I guess this a question that we all have to face at some time in our lives, with jobs, houses and problems etc. But what about when we have to face that question when it’s on a really personally level? Like staying with the person you have shared a whole life with, loved or married?
How easy is it then?
Because when you are in a close relationship, it generally goes without saying, (and I think maybe more so for women than men) that we; already tolerate too much, compromise ourselves too much, bite our tongue too much and make sacrifices at a personal cost too frequently.
For me, I realised several years ago that I had to save myself, or I would face remaining unhappy for the foreseeable future. The decision was pretty clear-cut, once I made it. But as the saying goes, “Hindsight is always a better advantage point.”
It was a very long and dark road that I took to get here, and only now can I openly confess that I should have brought things to an end, way way back. But I took my commitment to my marriage seriously. It had never been on my list of 1-10 things I had to achieve in my life… But I did it all the same.
Our relationship before marriage was not always perfect, but our relationship after marriage was not exactly what I had pictured, and eventually only hi-lighted the huge crevices between us. “We grew apart” is such an appropriate phrase, as that is what had happened, but we also grew in completely opposite directions. We became more of our real selves. He became more selfish, and self assured; I became more confident and assertive.
Though out my marriage/partnership/relationship, I had always felt so alone. But a few years back, it became quite apparent that this was not just an emotional state of mind, it was indeed a physical fact. Any quality time that we could have had for us, was completely consumed by his own constant need for self, whether that be his work, sailing, Playstation or motor bike. So I had to make do with whatever was left over.
I became a widow to them all!
Believe me, I had serious doubts on my wedding day, and I suppose I had been silently grieving ever since. Things had changed, for the worse. I wasn’t meant to have such an empty marriage, it just wasn’t meant to be that way; I thought I’d married for all the right reasons, but of course it was 2nd time round for him. He’d been there, done that, and had his kids, blah blah blah. I never appreciated just how important that was at the time, or in fact the size of the monster I had ‘really’ taken on.
There are many instances where I should have drawn a line, but I didn’t. But the final blow was after a discussion with his daughter, who was visiting for the first time in ages. It wasn’t an argument, or disagreement, it was more that I would no longer bite my tongue and just listen to bullshit anymore.
But anyway, something minor grew into something major, very quickly and gathered enough momentum to take aim and strike. This was furthermore compounded by the fact that my husband, without 2nd thought sided with his daughter; even though he was fast asleep when she kicked off. They both left the house just after midnight, and returned some 90 minutes later, I could feel the rage enter through the door. No questions were asked, but many assumptions had been made, doubt had been cast and blame was placed squarely on my shoulders. And I, looked at my husband in absolute disbelief.
Only then did I truly see what had been in front of me all these years. I had always said, that no matter what the situation, if ever there were a problem between his family and I, he would always side with his family. Regardless.
And in those few short moments, I realised just how right I was, that I didn’t have a husband or in fact a marriage anymore.
Initially he’d claimed that he couldn’t remember what had happened, this was after his daughter was safely shipped back home. But needless to say, I was so disgusted by him, I packed his bags and told him to leave. But even my simple request of giving me a couple of weeks, could not be respected, as he hassled me virtually every day.
Months later, I learnt the truth about that night, during that day he had discussed with his daughter everything I had said to him about being unhappy, and what needed to be done to address things, and then turned the tables saying everything was my fault. So he’d discussed our private life with his daughter, some one he hadn’t seen for 18 months, someone who had frequently demonstrated little regard or respect for him at the best of times.
But that night was the end of many things.
That night he lost everything…