“People are more comfortable being uncomfortable than being comfortable, if they have been uncomfortable for an extended period of time. It’s simply an ingrained pattern, and familiarity is more comfortable than novelty.” ~ David Allen
At the beginning of our marriage, when the relationship wasn’t growing the way I expected a marriage relationship would, I thought, oh, he’s just young. He needs time to grow into this. (We were 21 when we got married.) And I was determined that I wasn’t going to be the proverbial nagging wife. (I’ve recently learned that there is a difference between nagging and saying what needs to be said.)
As time went on and I had my daughters and they filled a lot of my life even though my marriage was empty, I thought, maybe this is the way it is supposed to be, maybe I expected too much from marriage. I read all the marriage books I could get my hands on. I thought that if I was just a better wife, then the marriage would be better.
More time passed. We moved to another state. The marriage, which had been gradually getting worse, crashed.
After we moved here, I started thinking that I was going crazy. Like literally. Like I was loosing my mind. Something was wrong with me.
About four years ago, I started having thoughts about leaving. They weren’t very often. But something would happen and I would think, when my daughters are gone, I’m leaving. As time went on, these thoughts became more and more frequent. I remember visiting my brother, probably about two years ago, although I can’t remember exactly, and telling him that I was going to give it another year and then I was going to leave. But I didn’t get my ducks in a row and leave. I’m still here.
About three years ago, I finally figured out that he was passive aggressive and that I wasn’t crazy after all. Huge relief! And after learning about passive aggressive behavior, in retrospect I can see that it was there all along. It just got much, much worse when we moved here. Next to his parents. (Which I think is something very important to note.)
Then this past year I have really, really seen that this is not what I want for myself. This is not what I want for the rest of my life. This is not how I want to be treated.
But I had a huge question. Could I, before God, leave my husband. Was it “okay” to leave? I had made a covenant before God to be married to this man; could I break that covenant? I’ve wrestled with this one for months and months and months.
But my marriage isn’t really a marriage. It is not what I believe God intended marriage to be. It has been destroying me; it has been destroying my daughters. There really isn’t much good here at all.
So I’ve had these fears. What if it is wrong for me to leave? What if my life becomes worse after I leave? (You know, out of the frying pan into the fire.) What if I can’t support myself? What if I leave and then regret it? Where will I live? Where will I work? What about my pets? And all my (many) worldly possessions? Will anyone ever really want me? Will I be okay alone? Will God hate me? Will family and friends turn against me? Really big fears for me.
I mentioned comfort, too. I am so used to this. It’s all I’ve known for over half of my life. I am comfortable being uncomfortable. I’m afraid to hope for being comfortable and fulfilled. It’s hard to see myself in a place where I feel at peace with my life, where I feel like things actually are working and that I am making progress in my life.
So, QP, that’s the answer to why I am still here! :) I will tell you, though, that I am working towards not being here. And thank you for your question.