Monday, October 23, 2006
If It's Really So Bad, Why Did I Stay So Long?
This question comes up over and over, and there are various reasons for my staying with W as long as I have.
Here are my reasons. Please keep in mind that I am not trying to say that these reasons are compelling or should have kept me here, but just that these are the reasons as I see them that explain what I was thinking when I wouldn't leave.
1. Marriage is a lifetime commitment. I didn't want to be a divorce statistic.
2. I didn't want to admit I'd made a mistake when I married W.
3. I wanted to believe that I could love W into mellowing and changing.
4. Once we had N, I wanted N to be able to grow up in an intact 2 parent family.
5. I was afraid to be independent and to have to take care of myself.
6. I didn't trust myself enough to believe that I was right and W was wrong, ever.
7. I felt bad for W not having anyone else but me to care for him.
Here are my reasons now for leaving. They may, or may not, be better than the ones for staying.
1. Better to be a divorce statistic than married and miserable.
2. I'm finally able and willing to admit that marrying W was a mistake on my part.
3. I couldn't love W into mellowing and changing in 20 years so why should I think he would change now?
4. Better for N to come from a broken home than live in one. He doesn't deserve to be treated in a demeaning way for his entire childhood.
5. I'm still afraid to be independent and take care of myself, but thanks to therapy and anti-depressants I am more willing to face those fears.
6. I now trust that even if I'm not 100% right, I'm also not 100% wrong, and I won't allow myself to be pushed down anymore.
7. W has family members who will be inconvenienced by having to help take care of him in the future, and W will hate having to accept their help. Oh well.