What are your views on marriage?
Mine were always that I was quite happy to just be me and never get married. It would not in my mind have changed the love and devotion that I have for my now husband.
In "Baggage from the Marriage Carriage" I talked about this lack of desire to get married.
However, it obviously took my now husband some serious courage to ask me and he did it in the most spectacular way.
I said yes for the right reasons, I married for the right reasons, I stay married for the right reasons.
I indicated that we have had our struggles. I think most marriages do.
One of my fabulous and clever friends sat me down one night and put it quite plainly.
Friend:"What is the worst case scenario? Do you still love him"
Me: "I suppose, I wouldn't put up with this crap if I didn't would I???"
Friend: "Well you at least like him, right?"
Me: "Yes, he isn't always bad"
Friend: "So if we know you at least like him and possibly still love him, lets look at how often you feel that. So if 20% of the time he is a D*&& and 80% of the time he is okay would you throw it away?"
At this point there was quite possibly an incredibly vague look from me as I tried to compute this, or maybe tried to imagine if he was good 80% of the time. So she re-explained.
Friend: "If he is good, you like him, love him 70% of the time and the remaining 30 % of the time you can't stand him, is that worth leaving him for?"
Again probably a blank look from me.
Friend: BIG SIGH! "Worst case scenario here if 60 % of the time he is ok and the other 40% he is a D#$% would you end your marriage for that?"
Me: "Probably not, but it may be more like 50/50 at the moment!"
The point is she highlighted to me that I had something worth saving, he didn't abuse me physically or mentally (though I may argue that during my dark days of PND), he was a great dad and generally a guy that most people like, just not me.
I had choices, either way I took it. It is easier to walk away. I have done it, twice now. The first time in 2006 was easy, just me and the dogs. The next time in 2010 was not so easy as now I had two little people to think about. However, we were not in a good place. We were both really good to each other around our children, but once they were in bed resentments flowed and the tone turned sour, that was if he bothered to be home. His job was very "social".
At the time of me leaving for the second time, I was recovering from PND and just received a post as a University Coordinator. I knew something was not right and a bit of digging and more bluff than fact and I outed his emotional relationship. The me I expected to see was not the me that came out. I will talk about that another time.
Instead I was mature, calm and collected. I first and foremost put my girls welfare first. That meant being nice and inclusive of their dad who was now living 2 hours away, all the while his girlfriend was 5 mins around the corner from me!
I looked up websites such as Dr Phil, found some guy called Jay who blogged about marriage from his point of view and that is good to get that insight. I also found another woman who wrote about how her husbands affair was the best thing that ever happened to her. I thought she was insane and full of the proverbial. What I discovered is that I was not alone in my troubles.
I put to my husband a financial separation plan, I wanted nothing of him, only the house that I paid for, the rest he could have, all the money, trusts, furniture, whatever just take it and I knew I would be able to start again and be fine, but I could never again save for a house. I forwarded him an invitation to a Growing Together in Marriage weekend, not for us to stay together, but so we could communicate nicely and be good separated rather than together. He took it as a sign and wanted to give it a go.
It was a great weekend and I would recommend it to anyone in South Australia.
Please contact them at this site: http://www.gtim.unitingchurch.org.au/
It was a turning point for both of us. A way to begin to mend. It is not run by counsellors per se and whilst it is endorsed by the church due to their belief in marriage, don't let that dissuade you.
Here I am 18months after my marriage ended, still married, still struggling, but nonetheless still happy.
It does not mean I am weak, gullible, stupid. It takes a lot more strength to stay in the face of adversity than it does to leave. Leaving is hard, but staying is much harder and requires a commitment for life.
It is not for the faint hearted!
SO IS YOUR MARRIAGE WORTH THROWING AWAY? Put a figure to it and see; you, like me, may be very surprised.
Stay on board the gratitude train this journey is not over yet, this carriage will always be loaded.
Thanks to my wonderful friend Lia for keeping me straight on the tracks.