Lately, I’ve been asking myself this question: why am I still in this marriage?
Why do I stay?
The answers are many and they are complicated.
First priority is the children. We have three little ones under the age of 6. There are some pretty awful stats where divorce and children are concerned, along with stats on how much more likely children are to cheat if their father did. Pretty depressing all round, really.
My cheating asshole of a husband is the son of one such stand-up dad. He grew up with his dad living in another state, after his mother upped and left his cheating ass.
If only my husband had taken a bit of time to think about inflicting that same experience on his own children. I don’t want my children growing up with a weekend dad. But obviously he thought it was worth a cheap thrill.
If we didn’t have children, he would have seen the back of me 10 months ago when I busted him in the throes of his affair.
Maybe I love him. Maybe I don’t. My head is so fucked right now I don’t know what I think or believe. Loving or hating him is at this point is not important.
Maybe I stay because of convenience? We have several shared assets, including property, shares, cars, and businesses, to name a few. My head hurts at the mere thought of dividing what we own.
Maybe I still feel a great deal of embarrassment and shame. I know the shame isn’t mine to own, yet I still feel it. I do not want to be judged by others as having failed my marriage, that I somehow wasn’t enough for my husband. People who do not understand, judge the most harshly. The pain would continue.
I know I don’t stay because I’m scared to make it on my own. I had an awesome job in a competitive industry, and I have no concerns about my ability to do that again. Money and security isn’t an issue, although I would hate being apart from my baby as he’s only one.
Besides the children, the chief reason I am staying is because I haven’t decided I want to leave.
I’ll say that again because it’s worth repeating: I am staying because I haven’t yet determined that leaving is what I want.
Will tomorrow be better? Or will tomorrow be worse? It doesn’t matter because I’m not going anywhere just yet.
I remember telling the therapist at one of our first counselling sessions “I don’t know if I want to go or stay.” She said: “You don’t need to decide that right now,” and I felt myself breathe again.
I don’t know why, but when I discovered the affair, I felt some urgency about making this big decision.
Heaven knows you’re in no frame of mind at that time for making massive life-changing decisions.
And yet I still felt the need to decide right away.
Well, here I am, 10 months on. The hate is slowly leaving my body, thanks to some wisdom that snapped me out of my stupor. But that’s a whole other blog post.
In the meantime, I have found peace and acceptance in my decision to stay put for now.
Maybe I stay because part of me still loves him. I’m hopeful.
And a shard of hope is better than none at all.