There was a woman that I thoroughly loved; no one could’ve convinced me that I was not going to marry this woman. When I gazed upon her she would always inquire, “What are you staring at?” When God created her, He was having the time of His life; she was His meticulous commitment to craftsmanship. She was beautifully rendered and flawlessly finished. Not to stare would be an insult. She was definitely an offer worth investigating and I was drawn to her frame like fire to a flame. Her sweetness was indeed my weakness. Our conversations were more like a spiritual dance, we discussed the magnificent and the mundane as we engaged in intellectual foreplay. I told all my friends of my intentions to marry her and I moved from New Jersey to Florida in order to be closer to her. Our relationship was beautiful, we spent blissful hours on the beach enjoying the beautiful Floridian sunsets. She was working full time and going back to the University at night to earn her degree, I admired her ambition. We would go to see Anita Baker and Beres Hammond in concert. We both loved to laugh, so we would go to The Improv and have the time of our lives. We both shared a Caribbean heritage so we enjoyed the same music and the same food. On Friday nights we would go to the Jamaican restaurant and stuff our self with steam snapper, jerk chicken and roast breadfruit while listening to Bob and Buju dropped some serious reggae. She was the missing variable in my perfect equation.

There was only one source of tension. Whenever we had a disagreement, she became belligerent. She would yell and curse, her entire physiology would become tensed as she prepared for an all out war. She became very disrespectful and said things that she would later claim to regret. Her verbiage was vulgar, her vernacular, vicious; her dialogue was demeaning, debasing and degrading. She held on to the emotional residue of what I considered to be petty misunderstanding for days, sometimes weeks. I knew that she was not lashing out at me, but rather she was still hanging on to the pain of past hurt, so she painted with a broad brush and took no prisoners. Her issues were seldom with me, but they were always with ‘Black men’ and though I’m trying to be more Christ-like, I felt no need to be crucified for the perceived sins of a nation of men.

I grew up in a household where my dad would come home go into one of his tirades. He would become extremely combative as he yelled at us for what seemed like hours at a time. His words would lacerate our pride and my mom, broken from the stress would in turn emotionally berate us. The environment was so deeply depressing and toxic that I made a conscious decision that such a lifestyle would not work for me. I would not argue, it brought me no joy. In fact, arguments sap the very energy of my soul and even though I am by no means a pacifist, my first instinct is always to walk away. If we can’t calmly talk our way through our differences at this moment, then let’s just be silent for a while and discuss it later. She interpreted my silence to be indifference which only served to ignite her anger. I was aware that the person who doesn’t understand your silence, very seldom understood your words so I was very adamant in my decision not to be disrespectful; however I was equally steadfast in my decision not to be disrespected.

I explained to Baby in no uncertain terms, I said, “Baby, I am not going to tolerate your incivility. Either you chose to gain control over your tongue or I will chose to be someplace where I won’t have to hear your tongue.” She replied, “I can’t help it, I get very upset and then stuff just comes out.” Her explanation was not only inadequate, but unacceptable. I calmly responded, “Baby, to say that you can’t help yourself is not a truthful statement. You’re upset at your boss a lot, yet you’ve never cursed or screamed at him. You’ve never spoken to him with disdain or contempt. You chose to control your tongue because you need that paycheck. If you can learn to control your tongue for a paycheck that has no feelings, is it possible that you could exercise the same level of control over it for a feeling, caring, loving, laughing, human being?” I understand that a relationship is all about compromise, but me being treated with a certain level of dignity was non-negotiable. I believe in going where I am celebrated, not where I am tolerated. In the end, she chose not to mince her words; I chose not to be minced by her words.

Author's Bio: 

For almost ten years Kirk Nugent has served as a catalyst for change, challenging preconceived notions about success and self-actualization. Kirk started public speaking in poetry venues where he displayed a keen understanding of social and political issues which he delivered with his signature brand of infectious wit and frenetic energy. Early audiences crowned him “The People’s Poet,” Kirk wanted to do more, he knew that he stood in a place where he could truly affect change. The stage was set for Kirk to widen his speaking base to include college campuses, key note addresses for Fortune 500 companies, church ministries and empowerment workshops. He has spoken at venues across the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. Kirk is truly making a difference by impacting the lives of people from around the world with his special brand of speaking, consisting of a mixture of poetry and hard hitting self empowerment truths. Kirk Nugent is currently launching “Pursue Your Passion Business Inspirational” A CD in which he intends to inspire people to follow their dreams and be persistent in their goals to succeed in the business arena. Kirk Nugent has a gift to encourage people in all walks of life leaving them with the understanding that each individual possesses the power to create their own reality. He motivates people to use the resources available to them to take them as far as they want to go.