55 years of love and respect for Miriam and Dennis Edwards
Having been married for 55 years, a St Andrew couple is advising Jamaicans to find ways to settle disputes amicably, so as to reduce incidents of intimate partner violence.
Miriam and Dennis Edwards, residents of New Ramble, a district outside of Mavis Bank, said respect and compromise are critical ingredients in the growth and survival of relationships.
"Sometimes some things weh mi see people take and turn argument nuh make sense," said Dennis, 80, as he attempted to make sense of intimate partner violence. "Sometimes we take some simple things too deep and it reach some place weh it nuh fi guh."
Intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviours by an intimate partner. The World Health Organization said that acts of physical violence include slapping, hitting, kicking and beating. Dennis said it is sad that persons seek to subject their parters to abuse.
"One thing I know is that I love my wife, and when yuh love a person, yuh don't want to see them hurting at any time. If yuh have a woman weh yuh love and den wah kill her, then yuh sick," Edwards said.
"I rather to see you all the time than to know that I am looking at a dead person. Stop killing and warring with each other. Stop follow up argument," Dennis encouraged.
UN Women, on the basis of a 2016 study, estimated that 28 per cent of women in Jamaica suffer intimate partner violence, and 23 per cent suffer sexual violence from a non-partner.
Miriam and Dennis celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary last October. The model couple told THE STAR that their love for each other gets stronger with each passing day.
"We have love. People say love nuh deh again but it deh. A dem nuh have it," Dennis said.
"We have our arguments like everyone else, and what I don't like we talk it over. Me and my wife nuh suppose to go word-to-word together because once that happen, a cuss we a cuss. Mi listen when she a talk because mi have to listen carefully suh I can answer," Dennis said.
Other than church outings and small errands, Miriam spends her days at home while her husband works on their farm. He is back home by the latest 2 p.m. each day, not only to eat his lunch but to be in his wife's company.
"We talk, pray and sing together. Almost every day him get up and play guitar for me. Sometimes I would have a song mi waah sing and him play the melody for me. Every day we lock up inside and him play the guitar," Miriam said.