longer hid or held back the true nature of his ugly abusive side from me. Marriage doesn’t change people, the ugly part of them that you glimpsed during courtship doesn’t magically cure itself or disappear. If anything it intensifies. Pray and choose wisely.
He kept shouting out my name and asking me to return to the car but I just kept walking. When I didn’t respond to him, he got out of the car and started apologizing profusely. I kept walking. I heard him walk away from me and was relieved that at least I would have peace and quiet. I heard the engine start but instead of driving away he reversed the car so that he could catch up with me. Very quietly he said “Byooti, I’m sorry. Please get in the car”. I complied and got back into the car and we continued the journey.
We filled the water bottles that we had brought with us and headed back to my parents home. By now all was calm. I remember that as he drive I was explaining something to him, I don’t remember what, but I had turned myself in the seat so that I could face him. As he drove I anticipated him turning right because the bridge that we had to cross was out and we would have to use the bypass. I frowned as I spoke because we were not slowing down and I knew we were near the bridge. Before I even turned to check our location I screamed “Mr Impatient, the bridge!” I spun round in my seat and placed my hand on the dashboard to brace for impact. As my eyes turned forward to face our direction of travel, I saw where the bridge gave way before I saw the barriers placed in front of it. I felt him slam the brakes. We jolted, he slammed them again. We hit the concrete cone and the car came to a stop. We sat in silence for a few seconds. I was immensely consoled that I had not died. Just then another vehicle arrived and realised what had happened. They were going in our direction and offered us a lift. I sat and listened as Mr Impatient made small talk with the driver. I was unable to process what had just happened. I was tired and numb. All I really wanted was my bed. I didn’t want to be conscious, I didn’t want to think.
It was a few days before I allowed my mind to process what had happened that evening. He had felt put out by helping me acquire water for my family and he took his frustration out on me, hence the argument on the way to my place. If you’re dating and your so-called beloved takes issue when you have to support your family in some way, do yourself favour and move on. Someone who understands family interconnectedness will not stand in your way of helping your own family. Now I’m not talking about the parasite family where you are depended on to do everything for them when they can easily support themself in your absence or the type of family that maliciously tries to stand between you and your significant other. If this person you love so much becomes annoyed or angry when you take a call from your family or begrudges you when you do the odd errand this is a very big red flag. Walk away.
I concluded that though I was calm and had put the dispute behind me, he was still holding on to his anger from earlier. We had driven that route many times before and after it was damaged. During daylight and at night. He hid it well, but he was so consumed that he was blinded by his anger. Literally. Do you know what’s worse? While God would probably expect me to forgive him, the worse bit is that I excused and accepted his behaviour and I remained in a relationship with him. In any relationship there is bound to be disagreements and arguing. The important thing to note is how the individual behaves towards you while they are angry. Do they walk away, blow off steam then come back and have a rational conversation? Do they apologise even if they are not in the wrong? Do they throw and break things in rage? Do they give the silent treatment for days on end? Part of being successfully married is knowing how and what to do when there is conflict because conflict should always be resolved amiably; and never let the sun go down on your wrath.
Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick tempered person stockpiles stupidity. Proverbs 14:29The Message Bible