When our son was 5 years we went to France for vacation. Our flight was to Paris and we were going to South of France after few days. Because I had studies French and was able to communicate, my husband wanted to rent a car and drive south, but I was uncertain I can communicate well enough to ask for directions in the villages. That was before cell phones and GPS navigations. I knew I could speak a little and could communicate but could not guarantee the villagers would understand my accent, we would know the way, and was just simply too scared to do that. I wanted us to take the safe route but getting train tickets so we can all be assured of where we were going and we could enjoy the journey together and similarly.
Even though since that time, my French has gotten worse, I probably would agree to the driving option today. I know now that I can rely on live navigation systems, and if I don’t know a French word, I know I can quickly find it with all the available communication tools. 20 years ago, I was very uncertain of my capabilities and was afraid for my family.
He kept insisting to drive, was telling me that he heard me talk with the French people and I was doing fine and I should be able to do fine asking for directions. He told me the only reason I was not agreeing with him was because I want to do what I want and don’t care about what anyone else wants. I knew that if I agreed to the driving option and a situation came up where I would have to ask for directions or anything else and I failed to do so, he would never forgive me and whatever happens to us would be my fault. I was in the Damn if you and Damn if you don’t position and was sinking. I knew the yelling and screaming were coming my way, do I take it now and know we will be safe, or later when he blames me for not being able to get us out of an actual problem that could be dangerous for all three of us.
I chose the latter, got yelled at, boycotted me and treated me badly for the remainder of the time we were in Paris, but at least I knew were going to be safe getting to the South of France. That’s how I always lived with my husband. It wasn’t peace or war, it was which was I choose to enlist for.