As I type, Sade’s “Love is Stronger Than Pride” is on repeat mode on my iPod. The words make a dent in my heart, as I think about how much of myself I give to love, and for love. But I also think about a past relationship, and how hard it is to let go of that comment he made in our argument. It was enough for me to say, “Get out; it’s over between us”.
And then like a scene out of a Martin episode, I squeal and mince at the sight of him walking away and scream his name silently in the pit of my gut, loud enough for me to hear, but quiet enough for him to not hear it. My pride kept me from saying, “Babe don’t go. We can work this out”. End of story… He left.
See, pride keeps us from working things out in relationships that can sometimes be easily saved. Think about it, when pride steps in, we forfeit all of the things that make us love someone in the first place. We always say, “God, if you only send me the right man (or woman), I will treat him (or her) so good”, but by the first argument we ready to done it. So the question is, is there really room for pride in relationships?
Yeah, we see love vs. pride scenes in movies like “Pretty Woman” when Richard Gere had to swallow his pride and climb up the fire escape to get to Julia Roberts, after making her feel like a whore (which she was), or “Love & Basketball” where Sanaa Lathan sparred with Omar Epps to get him to choose her, and even “The Game” when Melanie took Derwin back, but they happen in real life too.
“What determines whether we fight is how much we love…”
When we decide to commit to someone, we think about the things we’re willing to compromise. Relationships are about give and take, so we can balance out emotions and enhance the love. He fixes things around the house, and you cook his favourite meal. Or when you have a long day at work, he rubs your feet and back. The main goal is to find a middle ground, find ways to demonstrate that we care, and commit to resolving disagreements. Of course, some of us are more stubborn than others, and let’s face it, a lot of the ‘who has to call first’ also has a lot to do with ego (bear in mind I’m not talking about extreme cases where yuh man or woman horn yuh with about ten people, beat you or totally disrespected you). What determines whether we fight is how much we love, and, if, at the end of the day, the other person isn’t wrong for us.
Me? I never fight. I don’t fight for someone to love me, because I always believed that it’s either they do or don’t. So if they want to go, I let them. But that will always backfire when the other person has a similar train of thought, and is waiting for you to make the move. Life happens, and eventually people move further apart.
I know there are men who do the same thing. One little argument and they take it to the extreme. They storm out, slam doors, and don’t call. Both parties sit and wait by the phone to see who will call first. But the phone call and clearing of the air never happens, and before you know it, it’s too late. Three days will turn into six months, six months will turn into new relationships, and we never discuss why the fallout happened in the first place, or try to resolve it. And all that simmy-dimmy is because of pride.
Like Lauryn Hill says, “It could all be so simple, but we’d rather make it hard”. It seems like we prefer tabanca over tenderness. Some of us have no problems reaching out to say, “I hurt you and I’m sorry”. For others, it’s like pulling teet’, and believe it or not, those are the same people who will lie in bed at night, crying their eyes out and sucking their thumb (big, hardback man included; allyuh see what Santana went through when he ran Janice… playin’ badman in front he friend and dem, but sh*ttin’ bricks when Janice gone).
“Some people are just worth the extra effort…”
Nothing and no one in life is perfect. Some things are too petty to let pride fester into months and years of separation, and they’re not worth the loss of love. I believe that love is stronger than pride, or at least it should be. Kindness isn’t always weakness, and sometimes someone has to be the bigger person. Some people are just worth the extra effort, because the connection you two have may go way deeper than a normal love connection.
Now, I’m not saying to accept whatever comes your way, because your self-respect should never be traded for crumbs. Make sure you understand the situation and circumstance. The difference between pride and dignity is that pride makes the little things manifest into unpleasant endings, and dignity allows you to walk away from harmful situations. So if you know you love the person, would you fight for what you want?
For me, it’s been three years and some days, with a marriage and a baby on the way, that he’s been gone. I won’t even count the minutes. But it’s long enough for me to realize that it’s too late for me to mend anything. And my pride now seems to be buckling. I know deep down that my love for him was way more than the words he spat. So, now, I’m still in the moving on phase, while love songs play in and out of my ear. I have embraced the fact that my love is stronger than my pride. A day late and a dollar short, but definitely stronger than my pride.
When beggin’, I mean praying to God for a good man or woman, pray to not let pride get the better of us when a disagreement arises. Discernment is a great gift, because it lets you know when to let love for another, and love for yourself, win. Pride is sinister; love is and should be ever present. If my pride had only buckled a few years ago, and screamed loud enough for him not to go, I wouldn’t be writing you this piece.