They say “You can’t change people, either you accept who they are or start living life without them.” I don’t know who said it but when I got to the point I had to choose between changing him and living without him, I chose the later. It’s easy to walk away than to entertain the hopes that you have the power to change him.
We dated for three years and throughout dating, the only thing we both agreed on was his proposal to me. He said he loved me and want to make me his girlfriend. I agreed.
I agreed because I knew him. We’ve been in the same church and I’ve seen the kind of things he does in the church. At one time he was the youth president and I was a member. Anytime he spoke, he exuded the kind of confidence easy to admire in a man.
When I finally said yes, he made me understand one thing. He said to me, “The end result of what we are starting today is marriage. Put it in your mind and let’s work towards that.”
It sounded very exciting to me. It felt like we were a team working together to win a medal.
And then along the line, I realized one thing; Whatever he said was final and non-negotiable. He paid no regards to my opinions and wanted his way all the time.
I usually went along with what he said. You know what they say about compromise…If a relationship would thrive, partners need to compromise. Plus, he was the man so I gave him the headship to lead the way.
I did all that thinking he would learn to compromise too when the time comes but no.
We were deciding on where to live after we’ve gotten married. I suggested we put some money together and rent a small place in the beginning so in future when conditions get better and can afford, then we move. He said no.
He said, “Why rent when your parents own a big house? It’s a waste of money. Let’s live in your parents’ house for now, when conditions get better and we can afford, then we move.”
We argued over this for days but he wouldn’t listen to me so I kept quiet.
We disagreed on so many things concerning the wedding. At some point, I thought we were completely opposite and had no reason to be together. I wanted pink and white for our wedding colors. He said “Nooo, why choose colors that everyone is using? Let’s use lemon green and white instead.”
God knows I hate lemon green. I don’t know why but that color always strikes the wrong emotional chord in me. Why use it as my wedding colors? Nothing I said could change his mind. He insisted on it and I grudgingly agreed.
At our next counseling session, I brought the issue of disagreement up and asked the pastor how as a couple we could resolve our differences. I cited many instances where disagreement is likely and even asked the pastor if the man should always have his way.
“Learn to compromise sometimes,” he said. The pastor explained everything to us and exhorted us to put our individual needs aside and consider what makes the team better.
After counseling that day, I felt so refreshed knowing that a huge change was going to come into our relationship.
About three weeks before the wedding, we went shopping for the ring. It was the last thing left to purchase.
We were welcomed by the shop attendant who took us through their collections and prices. I spotted one and picked it up. It was 18 karat gold and I loved it. I told him “I think I’m going to settle for this. It’s simple and cute.”
He retorted, “we are not buying gold, everyone wears gold. Let’s get silver for a change.” The way he said it was very annoying but I wasn’t ready to be angry so I told him, “no problem. You can get the silver but I prefer the gold. Gold looks nice on my finger than the silver.”
“You’re not getting any gold!” He snorted. “I’m paying for it and I say we are getting silver.”
I wanted to say more but the look on the attendant’s face shut me up. She looked bewildered. As if to say; “common ring you can’t seem to agree on which one to choose and you want to live together?”
I kept my composure as I watched him pick the silver rings and pay for them. I was boiling with rage and felt like screaming insults at him. How could he?
In the car going back home, we exchanged no words. I only managed to share some tears. I wanted him to ask why I’m crying. But he sat still. Unconcerned.
When I got home, I went straight to my mother’s room, tears running down my cheeks, I said, “I don’t think I can go on with this. It’s frustrating. We are not yet married but I’m tired already. I can’t!”
I told my mom what the issue was. She tried telling me to take it into prayers and God shall fix him. “Don’t allow the devil to win over you.” She said. When my dad heard the story he asked us to postpone the wedding and fix the problem before we marry. “The devil is stronger than you think. You better be strong too.” He concluded
Our pastor said it was the work of the devil and asked us to fast and pray. Everyone blamed it on the devil. When he got the chance to persuade me to change my mind, he said: “don’t give the devil a space to destroy what we’ve already built.”
That was it. He couldn’t even accept responsibilities of his own shortcomings. How can your bossy behavior be the work of the devil?
I was sad sending messages to friends and families telling them the wedding wasn’t coming on. It broke my heart when I had to think of what people will say after hearing the news but I knew I only had to do it once and the rest would take care of itself.
It’s been two years now and I have no regrets. Life has been without lemon green and I think that serves me well.
-Story by Linda Bannor, Winneba-Ghana.
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