YOU DON'T HAVE TO STAY
I do know that it is not uncommon for couples who break up to get back together regardless of how long they've been apart and there are a lot of factors that contribute to these reconciliation efforts. Factors like the involvement of friends and family, mentors, therapists or even the couple themselves wanting to give their marriage another chance. Unfortunately for me however, the circumstances surrounding my failed marriage have hindered any desire on my part to reconcile with my ex husband.
Without going into too much detail, after things fell apart in my marriage, I could count on one hand the amount of people (family and friends included) who were interested in getting us back together, reason being that the man I married was more interested in maintaining his friendships and less concerned with forming relationships with the people in my life. Within and outside the marriage, there was a lot of disrespect and disregard towards my family and I, a total lack of maturity and absolute disinterest in any form of communication to ease the mounting tension that was forming in our home. This resulted in feelings of resentment, bitterness and an overwhelming sense of loneliness for me. There was a habit of malice keeping for weeks at a time, temper tantrums and outbursts that would usually be triggered by the most mundane of things. Many nights were spent alone in tears, feeling unloved and wanting out. Every attempt on my part to work on my marriage was met with disdain, arrogance and pride. So when the difficult choice was made to leave the marriage, further actions on his part following my departure put the final nail in the coffin for any possible reconciliation in the future.
I'm sharing my personal story because I need women (and men) to understand that they do not have to remain in damaging relationships nor should they feel compelled or pressured to return to such relationships by family, friends, the church or anyone else. Abuse is not only physical and I must admit that even I did not realize this until recently, but it can also be mental, emotional and psychological which is what I suffered and what many million other women are suffering without knowing it. It is true that people are capable of change and second chances are fine to give, but when a person shows you who they are the first time around, believe them!
So did I not see the writings on the wall before signing the dotted lines you may ask? It would be a complete lie if I answered No to the question and a few people in my circle have suggested that perhaps it was out of a desperation to be married that pushed me into marrying such a man but nothing could be further from the truth. As many women blindly in love with abusive men often do, I continually made excuses for my emotionally abusive husband. I did this repeatedly until one day it dawned on me that I had run out of excuses for his behaviour and had fallen out of love with him. But more unfortunate than that, I didn't love who I had become with him - a bitter, resentful and wildly unhappy woman who was still hurting from the death of her brother and receiving no comfort or love from the person who had promised before God to give it.
As women, we make the mistake of believing that we are somehow unworthy of a better love and perhaps deserve what we get. I fell into this destructive pattern of thought for the longest time and had to make a conscious effort to stop believing this lie; reconciling with my ex would have for sure taken me back to this untruth. It is heart-breaking that a lot of women choose to stay in these unhappy and unhealthy marriages because of a lack of options, lack of confidence in their own abilities to make it on their own, zero self esteem and worth or worse, because of what friends or the society would say if they divorced these men. It is more painful to note that women don't even realize when they are being abused, I know I didn't at the time and thought that as long as he was not physically hurting me then it was alright but I'm here to tell you that it's NOT alright. Any treatment of you by another that makes you feel like you are sub-human is abuse, PERIOD!
I'm happy I left because it afforded me the chance to fall back in love with myself, forgive myself and to find my purpose. Yes, there's a lot that has become harder because I'm single again but I would rather be single than married and miserable. I still believe that love will find me again someday but until when that happens, I will use this time to create the woman I want to become.
There has been no greater moment in time like the present for women to be assertive, strong in the fearless pursuit of their happiness, peace and purpose. Physically removing oneself from an unhappy space may not be something one can immediately do but while you take the time to figure out how you will do that, let the change you are seeking begin from within you. My marriage was already over 3 months in but I could not immediately walk away until after a year. In those remaining 9 months, I spent that time journaling to help me re-focus and channel all the energy I had been expending trying to please someone else into positive thoughts about myself and where I knew I wanted to be. If children had been involved, naturally it would have complicated matters and I thank God everyday that there were none to do so but for women who have made children with these men, all I can say is to remind yourself that you simply cannot give something you do not have. If you do not have the love you need for you, then you also do not have it to give to those who really need it the most from you.
Give yourself a chance to have better because you do indeed deserve it. Society and everyone else will simply have to adjust.