In this tale of resilience, Bernice faced escalating tensions in her relationship. Prioritizing her safety and well-being, she made the difficult but necessary decision to leave. Here’s a glimpse into her journey and the supportive community that stood by her.
Bernice was a 22-year-old woman with roots in Jamaica and Italy. She had been in a relationship with her boyfriend, who was 32 and from Saudi Arabia, for two years.
They had a lot of differences, but they also had a lot in common. One of the things that was different between them was how they viewed marriage.
Divergent Views on Marriage
Bernice felt she was still too young to think about getting married. She wanted to spend more time with her boyfriend before making such a big decision. She told him she would need at least two more years before she could even think about saying ‘yes’ to marriage.
But her boyfriend didn’t see it that way. Because of his cultural background, he believed that if two people loved each other, they shouldn’t wait too long to get married.
An Unexpected Move
So, when they decided to take a trip to Greece for a holiday, Bernice was thinking about enjoying the beautiful country and spending quality time with her boyfriend. But he had a different plan.
A Surprise Proposal
Three days into their trip, in a very beautiful spot, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him!
He had planned every little detail to make it perfect. But Bernice was taken by surprise.
She felt a mix of emotions. She was shocked because she wasn’t expecting it and nervous about how he would react when she said ‘no.’ To deal with her shock, she laughed.
This confused her boyfriend because sometimes Bernice laughed when she was happy, sad, or even angry.
When she said ‘no’ to his proposal, he first thought she was joking. But when she kept saying ‘no,’ he understood she was serious.
He stood up and asked her why she didn’t want to marry him. As she tried to explain, he got very upset.
He started speaking in Arabic, his first language, which Bernice didn’t understand. This made her feel even more uncomfortable.
When she asked him to speak English, he seemed even angrier. He told her she was ungrateful after all the effort he put into planning the proposal.
He was so upset that he decided they should go back home early! Bernice wanted to stay and see more of Greece, but she knew it would be very awkward after everything that had just happened.
A Tense Return Home
When they got back to their home, where they both lived, things didn’t get better.
Her boyfriend was still very angry. Whenever Bernice tried to talk to him, he would say, “Don’t.”
This whole situation made Bernice feel very confused and sad. She started wondering if she had made a mistake by saying ‘no.’
But deep down, she knew she wasn’t ready for marriage. Even though she had these thoughts, she wasn’t sure if she would act on them. However, things were quickly going to take a chilling turn.
A Disturbing Turn
The next day Bernice, still reeling from their turbulent trip to Greece, tried discussing their issues with her boyfriend.
Instead of understanding, he aggressively grabbed her throat and accused her of cheating!
An Aggressive Exchange
He told her, “There’s no leaving, understand? I’m angry, but you’re not allowed to leave.”
This was a horrendous shift in their relationship dynamics and raised immediate alarms.
Bernice wasn’t sure where to go from this point, so she turned to Reddit for advice.
They quickly suggested she leave, with one user saying, “Men who choke their partners, even just once, are significantly more likely to kill them. I scrolled down pretty far and didn’t see anyone mention this. It’s the biggest red flag to exist. Please get out.”
Bernice’s Courageous Choice
So Bernice decided to leave him.
Stepping Into a New Chapter
She was grateful for the advice and support offered by Redditors and the courage they gave her to embark on a new, safer chapter in her life.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock /Goncharov_Artem . The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.