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.

11 comments:

Fiona said...

It takes courage to go out into the unknown. I'm glad you've found that.

Too many people settle or make do with relationships that don't nurture them, that don't fulfil them. That's the saddest thing of all. Sometimes nothing IS better than something.

I applaude your bravery and wish you happiness hon.

haretoday said...

"Oh well."

You're funny. I don't think you meant to be funny, however I was amused.

And you're right about everything you said. Don't forget that.

trueself said...

Fiona,
Yes, too many people do settle and for the longest time I was one of those people. Yes, sometimes being alone is better than being with someone even if it means you have to kill your own spiders (and yes, that's one of the things I've been afraid to do for myself).

Hare,
Actually, I did mean to be funny, to lighten the mood at the end of the post. I just don't think I lot of people "get me." Thanks for "getting me" today.
And yes, I'll try not to forget. That's one reason I wrote it here so I can come back and remind myself.

Karin's Korner said...

I just can't believe that we are so similar. I was also married for 20 years, I stayed for the same reasons, I left for the same reasons. Maybe my X and W are somehow connected, they are so much the same. I am so proud of you for getting out. I know that it is hard but BJ will help you through it. I know he will. If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask, if I can help just let me know.

Stinkypaw said...

Nice introspection you did - and like I've written you (way back) better be alone and happy than with someone and miserable.

Glad to read that you're taking the steps to take care of yourself (and N in the process), not easy but so worth it!

Finished Last said...

Your not a lone in your lists.

trueself said...

Karin,
Expect an email soon (next day or so).

SP,
Thanks for your continuing support and ass whoopin's. (Not that you did any ass whoopin' here, but the ones from the past stick with me.)

FL,
Yeah, I get that feeling from a few other blogs I read.

freebird said...

With a few exceptions that was like looking into a mirror.
I'm surprised BJ didn't get a mention - surely he was a factor in your decision to go now?

trueself said...

FB,
Well, it is true that BJ does play some role in this. However, I had to make the decision whether to stay or go while trying to keep him out of the actual decision. Since nothing is a sure thing, I kept asking myself if BJ wasn't in the picture would this still be the right thing to do. The answer is yes, even without someone to move on with, even if it were a choice of having to go it alone, the answer is still yes, it is the right thing to do to leave.

So yes, BJ is very important to me, and I definitely want him in my life. However, I couldn't justify to myself leaving my marriage based on running into the arms of another man. I had to have more compelling reasons, and I believe I do.

Saxman said...

Wow... I recognize many of those reasons.

In the case of #1-#3 I've worked my way, as you have, from "staying" to "leaving".

I'm stuck on #4 though... 'cause in my case (male), "leaving" means leaving my son... and leaving him with my wife (okay, seeing him only on weekends or whatever) would be, so far, much worse than staying even though things around the house aren't great.

So I stay, dutifully and lovingly... and wither... year after year. I'm sure I'm the fourth character that Sarte left out of 'No Exit'.

I have a lot of advice to give my son when he's of marrying age... I only pray that I can give it in a thoughtful, non-negative way that doesn't reflect badly on his mom.

Saxman

trueself said...

Hey, Saxman, I can understand you wanting to stay for your son. It is so much more difficult as a dad to get custody, and as long as his mom is being a decent mom you are probably right to stick it out. On the other hand, I've gotten to the point of feeling like I need to "rescue" my son from the situation with his dad. It just gets worse on almost a daily basis. Hope you find a good way to deal with your circumstances.