fight or flight. from what i've learned in med school, this is the expected reaction when a crisis or a difficult situation comes. in my 30 years of existence, i can't recall a time when i did not think first to choose flight. i have always been a flight person. i did fight some of the time but more often than not it's flight. now i asked myself if choosing flight is cowardice. some may say it is cowardice. but for me, it's not. choosing which battle to fight has been my motto in life. whenever something comes up that needs my immediate action, i try to keep silent for a while to give me time to deliberate whether this battle is worth fighting for.
about 2 years ago, my husband (Rey) surprised me when he came home and said he has changed faith. that he no longer is a catholic. he became a member of the "ang dating daan" sect. at first i was in disbelief. i was in denial..thinking it's just a phase and he'll come around and be a catholic again. my hopes were high that this could not happen to me. after a few months, he told me he's going to be baptized in 3 days time. it was then that reality hit me. i could not say anything. i was tongue-tied. i wasn't able to say anything and i did not say anything for several days that followed. and so he went and became baptized. when he came home from the baptism, it was then that i cried. i cried because it was the first time that i came to realize that life would be different for us from that day and probably forever. i had so many questions at that time. what will happen to us during sundays? what religion will our future children follow? how are we going to pray at night before we sleep? how are we going to practice our faith in one house?
what followed was worst than the questions i had. he became so decisive to have me converted to his faith. he became so aggressive in debating with me and arguing with me about which religion is the true faith. it made our lives difficult. if you know my husband, he's so argumentative and he never gives up until he wins. but not with me. when the fights and differences became so unbearable for me, it was then that i started thinking if i should fight or should i take flight. it was a difficult situation since i firmly believe that our faith in God should unite us and should never be the cause for a married couple like us to drift apart.
it's so typical of me to choose flight then - to just leave and never come back. but having been married made the choice difficult. the dilemma was more than what i can handle. i don't think i can handle the consequences. i prayed that Rey would stop trying to convert me into one of them. but my prayers remained unanswered. until one time when he crossed the line and i was not in my best mood, i gave him an ultimatum - if he would try just one more time to argue with me i would really leave him for good. i didn't realize fight and flight could be so closely related until i said those words to him. it was his turn to become speechless. after a short while, he said sorry and promise not to try it again. he said he will respect my wishes and he will let me practice my faith as much as i allowed him to practice his. this happened just a few months back. it still is unresolved because we still have different faiths. i still go to church and attend mass alone. i still long for the day to come when we can be together in one faith. but for now...ending the fight and arguments is more than a blessing. it brought back the peace we once had and the harmony and the respect.
i admit it's not at all over. i know we still have to resolve this but for now i'm satisfied with the way things are. someday, the Lord will make things better for both of us in terms of our faith.
at the end of it all, religion could not replace our personal relationship with the Lord. what will matter i think is how we lived the life He gave us.
Rey has changed so much ever since he became a part of that religion. he became a lot better, a lot nicer, a lot loving, a lot caring, and he was able to acquire humility in the process of his conversion. ours may not be an ideal marriage nor a conventional one but the love we have for each other, i believe, is more than enough to withstand any more trials to come. our desire to be together for the rest of our lives can transcend any differences in faith.
so, fight or flight? well, marriage is a battle worth fighting for.